Katie Kane, a longstanding English professor at the University of Montana, does not walk into rooms. Instead, she breezes into her classes, usually greeting her students with a drawled “Hello, darlings.”

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Kathleen Kane, an associate English professor at the University, is known by many for her fashion sense.

Her black hair is slightly unkempt yet somehow flowing. Most of all, her outfits, on any given day, are startlingly chic for a professor in a Montana town.

Kane has been interested in fashion since she was a child growing up in North Dakota. Some of her fondest memories are of watching her mother get ready for Catholic mass. She’d wear long, Jackie O style gloves and a black lace veil; she’d do her makeup. Her outfits were dreary yet sophisticated, and Kane loved them.

“I was never going to fit in with everyone in North Dakota,” Kane said. “So, I decided to embrace that and be excessive.”

Excessive she is. A blood red, faux fur coat is thrown over the back of a chair in her office, and the boots she’s wearing (a gift from a friend) are named after a woman who murdered her philandering husband. Her statement piece is a red and white vertical striped suit jacket.

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Kathleen Kane, an associate English professor at the University, is known by many for her fashion sense.

Kane’s style isn’t a bit, although it is inevitably fun. For the professor, fashion is as much a political statement as a way of dressing. She only buys ethically sourced clothing and makes her best efforts to shop at local and small businesses.

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Kathleen Kane, an associate English professor at the University, is known by many for her fashion sense.

Above all, though, Kane’s style is a weapon against the patriarchy. She dresses unlike any professor in the English department, and that’s no accident. Kane wants to make a statement, countering heteronormative and masculine ideas of fashion and interrupting the masculinist majority of academia. And she’s not stopping anytime soon.

“I’m committed to being excessive,” Kane said.