However, that certain professor is quite a bit older than me. I am still mistaken for a student, so I thought that dressing professionally would be a good way to differentiate myself from the student body. I also realized that I need to wear clothes that I can easily move in, walk around in, breath in, and not feel self-conscious in while in front of 25 pairs of eyes. I once had a film professor who wore giant bracelets that would chime together and then echo throughout the room over her microphone. With that annoying sound in my mind, I am pretty diligent about the functionality of my clothes. My work wardrobe includes dress pants, skirts, dresses, vests, button-down shirts, silk blouses, sweaters, casual cotton shirts, boots, heels, and dressy flats. I think I look nice without looking stuffy.
On my way to class one late morning, I stopped by the drugstore. The lady who was waiting on me flicked her eyes on me and then said, "Don't tell me you're a teacher."
I assumed she thought I was an elementary school teacher, but no matter. I told her I was and asked how she knew.
"Oh, just the way you're dressed. You look exactly like a teacher."
I glanced down. I was wearing brown dress pants and a green cardigan. Okay, maybe a little teacherly, but nothing I wouldn't wear at any other job. I smiled at the woman and left, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. I don't think I want to look like a teacher. What does a teacher look like, anyways? What do professors look like?
A few weeks later, the weather was nice enough for me to wear an outfit I really like. It consists of a beautiful silk skirt and a light cotton white shirt. I met my mom on the way to class and as I got out of my car, she exclaimed, "Wow! You are really dressed up." She kept saying that: "You are really dressed up!" I started to get a little concerned, but at the end she told me she really liked the outfit. Hell, I really liked it too and it felt nice.
Flash forward 30 minutes: I'm in my classroom preparing for class and in walks this student, let's call him Ron. Ron is a jokester and I think that he thinks we have some sort of joking relationship. Anyways, he walks in and says, "Wow, that is one ugly shirt."
I was shocked and taken back.
The next week it was my hair. Ron walks in the classroom, looks at me, and says, "Bad hair day?"
A week or so later as he was leaving class, Ron glanced back back at me and said, "I like your skirt, Mrs. EA." I didn't hear him so I just said "Okay." He repeated, "No, really. I like your skirt."
Ugh. "You don't have to comment on my clothes every day," I snapped back.
That seemed to shut him up and he never said anything about my appearance again.