Conference frivolity

It’s been remarked by persons other than I that the dress code at Leeds varies widely by discipline – Arthurianists tend to be well-dressed, Celticists either well-dressed and floaty-garbed or somewhat scruffy, early medievalists vary from shambolic to neat casual, and only archaeologists and anthropologists are liable to wear safari suits. Meanwhile, last ANZAMEMS it seemed to me that antipodeans clustered by institution – Auckland being particularly casual, and Sydney notably not so (due, largely, to the sartorial trend-setting of two British expats among us).

By this year, I can report that the antipodean medievalist community seem to have become sartorially homogenous. ‘Office casual’ seems to be the order of the day. Skirt-and-blouse or trouser-and-blouse combinations abound; sleeved dresses (often with button-down-fronts, for some reason) were plentiful; and I’m given to understand that a deliberate shopping expedition was made to find a lightweight summer dress suitable for one heat-afflicted denizen of the northern hemisphere. I myself acquired a cropped cardigan and a cropped short-sleeved jacket, the blazer I brought with me having turned out to be both too warm and too formal.

Women seem to dress up more than men, but then it’s hard to say with men’s business-casual clothes. Few suit jackets were in evidence, many buttoned shirts, but few ties. The suit jackets which were to be seen were quite likely to be paired with jeans, especially on younger chaps.

Best dressed institution award this year must surely go to UWA, who boast not only well-dressed scholars and postgrads, but a cluster of honours students whose ability to dress up far exceeds my own ability to dress like an adult at that stage of my life. Special mention must go to the scholar who stood out in neck-to-knee purple and carried it off most elegantly.

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One Response to “Conference frivolity”

  1. Tree_and_Leaf Says:

    Scandinavianists always seem to wear at least one item produced by FjÀllraven, even at conferences (though admittedly the only time I saw them at a conference it was midwinter in Germany, and there was a great need for outdoor coats).


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