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I think academics had it right a few years back, wearing academic robes over their clothes for work. Made it so much easier.  I am constantly perplexed by what to wear for work/study.  As a self-funded PhD student, coming into academia later in life from a business background, I have a closet full of business attire, which I love to wear and pragmatically, I can’t afford a new wardrobe and there is no point having good quality clothes and not wearing them. However, there seems to be some unwritten rules about what one wears in academia and I don’t think I am following these.  My research is in collaboration with a hospital, and I regularly attend meetings there, with consultants and managers and I believe by dressing business-like, I am conveying a professional image of a research student, as I am representing my academic institution in this environment.  Outside of my PhD, I am a board member of another educational institution and chair one of the committees, which I feel requires a certain dress code congruent with my present wardrobe. As a working mother, (as academia is my ‘career’ now), what is put on in the morning has to survive the day, which is usually a smart dress.  I’ve had varying responses from being too glamorous to looking professional, and it is the latter I am trying to achieve.  I also think there is an inherent desire to always present myself well, but I sometimes feel this is not what is perceived by others.  My inner circle of female academics understand this dilemma, but most of them are outside my department or outside my institution and are in management positions, and thus, dress similarly to me.  I aspire to a teaching/research position in my institution, but my management and business experience seem to place me in a different place to a typical PhD student. I don’t want to appear to be a threat (as has been insinuated by others), so I play down my positions outside my role as a PhD student, but as I evolve into my academic career, I know these will come into play.  My dilemma is likely that I am established, comfortable and know how to ‘play the game’ in a medical and boardroom environment, but I’m still learning the ropes in academia and I want to get it right, but I can’t be someone I’m not.  If anyone finds the ‘Guide to Academia for Females from a Business Background’, will they please forward it to Mme Postpostmodernist.  Merci bien ines-de-la-fressange-frm+The+Simply+Luxurious+Life Ines-de-la-Fressange_portrait_w674 Jackie In Belfastmadmen_standard JACKIE