When I was younger, I used to put oodles of time and energy into picking out the perfect First Day outfit. I mean–there are all those sayings about first impressions for a reason. Guess what? I still do! And, I’m not too proud to admit that.
For the first day, I usually err on the side of more conservative rather than less. I feel that it is important that I set myself apart from the students and actually look the role of the teacher in addition to acting like it. It also has a two-fold effect. When you are new and wondering around the halls trying to get your bearings, it’s a good thing to look like a faculty member. I have found that this cuts down on the awkwardness when I start using the copy machine to make a zillion copies of the syllabus or pop into the faculty lounge for lunch.