In one week my life is going to change dramatically. After nine years of teaching high school, I will once again become a student. I’m beginning a doctoral program and will also be teaching a couple classes at the university. This new path will alter just about everything in my life — my career, my budget, my sleep patterns, even my wardrobe.
In the past, my teacher look was mostly business: tailored trousers, dresses and skirts (except for the newspaper and yearbook club t-shirts for Spirit Fridays). I wore a lot of heels, mostly because adding a few inches to my 5-foot-4 frame made me feel a little more authoritative. But now that my days will largely be spent sitting in class as a student or studying, I need to rethink my style to something a bit more practical. Nothing sounds more uncomfortable than sitting in a three-hour class in a pencil skirt or traipsing a half-mile across campus in patent leather pumps. But because I will still be teaching, I can’t totally turn to jeans and a t-shirt. So I’ve begun to focus on acquiring pieces that are appropriate for both roles, which means mostly skinny cords and ankle-length pants I can wear with flats. And if I want to get a little more formal when I’m teaching, I’ll opt for comfortable shift dresses and a shorter heel. I also plan to grow my collection of blazers to add a bit of bookish sophistication to all my outfits. Speaking of classroom chic, no look would be complete without my new Warby Parker Fitz eyeglasses. I upgraded my prescription just in time to tackle the hundreds of pages I’ll be reading each week!
I won’t exactly be a starving student, but my shopping budget will have take a considerable hit in my new life. Fortunately, several kindhearted retailers offer discounts to students (and teachers) that I can take advantage of. I will also continue to watch for special email and Facebook offers and sale opportunities from my favorite stores. These cash-saving tips should help me build a sensible and stylish wardrobe that will take me from student to teacher and back again with ease.
Style Notes: Pim+Larkin The Brigid Dress via Piperlime $62.50 (fall sale price) / LOFT Leopard Print Belt $39.50 / LOFT Animal Print Faye Bow Heels $79.50 / Warby Parker Fitz Eyeglasses $95 /Michael Kors Large Layton Chronograph Watch $250 / Madewell Silk Peplum Top $98 / J. Crew Toothpick Cord in Cabernet $98 / Madewell Artdot Blazer $138 / Capwell+Co Rose Gold Collar Necklace $68 / Madewell Suede Sidewalk Skimmer $98