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Fit for a Prof

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James Scotton

What he’s wearing: A gray jacket with a white Oxford and gray tie, blue trousers and black shoes.

When James Scotton, a professor in the College of Communication, shows up to class, he is dressed to impress. Typically in a gray jacket, a corresponding Oxford and tie, Scotton describes his style as “formal.” “I feel that since my students come to class, I should treat them like adults and treat a classroom like a formal setting,” Scotton, a Bay Side resident, said. He says he hopes one day Marquette students will dress more professionally, holding “Formal Fridays.” While colorblind, Scotton manages to coordinate colors with the help of his wife every morning. Here is more of what he had to say about his style:

Self-proclaimed style: “I’d say it’s casual, but I hope not sloppy.”

Favorite store: Lands End Outlet. “I look around for cheap stuff. I have some shirts with monograms on them, (but) they’re not my monograms,” he said.

Clothes fetish: Jackets with pockets. “I like jackets because they’re very convenient,” Scotton said. “Men don’t have purses, so where do you put all this stuff?”

Guilty pleasure: Comfortable shoes

Previous style moments: When Scotton was the dean of the former School of Journalism from 1978 to 1984, he said he wore moccasins and a red-checked wooly jacket, so he would be more approachable to his students. And the style worked, he said.

Weekend wear: “Sloppiest clothes possible – a pair of dirty shorts,” Scotton said. “My wife said, ‘You’re not leaving the house in that!'”

Claudia Pessarelli

What she’s wearing: A navy blue sweater from Banana Republic over a white shirt from J.Crew, BCBG jeans and black patent leather heels with a seatbelt strap from Naturalizer.

As a native Italian, Claudia Pessarelli said she tries to represent the Italian “fashionista” style when teaching her Italian language courses. “In Italy, you take care of yourself the best you can,” the Brookfield mom and adjunct instructor said. “Everyone is well presented. I want to present that to my students too, to see clothes the way they are.” She says she enjoys wearing basic colors with a touch of bright scarves that she buys in Italy. Pessarelli also customizes her outfits with jewelry she makes herself. One piece she made combines linen and hemp, with beads, wood and silver woven in.

Self-proclaimed style: Modern and contemporary. “I’m easygoing, with a touch of something,” she said.

Favorite stores: J.Crew, Banana Republic, Italian stores

Clothes fetish: Scarves. Pessarelli has about 40 to 50 of them. “I’m addicted to scarves,” she said. “I usually fall in love with them and buy them. I use them 12 months a year. You will always see me with a scarf.”

Favorite article of clothing: A 14-year-old wool and cashmere Missoni scarf. “Every time I wear it, I feel cozy,” Pessarelli said. “It makes me feel good.”

Weekend wear: Jeans

Irene Guenther

What she’s wearing: Irene Guenther is ready to hit the books in her 1950s men’s vest from a vintage flea market in Berlin, Germany, gray trousers, her mom’s bracelet and 15-year-old cowboy boots that she said get softer with age.

Irene Guenther brings her Austin style to Milwaukee, wearing blue jeans and cowboy boots. Guenther, an assistant professor of history, said she enjoys dressing plainly with one eye-catching piece, like her grandmother’s hand-blown necklace. “I really like something really interesting, rather than having it all go together,” Guenther said. Guenther said she likes to dress casually for class, and finds many of her clothes in vintage stores.

Self-proclaimed style: “Casual with something really distinctive that nobody else has,” Guenther said.

Favorite stores: Vintage stores and stores in Berlin. She just found a hand-knit Italian sweater for $30 in a Cedarburg consignment shop.

Clothing fetish: Cowboy boots. But she has not been able to wear them in the cold Milwaukee winters.

Favorite article of clothing: A Carolina Herrera blouse, Valentino jacket and Donna Karan pair of pants from when she modeled in her early 20s. Also, a pair of old black cowboy boots. “They feel like leather, a soft glove,” she said. “I’ve probably had them for 15 years.”

April Newton

What she’s wearing: April Newton is wearing a red wrap top from Anthropologie, blue jeans from Old Navy and red flats from Indigo.

As a mother and teacher of media ethics, 35-year-old April Newton likes to add some professionalism to her dress. Newton began teaching when she was 29, and said she wears a jacket and heels to work to differentiate herself from students and “not look like a teeny-bopper.” “I may say the exact same thing in flip-flops that I say in a jacket but it’s going to have a little more weight for everybody if I’m wearing a jacket,” Newton said. Newton balances work and motherhood by wearing comfortable Old Navy T-shirts with Target flats and a Vera Bradley bag.

Self-proclaimed style: Anything comfortable. Newton said she has toned down her formal wear since the birth of her son, but at school she is professional. “I definitely want to feel like it’s still for me a job, so I add some element of being dressed up,” Newton said.

Favorite stores: Zara, a Spanish company that has stores in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. She also likes Express, Anthropologie and Gap.

Clothing Mishaps: “I was a Contempo Casualty,” Newton said referring to the 1980s store Contempo Casual. Newton’s 1980s wear included wearing two colors of socks, one rolled down lower than the other, a “pegged” jean or “French cuff” jean and belly shirts.

Clothing fetishes: Coats. Newton said she owns about eight winter coats. “I think what I like about it you can do a really crazy pattern or shape but it’s just to get you from here to there,” Newton said. “You don’t have to commit to it for the whole day.” Newton’s favorite coats include a black United Colors of Benetton high-collar coat with a drop waist and a wild vintage jacket her family refers to as the “Mick Jagger coat.”

Favorite article of clothing: A pair of green Doc Marten boots with eight or 10 holes. “People always talk about how many holes they have,” she said. She also enjoys her black DKNY skirt that she said is not only appropriate for a cocktail party but can also be scrunched in a suitcase and still look good.

Weekend Wear: Newton said she dresses like a college student on the weekends, wearing flip-flops and jeans. She said she has had to dress more casually since having her son Jonas, now 15-months-old, who sometimes coats her in banana. She wears Diesel tennis shoes and flats on the weekends too.

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