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It’s the end of the semester and college course evaluations are in…

One question posed to students reads:

What do you like about your professor?

A student responds:

Her shoes.

Cut to other conversations and comments…

  • “Your outfit is giving me Blair Waldorf vibes. Have you ever seen Gossip Girl?” – Student

  • “Style me!!” – Student

  • “Where are those pink ombré heels from?” -Student

  • “I have a question but before I get to that, I must say I am living for your bag and shoe combination.” – Student

And, finally: Please use additional space to clarify any of your responses on your overall impressions of the course.

Overall I really enjoyed this class! On a completely unrelated side note, your outfits are ALWAYS AMAZING!! Please let us know where you go shopping!

While I am most proud of the feedback I receive that directly relates to my teaching, I had a “full circle” moment with these student fashion conversations. When I was in 1st grade, I had a teacher who wore dresses and heels to class every day, donned celebrity-like hair and makeup, and always had a red full set manicure. One day, she let all of us have a piece of her jewelry. It was one of my favorite days in class (don’t judge, I ended up getting a doctorate degree later in life) and I remember being inspired by her wardrobe and confidence.

I find clothes, shoes, and accessories to be conversation pieces and I enjoy the nonverbal communication they convey. Not only can outfits start conversations, they can also be an outlet for expression. Just think about some of these iconic fashion moments in popular culture:


Marilyn Monroe. Need I say more? I know an image of that white dress came into your head.

Carrie Bradshaw in the opening sequence of Sex and the City.

J.Lo’s iconic Versace dress worn at the Grammy’s (which led to so many Internet searches, Google Images was born from this moment)

Britney Spears’s “Baby one more time” outfit. And Britney’s red catsuit… And Britney’s nude sparkly two piece…

Some people want to express their opinions via the written word on social media.

Some people want to express their feelings verbally during in-person conversations.

And some of us want to express ourselves by wearing a matching pink shimmery pant suit with a swan-shaped handbag.

For others like me who tote their swan-shaped handbags around town, join me in this community for people who love fashion – particularly professional, fashionable clothing (profashional!) and get your “PhD in Profashional Studies.”

If you haven’t guessed yet, I am an assistant professor of Communication (Ph.D., 2017) who finds a thrill in styling outfits for work that may be out of the norm (why must we stereotype professors as wearing brown tweed jackets? Full disclosure: I do dig a tweed suit, but my tweed has purple glitter in it). And as a blog that uses collegiate metaphors to discuss fashion, this cannot be legit without a syllabus ;)


Overview: The aim of ProfashionalPhD is to connect with others who love fashionable professional clothing and accessories. It is meant to be an outlet for inspiration, creativity, and expression. ‘Courses’ will cover core and elective pieces of designer and casual clothing and accessories.

Prerequisites: None — All are welcome.

Learning Objectives:

  • To discover fashion that is pleasing for work and out-of-the-office situations.
  • To demonstrate and express a unique sense of style, regardless of what is typical in society.
  • To share knowledge of fashion, tricks and tips, and deals


  1. Infrequent attendance will result in less exposure to obscure and inspirational fashion.
  2. Keep a kind spirit! Those who engage in trolling or online harassment will be subject to a lecture series on online disinhibition and destructive communication.

Recommended Textbooks:

Callahan, M. (2015). Champagne supernovas: Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen, and the ’90s renegades who remade fashion.

Dior, C. (2017). The little dictionary of fashion.

To the students looking for fun work wear: this is for you!

To working professionals seeking profashional inspiration: this is for you!

To anyone who hesitates wearing something loud or out of the box:

this is for you!

To other fashionistas who want to share their profashional creations: this is for you!

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