Professor clothes vs. librarian clothes

This past week while deciding what to wear to my evening shift as circulation supervisor at the library, I pulled on some dark jeans, a thin green sweater, and a grey velvety blazer, topped with some simple earrings and a somewhat sparkly beaded necklace. Except for the jeans, it was a blast from the past from my professor wardrobe — maybe it was the blazer that did it, because I almost never taught in jeans.

To my surprise, when I got to the library, the reference librarian on duty that night called me on it almost immediately. She has become a friend, and she often notices my outfits, which is amusing since no one else does, or says anything. She turned to me and said, “so I have to ask, is tonight’s outfit something you’ve dusted off from your professor days?” I turned bright red, because she’d read me so easily, and because it bothered me that the two jobs/roles apparently involve noticeably different outfits.

Well, I’m probably overthinking things, as usual. The staff at this library happens to be quite casual in its attire, even the director, so anything above jeans is usually looked at as dressing up. Early on I started wearing slacks with sweaters once it got cold, instead of anything smacking of dressing up, like blazers. I know there will be times I can wear my professor attire, or when I can adapt it to the more casual environments, but I wonder if somehow, I will still look like I come from a different world.

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