Styling a blue tie with a matching blue button-down shirt, Noah Rachlin, Instructor in History, complements his outfit with a pair of khaki pants and burgundy Oxford shoes. To complete his outfit, he layers a brown jacket over his entire outfit and accessorizes with a silver watch.
“Mr. Rachlin usually wears khakis of some color and some Chelseas or some form of brown boot and then wears a dress shirt and tie. It’s pretty simple but blends colors pretty well. It fits into his job [well] and looks good. It’s very clean. All the colors are matching, and he does a good job of having a cohesive outfit. It’s not really chaotic or eclectic. [His fashion] shows that he’s organized and also very tasteful and knows what he’s doing,” said James McMurtrie ’18, a student in Rachlin’s History-310 class.
Rachlin, through his childhood and personal experiences, emphasizes authenticity and comfort in his clothing despite the occasion.
“My dad is a college professor, and he never wears a tie. I teach, and I almost always, or often wear a tie, and I think that it’s just about what feels most comfortable… For me, a certain sense of formality [during] the workday felt most appropriate. It’s really important that people, no matter what their age, dress in ways that feel authentic and where they feel as though they’re being true to themselves and what they’re hoping for and how they want to feel,” said Rachlin.
Rachlin pulls fashion trends from his roots in both New England and Southern California.
“I lived in Southern California for many years and when I moved to Southern California, people used to tell me that it was so obvious that I had grown up in New England from the way I dressed. And when I came back East, people told me that it was obvious that I had come from Southern California. I think that makes sense in some regard because it means that my experiences living in those two places are part of my identity, and my identity is reflected in my style,” said Rachlin.
While much of his style on campus is seen in a more formal light, Rachlin cites his out of class style as more casual and laid back.
“I took all sorts of things from [California] and some of it is probably reflected in my style, and I think that’s probably less the case in what a lot of people may see from me in the way that I dress during the class day,” said Rachlin.
“For example, I now own a pair of Vans, and I did not before I moved to Southern California. Partially, I wear flip-flops a lot, basically nonstop in the summer. [It’s] an example of that classic Southern California look of a t-shirt, boardshorts, and flip-flops. That describes a lot of what I wear when it’s summer here. That’s not seen by a lot of people here because we’re not in session, but that’s that,” Rachlin continued.
Rachlin’s professional clothing style is evident, even in the eyes of his students, according to Senna Hahn ’20, a student in Rachlin’s History-100 class.
“[His fashion] is very clean-cut, very preppy. He’s got a certain New England style to him. In general, [he is] just very put-together, professional, and stylish,” said Hahn.
Rachlin’s bolder variation with his socks is informed by his interests, such as his longstanding love of swimming in the ocean.
“I swam competitively from a young age to when I graduated college… I actually have a couple pairs of socks that have sharks on them because people thought those would be fun gifts to give me. So I have [those] socks, and also patterns or colors that are a little bit bolder than the other things I am wearing,” said Rachlin.
When reflecting on the role clothing plays in society, Rachlin accentuates the importance of having a genuine look that represents himself.
Rachlin said, “In some sense, whatever we choose to wear, we might be wearing it for ourselves, but as soon as we step out into the public, we’re also conscious of the fact that people are going to take something from what we’re wearing. We see norms around style play out every single day all across this campus… I would imagine a lot of us are navigating that space and figuring out, ‘How can I be authentic to myself? [How can] I can feel as comfortable in my own skin, but also project something?’”