It's been a really long time since I've taken time to blog, but with a snow day today and a delayed opening for tomorrow, I thought I'd take a minute to post something. No promises that this will happen again any time in the near future. :)
I'm posting a variation of my winter teacher uniform: a skirt, a sweater (with probably a shirt underneath), tights and boots. I'm a big fan of brightly colored skirts, and I usually just pair them with a neutral of some kind. In this case, I chose a striped sweater. This one is the best because it combines my love of stripes and my love of tops with animals on them.
Not surprisingly, I put a chambray shirt underneath. I got this one from an Express sale a while ago, and it's perfect for layering because it's really thin. It is on the short side though, so it doesn't work too well if you want to tuck it in or want it to show at the bottom of the sweater.
I would normally wear my new oxfords, but this was a rainy, gross day, so I wore my Tom's boots to keep my feet warm and cozy.
I love outfits like this because each piece can be mixed and matched with so many different things, but they come together easily. Especially in the cold, dark winter morning, it's so nice to be able to grab a skirt, a sweater, and a chambray shirt and be done.
The skirt was a winter break purchase, but the rest of these items are a bit old. I'm putting in some links to similar items.
The first skirt is the sidewalk skirt that J.Crew sells every season. It comes in a ton of colors. The second option might not work for school depending on your height, but it is the same color as mine. The final option is the pencil skirt that J. Crew also sells every season in different colors. Since it's the end of winter, they aren't really selling corduroy, but these might give you some spring options.
Here are a few sweater options. All three would go with a mix of skirts, pants, or jeans.
And here are a few boot options! And below is the link to the Express shirt.
So, here are some winter weather teacher tips:
1. Have mix-and-match items so you can easily get dressed on sleepy mornings.
2. Remember that colorful skirts can work really well as long as there are a few neutral tops in your wardrobe.
3. I'm not really sure that every item in your closet is going to "spark joy", but when possible, it's nice to have a sweater or top that really makes you smile on a day that you might be a bit worn out from the school year.
Since it's Friday, I thought I would share my outfit and talk about a few of my favorite things--layering and wedges...and tech-free back-up lesson plans.
Today was one of those fun days when the teaching forces smiled on me. I had a lesson planned and the slideshow created on Drive, and then, as I was getting ready, I thought, "Wait! No! I want to do this other thing!" And as I was drying my hair, I planned out something completely different that I thought would do a better job of getting my students thinking about the complex relationships in the book. The good news is that this new lesson plan only required butcher paper, markers and a quick sketch on the board. When I got to school and realized that, because of the delayed opening we would only have about 45 minutes per class and, because of the power outage that had happened that morning we didn't have internet, I was really glad I had reworked my lesson. As a teacher, it seems that at least once a year, a force beyond your control completely screws up your brilliant lesson. Sometimes it's the internet, sometimes it's the copiers, sometimes it's a fire drill. But just know it's going to happen, and that's okay. But also, know that it's okay to go low tech--group work with butcher paper isn't a bad lesson. Giving kids index cards and having them write down things they want to talk about from the book isn't a bad idea. Having kids take time to find a meaningful passage from the reading and having them share/discuss isn't an unproductive day. If anything has been made clear to me through 10+years of teaching, it's that it really helps to have a few structures that you can fall back on even if everything you were planning falls apart...or if you just feel like your students need a day to put their interests in the center of the lesson.
And, as luck would have it, my "Hey! Wait a minute!" lesson went really well, gave me a quick assessment on how well my students are analyzing the characters in the book, and gave me some important insight into what I want to discuss in depth next class period. It doesn't always work out that well, but today it did. So I'm taking the little victory.
Along with my love of a good butcher paper in groups lesson, I also wore two of my favorite style choices today: wedges and layers.
I love, maybe more than I should, a collared shirt under a sweater. I HATE putting on those layers, but once they're on and the shuffling of collars and cuffs and shirt tails is all done, I like how cozy it is, and I like the way it looks. I will say that I'm careful about what I pair those layers with. I typically do skinny jeans and a girly shoe just because I'm still trying to overcome the ghosts of bad fashion past in that I wore WAY TOO many sweatshirts with turtlenecks and baggy jeans when I was a kid, so any time I wear a bulky sweater with a shirt underneath I'm super aware of wanting the rest of my outfit to be as far from my terrible childhood fashion sense as possible.
Today's outfit is brought to you by my attempt to buy a black and white flannel shirt and then realizing instantly that the shirt was navy, and realizing after looking at the shirt in multiple lights and comparing it to multiple other things, that the shirt is also a light cream. This meant I grabbed the first navy sweater I found in my closet that didn't have white in it. And that's how an outfit comes together in my world. This sweater was one that I bought maybe 3 or 4 years ago to go with a specific skirt, and now I have no idea which skirt that is. How sad, I guess. And it actually looks kinda awful on my body type when I wear it by itself, so the collard shirt gives it a less frumpy look.
Either way, here are a few options for sweaters and shirts you might want to layer. Here's the link to the flannel--it comes in lots 'o colors. And here and here are the links to the sweaters.
So, my other favorite thing is to pair the layers with fitted jeans and wedges. Maybe I have weird feet, but, for me, wedges offer me the best chance of having happy feet all day while wearing shoes that make me feel a bit more dressed up. Somehow, in my mind, if I'm wearing heels of any form, I feel more dressed up. These wedges are a few years old, and I feel like a real grown-up every time I wear them, so I wear them pretty often. I couldn't find an exact match, so I'm linking to approximately a million options in the hopes that if you are looking for some comfy winter shoes, you might find a great pair here.
In order of appearance, here is a pair from Lucky.
Then here's an option from TOMS.
Then there's this pair from Franco Sarto.
And here's one from Ralph Lauren.
And here's one from Crown Vintage.
And here's a last option from Carlos.
The jeans are from Lucky, and I'm still deciding how I feel about them. I really like the color and the detail and the way they look, but I'm realizing that I'm not sure Lucky makes jeans for people with my proportions. It seems that their target audience might have thinner legs and a bit less in the backside. But I'm hoping I'm wrong, because I really like their stuff. Either way, I like this pair I got SUPER on sale. I still like the ones from Gap best of all, but I wanted the jeans to be more fitted to balance out the bulk of the layers on top. So there you have it.
Okay--I'm off to bed in the hopes of getting up early and being a responsible gym member.
Today is another glorious day of winter break, so I thought I'd post an outfit from my first full day of winter break (last Thursday). I flew home immediately after school on our last day, so I got to wake up at my parents' house and fully enjoy a day with them, in my hometown, enjoying some of my favorite local stores and my absolute favorite tea shop. It was pretty delightful.
I think winter break is one of those times when a teacher must think about what they really need and make it work for them. I know some friends that love spending every minute of their break with family and friends that they don't get to see much during the school year and I have other friends that really need these days to re-energize after being surrounded by students for months. I think it's really important for teachers to know themselves and do what works for them. It's really easy to spend the all-too-short break making sure that you do all the things that you think others are expecting of you and end up not getting the rest you need or get the things on your to do list completed and go back to school just as wiped out as you were before the break. I still struggle with this, and it's always a balancing issue for me. I want to make sure that I spend plenty of time with the people I love and don't get to see often, but I also have to take some time to tackle tasks that take a bit more time than I have during an average school week.
But on to the outfit...I decided to bring home a few new tops I had purchased during J. Crew's big post-Thanksgiving sale and this top was one of my favorites. As I mentioned in my last post, I'm a bit excited about the '90s coming back. This may be because I see this as a do-over for all of my horrible fashion choices in high school, or...well..yeah--that's the only real explanation. Either way, when I saw this top, I thought it would be something fun and different. Maybe it's just me, but my winter wardrobe can get a bit boring with a constant string of sweaters and/or button-down shirts, and any time I can throw in something different, I'm going to go for it. I also like that it's not super fitted and is a peplum design. As soon as I put this one in my digital cart, I started thinking about all of the ways I could dress it up for work or dress it down for a Friday night. I was definitely thinking of the '90s grunge-ish look and knew I wanted to pair it with a denim jacket and grey or black jeans. I'm looking forward to seeing what it looks like with a blazer or cardigan for work. It might be a bust, but we'll find out. Here's the link to this shirt. It comes in a few other colors as well.
I'm a teacher looking to help other teachers feel confident and comfortable in their classrooms.