Ethan Leib at Prawfsblawg is wondering about wearing jeans when he teaches his class. . . . There's a rich variety of comments to the post that predictably converge nowhere.
The specific question about jeans isn't relevant to me, since I don't own a single pair of jeans. While I do show up in shorts and a T-shirt on the typical summer day (and truth be told, even right now, since I am on pretenure leave and therefore not teaching at all this semester), during the regular school year I tend to wear slacks, a button-down shirt, and a tie.
Once I wore a suit because I think I was doing a presentation for some event or other, and members of my Con Law I class asked me if I was trying to intimidate them. . . .
In any event, while I would be no doubt be more comfortable teaching in a T-shirt and, say, sweatpants, I don't dress that way for class for two reasons. First, my theory is that if I dress in a way that at least would satisfy a law firm's "business casual" dress code (which is what Munger Tolles was for most of the time I was there), it conveys the fact that I take teaching the class seriously. There may not be any connection between how I would teach based on how I dress, but the perception may be there.
Second, if I wear a T-shirt and shorts, I get mistaken for being another student. As has happened at various law school socializing events for incoming 1Ls. . . . Of course, I'm rapidly reaching an age when I can't even plausibly say that I'm in my mid-30s, so perhaps this second reason won't last much longer.
UPDATE: Prof. Althouse's thoughts about my choice of non-teaching apparel:
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.