I love teachers. We are so fortunate to be in a genuine and caring school community. Teachers are an integral part of kids lives, a partner to parents, and hold a special place in their student’s hearts. At the end of every school year, I always smile when my girls say that that year’s teacher was their favorite.
We get lots of questions from teachers on the blog about how to find what they need, on a budget, and still look pulled together. With crazy days, tons of kids, Elmer’s glue, in-service days, parent-teacher conferences and maybe even working on continuing their education and training – teachers need a wardrobe that can go from sitting on the floor with glitter to PTO meetings. A challenge? Sure, but one we’re always up for.
Today I’m breaking down what I have learned so for that works teachers, based on helping them get dressed over the years.
1. School uniform.
Create a series of go-to looks; that can be easily duplicated with different pieces to make morning and life in general easier. For example:
Pants/ Shell/ Cardigan
Slim Pants/ Tunic/ Necklace
Pants/ Blouse/ Scarf
Knit Dress/ Boots/ Scarf
2. Know where to go.
I don’t love the idea of disposable clothing, but sometimes you just know you’re not going to have something a long time, and the price should reflect that. Working within a strict budget is entirely doable if you know what you’re looking for and where to go. I like retailers like LOFT, JCrew Outlet, Target, H&M, Old Navy and even some brands at Nordstrom like Caslon and Halogen. Shop sale racks and keep an ongoing list on your phone of what you need to keep your wardrobe in tip-top shape. When you know what you need and where to go, you eliminate much of the stress of shopping.
3. Create a color palate.
If I need to create an edited, highly flexible wardrobe for a client, I stick to one foundation color and build from there. Here’s what that means. Black or Brown are foundation colors. I’ll choose a black skirt and pant to build on and select tops and layers in solid and prints that go back to black. As we build out the wardrobe, I’ll bring dark gray bottoms to work back to the original buy of tops, and a few new tops that work with black and gray. So why not bring in brown, tan or beige? Because brown bottoms would require entirely different tops, layers, shoes belts and accessories to work. Take a look in your closet; you probably have a “rogue” bottom that you don’t wear because you don’t have all the other pieces you need to get it out of your closet and onto your body.
4. Keep a change of clothes.
Teachers, this will change your life. Keep a full change of clothes in the closet in your classroom. So the next time a kid spills her juice box on you, or you get vomited, or you have a meeting at the end of the day that you’d like to show up in better clothes, you’re set.
5. Accessories, accessories, accessories.
Scarves, fun necklaces, shoes and belts with interest and texture are all simple and affordable ways to bring “flat” outfits to life. Of course, if you’re working with toddlers avoid anything dangly, and if you’re running the school science lab, maybe avoid flammable scarves – but other than having fun with it. Try it this week, don’t leave the house without at least one accessory and see how it feels.
To get you started, I curated a few pieces I like for a variety of different needs and various price points:
Tops and Tees