Cute yet professional wardrobe for teaching. SOS!

Jsmith8

Connoisseur
#1
I start my semester of student teaching in 3 weeks so I need to go shopping for cute yet professional clothes. I will be teaching September until early December so I need a variety of clothes as the weather will range from 75-35 (estimated) during that time. I don't really plan on buying an entire wardrobe of office/professional clothing since I will be constantly moving therefore I need comfortable and versatile clothing options.

I would love advice on clothes that are young, cute but still professional. I want to look like an adult but not overdone. I have no real clue of where to shop exactly so store recommendations would be useful as well!

Thanks!


Oh, and I would love suggestions for comfortable, <span style="text-decoration: underline">comfortable</span>, comfortable shoes. I will be on my feet all day so I will need shoes that will be able to fit my needs.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

nabi

The Black Orlov
#4
i think some musts are comfortable slacks and a cardigan or two ... your shirts will matter less and i think they look "teachery" lol

when i was teaching i bought five pairs of slacks from express, a couple of thin cardigans from ann taylor loft, several a-line knee or tea length skirts ... i had a bunch of comfortable dressier tops ...

shoes - i bought two pairs of clarks artisan ankle boots that were so comfortable ... i had one pair of clunky merrels that were just ok ...several other teachers wore crocs to work, but now they make some really cute crocs that you can wear to work. i usually wear at least 3.5 inch heels, but after like the first week of teaching (i was a traveling teacher) i couldn't do it ... i came to love casual friday lol and i don't generally like wearing "casual" clothes
 
Last edited by a moderator:

kimicarol

The Centenary Diamond
#5
Have you seen how the "regular" teachers dress? I would take my lead from that. You aren't teaching high schoolers, so you don't have to set yourself apart from them, as no one is going to mistake you for a student, so I would follow how the other teachers dress.

Two piece outfits (either skirts or pants) are always an easy way to get more options than one piece dresses. You can often change out your tops and wear the same neutral colored pants or skirt several times without it being obvious.... Fun cardigan sweaters are always a good option because you can mix and match those also and take them on and off depending on the temperature in the room or what you are doing.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

nabi

The Black Orlov
#7
if i were working and standing on my feet a lot, i'd probably try these in black:
http://www.crocs.com/crocs-marnie-flat/11124,default,pd.html?cid=23D&cgid=women-footwear

guess we were *^_^* good to know we agree.

i had a few blazers in neutral colors that worked well. i just didn't want my clothes to be "distracting" if that makes sense ... i wanted the visual impression to be professional - even though clothes don't make the teacher and the kids should know you care about their education by your words and actions ... i think dressing like you care about your job and appearance are also important
 
Last edited by a moderator:

kimicarol

The Centenary Diamond
#8
I would suggest that if you are going to spend any money on any piece of clothing, make it a proper pair(s) of shoes. My sis spent years teaching in heels (community college and university) and she didn't buy well made shoes and her feet are now suffering for it... quality, but good looking shoes are not going to be cheap, but you'll thank yourself in the long run... less expensive clothes can be made to look great if they fit well and you pair them up to make a cute looking outfit, but inexpensive shoes (whether they are cute or not) will take a toll for someone who is on their feet all day.

I got heel problems from NOT wearing shoes on a tile/cement floor so I have to now buy well made comfortable shoes, but cute ones ARE out there.

I saw a pair of really cute 2" wedge boots that were in an expensive store for stylish, but comfortable shoes. They were out of my budget and not practical for what I was looking for (just a once in a while boot that I could wear in wet weather) but they were really stylish and yet comfortable. I ended up with a pair of black leather wedge (about 2") Rockport boots than can be worn with slacks, levis or casual skirts and are quite comfortable. They won't win any runway competitions, but your students are not fashion consultants either.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Me Ann

Connoisseur
#9
Some good shoe brands I like are Borne, Clark, Naturalizer and Lifestride. I choose one "base color" for my wardrobe, and work everything else around it. For example "black" is my base color. I have a few different pants and skirts and basic bottoms in black, and lots and lots of tops that have trim or accents with black that go with all of my bottoms and shoes. I mix and match and can make several different outfits out of just a few basic pieces. Some people like browns, tans, grays, or navys for their base color. Hope this is helpful!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jsmith8

Connoisseur
#10
Re: Cute yet professional wardrobe for teaching. S

Sorry for the delayed response but I was out shopping!


Casey said:
Have you seen how the "regular" teachers dress? I would take my lead from that. You aren't teaching high schoolers, so you don't have to set yourself apart from them, as no one is going to mistake you for a student, so I would follow how the other teachers dress.
The school I will be teaching at is a small, private magnet school so the teachers dress very casual. I observed her multiple times and she is always in jeans, polos and short sleeve t shirts. However, due to me being a student teacher- I have to abide by LUC's dress code so I cannot wear jeans or short sleeve t shirts! My students dress in uniforms (white polos and blue slacks).

I did buy a bunch of great pants/ slacks today. I bought 3 pairs of Express Editor pants in Black, 1 pair of Express Editor pants in Grey. I also bought seven pairs of American Eagle Artist Pants (3 khaki, 2 black, 1 chocolate brown, 1 navy).

I'm having a hard time finding dressier tops and I really don't want to rock out the polo, long sleeve button down or black t shirt and cardigan everyday. So any recommendations and store recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

nabi said:
if i were working and standing on my feet a lot, i'd probably try these in black:
http://www.crocs.com/crocs-marnie-flat/11124,default,pd.html?cid=23D&cgid=women-footwear
Those shoes are great and I've heard lots of things about how comfortable Crocs can be so I will be looking into them.

nabi said:
i just didn't want my clothes to be "distracting" if that makes sense ... i wanted the visual impression to be professional - even though clothes don't make the teacher and the kids should know you care about their education by your words and actions ... i think dressing like you care about your job and appearance are also important
I completely get you about wanting clothes which aren't distracting. I feel the same. I do have to disagree though about kids not caring what you're wearing though. From my past experience, they do care what you look like and by being young they have certain expectations for you and will be brutally honest if they don't like what you're wearing, think it doesn't fit you right, it's too ugly/old/baggy/etc. Ridiculous but true. I want to look professional but still buy pieces that I will be able to mainstream into my regular wardrobe and keep for when I get my first teaching job the follow Fall!


Casey said:
I would suggest that if you are going to spend any money on any piece of clothing, make it a proper pair(s) of shoes. My sis spent years teaching in heels (community college and university) and she didn't buy well made shoes and her feet are now suffering for it... quality, but good looking shoes are not going to be cheap, but you'll thank yourself in the long run... less expensive clothes can be made to look great if they fit well and you pair them up to make a cute looking outfit, but inexpensive shoes (whether they are cute or not) will take a toll for someone who is on their feet all day.
That is exactly what I worry about. My feet are very narrow and I've had trouble finding shoes. The one pair of Naturalizer shoes that I did find were tight in the toe area but perfect in the midsection of my foot- therefore, from wearing shoes that were too tight I got 3 really bad ingrown toenail infections. Gross! I know! I've been on a constant search for shoes and have had no luck at all. I actually had some success with the fit of the Lands End Driving Moccasin. They fit me fantastically but I'm not sure how they will hold up for all day wear. I really don't want to be limping by 8th hour due to uncomfortable shoes!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MrsGotRocks

The Imperial Diamond
#11
Re: Cute yet professional wardrobe for teaching. S

How about some version/combo of these as base ideas? I found the images on Speigel, J Crew, Banana Republic and Ann Taylor.

Omit the fancy purses, big jewelry and the heels pictured and sub in ballet flats or wedge heels. Skechers also makes comfy but mod shoes. My 9th grader wears them.

Pants and Tops -











Dresses/skirts -






 

nabi

The Black Orlov
#13
Re: Cute yet professional wardrobe for teaching. S

jsmith8, i think you misread my post (i also recognize that it is poorly written)

mrsgotrocks, i LOVE that first outfit! ... actually i really like the third and fifth also, except i wouldn't wear a sateen pant with that jacket (on the fifth) ...

anyway! i found a couple button up tops on sale at express ... if you can't find any in store, you should check online, they might still be having a sale

i got my cardigans and quite a few (not button-up, but dressy) tops at ann taylor loft (i don't remember if i said that already)

dillards has AWESOME sales ... i got quite a few tops there ... also check out ross - i found a few thing there as well. i purchased four antonio melani blazers and tops at dillards for less than the price of one blazer. if you get just one good neutral blazer, i think it will make your life a lot easier. it really makes you look sharp, and it helps to pull the outfit together. if you wear it buttoned, your shirt only matters at the portion between the buttons and your neck! that helps out a lot (unless you ONLY own t-shirts, in which case, i might not help at all lol)

i really don't pay retail for anything ... i basically wore my "not as dressy church clothes" to work until i found a good sale and stocked up on the things i needed.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
#14
Re: Cute yet professional wardrobe for teaching. S

Check out Kohls. They have a lot of shirts/blouses so you might be able to find styles that aren't just polo or button downs. Old Navy & Target too are other options for reasonably priced clothing.

I also second hitting the major department store clearance racks. That's the best way to find name brand designer pieces at great discounts!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jsmith8

Connoisseur
#15
Re: Cute yet professional wardrobe for teaching. S

nabi said:
jsmith8, i think you misread my post (i also recognize that it is poorly written)
Quite possibly! It's no biggie! I will definitely check out sales at larger stores- Dillards, Nordstrom, Macys.


nabi said:
mrsgotrocks, i LOVE that first outfit!
I do too! Where'd you find that outfit MGR?
 
Last edited by a moderator:
#18
Re: Cute yet professional wardrobe for teaching. S

I just wanted to take a moment and mention that I absolutely love being a guy..
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MrsGotRocks

The Imperial Diamond
#19
Re: Cute yet professional wardrobe for teaching. S

Feydakin said:
I just wanted to take a moment and mention that I absolutely love being a guy..
There are times when I am completely envious of your (men in general) toilette and mode of getting dressed. Far less complicated than ours.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
#20
Re: Cute yet professional wardrobe for teaching. S

Feydakin said:
I just wanted to take a moment and mention that I absolutely love being a guy..
LOL!

I'm starting a new job in a couple of weeks and I just sat down with my boss and talked dress code. I'm going to be the first "face" that anyone sees when they walk in our office, so I need to be business casual, but I want to look cute! Boss has it easy- he just wears khakis and a company logo polo or button down shirt.

It's been years since I have had to dress business casual, so I need to go shopping as well. I have always loved the clearance racks at stores such as Dillard's and Macy's, but I also shop Kohl's quite a bit also. I have also found some cute things at TJ Maxx, but you have to dig! Stein Mart has some fun things as well. I haven't been a big fan of JC Penney, but recently I have found some very cute things there.

Have fun shopping
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top