Be fancy and frump-free in the classroom without breaking the rules.
Simplify. Buy washable fabrics. Polyester, rayon and spandex blend fabrics resemble wool, yet they’re machine-washable. “Keep in mind polyester has really evolved from days gone by,” said Sara Rogers, trend specialist for the Mall of America. “It’s a strong, resilient fabric and in tops it drapes like silk yet it is generally machine-washable and doesn’t break the bank.”
Wear clothes that fit. For men, try fitted blazers, vests and pants for a trendier look. For women, avoid low-cut tops so you don’t reveal too much when bending over. Also avoid low-rise pants for obvious reasons.
Dress in color. Black-and-white is a classic combination and monochromatic dressing makes a strong statement. Wear three colors together (metals count, too) to look more stylish and pulled together. Wear four colors together for extra credit. The best part? Color camouflages crayons, glue, markers and playground dirt. Guys can add color and pattern with shirts, ties, even shoelaces.
Layer up. Layers are practical and stylish. Make your favorite summer blouse appropriate for school by adding a cardigan or blazer. “Anytime you wear one more layer of clothing — meaning a vest, a blazer, a tie — it gives your outfit more authority,” said Amy Lindquist, an image consultant who helps teachers build their wardrobes.
Don’t forget your feet. Comfort is a priority. High heels are usually impractical (with all the walking, bending, kneeling, etc.), but if you prefer a heel, a wedge is ideal. It’s feminine and pairs nicely with pants and dresses, plus makes you look taller than your students.
Have fun. Highlight your personality: scarves, jewelry, ties, belts, and even socks, can take your look from drab to fab.