who would heed a lawyer, financial advisor or doctor who showed up in dirty jeans, a frayed sport shirt, filthy running shoes etc. etc., who carried his professional papers in a nylon backpack? Not even a department dominated by radical egalitarians would hire a job applicant who arrived as if he was on the way to the beach. This would be insulting, a sign of disinterest in the job, and these egalitarians would be right.
At a minimum, dressing well informs students that one is serious about classroom responsibilities. If I can spend an extra hour before class matching ties and shirts, checking for stains, polishing my wingtips, combing my hair and all the rest, you can certainly pay attention.
This is something I have struggled with all of my academic career. My professors at my undergrad dressed nicely. The men wore suits. The women wore dresses or nice pantsuits. I was shocked when I went to Purdue and the professors showed up in pants and shirts, male and female. But now I don’t dress up as much as I used to. I wonder if part of that is a problem of my own perception.
Any comments on how we dress like professionals?