Sartorial Scholars is a project that has been in the making for years. It came about when Taneem and Sonnet were office mates and often distracted themselves from their dissertations by talking about the latest fashion trends. Three years later, we have gathered a dope group of fashionistas who are willing to contribute to this endeavor.

We are five feminist scholars who love to play with our gender presentation and performance through fashion, hair, and makeup. We write about our love of self-expression and art, feminism, intellectualism and professionalism in the academy while on a fixed (graduate student/young scholar) budget. We live in different parts of the U.S. and Europe, and are comprised of various nationalities, body shapes, gender presentations, and sexualities. We are regularly seeking feminist contributors and submissions can be sent to

You can also follow us on Twitter @sartorialschols and on Instagram @sartorialscholars.


Cindy Johnson12636948_10105891061192960_515752558_o

Cindy moved to G[h]ent, Belgium in early 2015 following an existential crisis to work as a postdoctoral research fellow in historical linguistics. Her apartment is within five minutes of a medieval castle where she once saw (stalked) Adrien Brody (true story). She constantly wonders how to become like those European women who can pull off a dress from COS because pajama style seems like the most amazing thing in the world, but for now she’s working on not spending all her money at fast fashion stores. You can usually find her in something black, something shiny, and something 90s with a loud pair of pants or something else decidedly un-European.

Style icons: Taylor Swift, all the ladies from The Craft, and the power clashing power of Mads Mikkelsen’s suits in Hannibal.

Blogs? IG? What: I like cooking blogs and looking at coffee art on IG. Does that count?

IG account: seeajay

Excited for: GINGER DADS and Sonnet Angel Baby in March! Iceland in May! Dresses with bare legs!

So over: Cut outs. Again. Oh, and those sneakers that are also platform heels. Why??????????

SoSonnet Headshotnnet Gabbard

Sonnet lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia where she is finishing her doctoral research on queer and anti-war activism. She is constantly taking note of the traveling of fashion trends to and from Eastern Europe, while reflecting on her own femme-presenting menswear style. When she’s not looking for tweed, tartan, and houndstooth prints, she is testing out non-U.S. brands of makeup and reflecting on post-socialist style.

Prior to committing her life to academia, Sonnet worked as a community organizer, campaign manager, and communications director in the environmental and reproductive health and justice movements in Philly and the SF Bay Area.

Style icons: Jane Birkin, Zoe Kravitz, Iris Apfel, Patti Smith, Soo Joo Park, Katherine Hepburn, FKA Twigs, Kim Gordon, and Solange

IG Inspiration: AmandlaSternbergSoojMooj; Gkarpinmua; ADapperChick; imamysedaris; saintrecords; WahNails; DudleyCorgi; MiraDuma; CatySueWho

IG account: SonnetDG

Pseudo-delinquent Pinterest: Jane Birkin Does Menswear in the Middle West

Excited for: The completion of my second chapter of my dissertation,  Armani’s “New Normal” collection, Marc Jacobs RTW Fall 2016 collection (like, I’m losing my shit over this collection!!!!) Rih Rih’s Anti, and Easter holiday with SeeJay/CinD in Dublin (GINGER DADS)

So over: Like Cindy, I am SO OVER cut out clothes (or as I call them “air vent wear”) and pastel-colored hair. Seriously, when the Biebs picks it up you KNOW it’s over.

Taneem Husainhusain2.jpg

Taneem is on a one-year gig in St. Peter, Minnesota, where there is a plethora of jeans with bedazzled crosses on the butt. For men and for women. This is where the early-2000s went to die. Accordingly, Taneem’s in the middle of a style-shift, from all dresses all the time to lots of jeans, but no crosses on the butt. How do you maintain style cheaply in the middle of winter (it’s always winter in Minnesota) in the early-2000s? She’s trying to figure it out.

Celebrity style and life idols: Rihanna and Kesha. Do you really need anyone else?

Bloggers I follow/want to be: Tanesha Awasthi of Girl with Curves; Lisa Eldridge; Anna of Vivianna Does Makeup; Sable Yong; Caroline of Unfancy (I don’t want to be her, but I am trying out the capsule wardrobe)

Excited for: Cutoffs and other summer outside-the-classroom fashion

So over: Joggers. Sorry y’all, but they will never look good.

SS_Alex_FirstDayAlexandra Harlig








Colleen Kennedy


Colleen is also doing a Visiting Assistant Professor gig teaching Shakespeare and British Literature at Shippensburg University (PA). Moving to a very small and very old town in which there are still horse-drawn buggies and fog clinging to the mountains to pursue her love of teaching, she is feeling like a character in a Bronte novel (sans consumption so far).

Style icons: Pierre et Gilles, Dita Von Teese, all the redheaded celebrities (Christina Hendricks, Julianne Moore, Jessica Chastain, etc.), Nancy Spungen, Rainbow Brite

Lifestyle Icons: Brini Maxwell, Amy Sedaris, Lucille Bluth

Fashion blogs I follow(ed): What Would a Nerd Wear (inactive, but still); Vintage at Heart; Esme and the Laneway; The Man Repeller

Excited for: several more months of cardigan and tights weather; Alexander McQueens Sp 16 Collection (obvious, I know)

So over: Athleisure. Go ahead and choose not to wear pants, that’s fine. I think a shift dress and tights or leggings is just as comfy. I only wear jogging pants when I jog, which I never do.