Campus Chic: Theology Professor Mark Miller’s Thrifty Style

Miller looks collegiate in a tie and oxford that he thrifted. Photo by Sharma/Foghorn

Professor Mark Miller was teaching his class in style last Thursday evening in Kalmanovitz 309, while leading a lecture on Bernard Lonergan.  I’m not in the class, but thanks to the glass walls of the classroom I was able to spot Miller’s top-notch outfit.

Miller was wearing a white button up shirt from the Salvation Army on Geary, a blue tie from Thrift Town and grey herringbone pants that he purchased at Urban Outfitters 10 years ago.  His brown velvet blazer is from a thrift store in Boston and he jazzed it up with mother of pearl buttons, which he purchased in the Philippines and had sewn on the cuffs.

What’s most stunning about Miller’s outfit are his Florsheims made of brown leather that he “rubs all over with stuff.”  Miller had the shoes custom made and he wears them with dark blue Gold Toe brand socks, a “cheap” brand he explains.  His Waltham watch was purchased while he was in graduate school and the striped watchstrap was $5 from the Central Watch Company, a store at Penn Station in Manhattan.

Miller’s brown belt is from a thrift store, and he was disappointed that I didn’t catch him wearing one of his belts that his sister brought him from Italy when he was 10 years old.

Miller takes great pride in buying high quality shoes.  His most expensive clothing related purchase was a pair of Ron Rider boots made of shell cordovan leather.  “The leather comes from a horse’s butt,” he explained. “It’s supposed to be the toughest leather there is.  I bought [the boots] for motorcycling.”

When shopping Miller prefers to support craftsmen or buy thrift.  “It is better for the environment,” he said. “I’m into buying good quality stuff that lasts a long time.  Three or four good quality shoes are better than 20 bad quality shoes that will wear out in a year or two and clutter up landfills.”  Miller educated me on the qualities of a good pair of shoes: they are stitched, sewn and made from full grain leather.

Dapper dress shoes keep their shine with a little TLC. Photo by Bharat Sharma/Foghorn

“I like everybody,” Miller said when asked who his fashion icons are.  “A lot of ‘80s TV shows. I love CHiPs and Battlestar Gallactica.”  But his main fashion icon is his sister as well as the slew of boyfriends she had while Miller was growing up.

A watch purchased during grad school gets him to class on time. Photo by Bharat Sharma/Foghorn.

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