WhatIWore Recommends: Academic Chic
I’m loving the concept behind the blog at Academic Chic run by three PhD candidates in a midwestern University town. In their own words:
We are three Ph.D. candidates in the humanities, who believe that academia and fashion are not at odds. When beginning graduate school we each had an existential wardrobe crisis. What does one wear in grad school anyway? We recognized that our undergraduate hoodies and jeans were no longer appropriate but were unwilling to accept the shoulder-padded khaki polyester suit that was ubiquitous among our female professors. As feminist scholars, we were also forced to reconcile the perceived-superficiality of our interest in style with our academic commitment to questioning gender and class essentialisms.
Today, in the face of all our eye-rolling colleagues, we defiantly wear dresses, fitted jackets, and pointy toe shoes. To teach in. And sometimes just to the library!
But don’t worry. We’ve done our research on this one too. Cultural critic Fred Davis calls fashion “a visual language, with its own distinctive grammar, syntax, and vocabulary.” Theorist Judith Butler, in Gender Trouble, points to the power of clothing to create and constantly recreate identity. And even philosopher Charles Baudelaire praised cosmetics and garments for creating beauty where nature fails. In short, fashion is a powerful tool for creating identity, subverting class or gender norms, performing self, and appreciating aesthetic beauty.
Check them out!! All photos from care of AcademicChic.com