Validation of cute shoes everywhere!!

The question of what to wear at a conference is a big one, especially if you are presenting/looking for a job/trying specifically to impress. Last year I was in the middle of a long, hot, gross field season and went all out- skirts every day. It was a reaction to my working conditions at the time and probably a little bit ridiculous. I've also been known to wear bright, bright red for presentations. Love the power color!

This year, I was more concerned with comfort as it was a loooong week and I'd never been to this particular meeting so wasn't sure what the norm was. Turns out there were some of the most stylish (and also sloppiest) folks I've seen all at one meeting. Giant scarves galore! Yay!

I've been known to say that I might not be brilliant but at least I have cute shoes. The same notion applies to clothes so here is the dress selected for my talk:

Professional and stylish yet not too frivolous was the goal. I felt that it looked good and didn't give it another thought.....till the post banquet outdoor bar party. I sat down near a few other women I had met earlier in the week and scanned the nametags of others in our little circle. One guys name was very familiar, due to being very famous. Like, read-his-papers-my-first-year famous*. We chat and in addition to telling me that he really enjoyed my talk he also mentions that I ... 'had on a really smart dress.' Of course, this started the whole conversation of how the often-outdoors-based-research we do influences how we dress. Personally, I appreciate getting dressed up- or even just dressed in 'business casual' and am happy for opportunities to do so. Not everyone agrees. The Grackle is very much of the mindset that his work is the same whether or not he is wearing matching socks**.

I know that we shouldn't judge based on appearance... but we do. Depending on your subfield, a suit for an interview is either required or laughable. Despite my concern for dress at conferences/teaching/tests this was the first time that it was really verified that someone important took notice of me because of how I presented myself.

I always thought it mattered and well, there you go. Weird. And it sort of makes me want to go shopping.....

*I'm still kicking myself for being intimidated and not talking to him very much. Really thought I was over that by now.

**which, don't worry, he usually does.


Nadine said...

Well, it is a very smart dress. I like it quite a bit.

Amanda said...

I love that dress. Very smart.

A lot of times I think the way we dress tends to make less of an impression aesthetically and more of one professionally. By dressing a certain way under certain circumstances you're giving a signal that you are someone to be taken seriously. But then again, I over think these things :-)

Albatross said...

Thanks Nadine!

Amanda, I think you are completely correct. I've heard that you should dress for the job you want, not the one you have!

Anonymous said...

Ooo, I like the dress!

ScienceGirl said...

Love the dress, and that print is awesome! Great choice for the presentation, yet still very age-appropriate.

EcoGeoFemme said...

OMG I love that dress!

I'm not very comfortable wearing dresses at meetings because I like to feel more gender neutral. Not like I wear boys clothes though. And it's probably more because I don't like how I look in skirts. Whatever.

Albatross said...

Thanks! It is my favorite =)

ecogeofemme- that can be important and if there were fewer women in my field, I probably would avoid skirts/dresses as well. As it is, I try to ignore that the older women are laughing at my frivolous little self in skirts =P