I have been so busy this summer. I have traveled to different states to speak about STEM, early literacy, and behavior management as well as I hosted my first professional development workshops. You can check them out here. That said, I am starting to think about the school year, and I am starting with the fun stuff, back-to-school clothes. In 2018 I made a back-to-school style guide for preschool teachers, and it was a massive hit, so I decided to put together another for new teachers or teachers like me who need to get some new teacher clothes this summer for back-to-school.
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First of all, I have some strict criteria for my teacher clothes:
- Must be washable
- They must be budget-friendly because sometimes washable paint is not exactly washable and as teachers we are all on budgets.
- It must be stylish but not too trendy, I want to get a few years of use out of every piece.
- They must have pockets whenever possible.
- Must be roomy or flexible enough for me to sit crisscross applesauce, climb on the playground equipment, and go through the tunnel without ripping. But not too roomy, especially pants, we can’t have them ride down and show more than I want to show at preschool.
- Must look professional ( yes, I realize I just said I’d be climbing through tunnels, but that IS professional when you teach preschool, which is why I think it’s the best job ever).
Ready? Here is what I have found for me and some clothes that won’t work for me but will be rad for other teachers!
A cute, washable dress for meet the teacher night, but that can be used during the year too! In the winter, I’ll add some thick tights and a sweater.
Cardigans are a must for my teacher wardrobe. I wear longer ones like this one all year round, in fact I leave one at preschool.
I wear shorter cardigans with dressier tank tops and pants like the ones below. I wore this everywhere I went this past year. It is my go to!
I buy my sleeveless blouses all over the place, Amazon and Nordstrom Rack are probably my favorite places, but for this style guide for preschool teachers, I found these all on Amazon. I love tie blouses because I find jewelry hard to wear to school, so the detail of the bow really takes that spot. Pop them under a cardigan with some black pants, and you are professional and comfortable for preschool. Take the cardigan off, add heels, and you are ready for dinner and drinks. <– I’m guessing because I’ve never actually tested this out. After preschool I go home and binge-watch K-dramas.
Basic pants with pockets, and they don’t even have to be black because they come in a bunch of colors. Pants with pockets are pretty much my go-to. I am short, so ankle length works perfectly with flats. I know some of you teach in heels; I bow down to you and look up to you, literally because it’s flats every day for me.
I love wide-leg pants, too, because I am ALWAYS cold. I can wear tights and socks under them and stay warm even when we are on the playground. I don’t think I’d pair it with that top at preschool, though!
I love popping crew neck sweaters over blouses like this for a polished look! Amazon Essentials light crewneck sweater is my favorite and it’s budget friendly.
I love this style of shirt for teaching because toddlers who have just discovered opening buttons have been known to open buttons in in-opportune places. Shirts like these are professional and keep everything covered even when little hands get in the way.
Like I said, I wear flats. I wore these shoes all around London, Paris, and Nice last Spring and will be rocking them this school year. These are inexpensive, and if I buy half a size up, I can pop in good insoles like Superfeet for great support all day long.
Don’t Shop In The Women’s Section? I got you covered!
I know that there are many teachers out there who don’t hit up the women’s department for clothes. I’ve got you covered in this style guide for teachers. Male teachers and teachers who identify as gender non-conforming or non-binary need cute clothes too. We all need back-to-school clothes that fit the criteria, and there is so much more out there than just what’s in the women’s department.
More cardigans – channel your inner Mr. Rogers, and go for it.
Comfy pants – with pockets, of course. Actually, I think this whole outfit is perfect for preschool! I think I have actually worn this to school – check me out in Instagram pretty close right?
Snazzy shoes. I wore shoes almost exactly like these every day when I taught Prek in St.Louis. This color goes with every pant color too, so yay!
Adorable bowties, possibly with dinosaurs. I can’t pull this off, but I wish I could. If you wear a bowtie to school can you please send me a picture, I really love bowties!
Button-down shirts that don’t need ironing to go with your dinosaur bowtie? Yes, please!
Adorable book-themed socks!
What are you planning for your back-to-school clothes?