What to wear?

Day of DH pantsOne of the small pleasures of moving from Chicago to California has been the greater freedom to wear whatever I like, within reason, to the office. My office-mates are almost all central IT folks, representing a fairly typical range of personal styles, though there’s fewer programmers in jeans and t-shirts than you might expect. Plenty of jeans and polo shirts, lots of slacks and button-down shirts, and women in various flavors of “business casual”. Even so, I get remarkably few funny looks for showing up in my homemade “digital humanities wear”– pants, skirts, and tops in DH- or Slavic-geeky fabrics I’ve designed and printed on Spoonflower.

The number and nature of the meetings I have on a particular day have some influence over what I pick out in the morning, though the biggest factors are laundry status (is it clean?) and location (can I dig it out without waking my husband and/or son?). Today’s winners are a pair of pants I made for a talk at the California Society of Archivists conference last year (using Japanese woodblock prints of westerners, acquired using the fabulous Japanese woodblock print search), and a top that uses a Russian-themed Japanese fabric that subs out “W” for the Cyrillic letter “ш”.

A decision about clothes is hardly a weighty one, but being able to wear something geeky to the office does brighten my day a little. What’s more, Slavic-inflected clothes are some of the only daily reminders of my past life as a Slavist, now that I’ve been “alt-ac” for twice as long as I ever was “ac”.