When you’re on your feet for over seven hours straight, the thought of looking cute can seem well,…daunting. And when your only admirers are a group of obstinate adolescents, the effort can seem well,…pointless. Yes, teaching is often associated with wearing what’s “comfortable”. A place where jeans and khakis rule, and Uggs and Crocs are the standard footwear of choice.
Style need not suffer behind the walls of a classroom, however. You can still look cute and comfortable minus the Crocs. New York City is full of fashionable teachers who know how to deliver quality instruction in a great pair of heels. A no fail outfit that’s both trendy and tasteful is a turtleneck sweater dress or a button down shirt dress with tights and a pair of wedge boots. (This spring is all about the wedge as well). Remember to keep your tights and boots in the same color family to avoid looking clownish.
A twinset is both classic and professional. Opt for quality fabrics such as cashmere. They last longer and feel great against your skin. Paired with a pencil skirt and low-heeled pumps a.k.a. kitten heels, the outfit demands respect with a quiet confidence. Another option is is a pair of wide-leg trousers with a fitted button down shirt and a pair of jeweled flats. Keep jewelry simple and sophisticated. Small hoops, diamond studs or pearls, even dainty chandeleir earrings all work well.
Mary Anne Marcella, an elementary school teacher in the Bronx, cites Aerosoles and Naturalizer as shoe brands that offer both comfort and style. “I don’t have to sacrifice comfort for looking and feeling great”, she says. Retailers such as Ann Taylor Loft and Banana Republic also offer discounts on merchandise for teachers so you can stock up on quality basics that will last long after the school year ends.
As with any outfit in any profession, the key is really all about the fit. Make sure you are dressing your body based on what fits, not what your target size might be. Clothes should be fitted, not tight. Fabrics should fall easily over your body while still flattering your shape. If you find something you love, don’t pass on it if the fit isn’t perfect, either. Most garments can be tailored, so they look like they were made for your body.
Remember a positive attitude adds to any outfit. Set a great example in how you look, act and dress by projecting feminine confidence. And keep the Crocs for gardening, please!