Friday, August 30, 2013

Super Sale

What is UP, third-day hair and super sale shoes? 
I did not want to sludge my way through the entire hair doing process, so I just recurled some pieces. 
After the first week of my eighth year teaching, I decided to celebrate by taking a gander at what DSW had to offer. I happened upon these beauties in the clearance section. I always pick the 30% off pair, never the 70% off pair. UNTIL TODAY. The shoes were originally $100, marked down to $59.95, 70% off of that, and came to a total of $19.04. 

I came home, and we buried Saint Joseph in the garden because my Catholic co-teacher says he'll help us sell our home quickly. I'm not Catholic, but I'll take all the good juju I can get even if my Baptist grandfather is turning in his grave right now. It's okay, Pop Pop. A little love for and from everyone never hurt, right? Plus, he was in my purse when I found these shoes, so I'm feeling a little love for Saint Joseph, helper of house sellers and shoe buyers. 

 Anyway, I got dressed today. Today was Friday. I wore jeans to work. 
The Look:
Shirt: Marshall's
Jeans: Simply Vera via Kohl's
Shoes: Audrey Brooke via DSW
Necklace & Earrings: Boutique 


The Details:

Occasion: Casual Friday at work
Where: Teaching and shoe shopping
When: allllll the live long day
Comfort Rating: 10
Comments: I considered half tucking the shirt (the pants are belted), but I wanted a looser look. It's been a long week, and I didn't want to fuss with a continually untucking shirt. I wore teal sandals all day, but I switched to these gold flats when I bought them after school. I obviously decided the flats were more worthy of pictures. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lace & a Flowy Skirt

Before I embark on the task of grading my AP students' work, I will grace the interwebs with my presence. And my second-day hair, which has been kicking butt since my stylist gave me some tips last week. It's taken 29 years for me to figure out how to style this mane, but better late than never? Now, I just need to take care of this whole acne and acne scarring issue, and all will be right with my world. My vain, vain little world.

Oh, and our house is officially on the market! After hours of painting, scrubbing, staging, and some bleeding, we are now in "people could come through the house at any moment, so we can't touch anything" mode. A wildly fun place to be.

Jeff is only happy to take pictures when he can direct me in my posing. He told me I had to be all "50s housewife" and pose with the Kitchen Aid mixer. Way to be progressive, husband.

The Look:
Top: The Limited
Skirt: LOFT
Shoes: Me Too via Marshall's (last summer)
Belt: NY & Co.
Necklace: Gift from my sister-in-law, both of my sisters-in-law have such great taste. I lucked out! 

The Details
Occasion: Work (I'm a teacher, by the way.)
When: end o' August (still in the 80s)
Where: Indoors all day (still pretty balmy in my room)
Comfort Rating: 9.5
Comments: I give it a 9.5 only because I had to resituate the belt a few times, but it was actually very comfortable. These heels are the perfect height and have enough cushion to make the soles of my feet not-so angry. I tried a new color combination with the cognac shoes/belt, and I liked it (not "I kissed a girl" kind of liked it, but I liked it.) Ordinarily, I'd choose a gold and be suuuuper matchy, but I was a big fan of this combination. Plus, I was pretty matchy matchy with my cognac purse ;) This shirt tucks REALLY well, and I didn't know that until today despite the fact that I've owned it for nearly a year. Good job, shirt. 

Jeff's doing the dishes and fixing dinner. Some 50s housewife I am. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Seersucker and Fuchsia

Is "fuschia" not really a color? Because Safari's automatic spell checker is kirking out over here. Safari MUST be a dude.

EDIT: Apparently, half the world and I have been misspelling fuchsia as fuschia. Most annoying part? Autocorrect just NOW corrected it, but not the first time I fought with the spelling. English teacher fail.ure.

Wife: "Honey, is this more of a white or an ivory?"
Husband: "What's the difference?"

Crikey, I can't even get my husband to tell the difference between "husband, these already look awful, so they can be worn to change oil, catch a fish, or roll around in the grass" shorts and "husband, these are nice, unstained, and worth a pretty penny, so if you wear these, I will spritz lemon juice in your eyeballs" shorts. As if I could get him to tell the difference between colors. Unless it's the paint color for a Corvette. Or any vehicle.

I digress.

P.S. It's our two year wedding anniversary tomorrow. However, we've been together for a total of nine whopping years. Hot diggity dog.

I wore this outfit the other week to run errands, one of which involved a trip into Kohl's. Obviously.

Typically, I avoid shorts because they give me unnecessary wedgies. Not like any wedgie is actually necessary. Unless you ask my brother who hanged me by my pants on a doorknob...for two and a half hours. He felt that wedgie was necessary.

Whew, what a manhating post.

Look! A cute puppy!

As for the outfit, here 'tis.

The Look:

Seersucker Shorts: The Limited
Top: The Limited
Flats: Target
Belt: Target

The Details:

Occasion: Errand running (read: shopping)
When: Day time (so, casual it is)
Where: About town
Comfort Rating: Any outfit involving shorts automatically earns an 8 or less. These shorts are just the right length, so an 8 they earn. However, I should give the outfit a 7 only because trying to untuck a shirt and undo a belt in a dressing room is annoying because retucking and belting is sucky. Not an easy access outfit for the purpose of trying on other clothes. 
Note: Originally, I put on a white shirt with these shorts, a brown belt, and brown shoes. (I like the brown, white, and blue combo.) Buuuut, I decided to switch up the color combination a bit and choose fuschia instead. Is that okay? It's okay if you say no. I'll still like it. And you. 

Oh, and hoo-ray for the first day back for teachers. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Gray Maxi Skirt

I'm a smidge sad that the Teacher Wardrobe Staple series (say that three times fast) came to an end yesterday, so I need to think about how I can revive it once a week/month. Or something like it. Maybe I'll do a Teacher Staples 30x30? That might just work.

I'm not wearing any shoes with this outfit because I felt like being a hippie for ten minutes. (Read: I was too lazy to put on my shoes before the pictures.)

The Look:
Jean Jacket: Old Navy (it's a bit bigger, so I chose to roll the sleeves for a different look.)
Maxi Skirt: American Eagle
Belt: I have NO idea! I think Target.
Shirt: Target

I wanted you to see my diva face...also known as "the wind is making me eat my hair" face. 

The Details:

Occasion: My birthday dinner! (A relaxed one with family, not a date night)

When: 4-bed time

Where: My parents' house with just my closest family members

Restyling Options: Clearly, I would put on shoes.  I actually did restyle this before I walked out of the door by putting on a white cardigan (didn't want to wear a jean jacket in my parents' house, but it was too chilly for short sleeves) and an aqua belt. I wore white, strappy sandals. 
I wore the wine-colored version of the skirt like this

How would you style this skirt?

Style Elixir

Last day to enter Sam's Target card giveaway
I'm wearing items from Target in this outfit post, so it's meant to be.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Teacher Wardrobe Staples: Part 4 [The Inspiration]

Again, if this is your first visit to the Teacher Wardrobe Staples series, I hope you find some inspiration for the next time you sluggishly make your way to your closet at 5 in the a.m., punch the light switch on, grumble your way through your I'll-organize-it-someday closet, and have a mini panic attack about whether or not you made copies for the day. Oh, that's just me? Oops. As a matter of fact, I pick out a "I want to look cute" outfit and an "I hate the world" outfit every night. Depending on how much of a troglodyte I am the next morning, I'll choose one of the two looks.

Here is the series breakdown:

Part 1: The Stores
Part 2: The Basics
Part 3: The Outfits
Part 4: The Inspiration (today's post)

For today's post, three lovely bloggers sent me their favorite teacher outfits, so I made a few collages for you! Underneath each collage, you'll find links to each one of the outfits on their blogs. Please visit them and say hello. I'm sure they'd love to hear your positive feedback :) They are worthy of being followed. True.

A Word About the Blogger:
Kate teaches at the college level, and she makes the collegiate world look fine.
Girlfriend knows how to add splashes of color and prints and choose the perfect fit (no too-tight or dowdy looks in this blogger's archives.) 

A Word About the Looks:
Kate's first look reminded me about layering a button-up under a sleeveless dress. It keeps the dress work appropriate (I always avoid anything without sleeves.) I love the color of this dress; it works for any season!
Find Look #1 here

I told myself I needed this polka dot cardigan, and my sister-in-law gave me a polka dot cardigan for my birthday yesterday. I think she read my mind. I don't have a button-up in the same color as Kate's, but I can turn her look into a formula for myself by wearing a printed cardigan with a bright top and neutral bottoms. I love the cut of these pants on her. They'll work well with flats or heels!
Find Look #2 here

I am absolutely in love with the color pallet of look #3. There is just something about navy and pink that makes me feel all throw-the-anchor-on-the-poop-deck-and-let's-set-sail. If you don't have these exact items, it's okay. You can use the look's "formula" to inspire you: try a structure blazer with a button-up and a colored skirt. Keep your heels neutral so that the skirt remains the focal point. 
Find Look #3 here

A Word About the Blogger:
In her e-mail to me, Brandy said that she is new to the blogging world. Be sure to visit her and give her some love! I am pretty excited she found me because she's a fellow English teacher of high school students and owns a lot of clothes from Kohl's. I'm glad you found me, Brandy! Brandy has mastered the art of styling a dress. I browsed through other looks on her blogs, and I love her color choices and necklace collection.

A Word About the Looks:
Look number 1 is my favorite because I keep drooling over the print of that dress. It's so pretty and colorful. I just want to pet it, but not while she's wearing it because THAT would be creepy, my friends. And even I have a limit to my creepiness. The neutral blazer really makes this look even more professional. If Brandy wanted to take the dress outside of the classroom, a jean jacket would be a fine substitute for the blazer. (Of course, I totally wear my blazers EVERYWHERE on the great, green Earth.)
Find Look #1 here

I like how the belt in look number 2 cinches Brandy's waist. It gives this shirt dress more structure. If she wanted to throw a colored blazer or cardigan over it, the outfit would totally allow for it. She owns an adorable pair of red wedges, and she could swap the flats for those if she was feeling particularly Jessica Rabbit one day. 
Find Look #2 here

I love that Brandy took this dress to a more professional level with the skinny belt and flats. And that necklace? Want it. I'd love to see it with a printed cardigan. Because I love me a printed cardigan. Or a printed button up tied in a knot.  
Find Look #3 here

A Word About the Blogger:
First of all, I've been a huge fan of Inge and her curly hair for a while now. I really like this post. She is so sweet. And worthy of applause. One, she is a special educator. (I've been working directly with special educators for seven years. The amount of paperwork in that department is ridiculous!) Two, she works at a middle school. I'm convinced there's a special place in heaven for middle school teachers. Anyway, I'm a huge fan of Inge's color combinations, Target and Old Navy finds, and sensibility (while still maintaining a personality.)  

A Word About the Look
Inge and Kate are making me realize I need a pencil skirt in this color, but, for now, I could recreate this look with my cobalt blue skirt instead of a pink one. Inge has this look totally right. 
Take her lead: neutral cardigan + striped top + bold skirt (or slacks) + neutral shoes. 
Find Inge's look here.

I hope you found some inspiration from these lovely ladies.
Please let me know if you would like for me to continue the series and what you'd like to see. 
I had a LOT of fun creating this series. 
Until I receive some feedback or an idea bomb explodes in my face, I'll return to my regularly scheduled outfit posts. Hope ya don't mind.

P.S. One more day to enter the lovely, FUNNY Sam's giveaway. Dude, if I ever break the law, I hope someone that witty and stylish defends me. (Note: I have no intention of breaking the law.)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Teacher Wardrobe Staples: Part 3 [The Outfits]

So, Mom brought over her real camera and her real skills to take this part of the series' photographs. HOLY AWESOMENESS. 
Happy Birthday to me.
I know I said I couldn't write this post today, but the birthday fairies granted me two hours of extra time to work it in :) 

In case you're new, I've started a Teacher Wardrobe Series.
Part 1: The Stores
Part 2: The Basics 
Today is Part 3: The Outfits. 
(Tomorrow is Part 4: The Inspiration, which features readers. You could be a part of it! See more information about it at the end of this post.)

First, I did not pull all of the items from Part 2 to create these looks.
(I'll also need to write a post that includes some considerations after having created outfits with the items. I'm realizing the holes I have in my closet!) 
I'm sorry, but that is a lot of picture taking, and what will I show you for the next month!?

Now, here are the staples I pulled together for this post:
Gingham shirt, blue oxford, striped shirt, yellow (and feminine) blouse,
cobalt blue blazer, khaki blazer, and black blazer

White cardigan, gray cardigan, khaki skirt, black skirt, 
black pants, khaki/brown pants, cobalt skirt, polka dot skirt

black dress, striped dress, cap toe flats, nude kitten heels, black heels, cobalt blue wedges

IMPORTANT NOTE #1: I did NOT create all of the outfits that I could have created because I started to get sweaty and tired. I think what I've provided here is plenty of inspiration, especially since I have some other lovely ladies' outfits to show you tomorrow! 

IMPORTANT NOTE #2: Except for belts, I did not accessorize. If you want to see the series to continue with a post on accessorizing, feel free to let me know. I like you, so I can make it happen.

So, here goes:

The striped dress is great with a blazer, a cardigan, heels, flats, belted, or not belted.
A look I did not include but would be cute is the blue oxford tied over top and knotted in the front.
 (Or a black blazer instead of a white cardigan)
I'm seeing so many more possibilities now that I'm reviewing the pictures.

A black dress works well with a button up, a blazer, or a cardigan. 

Mom did NOT take the last three pictures. They were in the archive. 
I wanted to include them because one look shows a printed skirt, another shows a printed dress, and the last shows a more casual Friday kind of look.
Your colored blazer does not have to be cobalt blue, but I bet you want one now! 

Who would've thought a little yellow blouse could cover so much sartorial ground?
I prefer it tucked in, but it looks great loose. 
I love the two skirt looks. 

LOOK! My husband came home during the photo shoot and matched one of my outfits. I made him pose with me. As you can see, he's excited. 
Obviously, I could include a bajillion outfits with the striped shirt, but I've already written a post on striped shirt inspiration. (Excuse some of the dead pictures. I need to figure out how to fix those! I didn't know some of them died until just now.)

In all of these looks, both shirts are interchangeable, which is why I included them on a collage together.
I think the khaki skirt look is my favorite. I'm excited to wear it to work! 

After writing this post, I am so game for a 30x30 challenge. Right here, I have 14 looks, and I could easily double them. And I only have 21 items here instead of 30. I might have inspired myself. 
What a cheeseball. And a narcissist. 

If you would like to see me write more posts like this one, I'd love to have your feedback. 

Don't forget to e-mail me a picture of you wearing your favorite teacher outfit. 
(You do NOT have to be a teacher; it can be a teacher-inspired ensemble.)
(You do NOT have to be a blogger either!)

If you ARE a blogger and the picture comes from a post on your blog, provide me with the link to the original content, please! If you're not a blogger, tell me how you'd prefer I credit you :) 

E-mail me at

Aged Awesomeness & One Shirt Three Ways

I will be back with Part 3 of the Teacher Wardrobe Staples series (Part 1 and Part 2) tomorrow. Why, you ask? Well, first of all, today is my 29th birthday. Second of all, today, Momma dukes is actually taking pictures of me for Part 3! With a real camera, not my iPhone. Hot jeebus. I.have.arrived.

Instead of the series today, I do have one shirt worn three ways for you. Because my awesomeness just added another year to itself.

Every time I buy an item I'm a smidge unsure of, I physically try it on with at least three outfits in order to determine its lifespan in my closet. Sometimes, I'm on fire and can't stop trying it on with things. Aaaand, sometimes, it's a big, fat flop that I have to return. Luckily, this shirt is a winner.

I bought an army green shirt at Kohl's the other day, hoping it would work well in my closet. I'd say it does. I came up with these three looks:

It's not much, and the pictures are, um, awful. HOWEVER, you might find inspiration from them. If nothing else, you'll take your iPhone photos in a full-length mirror in better lighting. 
(The color is "true" in the middle picture.) 
I'd love to know how you would style this shirt. Tell me in the comments! :)

I had every intent of writing you a list of "29 Things of Awesomeness," but I lost steam after #7. 
I need a shower because I do not smell awesome.
So, I will leave you with this thought: I am not 29-years-old; I am 29 years of awesome. 
 Aged awesomeness, if you will.

That is all.

P.S. Be sure to enter the Target giveaway over at Sam's hilarious blog
She's one of those makes-you-pee-a-little-she's-so-funny kind of girls. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Teacher Wardrobe Staples [Part 2]

Okay, in case you missed it yesterday, I started this Teacher Wardrobe series with the places I shop and what I typically buy there. (That post included some inspiration in the form of collages. You're welcome.) 

This series will comprise at least three posts:

Part 1: The Stores (yesterday's post)

Part 2: The Basics (today's post)

Part 3: The Outfits

Part 4: The Inspiration  (depends on you, the readers)

Part 4 is where YOU come in! E-mail me a picture of you wearing your favorite teacher outfit. If you're a blogger and the picture comes from a post on your blog, provide me with the link to the original content, please! If you're not a blogger, tell me how you'd prefer I credit you :) 

I like to give credit where credit is due. If enough ladies e-mail me, I'll compile Part 4. If not, you might be stuck with pictures of just me for inspiration.

During your stay, keep a few things in mind:

1. I teach High School English, not elementary school. Determine how this series best suits your needs.

2. I tried to create a list that should work for a stricter dress code policy, but know that my school's dress code is quite lax compared to other schools'.

3. If you're a new teacher or one looking to spruce up her wardrobe, you might find that you already have many of the items I'll be listing in this series. Hooray!

4. If you put all of these collages together, they create a nice wardrobe. (I'll show you some outfits with these pieces tomorrow.)

5. This list is not comprehensive! It is merely a start. Remember: it's called "The BASICS." It gives you plenty of options to add items as you see fit. (haha...pun not intended.)  

6. When you add items to your collection, don't forget to try them on with other items you own. (Rule of three works nicely: try it on with three outfits to determine whether or not it's a good "fit" for your closet.)

7. Underneath each collage, you will find links to the clothing items. In the list below the collage, the bold text makes up the "list" of items in that category of basics. 


* You should have a blend of neutrals, prints, and solid colors (ex: red).
* I try to find tops with sleeves so that I don't have to wear a cardigan/blazer because sometimes my classroom is too hot for all of those layers! 
* Make sure all tops can be worn tucked or untucked so their potential is maximized
* Button-ups are especially awesome because you can tie them in a knot, tuck them, or leave them loose. 
* In the dressing room, lift your arms up, lean over, and squat. If none of your unmentionables peek out, you're gravy, baby. 
* In this collage, I do not have a solid, "fun" color represented because I couldn't find something I really liked. And my collage ran out of room.

1. Old Navy Gingham Shirt -- $24.94 -- buy here
2. Old Navy Blue Oxford -- $24.50 -- buy here
3. LOFT Striped T-shirt -- $34.50 with 50% off -- buy here
4. LOFT Polka Dot Blouse -- $59.50 -- buy here
5. NY & Co Printed Blouse -- $39.95 -- buy here
6. Merona Printed Blouse via Target -- $19.99 -- buy here

* I have a combination of more structured blazers and more jersey-like blazers. 
* If you don't care for blazers ( are crazy, right?), then substitute blazers for cardigans! Simple solution :) Pretty much wherever a blazer works so does a cardigan. 
* My favorite places to buy blazers are Marshall's, Target, and NY & Co. Of course, I have blazers from everywhere. I can't wear the J.Crew blazers because they're all made of wool. Wool and I are not simpatico. 
* When you try on blazers, cross your arms in front of you. If it pulls and feels uncomfortable, just say no. Regardless of how cute it is. (I had to remind myself of this one the other day.)

1. Mossimo Ponte Boyfriend Blazer in Bold Color -- $29.99 -- buy here
2. Blazer with Some Flair (White Peplum Jacket via Target) -- $31.48 -- buy here
3. Colored Blazer via The Limited -- $98 -- buy here
4. Black, Neutral Blazer via LOFT -- $128 -- buy here
5. Gray, Neutral Blazer via Jcrew Factory -- $128 -- buy here
(Switch up some of these blazer choices with cardigans. 
Choose neutrals that best suit your closet.)

* I recommend some colored bottoms (fun with printed tops), printed bottoms, and neutral bottoms. I have a mixture of cuts for skirts and pants.
* If they do not fit well, invest in tailoring. (I hunt for bottoms until they fit because I don't want to pay a tailor, haha. Read: I'm too lazy to find a tailor and then pick up said items from a tailor. I can't even handle drycleaning.)
* Match them up with your tops and be sure you can mix and match multiple ways!
* In the dressing room, bend down/over to make sure you don't suffer from a case of plumber's crack.

1. Khaki Pants for heels or flats via Express -- $69.90 -- buy here
2. Bold Skirt via NY & Co -- $36.95 -- buy here
3. Printed Skirt via LOFT -- $49.50 -- buy here
4. Colored Slacks via The Limited -- $64.90-- buy here
5. Colored Slacks via The Limited -- $69.90 -- buy here
6. Neutral boot cut slacks via The Limited -- $69.90 -- buy here
7. Black Skirt via LOFT -- $69.50 -- buy here
(Swap out some of these skirts for pants and vice versa. 
This collage simply serves as a pallet for you.)

* I like a little neutral (black & red for me), some stripes (DUH), a fun print, and a little feminine (cue lace).
* I avoid spaghetti straps just in case it gets too hot, and I have to take off a blazer/cardigan. 
* All of these dresses work well with flats or heels, tights or no tights, blazer or no blazer, belts or no belts.
* Find the cut of dress that fits you best and find a bit of everything: neutral, nautical, fun, and feminine.  

1.Banana Republic Neutral Dress -- $98 -- buy here
2.Striped Dress via LOFT -- $69.50 -- buy here
3.Fun print dress via The Limited -- $89.90 -- buy here
4.Feminine dress (lace shown here) -- $24 -- buy here

Shoes (note: I nearly quit before this point because making these collages is not 
as easy as I had anticipated, but I like you folks.)

* I cannot wear anything higher than 3" (and those 3" must be in the form of a wedge) 
because I don't particularly enjoy falling on my face.
* This list does not include boots because I could go on for-ev-er about those.

1. Steve Madden Leopard flats (any printed flat will do) -- $79.95 -- buy here
2.  Less expensive Target leopard flats -- $11.24 -- buy here
3. Colorful heels at Chromatic Gallerie (many color options here) – $88 -- buy here
4. Nude flats at J.Crew Factory -- $88 -- buy here
5. Flats with some sparkle from Mod Cloth -- $34.99 -- buy here
6. Black wedge via J.Crew Factory -- $88 -- buy here

  • When you buy each item, take it home and try creating three different outfits with it. Try on the outfits. Sometimes, they sound great in your mind and look awful in real life. If you can't create three outfits you love, return it for something that really fits with the rest of your wardrobe. 
  • If you love the outfits that you create with each item, TAKE PICTURES. You think you'll remember those cute outfits, but the brain is an evasive turdmonger who likes to rob us of good ideas. 
  • Tops: fun print, neutral, and solid color. 
    • Make sure what you choose goes with the rest of your closet. 
    • Pair these tops with the bottoms that you buy!
    • Do the bend, lean, squat test to make sure it doesn't flash your goodies to the world.
    • Try tucking, untucking, and tying the top. If it can do 2/3, give yourself a pat on the back.
  • Blazers/Cardigans: fun color that goes with your printed top/neutral/printed bottoms (I love my cobalt blue one), neutral (if you like black bottoms, maybe choose a gray blazer), and a print if you wish (I have four striped ones alone...yikes!)
    • Cross your arms in the front to make sure your shoulder blades don't get choke held by the back of your blazer. 
    • Be sure you're comfortable with the length of the sleeves. I hate it when they're a tad too short.
  • Skirts: same as before (print, neutral, solid color that's more "fun" than a neutral)
    • Choose the fit that looks best on you. (I only like pencil skirts when I wear heels with them. A-line skirts, on the other hand, make me happy regardless of my footwear.)
    • Make sure you can tuck a shirt into it or wear a different shirt loosely with it. 
    • Try it on with belts. They often add just the right amount of polish. Don't be discouraged if the first five belts look terrible; the sixth one might look perfect. 
    • Do the bend and snap. Take inventory of your goodies. Be sure they're not hanging out.
  • Pants: color, neutral, print (if you feel so inclined)
    • Try having more than one style on hand (I like wide leg with wedges, pencil cut with heels/flats, and boot cut with heels/wedges.) 
    • Bend and snap and check yo' crack.  
  • Dresses:
    • For this one, I like to have one of each: feminine, neutral, stripes, and fun print.
  • Shoes
    • For these, I like a variety of sparkle, animal print, bold colors, and neutral colors.
    • When I was trying to pick the bold color of my heels, I considered which bold flats I wore the most (cobalt) and chose that color for my heels! 
    • Try doing the laundry in your shoes. If your feet hurt after that, they'll definitely hurt after a day of teaching. Take 'em back. 
**NOTE: I did not include accessories such as necklaces and scarves because they could take up a post of their own! I will try to incorporate them in Part 3 with the outfits.**

Check back tomorrow for 
Part 3: The Outfits

Don't forget to e-mail me a picture of you wearing your favorite teacher outfit. 

(You do NOT have to be a teacher; it can be a teacher-inspired ensemble.)

(You do NOT have to be a blogger either!)

If you ARE a blogger and the picture comes from a post on your blog, provide me with the link to the original content, please! If you're not a blogger, tell me how you'd prefer I credit you :) 

E-mail me at

P.S. I made all of those collages using PowerPoint, and it was so much easier than iPiccy or Photoshop. That program never ceases to be awesome
Aaaaand that's such a teacher thing to say.

P.P.S. In the comments section, leave what you find to be your wardrobe basics as a teacher (or similar professional)! We could all use every bit of inspiration that we can get. 
Style Elixir

Monday, August 12, 2013

Teacher Wardrobe Staples [Part 1]

This morning, my friend Nicole (girlfriend is gorgeous inside and out!) messaged me about must haves for her teacher closet. Our conversation got me thinking that it might be a good idea for me to write a series of  posts because women have asked me this question multiple times.

This series will comprise at least three posts:
Part 1: The Stores (today's post)
Part 2: The Basics
Part 3: The Outfits
Part 4: The Inspiration  (depends on you, the readers)

Part 4 is where YOU come in! E-mail me a picture of you wearing your favorite teacher outfit. If you're a blogger and the picture comes from a post on your blog, provide me with the link to the original content, please! If you're not a blogger, tell me how you'd prefer I credit you :) 
I like to give credit where credit is due. If enough ladies e-mail me, I'll compile Part 4. If not, you might be stuck with pictures of just me for inspiration.

During your stay, keep a few things in mind:

1. I teach High School English, not elementary school like many of the teacher bloggers in blogland. I do not know if the needs of an elementary school teacher vary from someone in my leopard-print shoes.

2. I tried to create a list that should work for a stricter dress code policy, but know that my school's dress code is quite lax compared to other schools'.

3. If you're a new teacher or one looking to spruce up her wardrobe, you might find that you already have many of the items I'll be listing in this series. Hooray!

4. I link to plenty of outfits on this blog that show you the types of pieces you can buy from certain stores. Know that some of these outfits I did not wear to school, but the pieces could still work for the classroom.

5. I do not like to spend a lot of money on any one item because I usually never like anything enough (or long enough) for that to make sense.

6. There are a lot of great stores (LuLu's, SheInside, Ruche, and etc.) to shop at online, but I prefer trying items on in the store, so you'll see more of that sort of thing around here.


Places I shop with success:

(The bulleted lists include what I typically buy at these places.)

The Limited (in store, they offer a teacher discount--bring your ID!)
ranges from $-$$$$ (with coupons, most items are under $100)

  • Everything from pants to blazers 
  • I am especially drawn to their pants and skirts.
  • Some outfits that include pieces from The Limited: this cobalt blue skirt (and the lace top), my favorite skirt (A-line and khaki), and this tweed skirt (needs tights to be appropriate).
  • Note: unless their entire store is offering a 40% off promotion, you can use your teacher discount on top of clearance items!
(pants are typically in the $50-100 range)
They've seemingly moved away from more work-appropriate gear, but I still love

  • their Editor pant
  • their blazers (my favorite cobalt blazer is from here)
  • Some outfits that include Express: this striped shirt 
  • I don't shop here as often. However, most of my "wear me forever" pants are from Express. 
LOFT (duh! They offer a teacher discount. Order the sticker from their website and slap it on your credit card.)
(most items are under $80)
New York & Company (they offer a teacher discount; just bring your teacher ID--I probably shop here the most because it's one of the only real stores in the "mall" near me, and I'm a lady of convenience.)
(most items are under $80, and they're great about having sales. I typically never have to spend more than $50 on anything here.)

Target (DOUBLE DUH!)
(I think you're well aware of how affordable the clothes here are.)
  • The pieces here do not last forever, but I've scored some good things at the ol' Tar-jay.
  • I am most drawn to their dresses, longer cardigans, and shirts. (If you want to try out skinny jeans on the cheap, Target is your place.)
  • I love their dresses. I have three of the same type (seen here and here), in fact. I always check the clearance rack for something with a cute print that I could mix with my other clothes. 
  • Note: if you shop in the juniors section, be sure to size up unless you want things to fit too snugly, which is not a good idea if you're a teacher.  
Old Navy (they have a teacher appreciation day, which I can never remember)
(Pretty great quality, and most of the pieces are less than $50.)
  • Old Navy has it all for the right price, and the outlets near me have even better prices. 
  • I am especially drawn to Old Navy dresses, skirts, tops (button downs, specifically), and blazers/outerwear. They always have cute coats for a great price.  
  • Some outfits from Old Navy include: this red blazer (dress must be worn with tights to remain appropriate), this gingham shirtthis jean blazerthis striped dress, and this striped dress.
  • You'll probably show up to school wearing the same thing as one of your students, but that's okay. 
(If your mom poops coupons here like my mom does, then this place is perhaps more affordable than Target.)

GAP (does NOT offer a teacher's discount)
(Their sales seem to be better online and in the outlets.)
  • I really only go to GAP when I hit the outlets because it's not very close. However, I am drawn to their jeans (casual days, anyone?)
  • Some outfits that include GAP pieces: these neon jeans (which I can wear to school) and these green jeans.
Other Stores (not many pictures around these parts of the post):

Marshall's/TJ Maxx (mainly Marshall's because that's what lives near me)
  • I get a lot of my shoes here, especially Franco Sarto who happens to be my favorite shoe designer. 
  • My favorite brand that shows up here is probably Kenar. Great durability, and they actually carry XS. 
White House Black Market 
  • Everything lasts forever, and my favorite white jeans are from here and so is my sequin skirt. It's too expensive for my piggy bank, so I shop here only periodically and always check the sales!
  • Never the dresses or skirts because my booty makes everything 3 inches shorter than their already-too-short length. Some people have great luck with the length. I never do.
  • Cute blazers for great prices! 
  • I have a few tops from here, too.
Banana Republic
  • Especially the outlet
  • Great pants and dresses!
  • Unless it's on sale, I typically won't get it. Again, their prices are a little too high for my tastes. 
J.Crew (offers a teacher discount)
I would love to order something from J.Crew Factory, but it just hasn't happened. 
  • Their stuff is gorgeous, but I just won't pay the prices. I have one item from J.Crew, and I bought it at the thrift shop. 
  • They offer a teacher discount, which is great.
  • Maybe my goal will be to buy one thing from there before the year ends. 
  • I think their skirts are especially great for teachers. 
  • Nine West (usually at Marshall's)
  • Naturalizer (especially the outlet)
  • Target (for some flats)
  • DSW 
  • Aerosoles 
  • ModCloth
  • Found a really comfortable (and cute) pair from Easy Spirit. Go figure!  
  • I really want to try  heels from Chromatic Gallerie because you can specify the heel height and there are SO MANY color options. 
  • NOTE: I avoid any heel over 3" because it's impractical for me (don't want to break my face), but some women can rock it.

Favorite Places for Scarves?
  • Francesca's always has the cutest prints.
  • Target
  • Old Navy
  • Boscov's
Join me tomorrow for 
Part 2: The Basics.

On Wednesday, my birthday, I'll give you 
Part 3: The Outfits.

For now, I'll provide you with two collages of *what I hope is* inspiration.

If you're a teacher and you have some other stores to include, write them in the comments! 
(If you have tips for your gotta-have-'em basics, save them for the comments section of tomorrow's post.) I tried to cover a lot here, but I'm sure I forgot a few things. I'll need your help to fill in the holes of my Swiss cheese brain.

If you want me to include a photo of one of your favorite teacher outfits (from your blog--you don't have to be a teacher; it can just be a teacher-worthy outfit), e-mail the picture and post link to me! If enough people send me pictures, I'll create a post solely for inspiration from fellow teachers. 
E-mail me at:

I hope this post was at least mildly useful.
Let me know if there is anything else you'd like to read in the series.
After all, I AM a teacher, which means I like to help :)