When I was a little girl, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. Of course, I had a sort of romanticized view of the profession. Little did I know, I’d be working crazy hours for what feels like pennies on the dollar. All the while, expected to dress with style and class. Keeping a professional wardrobe on a teacher’s budget can certainly be a challenge, but with the right “core” pieces, it is certainly plausible.
Dos and Don’ts
First and foremost, I’d like to point out that there are several do’s and don’ts in the world of teacher fashion. For example, don’t wear jewelry that is TOO nice. I made this mistake once – I asked my husband to get the diamond earrings out of the safe (the same safe where we keep our guns) so I could wear them to work. I ended up in the principal’s office that day!
Your school likely has specific rules for what teachers can and cannot wear, but my rule of thumb is that I even have to question it, I don’t wear it. Before your next shopping spree, read up on the rules specific to your school, and never buy a piece of clothing without first trying it on.
The first absolute must, is a variety of simple and comfortable undershirts. Now, I’m not talking about spaghetti straps here, I’m talking about those shirts that can be used as visible layers in your teacher wardrobe. These are inexpensive, and add depth to your daily outfit. On a teacher’s budget a variety of undershirts is a must.
The pencil skirt and the blazer are two primary staples in any teacher’s wardrobe. This is simply because there is so much you can do with these two items of clothing. A pencil skirt is classic, and it never fails to show your utmost professionalism. The blazer does the same thing. However, a blazer is incredibly diverse as it can be dressed up, or down. If it’s casual blue jean friday, but you have a parent meeting, you can still wear your blue jeans and dress them up with a black blazer and a plain tee. These two staples will never fail you as a teacher.
Cardigans, are another favorite of mine. With all of those fun bottom layer shirts lying around, you only need a few cardigans to jazz up your wardrobe. My wardrobe only consists of three cardigans, two long sleeve (one black and one brown) and one three quarter length (black). However, you may want to vary your cardigans this is completely up to you.
Shoes and Jewelry
Shoes and jewelry are your final weapons for jazzing up those previously drabby mundane outfits. As a teacher, comfortable shoes are a must have, let’s face it Pinterest lies when it shows teachers sporting six-inch heels to work. I suggest several ballet flats, some sandals, and boots for the winter. If you must have some heels, invest in low and wide heels that support your feet.
Jewelry is my favorite staple in my teacher wardrobe. This is probably because I can change up the simple outfits I have in my closet with a watch, or a pair of earrings. Jewelry is also an inexpensive method of making your wardrobe more fabulous. However, I would avoid gaudy earrings and rings. Stick with simple pieces that compliment your wardrobe and add to your professionalism.