How to Style a Graphic Tee Pt. 3: Desperate Grad Student Edition

I thought I would end my “How to Style A Graphic Tee” week with a less than successful t-shirt styling.  We all have our histories and our fashion mistakes and so I thought I would share a lesson with you. If this were a Henry Fielding novel the title of this chapter would be, “In Which our Heroine Attempts to Wear a T-Shirt with a Jacket and Realizes that a Blazer Cannot Fix Every Fashion Mistake She Makes.” Let’s read along shall we?

Full Bodied Fashion - How to Style a Graphic Tee

[Tee – Threadless ($10); Jacket – Lane Bryant (Bought forever ago); Jeans – Talbots ($25); Heels – Merona/Target ($30)]

I fell in love with this “Vampire Hunter” shirt from Threadless right away.  I hunted it for a few weeks until they has a $10 tee sale and then I snatched it right up!  When I was in graduate school I would wear this tee all the time during exam week when I was basically living in the library.  You see, as a graduate student I had an open cubby in the library where I could work on my research and store my library books so I wouldn’t have to drag them to and from my apartment day after day.  During exams and the few weeks prior, undergraduates would flock to the library for crazy cram sessions.  Everyday I would have to shoo an undergrad out of my cubby and I began to think of them as pesky vampires (the analogy really didn’t make any sense, since I was the pale one with bags under my eyes who hadn’t seen the sun in a few days.)

So, during one of these crazy, sleep deprived days in the library I realized that I had to lead an exam review session for the students that I T.A.ed.  Thus this outfit was born. I had this jacket stuffed in the locker of my cubby so I threw it on over my Vampire Hunter shirt and buttoned it up all the way. Unfortunately, this arrangement left the pliers visible still.  Luckily, my own group of undergraduate-vampires were too exam-crazed to notice.  I, however, ran into countless Professors and fellow Grad Students in my brief hiatus from the library, and when they cast appraising eyes over my outfit, I was forced to apologize for my outfit and explain about the forgotten review session.

Full Bodied Fashion - How to Style a Graphic Tee

The Infamous Pliers.

The moral of this story? A jacket does not hide all sins, and does not an outfit make.  My Vampire Hunter tee is too dark and busy to pair well with these trouser jeans and the brown jacket.  Instead, I should have mixed up the outfit with a pair of khaki shorts or a lighter skirt. Then I could have played up the “hunter” aspect by donning boots and chunky, metallic bracelets to give the look of bracers.  So second moral of the story? Always learn from your mistakes! (For instance, always send yourself multiple reminders about exam review sessions…)

Full Bodied Fashion - How to Style a Graphic Tee

Something like this maybe?

Full Bodied Fashion - How to Style A Graphic Tee

Full Bodied Fashion - How to Style a Graphic Tee

How about you? What is your biggest fashion mistake? How did you learn from it?


2 thoughts on “How to Style a Graphic Tee Pt. 3: Desperate Grad Student Edition

  1. Each year I realize I deeply regret tons of what I was wearing a year ago. I tell myself that this is a sign of fashion progress!

    We had a talk about one’s teaching wardrobe in my Pedagogy class recently. I wear pretty much whatever feels comfortable, which seems like a good principle–for me, that’s more polished than my students, but not a lot more.

    • Yes I think that is fashion progress. My hope is that at some point I sort of equal out so that I’m not ashamed of most of what I’m wearing years later. It’s that whole thing about having a classic wardrobe and just inserting trends in small ways.

      What to wear while teaching is sort of an eternal puzzle I think. At least you’re slightly more polished than your students. I seem to remember that at least half of mine were always wearing gym clothes or yoga pants so even jeans are a step up from that…

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