Saturday, November 24, 2007

Fashion Question #17: A teacher's wardrobe

Melissa wrote: "I am a young teacher and do not want to dress inappropriately, but I do like fashion and want to look stylish. What would your classic items be?"

I address this question every morning when I get dressed for work. Melissa, my advice would be to look around you. It's important to dress in the same manner as your colleagues and wear age appropriate clothing for the grade you teach. Please keep this a secret~I have a closet full of sweaters for every holiday. I keep my Juicy hoodie in the car so if I have to run errands after school, I can shed the "Santa" garb. It's important to always look professional especially if you see parents on a daily basis.

Rule #1: Comfortable shoes. Keep your "big girl" shoes under your desk in case of emergencies. I actually wear slippers in the classroom.
Rule #2: Wear layers. Between a half-crazy thermostat, recess duty and 21 warm bodies in a small room, I need to be able to add or remove garments during the day.
Rule #3: Don't wear items that restrict movement. We teachers are moving all day long and need to be comfortable. Limit tight fitting items and large pieces of jewelry.

My
classic items would be: white t-shirts (both short and long sleeved), jeans that aren't too tight, khaki, black and navy chinos and 2 pairs of Clark mules (black and brown). Start with these items and you can't go wrong.

Funny story~My first year of teaching I was in a Kindergarten classroom with 24 kids. I was wearing a beautiful light pink cashmere turtleneck sweater and gray flannel slacks. A little boy walked up to me holding a cup full of blue paint. The cup dropped to the floor and the paint flew up covering me from head to toe. Needless to say, I learned not to wear expensive clothing in the classroom.

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