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Schooled in Style: Professor Michael Allan discusses his style in this Q&A



Most professors maintain a pretty conservative sense of style when they’re at work, but every now and then we get professors with superb taste. We might even find ourselves thinking, “Wow, that’s a really nice shirt,” while spacing off in the middle of lectures. This closet profile honors one of those classy professors: Michael Allan of the Comparative Literature Department. “He has pretty good taste, especially in shoes,” said his former student LaDara Brydson. Here’s our interview:

How would you describe your style?

Cobbled together.

How do you feel about student’s outfits? Do teachers ever get jealous when students come to class wearing sweatshirts and Ugg boots?

With all due respect to my wonderful students, I’m rarely jealous of their clothing choices, especially if such choices involve sweatpants and Ugg boots. That said, I did have to interrupt lecture once to acknowledge how amazing a student’s cat print hat and matching cat print tank were. I suppose I can’t help but notice clothing with animals, indie bands or unicorns.

In your opinion how important is it to look professional on campus?

Oregon seems to accommodate multiple definitions of what constitutes professional. I’m certainly no fan of the corporate menswear uniform, but it works for some.

What’s your go to outfit for when you need to look nice but are in a crunch for time?

Jeans, boots and a button-down shirt.

What is your favorite item in your closet?

My dinosaur print socks.

Where do you shop?

This part feels more like a confession, especially considering the frightening conditions under which my mass-produced clothing is probably manufactured: Uniqlo, H&M, Jack & Jones, Pull & Bear, Zara … and am I allowed to admit Target?

A more general question: what do you teach and why are you passionate about it?

I teach comparative literature (French/Arabic/English) and have always been drawn to art, philosophy, literature, music and film, as well as international relations, politics and global history. Comparative literature is a discipline that helps me fuse together all of these interests and if I might say so myself, our department has some of the coolest undergraduates on campus.

Follow Sarah Vella-Labrador on Twitter @SarahKiana95


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Sarah Vella-Labrador

Sarah Vella-Labrador