How to Dress Like an English Professor

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English professors are a breed all their own. They tend to dress in a similar fashion, and the serious, academic English professor can make for a great Halloween costume. Or it can simply help you fit in when you go to your next coffeehouse poetry slam. But be careful; if you look too convincing, people may start asking you to read and critique their latest manuscript.

Things You'll Need

  • Male:
  • Button-down shirt
  • Jacket
  • Jeans or khakis
  • Boots
  • Female:
  • Wig
  • Plain dress
  • Flats or high heels

How to Dress Like a Male English Professor

Step 1

Wear a button-down shirt of any color. It's alright if it's coffee-stained. In fact, that may even be preferable.

Step 2

Wear a jacket, preferably corduroy, with patches on the elbows. This is very cliche, but it's cliche for a reason, English professors are probably the only people on the planet who regularly buy these kinds of jackets.

Step 3

Wear either a pair of khaki pants or jeans. Don't worry if they're wrinkled; you were up all night grading freshman papers and didn't have time to iron.

Step 4

Muss up your hair so that it's sticking out in all manner of crazy directions. Then take your hand and try to fix it with a few, quick, lazy attempts. It should look only slightly less messy.

Step 5

Find an old scarf and wrap it haphazardly around your neck.

Step 6

Wear a pair of shoes that fit somewhere in the spectrum between dressy and casual. No tennis shoes, but no expensive dress shoes either. Boots are a good compromise.

How to Dress Like a Female English Professor

Step 1

Wear no or little makeup. The all-natural look is popular among professors, particularly English professors.

Step 2

Wear long, straight hair. A wig can be used if necessary. For some reason this is the most popular hairstyle for female English professors.

Step 3

Wear a plain-looking dress. Thrift stores are a good place to look.

Step 4

Wear little or no jewelry, as English professors tend not to festoon too much. What jewelry you do wear should not be too flashy.

Step 5

Wear flat shoes, or regular high heels that aren't too outrageous. Knee-high boots and tennis shoes should be avoided.

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Tips & Warnings

  • For the male: facial hair and beret are optional, as is a pipe.
  • A briefcase or satchel can be used as props.
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