Stylish profs & faculty

From computing to English, I’ve rounded up a list of stylish Queen’s professors from across different faculties. While compiling this list, I found that style can be pretty varied and subjective, denoting everything from your typical tailored suit to your handmade sweaters. Bold animal prints and colourful dresses also topped my list of more daring fashion choices.

Susan Mumm, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science
How would you describe your style?
Well that’s pretty easy actually because there’s two influences that really affect what I wear. One is steampunk.

I don’t dress literally steampunk because that wouldn’t be appropriate for a dean, but there’s a steampunk edge to quite a lot of the things I choose … What you get in steampunk is a lot of quaint 19th-century references – like the big furry collars, the tight waists, the long full skirts – but sort of, slightly futuristic at the same time. So there’s always something wrong with them. It’s not like real Victorian clothes.

And steampunk is great for Canada in the winter cause things tend to be long and full and warm and they’re often made of wool, so you’re warm.

The other one for me is rockabilly. And that’s perfect for the summer because the fabrics are lighter, the full skirts, the kind of very 50s styling of the women’s clothing. So, you know, I own a hundred dresses and one pair of jeans – but they tend to be either steampunk-ish or rockabilly-ish.

How would you describe student style?
Because I’ve taught in so many different countries the students have dressed so incredibly differently in the various countries. In the UK, when I was teaching there, British students really didn’t want to look like they were interested in what they were putting on in the mornings. Obviously, they were putting a lot of energy into making it look like they weren’t putting any thought into it. So there was that kind of non-style style thing going on.

At Queen’s, it’s different. There’s definitely more of a fashion edge. I haven’t been here for the full year yet so, you know, I can’t say how it changes from year to year, but there’s more colour worn … Everyone [in the UK] was dressed in thrift shop, all the time. The students here are mixing – they’re definitely doing more mixing of high-end, discount warehouse, the whole thing. It’s a little bit more eclectic. More adventurous than what a British student would wear.

New Zealand students are a completely different kettle of fish. Their idea of appropriate wear for university is a t-shirt and a pair of knee-length shorts and some rubber boots. I’m not joking. Or they go to school barefoot. It’s just different. It’s driven by the climate and all sorts of stuff, but their look is unique. I’ve never seen students look like that.

Robert Morrison, Department of English

How would you describe your style?
I think it’s really important in class to show that you take [what you’re teaching] seriously. I think when you’re a guy whose 50-something students do notice [what you’re wearing].

Who is your style influence?
My wife. I think my wife has wonderful, wonderful style. She’s the one I want to look nice for.

How would you describe student style?
I don’t really notice what students are wearing. I like when students feel positive and energetic.

Julia Gingerich, Department of English

How would you describe your style?
Professional and comfortable. I want to make sure I’m not a slob, but that I’m not bound when lecturing.

Who is your style influence?
My colleague Jaspreet Tambar. He’s one of the only people I know who puts on a tie and dresses like a professor.

How would you describe student style?
It varies. I think Queen’s has lots of stylish students. Students put in the effort and they don’t look like they dragged themselves out of bed. Quite professional – far more stylish.

Laura Carlson, Department of History

How would you describe your style?
Comfortable obviously, but whimsical I suppose. Something comfortable – I’m an active speaker.

Who is your style influence?
My colleagues, other post-doctorates. For celebrities: Kate Winslet.

How would you describe student style?
I see everything in my classes from PJs to looking like runway. Impressive fashion.

Wayne Cox, Department of Political Studies

How would you describe your style?
I kind of dress up a little bit. Mostly, I want to give the students the impression to take class seriously.

Who is your style influence?
Nobody, really. I just go shopping and if something looks kind of cool then I buy it.

How would you describe student style?
Pretty varied. Well, that’s not true. Pretty varied, except they all conform to this kind of Queen’s undergraduate, Queen’s jacket kind of thing. They should be maybe a little more independent.

Alan McLeod, School of Computing

How would you describe your style?
Oh, pretty casual. Comfortable and warm.

Who is your style influence?
My boss – my wife. She makes these, so that helps and she buys me my t-shirts and stuff.

How would you describe student style?
At 8:30? Well students usually dress pretty casually. It often depends what sort of major they’re in so commerce students sometimes dress up more, and med students tend to dress up a little more. It’s usually pretty casual [and] comfortable.

Asha Varadharajan, Department of English

How would you describe your style?
Both attitude and irony. There’s a boldness and chutzpah.

Who is your style influence?
Celebrity I’ve always wanted to be: Patti Smith and Tina Turner.

How would you describe student style?
I think I notice a range of different affects and so some look shy and curious, others look immediately quirky or different because they have bright hair or mixed socks.

These interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

These are just a few people that were nominated to be a part of our first stylish professor and faculty series. If you think there’s another professor rocking some rad style in the lecture halls, tweet at @QJBlogs or leave a comment below.

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