Saturday, August 24, 2013

Reader question: Building a teaching wardrobe

Hey guys. 
I've been working from home for close to three years, so my wardrobe is like jeans, shorts and t-shirts. This fall, I have to teach college so obviously I need to look profesh and not totally slops. But I'm on the tightest budget ever. WHAT DO I DO? Also, I don't even remember at all how to make my body look good in clothes. 

I think I'm a good project for you.

Dear Kate,
Major congrats on your new teaching gig and for having the opportunity to get dressed up in your profesh best! Personally, I'm looking forward to fall and school starting so I have an excuse to get dressed up daily.

Since you're on a tight budget and planning on starting from scratch, I think Melina would agree that your first stop should be your favorite local thrift store. Particularly for fall, lots of important and high quality basics are plentiful at Salvation Army, Goodwill, or my personal favorite, Saver's. Wool blazers in a variety of shapes and styles are widely available, and donning one can make almost anything appropriate for the classroom. Pay no attention to sizes, and instead scour the racks for colors that appeal to you, and quality fibers. I prefer shrunken styles, like this knit twill one from Land's End canvas and the J. Crew Factory one shown below. You may find one in a boxier cut that might fit you well in a size smaller than you typically wear, or consider rolling the sleeves for a jaunty look.

fall teaching

Lined jacket


Frye Dorado Riding

Melina here—just chiming in to say that I absolutely agree that many teaching basics can be found at your local thrift store. I have especially had luck in thrifting pencil skirts, which make up a lot of my go-to teaching looks. Look for wools in good condition, and remember that the key is to fit your natural waist. If you're feeling tired of blazers, a cardigan can often do the trick, especially a sturdy, textured one like this. You can substitute a skinny pant in for the same items you'd pair with a pencil skirt in order to add more variety/comfort. I wore ankle boots to my first day of teaching last year, and I also found that investing in a nice watch made me feel like an empowered adult capable of having authority in the front of a classroom!

fall teaching 

J.Crew slim jacket / J.Crew green pencil skirt / Joe Fresh(TM) Long-Sleeve 100% Silk Shirt / Naturalizer short leather boots / Forever 21 layered necklace / Fossil 'Townsman' Leather Strap Watch, 36mm

We hope this helps! Best of luck to you, Kate. Be sure to tell us all about your favorite teaching look this semester. 

Have a question for Meg and Melina? Send us an e-mail at femmepiricalevidence @ gmail dot com.


Meg & Melina 

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