Today I found what I first took to be just a charming fantasy at Female Science Professor. But the topic of clothing is also a very serious one for feminists, and includes all sorts of issues about institutional conventions and professional credibility, among many other things.
Let me invite you to look at the fantasy and then consider either a silly or a serious reply:
During our travels, my daughter and I talked about how we will have to do some very quick back-to-school shopping for her, and somehow this led to our constructing a fantasy scenario of back-to-school shopping for professors. We imagined a special clothing store, just for professors, with different departments: Science Women, Science Men, Humanities Women etc. It would have all the latest fashions. What are the stylish Chemistry Professors wearing this year? What cannot you absolutely not wear at the next big international meeting?
We later told my husband about this idea, and he mused about whether the different departments might need further subdividing. We are fairly sure that the physical sciences could probably share one department of this store, but it may well be that engineers will need their own section, and the humanities might need some very significant subdividing. Do philosophers dress the same as historians?
Another feature of this store for professors is that you get a discount on a new item of clothing if you turn in something that you have worn since graduate school, with the discount greater the longer you have been out of grad school.
The commenters point out that there should be a “juniors” section for grad students. There might be others?
References to revealing sources are also welcome!