Spotlight On: Concentrations and their Clothes

Spotlight On: Concentrations and their Clothes


As the saying goes, "dress well to test well." If you're interested in staying fashionable and keeping with your intellectual passions, take a look at these outfit concepts. While various departments on campus can tend to favor a certain aesthetic or general style of dress (which this article reflects), a large part of fashion is also incorporating ideas and looks from those seen around you. This article plays on the stereotypes of majors and their students to elicit a few laughs and additions to your ever-growing wish list. From Art & Archaeology to Engineering, the following look book of outfits can help you to become best – and best dressed – in class. DD_nic_1

Do you have a favorite carrel in Marquand, enjoy the color mustard yellow, and/or relate to Van Gogh on a level one might call spiritual?  If so, chances are you’re studying Art & Archaeology.

Aesthetically-minded students like you turn Princeton into a collegiate Gothic runway. But if you’re planning to sketch your look out even further, however, for a Friday night celluloid film screening, this is the outfit for you.

Start with a Warhol-inspired backpack from UNIQLO’s collaboration with SPRZ NY, here pictured in his infamous Campbell’s Soup Can print. It’s perfect for lugging around all your books on art deco design. After all, even artists sometimes have to dress practically –hence this edgy, black merino-wool sweater recycled from the Jersey winter, best paired with a denim skirt thrifted from the part of town no one ever visits. Finally, finish the look with a vibrant pendant necklace, one-of-a-kind acid tie-dye Doc Martens, and an iPhone case recreation of “The Kiss.” How else would you let your peers know how big your love for Klimt is?


In the department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology – often shortened to “EEB” –concentrators are known for a style of scholarship that mixes theory and hands-on empiricism. Ideally, their clothes should do the same, combining the functionality of a lab-perfect look perfect with a breezy, organic aura of earthy-crunchy swankiness – imagine a young Ms. Frizzle from “The Magic School bus” meets contemporary bohemian chic.

Whether you’re running to Guyot to check on protozoa or studying the survival of the fittest firsthand during the final minutes of late-meal, no EEB major could go wrong in slipping out their (closed-toed!) lab shoes for the wiggle-room and smooth, tan leather of Birkenstock sandals. Pair them with an ocean-blue overall mini dress, which – on top of boxy striped tee and sunshine-colored cardigan – has a vintage fit just relaxed enough to bring you back to Earth’s golden age for a bit (evolutionarily-speaking, there’s no way skinny jeans ever would’ve caught on back then).

If finals have got you especially down, however, there’s always lizard-green nail polish, Tico's, and a serotonin molecule necklace to cheer you up – in the science of style, adaptation is sartorial.


It remains a mystery as to whether Architecture students ever leave the library long enough to let their clothes see the light of day. One thing’s for sure, though: their taste is just as sharp as the fine lines and edges of the models they spend all night and day slaving over, bringing a sense of meticulous calculation back to the ceremonials of everyday dress.

The architecture student’s signature simple black turtleneck is incredibly versatile, and here it’s bridged with white lattice print pants through a knockoff gold-lettered Moschino belt. Stressing the compatibility of fashion and function, the look is completed by three sturdy accent pieces: translucent blue jelly shoes, gold drop pendant earrings, and a set of headphones which unite the previous two hues with its oil slick sheen. Finally, we can see that the these students’ architectural aesthetic is rarely conceived of without certain vices, as cigarettes and caffeine here attest -- hopefully, at least, they’ll be able to bike home to Spelman before sunrise.


As practically all of Princeton has learned firsthand this year, appearances and images have political power. Most notably, the mural of Woodrow Wilson in Wilcox Dining Hall was a point of fierce contention on campus, largely due to the racial and political implications its aesthetic features brought to mind. In a more positive, progressive sense, however, the aspiring young representative or diplomat studying in the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs and Public Policy should also harness the power of political images, but hopefully in a more positive, progressive and fashionable way.

As the future leaders of these United States, then, it is only fitting for Woody Woo majors to drape themselves in Uncle Sam’s colors: red white and blue bows, a blue Herschel backpack, a red polyester skirt, and finally, a cream cashmere sweater that aptly reads “Young American” -- spun from from only the freest of goats, of course. Tied together with tassel loafers, Atticus Finch-like spectacles, and political buttons begging for revolution, this look is perfect anywhere from Whig-Clio forums to a presentations in your US Politics class (bald eagles sold separately).


If you’re an English major, paying minute attention to literary detail often means becoming savvy with your own material style and embellishments. Some might label you an intellectual exhibitionist, but you’re not sorry – merely carrying around a book just isn’t enough for you.

Like any good essay, the body of an English major’s wardrobe largely consists of scholarly interactions between old style ideas and new. Blend modern hipster elements with timeless wardrobe staples – for example, thick-framed glasses, composition-print pants, and library-card pencil cases with double-breasted sweater coats, classic Peter pan collars, and Oxfords (honoring, of course, the comma of the same name). And to say to your American Lit precept that, yes, you did next week’s reading already, top off everything off with a Virginia Woolf-inspired tote.


You may check your calculator more often than you take selfies, but as a Math major, you’re bound to have learned your angles better than anyone else on campus. Showcase that fashion doesn’t have to be derivative with a pink plexiglass equation clutch, 3D earrings inspired by the Fibonacci sequence, and a retro collared frock covered in mathematical identities and formulas. With practical, yellow converse as your accent color, you’ll have no trouble at all running to Fine Hall to turn in your latest problem set!


Synergy. Demand curves. Detailed modalities. Whatever they mean, each of these key words will definitely come up on the trading floor or some boardroom in your future someday – for now, at least, they can appraise the secret life of Economics major’s clothing.

For starters, Econ and Finance students are certainly ahead of the curve in that they’ve discovered the next frontier of power-dressing – not necessarily adorning yourself in loud, sometimes garish colors like red or purple, but instead opting for soothing (but still unique) hues closer to pastels. In this case, this mossy, olive green button-down dress says “money” without necessarily screaming it in your face. And its gold-accented zippers are easily complimented by other metallic details like toe-capped cream sneakers, dollar sign binder clips, and a delicate yet brassy stacked ring necklace. Even if you’re rushing to make an interview or this week’s Business Today meeting, look no further than adding a New York Journal canvas tote and tortoiseshell sunglasses on your way out.

If you want to add more color though, you do you. After all, you don’t care what anyone has to say about your “soulless” choice of career and major – you know what you want, and half the battle’s dressing for it.


The study of Philosophy at Princeton may very well be dominated by men in ill-fitting slacks and blazers, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow suit – instead, crawl out of Plato’s cave in style with this collared, grid-print dress and black ankle boot.

It’s sometimes important to stay away from absolutes, though -- in this case, monochrome. Anyone who spends too much time with pessimistic philosophers like Freud or Nietzsche might experience a leaching of color from their lives, but luckily this is remedied easily by quirky, thought-provoking accessories. A navy notebook that reads “To do or not to do” capture the breed of same existential dread Kierkegaard felt, and the carnelian ring etched with Socrates’ cameo inside seems to say “Yeah, I’d die for my love of wisdom too, but that doesn’t mean giving up watching New York Fashion Week every year.”


Correcting the stereotype that all engineers are disheveled, sleep-deprived messes is no small task. Luckily, the market for science-inspired fashion makes looking both smart and spirited go hand-in-hand – there’s no reason that women have to reject their femininity in order to succeed in STEM classes and fields.

We understand, though, that long nights in Frick laboratory are from comfy for anyone, which is why we’ve paired this purple Rorschach A-line shift dress with a blue T.Jacket. A recent invention by James Teh, the T. Jacket applies comforting pressure to wearer with the press of a button when they are stressed, perfect for hugging away stress over tests and problem sets. And because it operates both by app and by remote control, parents and even teachers many miles away can use their smartphones to give a "hug" when it’s needed. And if that’s not practical fashion, this outfit can be completed with seafoam green lab goggles, backpack, or a Fitbit (you know, to track just how long you’ve been sitting in front of the same computer screen, coding).

The end is in sight, though. And as the year closes, it’s important to remember that “energy flows where attention goes” -- beauty in STEM can ultimately attract people’s attention to the issues that matter, starting of course with the gender gap long plaguing female access to and achievement in a wide variety of engineering fields.



Alternatives to Prep

Alternatives to Prep