Saturday, August 19, 2006

Daily updates, Day 4

Today I went shopping. Again. (I went shopping just a week ago with my friend AN.) I now have a complete wardrobe for teaching, (at least in the fall) and feel quite comfortable and professional in what I have.

One of the things that I faced up to at Westminster was how important image is. I think singers have to deal with the importance of presentation and body image more than any other type of musician, so as a school, it was a very clothing-conscious place. (I've never seen so many high-heeled shoes in my life. Did you know they make high-heeled flip-flops now? I'm not kidding!) And the importance of image is especially relevant for conductors - after all, people are staring at you for hours during a rehearsal. Your entire job is visual - while the music is going, it's the only available method of communication. It may seem obvious that therefore one's appearance plays a huge role in how musicians respond to you, but it is an idea that I've only grudgingly accepted. However, when faced with the prospect of a roomful of middle-schoolers, I am going to take every advantage I can get, and looking like I mean business will definitely help!


  1. What did you get???

    I just bought my first "professional" bag. It's a brandy-coloured leather tote (i.e., a browny red) and just looks nice, as in: look at me! I'm a serious professional! Accept me into grad school/give me a job!

    We'll see what happens. :)

  2. I am also grudgingly accepting the fact that image is importnat. I never did, but then my mom sent me this book on making yourself beautiful. One of the analogies in the book was how we judge people (consciously or unconsciuosly) by how the take care of the outside of their house and yard. That's when it hit me, because I walk through my neighborhood a lot and have made such judgements, and do work to make our house presentable! I guess it's time to work on my own image as well. :)

  3. To keyboardkat:

    Hm, I probably need a bag, too. :)

    I got about five or six tops, mostly knits, some for layering under jackets. Nothing terribly exciting.

  4. There is lots of research about "lookism" which clearly indicates that people--even people who are trying not to--judge others based on their appearance. Jobs are won and lost over clothes and attractiveness.

    Luckily, professional bags are easy to come by. But you may want to hold out for one that is a little stylish, too.

  5. Katy M1:20 PM

    I'm so glad I have a jeans/t shirt/sneakers kind of job! However, I will say that even in a relaxed environment, there are times when people should dress better. I was disappointed with one of the PhD students last week... he gave his final thesis seminar in jeans and a t shirt. It seems like for that kind of formal presentation he should have dressed up a bit; my impression (however untrue) was that he wasn't taking it seriously enough.

  6. To Amelia:

    As always, feel free to give suggestions. ;)

  7. To katy m:

    You've actually hit on one of the primary reasons I'm willing to admit how important appearances are. I tend to relate how dressed-up someone is to how seriously they are taking whatever they are doing. And since I'm more serious about music than I was about tech support, that's one reason I'm losing the sneakers! (Except while biking to work.)

  8. Ryan Osinski9:22 AM

    Haha... I did the same thing right after graduation. I went shopping 3 days in a row with Natalie Megules. She took care of me. I told her: "I don't want to look like a gay guy," and she said "but gay guys are HOT!" and so I said "well, maybe just a little like a gay guy." So then we went to Express, and Target to round things out, and a few other places along the way. I even got a couple Tony Nims/Philip Moyer blazers. I totally got this "professional-but-young-and-still-hip/I'm-in-the-military-and-work-out-a-lot thing up and running. Natalie, bless her heart, had to do quite a bit of arguing and convincing to get me to bend my neck to the yoke of fashion, but I suppose now, even I, have seen the light. Now all I need is a job!