I am still at the binging Netflix stage of my summer- I just finished Stranger Things- but I am starting to think about the school year, and I am starting with the fun stuff, back to school clothes. Last year 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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I need a lot of new teacher clothes this year because with the help of NOOM I’ve dropped a pant size and then some. You can’t wear pants that are roomy at circle time, that is a recipe for disaster. Like last year 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.
- 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 criss cross applesauce, climb on the playground equipment, and through the tunnel without ripping. Not too roomy, so they 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 a scarf and a cardigan like the ones below.
I love scarfs because I can throw on a shirt with a little paint stain on it and cover it with a scarf and no one knows! Also, when we get closer to winter, I need a scarf out on the playground. I could have put ten different scarves in this style guide for preschool teachers, but I suspect many of you have enough scarves already.
Find this scarf ( and other colors) here
Cardigans are musts for my teacher wardrobe. I wear longer ones like this one with summer dresses and get a few extra months out of the dresses.
I wear shorter cardigans with dressier tank tops and pants like the ones below.
Get the shorter cardigan(and dozens of other colors) here.
I buy my sleeveless blouses all over the place, Jane and Nordstrom Rack are probably my favorite places, but for this style guide for preschool teachers, I found these online. 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, at least not since having my kids.
Find this sleeveless blouse here.
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 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.
Find this shirt ( and other prints) here.
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.
Get these shoes ( in various colors) here
I love this tee-shirt, I don’t know if you have summer playdates or informal meet and greets before school starts but if you do this is the tee-shirt for you.
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.
Find this cardigan in a bunch of colors here
Comfy pants – with pockets, of course. Actually, I think this whole outfit is perfect for preschool!
Find these pants in various colors here
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!
Find these shoes in a few different colors here
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!
Find this dinosaur bowtie and other rad ones like space theme and firetrucks here
Button-down shirts that don’t need ironing to go with your dinosaur bowtie? Yes, please!
Find this shirt in a range of colors here
Adorable book-themed socks!
What are you planning for your back-to-school clothes?
Thank you! I’m a children’s librarian, so these tips are helpful for my workplace too.