Trendy Teacher in the Summer

I always struggle with my summer-wear…. It is summertime, yes. HOWEVER – I am always in “teacher mode”. Living somewhat close to where my school is located, means that the chances of me running into a student, well, ANYWHERE, is 100%. Just the other night, Matt and I went to dinner and a movie, and sure enough, walking out of the movie I hear “Hey Ms. K!” SO, how do I dress trendy during the summer and still conservatively enough that I feel comfortable if the inevitable run-in with a student happens?

Some don’t care. I, on the other hand, tend to dress more toward the conservative regardless. I don’t like super short shorts (although they are growing on me… yikes!), I don’t like showing a lot of cleavage, and I am not typically drawn to “scandalous” clothing. So where do I shop? That is a question I hear often, during the school year and in our off months. I love the following (and they offer teacher discounts!):

  1. Ann Taylor LOFT (www.loft.com) is my absolute FAVORITE place in the world. They have a “LOFT Loves Teachers” program, which gives you 15% off anytime you shop. Amazeballs!
  2. J.Crew (www.jcrew.com) – I try to hit up the outlet as often as possible. But I am still a sucker for anything J.Crew! Most stores will offer in-store discounts if you show your teacher ID, so don’t go shopping without it! But their clothes are extremely trendy, and also very conservative. I try to go for the 5″ length shorts, and I always feel like I’m covered enough to feel comfortable seeing students outside of school.
  3. Steve Madden (www.stevemadden.com) – where I buy almost 85% of my shoes. The other 15% are heels reserved for fancy outings, and not shoes that I’d wear to work 🙂 But again – teacher discount! Show your Teacher ID! I don’t leave home without it.

I will post some of my summer outfits throughout the summer… do not fear!! But checkout those 3 sites, or go in to the stores, and pretty much anything you choose will make you feel happy, and quite the trendy teacher 🙂

LOFT … LOVE!

Advertisements

Skirts that Work

So I am truly NOT a skirt fan… I wish I was, but my short stature and squatty figure typically don’t lend themselves to a flattering appearance in a skirt. If I find one I like, it almost never fits correctly. But that is the usual with most clothing items! Me and my tailor are BFF’s. However… sometimes at work, I just gotta wear a skirt!

Now because I am such a huge fan of extremely bright colors, I try to stick with that trend regardless of what I am wearing. (I even wear colored jeans on “casual Friday’s”!!) So here are just a couple of pictures of recent “skirt outfits” that I have worn to work. I try to keep the skirt length long but functional, and always make the full outfit something fun to look at. Hey – us drama geeks can get away with crazy outfits and generally no one questions what we’re wearing … comes with the territory, I s’pose! 🙂

Top: J.Crew
Skirt: Express (several years old)
Wedges: Bakers
Belt: Forever21 (came on a different skirt)
Necklace: Nordstrom

Skirt: Forever21
Belt: H&M
T-shirt: J.Crew
Cardigan: Target
Necklace: ModCloth
Shoes: Steve Madden

YIPEE! BRIGHT PANTS!

I truly LOATHE when someone hears that I am a middle school theatre teacher, and immediately puts me into a “category” without ever having met me. And then when they do meet me it’s, “Oh, wait … YOU’RE a middle school theatre teacher?” … YES SIREE BOB! I am a fan of breaking the mold! Been doing it all my life, so why stop now?!

I am a huge fan of BRIGHT PANTS. I love pants, and even better when they come in super bright attention getting colors!! So here are some of my recent outfits that I wear to work (to teach children…. the art of acting and designing for the THEATRE) that include my wide array of colorful pants. They have kind of become my trademark 🙂

And please excuse the iPhone pictures in my classroom full-length mirrors… when you’re at school/around 11-14 yr olds for upwards of 13 hours per day; sometimes that’s all you can come up with!!

Pants: LOFT
Tank: Nordstrom
Belt: H&M
Shoes: Steve Madden
Necklace: Nordstrom

Pants: LOFT
Top: Nordstrom
Cardigan: Target
Shoes: Steve Madden

Pants: Express
White Tank: Nordstrom
Necklace: Nordstrom
Cardigan: Forever21
Shoes: DV Dolce Vita

Pants: J.Crew
Top: Old Navy
Necklace: Nordstrom
Shoes: Sole Society (my fave!)
Belt: Target

Firsts: Innovative Outfits!

As part of my new years resolutions, creating Innovative Outfits fits into about 3 of my goals…

With the wonderful popularity of sites like Pinterest and Polyvore, there is never an excuse for wearing adorable and stylish outfits. However, I promised myself that this year would be the year of my financial success, which has to include cutting back on spending in order to save. And what is the most obvious place to start cutting back? Well, unfortunately for a self-proclaimed fashionista like myself, that place is clothes… and shoes… and sweaters… and SADDNESS!! Right?

WRONG! After spending a sad Sunday flipping through adorable outfits on my Pinterest boards, I started realizing that I have almost every piece of clothing that I saw in some of my favorite outfits! It may not be exactly the same, but close enough to make the outfits work, and to look up-to-date, modern, and fashion forward just by pairing things together that are in my closet, that I never would have thought to. BINGO!!

So in my attempts to make a weekly blog post, I will now be including my outfit inspirations, and the result from my wardrobe. And I challenge everyone who reads this post to do the same! Go through your closet. Toss (or donate!) things you know you’ll never wear again, and then start looking closer at what pieces you have. You’d be amazed at what you can put together to make the most fantastic outfits!

So stay tuned!! Starting this week – I will post my outfits, my inspirations, and where to purchase posted items. I know, I know, I said don’t spend… but sometimes purchasing those classic pieces in the perfect style and fit, means an addition that will last for years! Just don’t go out and purchase that SWEET hot pink feather dress. I promise you will regret it. And sooner than you think… eeek!!

If at first you don’t succeed, make FASHION finance-friendly, like Jenna!

Firsts: An ANTHROPOLOGICAL Discovery!

I will NOT apologize for my ANTHROPOLOGIE obsession. However, the few times I have splurged, I have apologized to my bank account…

NEVER FEAR! RUCHE IS HERE!! I almost don’t want to share, but it’s too good to be true! You have to check this out: Ruche

I am also a huge ModCloth fan. Always will be. They appeal to my love of all things vintage-y. But new finds are fun and exciting 🙂 And this site just gives me goosebumps thinking of all the fun places I want to wear these clothes! You must see it to believe it!

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this outfit!!

Firsts: T-Shirt Scarves!

So I’ve wanted to try this… and wanted to find the EASIEST possible way to make a t-shirt scarf, without any sewing. And here is what I found! Follow along as I make my FIRST t-shirt scarf! *Special shout-out to Matt who was either taking pictures, or holding the scarf steady for me… :)*

STEP ONE: Pick a shirt! I have TONS of t-shirts I never wear, so I figured it was a good project to tackle!

Domino loves crafting, too!

STEP TWO: Cut the shirt from armpit-to-armpit.

STEP THREE: Cut the bottom seam off of the shirt.

STEP FOUR: Start cutting 1″ strips in the shirt, leaving about 1″ at the top. I’ll explain why later!

STEP FIVE: When you’ve cut strips all the way across, you will start pulling the strips to make the longer!

*What I learned here: Don't cut the strips too thin - or they will break during this step!*

STEP SIX: Then you will bunch it all together, using the extra 1″ that you left at the end…

STEP SEVEN: I cut off the sleeve of another shirt, and used it to tie this together. I found a color that I liked with lime green (teal!) so that the overall scarf would be something I’d actually wear…. duh.

STEP EIGHT: You are done! I added a braid in with some of the strands…

And you’ve just made a t-shirt scarf! 3 cheers!! I have lots of shirts left… this literally took me about 10 minutes when I finally figured out what I was doing 🙂 Happy scarf-making!

 

If at FIRST you don’t succeed, check out Jenna’s scarf-making tutorials!

Firsts: Finding Boots That Fit

Boots. It’s a current fashion trend. It’s a trend that I LOVE. However, I have had the most ridiculously difficult time finding boots that fit… See, I have a problem. It’s called Gigantic Calfitis… It’s true. I have big calves. My entire life I have been, shall we say, a “stocky” girl. I’m an athlete, and my muscles don’t disappear! I am short, I am by no means fat, but I am not skinny minnie – which is who these boots are made for. Unless you have calves that are not a comparable size to your equally gigantic thighs – it will be nearly impossible to find boots that fit. And forget tucking your boots into your jeans! It’s just not happening… So I did some research. I have now found 2 pairs of boots that I LOVE, and can wear without suffocating my calves and giving myself muffin top of the knees! That’s not cute on anyone.

Steve Madden: Intyce (retails at $149.95)

When I bought these boots at the Steve Madden store, they were able to add another notch into the buckle. This helped MILLIONS. Did you know that they would do that? Next time you find boots you love with a buckle, but they are just a bit too snug at the top, ask for another notch!

Motorcycle Boots (Frye $218.00 at Belk)

These are not the exact boots that I have, but they are so close it’s scary! Motorcycle boots are rough & tough, and usually made with a wider opening at the top. When you ride a motorcycle, you need to be able to tuck your pants legs into your boots (practicality and style – what more could you ask for?!). And you’ll look like a chick who can kick some ass in these bad boys!

Steve Madden: Prepie (retails at $79.95)

 I’m hoping to get these boots in the VERY near future!

Why I think these will work: they have a wider opening in the top, and a buckle. I can add a notch to the buckle to make the boots a little bit more loose if necessary. I am going to wear my skinny jeans to purchase these, just to make sure I don’t waste money on boots that won’t fit!

My tips for buying boots if you have big calves like me:

  1. Look for a boot with a wider opening in the top. Some come with a cut in the back that also helps make them fit better.
  2. Find a boot with a buckle – and ask to add an extra notch!
  3. Don’t try to cram your lovely legs in to something that you know won’t work. You can follow the trend without looking like you have sausage legs!
  4. Wear the jeans that you will wear with your boots when you go shopping. Then you’ll know FOR SURE if they will work!

I hope that this helps someone! Sometimes you just have to OWN your legs – and realize that they won’t fit into every pair of boots that you want … but just like boys, the right boot is out there!

If at FIRST you don’t succeed, keep up the boot search, like Jenna.

Business Casual … Or Night at The Roxbury?

Recently, my mom has been “trying on” different jobs. The latest was working in a doctor’s office at the front desk. Immediately she felt out of place, as the Office Manager was no older than my younger sister (who is 23), and had zero college education. There was one other woman who was close to my mom’s age, but the other girls were all in their early – mid 20s.

Among other things, what my mom and I discussed most about this experience, was the unimaginable lack of knowledge on how to DRESS PROFESSIONALLY. I consider myself lucky (yes I said it – LUCKY) to have been in a sorority in college. We had to dress a certain way based on the occasion, and we learned very quickly what was and what was not appropriate to wear. I am completely blown away at how young woman dress in the work place.

Being a teacher, I can get away with much more casual business attire. But if you work in an office, you MUST learn to present yourself in a professional way. If you don’t look professional, people will not treat you professional. FACT OF LIFE. I’m not here to judge, but to help… so here are a few outfits that I think are completely business attire appropriate, while still maintaining a youthful mid-20s fashionista flair:

This comes from http://www.LOFT.com - this is my absolute favorite GO-TO site for incredibly cute work attire.

This comes from http://www.JCREW.com ... Now we can't all afford to shop at J.Crew, even though we want to, but you can find amazing knock offs at places like Target and Marshalls.

http://www.modcloth.com -- absolute favorite website in the world! This is trendy, adorable, and still appropriate for the workplace!

I hope that these ideas inspire you to reassess your work place wardrobe… Something I always tell my students: “There is a time and a place, and this is neither the time nor place.” Keep the workplace conservative (yet cute!) and save the spike heels and mini skirts for the weekends.

If at FIRST you don’t succeed – get ideas from Jenna 🙂