I can NOT believe that the school year is just around the corner! Though I would like to continue to believe that my wonderful summer of freedom will last forever, reality says I better start getting ready for school!
When I was a kid, the excitement of the school year started with back to school shopping! New notebooks! New backpacks and pens! Ultimately though, the best part was new clothes for that first day of school! Back to school shopping excitement never ended for me! I love getting new pens, markers, and Post-it notes (any other Post-it note fiends out there?!) for my classroom but it’s the wardrobe that is the most important part.
Wardrobe is important for a teacher. As a 21-year-old first year teacher, I learned that dressing professionally helped my students take me more seriously. It visually set me above students whose age was so close to mine. Now that I’m older, I find I can dress more casually. However, wardrobe, particularly on the first day, sets a tone of professionalism in my classroom.
The following are what I believe are important staple pieces for a professional wardrobe. Each year during back to school shopping I buy one or two investment pieces that will not lose their shape or get worn thin as easily.
Blue blazers can be worn so many different ways (look it up on pinterest!) and a quality one will last for years. My absolute favorite place to shop for quality blazers is the Clearance section of my local Ann Taylor Outlet store. They are still going to be more expensive than Forever21 but not much more (if you get them on sale) and the quality will far surpass what you can find other places.
I bought a white blazer after some Pinterest inspiration and have found that I wear it ALL THE TIME (see one here)! Here are some great options.
The Pencil skirt is a staple of a professional wardrobe. If you have never invested in a good quality pencil skirt, Ann Taylor Outlet is where I bought the best pencil skirt I have ever worn. It’s cut to fit curves (so it doesn’t looked too stretched) and it is long enough for me to wear at school. Since the Outlet items are not online I can’t attach a link for you, but the following options would be good alternatives. Always keep an eye out for sales at Ann Taylor!
Since I already have a good quality black pencil skirt, I will be buying this one (in the pattern) this year!
An important wardrobe piece to invest in is a good pair of comfortable pumps. My first year of teaching I finally found a pair of comfortable black heels and almost choked when I forked over $90 for them!! But they lasted me 5 years and only then started hurting my feet. That’s when I became a believer in buying a good pair of shoes. Keep searching until you find a pair that work for you. I often find mine at Ross, TJMaxx or Nordstrom Rack.
Nude Heels: 1 // 2 (Amazon cheaper in some sizes) // 3 // 4 // 5
Leopard Heels (treat as a neutral too!): 1 // 2 here or here (free returns) // 3 (Great Prices and Free Returns) // 4 (great prices and free returns) // 5 // 6
Black Heels: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6
The three types of tops below are great for many different kinds of layering. They can all be worn alone or layered under blazers, cardigans, sweaters and vests.
Blue Oxford (this one has such a great fit and has long sleeves to fold over the top of a sweater) // White Tunic (from the Nsale – it IS dry clean only and will need to be worn with a tank underneath) // Striped Tunic (in 3 colors, 30% off with code GOODTIMES)
Next week, we’ll look at fall trends for less! In the meantime, happy back to school shopping!
What’s on your back to school shopping list?
Thanks for stopping by!