Designing a Teacher Wardrobe on a Budget


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Designing a teacher wardrobe on a budget - a teacher budget? Don't be surprised. It can be done. You have a teaching job - and a teacher's paycheck. Can you dress professionally?

Yes. With planning ahead and using savings, you can dress well those first years of teaching. Start planning ahead and make some sensible purchases. Here are some other hints for designing a teacher wardrobe.

Suggestion One: Buy basics

Purchase black, navy, khaki, brown - maybe maroon - pants/sarees/suits. Buy a few sweaters or buttoned shirts. Mix and match. Find out if you can wear jeans on Fridays. If so, buy an appropriate pair.

Suggestion Two: Hit the clearance racks

If you are hired in April, buy some winter clothing now. This may sounds fun, but in a few months, you'll happily pull out your clearance clothes.

Suggestion Three: Find what makes you happy

Have a Nice Outfit. Every teacher needs that special, back-to-school, meet the teacher, observation outfit. This could be your interview suit or graduation outfit. (You might need to plan this in advance; buy one super-great outfit for multiple use).

Suggestion Four: Purchase at least one outfit that makes you feel like dynamite.

As a new teacher, you will be expected to have a teacher wardrobe. That first year, you will make your clothes stretch for a year, and each subsequent year will be easier finding and affording clothing. You'll build and find your own style.

Suggestion Five: Find Inspiration Online

Both Pinterest and blogs are a great resource for cute teacher outfit ideas. Many teachers curate Pinterest boards with outfits they found online and some even upload their own daily outfits. As you explore various outfits online, search for outfits that utilize clothing you already own. If you have a pair of black slacks, pay attention to the tops bloggers wear with their slacks. Own a blazer? What pants or skirts are pinned along with blazers? You can also try this formula over Asian dresses like kurta-salwar/ palazzos, skirts etc. Write down pieces you think would work with the clothing you already own.

Suggestion Six: Arrange a Clothing Swap

Once you begin teaching, organize a seasonal clothing swap with your fellow teachers. Have everyone bring clothing and accessories that they no longer want to one teacher’s home. Group the items by type and size, then allow each teacher that donated items to "shop" from the donated goods. This is also a fun way to socialize outside of work. Any remaining clothing can be brought to the teacher’s lounge for those that were unable to attend the swap, donated to a local charity.

Comfortable Shoes Don't Have To Be Ugly

Being on our feet for most of the day means comfortable shoes are imperative. But please don't let that be an excuse for sporting busted footwear! I am not saying you should try and suffer through the day in high heels - not at all. Instead, I encourage you to think sensibly AND stylishly, by turning to wedges, flat boots and ballet flats to complete your outfits.

It is worth noting, that all hopes for high heels are not lost. Cole Haan makes an incredible line of beautiful shoes with Nike Air technology built into each one. These shoes can only be described as magical - pumps, flats and boots that look extremely luxe while feeling like a sneaker.

Everything Looks Better with a Smile :)

Teachers let's turn to a showtune for the final fall fashion tip: "You're never fully dressed without a smile!"

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