Men's Clothing Forums banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi gents,

I haven't posted in a while as I've been in the final stages of my dissertation. At long last, today I'll be giving my oral defense and here's the attire I've picked out.

- my 2b navy blue Oxxford suit
- a white Gitman Bros dress shirt (with pocket carefully, and successfully!- removed)
- burgundy grenadine tie
- Alden black punch cap toe balmorals

As always, feedback on the chosen threads are welcome. But mainly, I just wanted to share my news with my friends here at AAAC.

all the best,

red96
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
What field are you in? Had I worn that for my defense (Physics), I would have been ludicrously out of place. I imagine in some departments a suit would be fine, but in many I suspect the committee would wonder what on earth you were trying to prove.

There are enough things that can go badly in a defense that you don't want the committee distracted (or irritated) by your clothing. Get in, get it done with out too much fuss, and get out, before they decide you need to rewrite half the dissertation!

And, by the way, good luck and congratulations (presumably not premature, as I've rarely seen a defense where the committee allowed an unprepared candidate to actually get that far).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
439 Posts
My only comment is that this event is 100000000% utilitarian; an academic process. Your ONLY goal is to get "approved." There is ZERO fashion component to it. If it were me, I would err on the side of doing NOTHING that might interfere with the academic process, including over-dressing. Do NOTHING to distract is my advice.

I know that there can be a departmental "political" component to dissertation defense too. Again if it were me, I would know as much about each panelist as possible. If the panel is made up of 4 gents, none of whom you've ever seen dressed in anything spiffier than a Harris tweed with elbow patches . . . well you catch my drift :) (Yes, that was meant to illustrate a point and not poke a jab at my academic brothers and sisters.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
It might make sense to float your wardrobe idea to your advisor. This is someone likely to know the panel and what will work. Why guess when you don't have to? Also, there is often a sweet spot sartorially between appropriate and what makes you feel confident. Never wear anything that makes you feel self-conscious. The more you can forget about your clothes after you put them on, the better off you'll be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,566 Posts
I'll add to the chorus of "be careful not to overdress".

Obviously, a lot depends on departmental culture and the dress expectations of the field - offhand, I can't think of a field that would be so "dressy". Maybe economics or finance.

Mine was physics, for example, and it was extremely casual dress-wise, as is normal for the field.

As always, "dressing appropriately" >> "dressing up"!

DH
 

·
Honors Member and King Fop
Joined
·
6,031 Posts
Must be an unusually prosperous graduate student if he can afford Oxxford!

I can't for the life of me remember what I wore to my dissertation defense.

Apparel for a dissertation defense is very different from (and much less critical than) that for a job interview. Unless things have changed greatly since my day, it is pretty much a formality if you have been working closely and harmoniously with your dissertation prof. The only cases I ever heard of doctoral candidates coming a cropper on their dissertation defense was after they had openly flouted the counsel of their supervising professor and "done their own thing" in defiance of him. Of course, this was all 40+ years ago, and things can change in that amount of time.

To the OP: Congratulations on reaching this major milestone of your life. I know it has been a long hard journey. Hope your Ph.D. does you more good than mine did me!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
^ I agree with every bit of that. As a current PHD dissertator and friend of a few recent PHD recipients, I can attest to the nature of the defense itself as a formality. I hear it can be unpleasant at times, but if your committee has not ensured that you survive the defense, they have not done their job. With that in mind, I say wear whatever you like! You will be photographed a lot on this day and go out to celebrate, so make it good!

Attire for oral exams that one can fail, however, is much more important. But I don't think a defense qualifies as this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
458 Posts
wear a suit

I was wearing a suit when I made the oral defense of my doctoral thesis (archaeology). My opponent, who was an american, was wearing a rather wrinkled suit...

As I remember it, there were around 100 people listening to my defense.

During an oral defense of your doctoral thesis you are supposed to wear a suit in Sweden. I have even seen a person defending his thesis in black tie...
That was two months ago!

Maybe there are different traditions between our countries.

But wear a suit. Dont you want to be properly dressed for the celebration afterwards?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
oral defense

you are considerably more elegant than I was in my oral exam--passed with "distinction." Chinos and boat shoes, navy blazer and blue button down Oxford shirt. Not visible--but my constant good luck charm--were BB black sock garters
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
But wear a suit. Dont you want to be properly dressed for the celebration afterwards?
What is this "celebration afterwards" thing? ;)

After my defense I was so exhausted I just wanted to sleep. Instead, I went back to my office to work on the minor corrections requested by my committee prior to my submitting the dissertation to the graduate school.

In all seriousness, I imagine that the appropriate level of dress varies wildly from country to country and field to field. Presumably, the original poster, having at least half a decade of experience with the faculty in his department, has a good feel for the required dress code (and what others before him wore).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,538 Posts
Sounds fine to me

Of course, I'm from the old school that you wear a sootntie to an interview. So, I join in the best wishes.

However, I'm still puzzled with the "carefully removed pocket" trend in these fora. Presumably, one buys a shirt from a particular maker because of one's appreciation for that maker's quality and style. How can removing the pocket be consistent with that motivation? The maker put the pocket on the shirt because he thought it should be there. He probably went to great lengths to make it hellishly difficult for you to remove it, mainly to be sure it would stay in place over years of wear. Yet you "carefully removed" it. A fact that no one but yourself will ever know, because you will not be removing your coat in public. That just beats the hell out of me:(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Congratulations on finishing your dissertation. I never made it past ABD, but I imagine that it is more important to feel good and be relaxed in front of the inquisitors. You will no doubt do better in that sort of state of mind than any others. It doesn't hurt to feel a little cheeky about looking good either; it is hardly a disqualifying feature to carry forward once your teachers become your colleagues. I am told it helps in interviews too. Congratulations again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,865 Posts
Somewhat off topic... my mother defended her dissertation at Temple University on December 7, 1987. My grandmother and I were going to have lunch at the Crystal Room, the big restaurant on the 9th floor of John Wanamaker.

While waiting in line, the fire alarms started going off. The line thinned out but they continued seating. When we saw the employees from the corporate offices upstairs coming down the steps, we gave up. But by then they had shut off the escalators, so our only option was a filthy indoor fire escape.

Lunch was at the Roy Rogers on Chestnut Street. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,520 Posts
Your clothing selection sounds very good, I would suggest NOT wearing a watch (although DO ARRIVE ON TIME!) and dont bring a cell phone into the room with you or if you do make sure you shut it off completely Before you enter the room. Leave enough time so you can arrive leisurely so as to avoid sweating, wear a ton of deodorant and maybe throw a handkerchief in your pocket in case you get sweaty palms. Pop a breath mint and a tums, dont over-tighten your tie, belt or shoe laces to the point of constriction. Turn the heat down in the car on the ride over, dont put keys or change in your pocket.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top