Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fashion as an Art Teacher

If given the chance, I'd wear something like this everyday. Jeans, t-shirt, hoodie and a pair of chucks. Most of my "kick back" shirts promote the local sports team, or like this one, beer. (The 'V' or peace sign stands for Victory brewing in PA). Definitely can't wear anything like this to school! So when it came to dressing for the MAEA conference, I panicked a little bit. What does a young art teacher wear that looks professional and creative?
On day one, I went with this.
I've felt a little like I am cheating this year, as I tend to wear different colored jeans and variations of t-shirts. My purple jeans above are a perfect example. Paired with boots and a blazer (made out of sweat shirt material!) I feel like I dressed it up a bit and stayed true to what I am most comfortable in. The blazer and black t-shirt are from Target. The sweater and jeans are from Ann Taylor Loft. The boots are a recent bargain found at Marshall's. They are by BOC.

On the second day I assumed others would be a little more casual. I was right, but I would still wear this outfit on any given day teaching. I paired navy cords with heeled booties, a collared shirt and sweater. I love a bargain and picked up the Not Your Daughter's Jeans cords at a local discount shop called Frugal Fannies. The collared Liz Claiborne button down I bought on clearance, per usual, at JCPenny. I wish the sweater from H&M fit a little better, but I made due, rolling the sleeves and folding under the the scoop neck. The scarf is a hand me down from my mom years and years ago... she thought it was ugly and I tend to wear it with everything!

I wore the sweater earlier in the week too, at parent/ teacher conferences. I paired it with a sleeveless dress from H&M, since my room was getting nice and toasty and I anticipated some anxiety perspiration. I threw on a pair of tights and ankle high cowboy boots that I have had since I started teaching, plus a silk scarf that was most likely my mom's in the 80s. 

Looking at these outfits, I guess I keep it together pretty well. When I first started teaching, there were some teachers in the building that still wore pants suits and other wore high heels. I've always tried to be comfortable yet professional. This year it all comes down to comfortable pants and shoes, paired with layers and sweaters in all colors. Seriously, I have red, yellow, green, blue, purple, khaki, black and gray pants, plus sweaters in gray, black, blue, brown, purple and yellow. I have really been enjoying my Dansko clogs and Clarke's wedges in tan and black. Having enough basics that can be interchanged really seem to be the key. I'll just keep trying to play off my jeans!


  1. My state conference is coming soon, and I also give a lot of thought to packing for it. I seem to pack more jewelry and shoes than anything!

    But seriously - this post got me thinking about something I've noticed over the years. When I first attended the conferences early in my teaching career, I loved the fashion. The art teachers were always a funky, bohemian looking sort, with colorful outrageous clothing and it felts so wonderfully artsy. In recent years, it has changed so much. People dress so much more conservatively, I swear they look like they are going to an office desk job, and I feel like the funky artsy vibe is gone. So this old hippie (me) will be packing her comic book shoes or her funky swirl clogs, some homemade earrings and bracelets, and probably will end up in a favorite black sweater when I don't know what else to wear.

    1. I totally agree. Most women were conservative- the art education professors were in blazers and heels! I think that as I get older, I may be more confident to wear more funky clothes. My co-worker always wears purple and I admire her for the patterns and paisleys she tends to wear. Right now I am trying to comfortable and not look like a student.