Dressing for interviews is always tricky. Academia doesn’t prioritize fashion, and a lot of students spend most of their grad-school years in the same ratty T-shirts and jeans. So when it comes to choosing more formal interview attire, they can be in foreign territory. Indeed, some grad students wonder why they should have to dress up for interviews at all, when faculty are so notoriously slovenly. But you do. It’s just a convention. While fields differ on how formal your interview outfit should be (political science is formal, art history is not) — as do regions (the South is the most formal, the Northwest is the least) — some degree of dressing up is necessary for all academic interviews.
The challenge of choosing an outfit is exacerbated by the weather in the far-flung areas of the country where you might find yourself interviewing. In a post on campus interviews during the regular hiring season, I touched on managing winter weather. Summer interviews are of course more rare, but they do pop up from time to time. I’ll answer your question as it pertains to women who present conventionally as women. Not everyone chooses to present according to cisgender conventions. Read the full article at Vitae. Photo by Nata Branttes