I've only taught for 2 semesters, ADN RN nursing students at community college. The first few weeks, When I wore my normal work scrubs and a name tag w/ faculty ID, I used to be mistaken for a staff nurse on the unit working "registery."
When I wore all normal work scrubs and a white lab coat, my faculty evaluator reported me for being a poor role model, since my students have to wear ALL white. "There was TOO much color" was on my evaulation as a clinical instructor. The positives were that they liked my teaching style and my students seemed " on the ball." My wardrobe, however, overshadowed my skill as an instructor.
Now, I wear my white lab coat embroidered with my name and RN, MSN, white nursing scrub pants, white shoes, and a colored polo or collar top. My evaluation hasn't happened yet, but the associate Dean commented "they" were happy to see me look "professional."
As for the classroom setting, I used to wear crop khakis and a jersey cotton top with comfy sandals. Once again, a different faculty member stopped me and asked me if I was lost and then apologized because she thought I was a student. Then she commented that I am a role model and professional dress should be considered when teaching in the classroom setting. Students are taught to "model" their mentor, and would I want them wearing casual clothes to an interview?
Needless to say, I am a new faculty member officially being "hazed." Because I literally "modeled" what the other faculty members were wearing. Some wear SHORTS and a Hawaiian shirt to teach classroom didatic. They, however, have tenur. I am adjunt faculty.
My thoughts, on this...Maybe "they" are trying to change the "culture." As a new faculty member, I hopefully will be the new "wave." If they didn't want me there anymore, they'd let me wear my cropped Khakis and then not call me next semester for the job. "They" want me to improve and represent the school as the NEW DEAN's vision of nursing. So I take it all in stride and GO with the FLOW. Go along, Get along. I had to tone down the make up too. If I want to be a rebel, basically, I'd probably have to work somewhere else.
So in summary, see what the other ADJUNCT faculty members are wearing (not the tenured faculty) and model them. When I finally OPENed my eyes, I Did notice the other adjunct faculty wearing heels, pants, button down shirts, or dresses. I was "modeling" the wrong people. I wish someone told me before I was evaluated the first time.