History professor Antwain Hunter is defined by his classic style. Photos by Xan Korman.
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Butler history professor Antwain Hunter always dresses for success in his professional and classy style. This Dawg with Style sees dressing up for his profession as a way to express his classic taste. Hunter discussed his life outside of school and how both his style and the styles of current college students have changed since his time in school.
The Butler Collegian: What is your educational background? Where did you go to school and what do you teach?
Antwain Hunter: I went to Westfield State College in Massachusetts [for undergraduate degree] and the University of Connecticut for my master’s degree and came to Penn State for my PhD. Here I teach the early American history courses. Everything from colonial America through to Civil War reconstruction. I also do the U.S. South as a cultural region and a little bit of colonial Latin America and the transatlantic world.
TBC: What kinds of activities do you like to participate in outside of your profession?
AH: I have limited free time, but my favorite thing to do is compete for the Indianapolis Gaelic Athletic Association, we do hurling and Gaelic football. They are both Irish sports and have been around for a very long time. We play games within the club in the city and with other cities. I also like hanging out with friends and playing the guitar. I like to fish, kayak and hike a little bit.
TBC: How has your profession impacted your personal style?
AH: I think a big part of it is that I am a big fan of wearing blazers, ties, and vests, so a lot of it is as a historian, I see a lot of things as classic style. Part of liking U.S. history is guys in jackets and ties, and a lot of my academic role models were similarly dressed. Professionally, a lot of it blows over to the way that I dress.
TBC: How would you describe your personal style?
AH: Casual classic. I like jackets and ties, but I like to wear jeans with them a lot. I will sometimes wear a shirt without a tie, but I will still have a jacket on with it.
TBC: What is your style like when you are out of the classroom?
AH: It really depends, if I am going out with friends I will either lose the vest or jacket and wear a shirt. But often when I go out I wear a tie. I almost never wear just a tee shirt or shorts, and I like to wear shoes not sneakers. Not dramatically different.
TBC: Does getting dressed for class feel like an obligation, or do you enjoy choosing your outfits everyday?
AH: It is both. For me, in a way it is how I understand my job. I actually really like clothes, so I like to think about what to wear or what I put together. It can also be stressful if I wake up late and have to figure out what to put on.
TBC: What are articles of clothing that you feel everyone needs in their closet?
AH: A pair of dress shoes. That is what my dad used to always say to me as a kid. We grew up working poor but my dad used to always say to me that you can wear a cheap suit and nice shoes and it makes the suit look better, but if you wear a nice suit and terrible shoes, everything will look bad. A pair of decent shoes can go a long way.
TBC: Where are your favorite places to buy clothing?
TBC: Has your style always been like it is today or has it changed over time?
AH: It has been the same since grad school basically. The difference is now I can actually go buy more. It has only changed because I am able to get somewhat nicer things. Basically, since then I have seen myself taking on a professional role, and part of it is a visual aspect to it, too.
TBC: How has college fashion changed since you were a student?
AH: One of the things that strikes me is that athleisure is a lot more popular now. When I was in school, people would be very casual in their pajamas. People would sleep in pajama pants and just go to school in their pajama pants and sneakers and a tee shirt. Now I think there is more athleisure so people have sweatpants, tights and leggings, so that to me is the most obvious difference.
TBC: What is your favorite item in your closet?
AH: If I had to choose just one thing it would have to be a denim jacket. I love a good denim jacket. I have a Levis jacket and love the way it fits, looks and feels. There is something classic about a good denim jacket.