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Author Topic: Wardrobe advice needed! Midwest State U campus visit  (Read 2374 times)
lucyr
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« on: December 25, 2012, 10:09:44 AM »

I've just gotten word I scored my first tt campus visit (yay!)

The SC were in business casual for the Skype interview: khakis and sweaters. This is a big midwestern state university, not in a big city. I want to hit the right notes without under or over-dressing.

I've got some mitigating strategies planned out, like 'pack a sweater to dress-down the second day, if needed'.

BUT, my real question is: long wool overcoat or (clean, neat) ski parka? The overcoat feels very 'NY lawyer' to me, while the ski parka feels - bulky, and maybe a little too casual.

Forumites, how do you vote?
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egilson
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« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2012, 10:58:23 AM »

If it's warm enough, I'd wear the overcoat. However, that's mostly because if you put me in a parka, I look like the Michelin Tire man.
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seniorscholar
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« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2012, 11:06:15 AM »

If it's warm enough, I'd wear the overcoat.

And remember to enter the campus zip code in weather.com and keep your eye on the 5-day and 3-day forecast for couple of weeks before leaving for the campus. (The Midwest campus where I did my M.A. would almost certainly require the down parka and some really really warm waterproof boots.)
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brixton
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« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2012, 11:51:12 AM »

+1

It can be bitter cold in January, and so looking like the Michelin man is way better than looking great, but feeling nothing but numbness in your outer extremities.  If the forecast looks 30s and higher, coat is fine.  But pay very close attention to wind chill.
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tuxedo_cat
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« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2012, 12:00:49 PM »

Congratulations!  Dress very nicely, wear the overcoat -- it is unlikely they will want to take you on a walking tour of campus if it is bitter cold outside.  It is completely fine to be more formally dressed than other members of the department for the campus visit -- I think this shows respect.  A sweater would be a bit odd (from someone who used to teach at a large midwestern state university).
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litdawg
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« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2012, 3:51:56 PM »

+1 to all of the above advice. Don't fear being dressy, but don't dress in a way that is totally impractical for the weather/location. Footwear is the main variable there. I second the recommendation against a sweater. You should plan on removing warm outerwear when inside. A warm sweater will fulfill its name if you wear it inside a  heated midwest building. Warm sweaters are for spending most of the day outside or as a removable layer. I don't think you want to be removing clothing during an interview trek around campus where you are constantly in and out of different buildings and offices. A warm coat and scarf will come on and off easily, leaving you in your professional outfit beneath while indoors.
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baleful_regards
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« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2012, 4:02:20 PM »

I interviewed at several "winter state" universities. I was complimented on my practical and stylish riding boots during one visit. The SC member even said that she noticed what candidates wore on their feet

During the others I wore the same things I wear/wore in Montreal. I wear my boots and shoes to carry in a bag. No one ever batted an eye when I slipped off my boots and in to my "dress shoes".

Wear the nice overcoat, if it isn't too hot. I also have a collection of stylish wraps/shawls which serve for middle weather ( not too cold, not too warm) days.
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egilson
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« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2012, 4:04:49 PM »

A related question for guys because this seems like as good a place for it as any: what are the best galoshes you have found for wearing over dress shoes? Reviews seem to be mixed on things like Totes, which some like and others say tear at the most inconvenient opportunity. I'd actually be happy to wear the red rubber galoshes with the single button and loop I wore as a kid, but I think people would have to get used to my strange sense of style (and humor) first.
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baleful_regards
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« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2012, 4:13:53 PM »

A related question for guys because this seems like as good a place for it as any: what are the best galoshes you have found for wearing over dress shoes? Reviews seem to be mixed on things like Totes, which some like and others say tear at the most inconvenient opportunity. I'd actually be happy to wear the red rubber galoshes with the single button and loop I wore as a kid, but I think people would have to get used to my strange sense of style (and humor) first.

Ah, I actually know an answer to this. BalefulSpouse loves galoshes, and he spends a great deal of time in NYC where he prefers galoshes over boots.

He settled on the Tigley Executive Overshoes.

I would suggest trying them on though - some people hate them, while others love them.
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britprof
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« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2012, 7:46:27 PM »

It is completely fine to be more formally dressed than other members of the department for the campus visit -- I think this shows respect.
This. It also commands respect. Congratulations and Merry Christmas!
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bud04
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« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2012, 9:19:23 PM »




It is completely fine to be more formally dressed than other members of the department for the campus visit -- I think this shows respect.
This. It also commands respect. Congratulations and Merry Christmas!

+1
Wear the overcoat and add a wool or cashmere scarf.
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pink_
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« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2012, 9:24:59 AM »

I'm not sure why people are saying no sweaters, especially if the OP witnessed people wearing them in the Skype interview. Of course, there are different types and weights to sweaters, and I agree that you are probably best to avoid a heavyweight fisherman's knit, but a nice cardigan twinset can be perfectly appropriate with dress pants.

I do agree with the advice about footwear and think either coat would be fine-which one is most comfortable over your interview clothes?

Good luck on the visit!
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federale
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« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2012, 1:09:45 PM »

Layers!

Of course this can be a bit problematic if you have no place to lay down the outer layers, but good advice most of the time.  I know what you mean about the Michelin man look in parkas. I would avoid that if you can, but if the weather looks severe, it might be worth it.

 I think the bigger issue is that you show a  sense of humor about the weather. Folks in the upper Midwest will likely want someone who laughs at misery. If you are coming from Florida or California, acting horrified of cold or arriving dressed up like an arctic explorer might raise some eye brows. I recall interviewing for a job in a famously wet location during a pretty epic down pour. It was a source of chuckling to all, including me. Yes, I brought a raincoat, and good cheer. Climate is always part of the offer, so looking appreciative, or at least hearty, seems a plus.

(Happy Holidays to all!)
« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 1:10:36 PM by fedscholar » Logged
lucyr
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« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2012, 12:06:54 AM »

thanks all! I think I'll take the long black wool coat (on the theory that it accomodates more layers underneath and warms me to my knees) and some thermal silk long johns. Some colorful gloves and hat will hopefully keep it from being too undertaker-ish.

And I will go firmly prepared to laugh at any and all misery. (at which I have much practice. On my first ever campus interview, for a VAP, the hotel ac malfunctioned and kept me awake both nights. I did the entire trip on about 2 hours' sleep. By the end I don't think I could remember my own name. I got the job.)
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tinyzombie
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« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2012, 12:11:26 AM »

Good luck!
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