When I was growing up I was always excited for back to school shopping. Drooling over Seventeen magazine and dreaming about the fashions was the highlight of the Summer for me. Remember how hard it was to shop for those same clothes in stores? Can you imagine if we had the internet back then and could just click and shop? But I digress… Today’s post comes from my personal experience as an educator and what I consider those must have pieces known as wardrobe essentials for teachers.
Wardrobe Essentials for Teachers
I was not a classroom teacher but an elementary school counselor. For the last 5 years I’ve worked as a virtual school counselor so no back to school shopping for me. However, I remember those days at school so very well. The wardrobe essentials I’ve compiled are probably suitable for anyone but when you work with kids, stand on your feet all day, and often are outside (recess, car duty) as well as inside I think you deserve special consideration. Oh, and let’s not forget, budget – many educators are spending money on classroom supplies rather than on themselves so affordability is a factor as well.
The Must Haves
Before getting into the nuts and bolts of the must have essentials, let me first say that I am including pieces that are machine washable, don’t require ironing, and are made of good fabrics. It’s so easy to grab inexpensive clothes that look good the first time you wear them but just don’t last. There are great options – that are affordable – you just have to look and practice a little discernment.
Must haves include dresses, of course. They’ll keep you cool and there’s nothing easier when you ‘re in a hurry because you’re busy. Skirts can work too but I’d avoid jumpsuits with buttons and zippers. Unlike many professions, teachers don’t have the option to use the restroom any time they’d like, they have to wait for break or lunch. On top of that, teachers don’t often have lots of time on break – who wants to spend it getting undressed and dressed when that bathroom break rolls around!
When it comes to shirts I highly recommend Chico’s no-iron button ups. I’m not too crazy about the tunic style but the button ups are nicely tailored and classic in design. You’ll wear them for years! A few short sleeve shirts too. I would choose classic colors and avoid any super trendy prints. I’m looking at YOU Loft. Loft seems to have a print or pattern each year and they produce the heck out of it. It looks dated all too soon.
You’ll need pants too! A good pair of jeans, some trousers, and a slim leg pant or two.
Good shoes are an essential as well. High heels are not very practical but I do understand that sometimes a flat shoe can be uncomfortable too. Wedges and kitten heels are probably best for comfort and support. A good pair of supportive flats shoes or loafers and sneakers too – for casual Fridays! If I have said it before – and you know I have – I’ll say it again, grab yourself a pair of Vionics. Even if you don’t have foot issues yet, they make sense because of the support they offer.
Five Days of Teacher Outfits
I thought it might be a nice idea to give you outfit ideas using some of the pieces I mentioned above. However, not all of those pieces will be used in 5 days so take it with a grain of salt. Also? Since my background is in elementary, that’s what this is based on.
Day 1 – Wear a dress! You’ll be in lots of photos on the 1st day of school so put your best foot forward. Wear a natural fiber like cotton or a linen blend. It’s still hot outside! My dress is from Half Tee – did you know they actually have other clothes besides tops? My dress appears to be sold out but I’ve found a few that are similar.
Day 2 – Trousers and Short Sleeve Blouse look professional and put together but also modern. Wear a kitten heel, loafers, or even a white sneaker. Little note here – these pants are from Abercrombie. I decided to return them for a slimmer leg, these are ultra wide and just a little too wide for my taste. But they feel amazing on!
Day 3 – Striped button up and pink pants. This is an an extremely comfortable outfit because the pants and the shirt both have some stretch yet they look so tailored.
Day 4 Short sleeve shirt and blue pants. I love pants from Loft; they are always well made and wear well. They don’t fade and keep their shape. My colorful shirt is from Avara. I recommend a shirt like this because of its versatility. Use my code THISBLONDE15 to save 15%.
Day 5 – Casual Friday/Spirit Day! Most districts allow teachers to wear denim and a school shirt and sneakers. Maybe your district does too? Friday calls for a more casual look but certainly not sloppy. Get jeans you feel good in – spend a little more to get a pair you really like and you’ll wear them all year! My jeans are from Avara – super comfortable! Use my code THISBLONDE15
I always accessorize too! Nothing too long or dangly but I enjoy incorporating accessories into my outfit no matter how casual. Wear belts, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, etc. that show you care enough about yourself to take a little extra time to complete your style!
A few things you need that you might not realize are things like Half Tees and Sheecsocks. Half Tees are great for providing that extra bit of coverage without adding bulk or making you hot. Teachers often lean over to help students and sometimes end of exposing more than they’d like! A Half Tee is a great option. Right now they are having a Back to School sale and offering free shipping! Use my code KELLYANN20.
Sheecsocks will save your feet! Keep an extra pair in your desk. Nothing ruins a day like blisters. I love Sheecsocks because they don’t budge and come in a variety of styles so they won’t show! My code is KELLYANN and will save you 15%.
One last thing to consider: these shorts to wear under short/knee length dresses. When you are walking up stairs, outside and there’s a gust of wind, you bend over, you sit on the floor, etc. your dress might ride up. Have these ready to go!
Wrapping it Up
The field of education is a tough one- the pay may not be good but the reward can be great. I value teachers and other educators alike and know that it’s hard to understand the daily grind unless you’ve done it yourself. I also firmly believe that each day we present ourselves to young people and other adults and we need to be confident that we are presenting our best selves. I hope this post was helpful!
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