This definitely is not a fashion blog, and while I do wear makeup every day and enjoy dressing up on occasion, most days I do not think much about fashion; I think about practicality. Long pants and closed-toed shoes are a requirement for working in the lab. I find long sleeves difficult to do work with, and so long-sleeved shirts need to be stretchy enough to roll up the sleeves while I’m behind the bench. My hair at its current length is okay to wear down, but when it was longer it needed to be up in a ponytail or bun, no questions asked. With so many work-related requirements on what I can wear, it’s an odd day when I actually have to pay attention to what I’m putting on in the morning. I’m sure many of you can understand!
Yesterday, I had tickets to see an opera (Phillip Glass’s Orphee). The theater, which is in Downtown Pittsburgh, is much closer to where my lab is than to my apartment, so I decided that it made more sense to go straight to the opera from lab instead of going home first. This meant that either I would have to run Western blots in dress clothes (an idea that very quickly got vetoed), or I would have to bring a change of clothes so that I would look presentable at the opera. The main constraint on that is the size of the bag I carried with me: I did not want to bring a huge backpack filled with clothes, and that meant that I needed to strategically pick an outfit that could easily transition from “lab” to “fancy”.
Apologies about the photo quality- the idea for this post popped into my head as I was running out to catch the bus in the morning, so I quickly took some selfies in the hallway!- but above is pictures of my day look. I’m wearing a dark gray long-sleeved T-shirt, a long sleeved button-down, and jeans and sneakers. It’s a comfy, weather-appropriate (unfortunately–what happened to spring?!) outfit that fits all of my lab-related requirements. I also put some gel in my hair in the morning to keep it curly, and made sure to put on makeup that would last all day (though still just lotion, blush, and mascara).
All I had to bring with me to change into was a different pair of pants! I ditched the button-down, and swapped my jeans for black dress pants, and I was ready to go! Another day I might have changed into nicer shoes, too, but the weather was dreary and rainy and so sneakers instead of flats or heels was definitely the way to go. I would also bring a scarf or necklace to accessorize with, since black and grey is not the most exciting color scheme.
That being said, it was a good practice in the day-to-night switch, and also proves to me that it’s not as difficult as I imagined! In certain cases, it certainly can be a much more practical alternative to wearing dress clothes all day to lab.