Six outfit tips for the fashionable teacher
Whether you’re gearing up to complete your teacher training or have been teaching classes for some time, the good news is that there’s no reason for teachers to abandon their personal fashion style when it comes to school. In fact, staying true to yourself, and embracing your personal, unique fashion sense can be a great way to keep you sane under a mountain of lesson planning and class preparation. If you’re stuck for ideas when it comes to what to wear for work as a teacher or trainee teacher, we’ve got some practical yet stylish fashion tips that you might find useful. Stay approachable, professional – and of course, comfortable – while still maintaining a style that is “you”.
Start with the basics
If you’re just starting a job at a new school after completing SEN teacher training then first of all, check if the school offers a dress code or a suggested outfit list for teachers. If this is the case, you’ll probably be offered a list of very basic clothing suggestions – these will become staples that form the foundation of your stylish teaching wardrobe.
Being able to reuse various basic items is important for most teachers, so stick to trousers and skirts in neutral colours; making them more versatile and giving you the option to completely transform an outfit by simply changing your top, shirt, blouse or jacket. Neutral colours like brown, black, grey and navy blue are all excellent options. You can do the same with button-down shirts and dresses, too. Don’t be afraid to buy a few of the same items so that you’ve got less laundry to do during the week! Then pick out some items in bright colours or interesting patterns that you can use to create unique outfits.
Personalise with accessories
Once you’ve got the base wardrobe covered, it’s time to think about picking up a range of accessories that you can use to really personalise your teacher wardrobe and make your outfits your own. An interesting necklace or a brightly patterned scarf can add a whole lot of extra style to an otherwise neutral and plain outfit, but be careful when choosing accessories – if you work with young children, try to avoid anything that could end up hurting you if pulled on.
Don’t be afraid to have some fun with your accessories, either – themed earrings, for example, can be fun to wear and will really entertain your kids in class around the festive season. And both practical and stylish, a watch is a must-have fashion accessory for not only looking good but making sure that you get to classes on time.
Stay comfortable on your feet
As a teacher, you’ll be spending a large portion of your day on your feet, giving lessons and carrying out your other daily tasks. So, when it comes to your footwear, don’t just think about being fashionable – be kind to your feet by investing in a high-quality pair of supportive shoes. If you’re struggling to find shoes that fit correctly then it’s definitely worth investing in professional fitting; this will help you better understand what kind of shoes you should be buying for your particular foot shape and instep.
Sneakers can be a good option for teachers but bear in mind that they may not be allowed in some schools’ dress codes, and depending on your personal style, they might not be as fashionable as your outfit. Flat shoes with rubber soles offer extra support and come in a wide range of styles, making them suitable for pairing with just about anything.
Of course, it’s always important to be sensible with the clothes that you choose to wear for work. If you’re surrounded by young primary school students all day who’ve got glue and paint all over their hands, investing in a cute, fashionable teacher wardrobe that’s only going to get destroyed by stains would be annoying. On the other hand, if you teach high school students you can probably get away with wearing some nicer pieces.
Of course, you can still dress well – just be more mindful of the materials that you choose when you shop for clothes for work; opt for wash-and-wear clothes that stains are going to wash out of easily. And avoid buying any clothes that come with complicated care requirements; don’t end up wasting time taking work clothes to the dry cleaner or hand washing them when you’ve got homework to mark!
Look for teacher discounts
If you’ve got a school ID then you might be eligible for discounts at a range of high street clothing brands. Or if you’re currently in teacher training at university, you can certainly use your student ID to get discounts at a range of stores both online and offline – Missguided, Boohoo, New Look, ASOS, Urban Outfitters and Miss Selfridge all offer discounts through the UNIDAYS app, while you can often get discounts in store at other popular names like H&M, Topshop, and Zara.
Stick to what you know
A day at work is probably not the best time to try out a new outfit idea that you’re unsure of – the last thing that you want is to feel uncomfortable all day long! Or, if you want to be a trendy, fashionable teacher but aren’t sure where to start, stick with some tried-and-true outfit combinations like dress pants with a button-down shirt and blazer, paired with flats or dress sneakers. Or, match a long dress or tunic with tights or leggings and wear comfy flats or boots to finish the look. On casual days, dark-coloured jeans with a nice top, blouse or dress shirt is usually a great and easy combination to wear.
Teachers might have a reputation for not being the most fashionable of people – but you’re about to change that. Whether you’re an experienced or a newly qualified teacher, these fashionable tips are a great way to feel fabulous about yourself at work and stay true to your personal style while remaining professional.
The editorial unit