The Science of Style

Dorie Tucker does not live by society’s fashion norms.


Dorie Tucker and Kacey Conroy show off their holiday skirts. Photo by Lasha Kelley-Little.

Chemistry teacher Dorie Tucker searches through her closet on an average school day, perplexed about how she’ll surprise her students today. Should she wear her faux eyelashes or a poodle skirt? She picks out her outfit for the day and goes to her job, ready for the reactions of her students.

Tucker’s unique fashion choices began in high school, but this year she’s decided to go all out.

“I made a really conscious decision this year to dress up more because I felt that teachers should dress professional but also silly,” Tucker said.

Kasey Conroy, Family/Consumer Sciences teacher, has also influenced Tucker’s fashion. Together they have tried to start a fashion trend here.

“Maybe we could start a Throwback Thursday every Thursday where everyone dresses up,” Tucker said.

While Tucker loves days designated for certain attire, she doesn’t like the idea of Fancy Friday.

“I don’t participate in Fancy Friday because by Friday I want to wear jeans and be comfortable,” Tucker said.

However, during dress-up days, Tucker goes all out, especially for the ’80s.

“That’s always my favorite because that’s the most clothing I have . . . the ’80’s stuff,” Tucker said.

However, even when it’s not a dress-up day, Tucker still dresses abnormally.

“For normal days I try to pick things that kind of go together but not all the way to see how long it takes for students to actually notice that I’m not dressing the way a ‘normal’ teacher dresses,” Tucker said.

While Tucker is confident in her fashion choices now, high school was a bit difficult for her because she was picked on and singled out for her unique ways.

At her high school, the senior class asked Tucker to wear the same outfit twice during spirit week so they could see her unusual clothing more than once.

“I guess they thought I had all these different clothes but I was just putting different things together because I dressed oddly,” Tucker said. “They predicted that I would be sitting at the footsteps of our high school wearing my crown crying because high school was over for me,” Tucker said.

Because the way she was treated in high school, she is more encouraging of her students’ style and creativity.

“I try to let [students] bring their own element into my class just because I don’t like to be restricted by fashion norms, or norms in general,” Tucker said. “That’s probably why I give my students so much more freedom when it comes to assignments that allow them to be creative.”