Monday, May 18, 2015

Building a Teacher Wardrobe

Many of you have just graduated from college and *hopefully* secured your first teaching job for next fall! It is a super exciting time, but it is also a little confusing and scary to leave the safety of college. For one, your regular routine of staying up late, waking up late, and then throwing on sweatpants for class is officially OVER. And that's okay. I'm here to help! These are few tips I've learned and heard over my first couple years of teaching. :)

Me- my very first day of student teaching, over 2 years ago!

It should always be obvious to anyone who the teacher is. 

This one is especially important for us younger gals, especially those who teach middle school and high school. You can still be fashionable and stand out as the boss lady... I mean teacher. ;) You'll see how in the next couple tips!

Layer Up

During student teaching, I learned from my advisor that layering clothing is an easy way to look professional and stand out. Here are her suggestions:

  • Blazers

  •  Cardigans

  • Scarves
She also suggested scarves- and they are definitely a great way to add some class to an outfit; especially because they cover up bras. Let's be honest, sometimes shirts are a touch see-through, or the pads make weird lines on fitted shirts. Scarves are an instant fix for that. They also work amazing with V-necks that would otherwise be too revealing!

{So about that...Cleavage is just not a good idea for teachers. I realize that other jobs don't have all the strict rules that teachers do, but we really are held to a higher standard, fair or not. Honestly though, in my opinion, teenaged boys are confused enough without having the added stress of a teacher who might be showing too much. Elementary Ed teachers don't have that same exact problem, but it's good to always look professional and classy!}

  • I also believe that a long statement necklace adds the same idea of layering. It dresses up more plain tops.

  • A newer trend is kimonos!  

Bottoms {Up}
If you like dress pants, then you are pretty much set. I recommend Express!
If however, you are like me, and don't like dress pants, you are in luck!! We have a Gap Outlet in my town and I have seriously scored on a selection of printed pants and corduroys there. I've gotten all of them under 20 dollars, and some were even under 10!!
Leggings - For me, on the weekend, leggings are pants!! Love them. During the week, leggings are, *sigh* not pants. My personal rule for myself is if it doesn't have pockets, I can't wear them without a dress or skirt over the top. Tighter pants I definitely like to add something long over them that covers my booty!
Printed pants, and colored jeans

Corduroy pants. (All from Gap btw)

Dresses & Skirts
When buying dresses always do "The Test." You know what I'm talking about right now,  right? If not... here are the steps.

1. Bend over (like as if you're over a student!) and check the clevage situation.
2. Turn around and bend over and make sure the bottom part is full coverage as well!! My rule of thumb is to make sure the dress or skirt touches the top of my knees at least.
3. Turn to the side, and check that out. Is it so tight that every curve is on display? If it is and you still realllllly want the dress, find a nice flowy cardigan to go over it. Problem solved!

Also, Make sure to have a nice selection of leggings and tights to wear under dresses and skirts. This stretches your wardrobe during colder months, and also adds that modest piece.

Final Thoughts
I know this is a lot to think about, and it might not seem as cute as what you're used to wearing, but over time you'll build your own style and grow into it. As an added bonus, your principal will definitely think you are professional and other teachers and parents won't have anything bad to say about your appearance, which will certainly help your stress levels. I hope this helps!

If you liked this post check out my newer teacher fashion post HERE: 5 Teacher Basics.

Please comment below with your tips for teachers!! 
We have the best job in the world... even when it doesn't feel like it! ;)
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  1. You are a saint for making this blog. Seriously, thank you. I now have a basic shopping guide. I hope your teaching adventures are going well!!


    A girl who is starting her pre-student teaching education and in fact, does regularly wear leggings as pants.

    1. Lol! That made me giggle! When you're dying to wear leggings find cute tunics and dresses to go over the top! Thanks for taking the time to leave this sweet comment! Good luck with your future teaching career:)

  2. I am struggling to with the idea of find clothes for student teaching. I quite honestly will never wear a dress, but I am also really wondering what I should wear if I am teaching high school. I am still trying to lose the weight after a baby so I am struggling. Any ideas would be helpful. Thanks!

    1. Hi! I don't think dresses are essentials at all. There are lots of looks that you can pull together that will look professional while also seeming casual enough to sit on a desk and just talk with your high school students. The main key is making sure you're always dressed a step above the kids! I too struggle with weight, and I like layering open cardigans over tops to hide it a bit. I also suggest lots of black as its so slimming. Find some nice pants and mix it up with button downs, blouses, and sweaters. Good luck! You'll have a great time student teaching!

    2. Thank you so much! I currently own one pair each of black and grey maternity pants. I am planning on seeing if I can find some more. I am just looking for some tops, any suggestions on where I could go for sizes XL (16)?

    3. Have you checked out dress barn? They have really classy styles in a range of all sizes! Forever 21 also offers more sizing than ever before if you're looking for some cheaper basics!


I'd love to hear from you!! <3

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