Back to School!

The kids in our district will be returning to school in 2 days. This, and the fact that I received a new top from LOFT in the mail, has┬áme really excited! My semester does not start until next Monday and I have no access to my syllabi, so on my day off I think of doing the only other things I can to prepare for school: Organize last semester’s reading material and my wardrobe!

I am so excited about this new wildflower peplum top! It is currently no longer available, but there are other GORGEOUS tops in the same/similar print. I really wish they would have designed the white wildflower top in petite or XXS, but it’s all good…

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So many people, myself included, are looking for inspiration for teaching wardrobes, and as female teachers I think we get really excited about Pinterest and Instagram posts that have darling outfits put together. They have become novelty to me!

Everyone’s district has different guidelines for a dress-code, and every person has their own style and tastes. In my district I have felt a lot of pressure, especially as a future teacher, to dress as professionally as possible. This means bottoms made of suiting material and dressy tops.

Now, you will find plenty of teachers that wear colored denim, khakis, knit maxi skirts, etc., but I know for myself, I will prefer to begin by building a business casual wardrobe, and relax from there… If I so decide. I do love colored denim and boots! Teaching the older grades will have me in less of a fuss to wear comfortable clothes, because I think I will be down on the ground less. Not completely off the ground, but on it less.

So that is my style aim. My next caveat is my body type. I am tiny. Super tiny on top, normal tiny on bottom. I also have limited access to good stores. But I came across LOFT, and they carry tons of petite styles. Almost every one of their pieces comes in petite!

I was a long time Maurice’s shopper. They used to offer great pieces for the office, but as their company is evolving their sizing has gone up slightly, and I can rarely find not only things that are small enough, but tops that have an appropriate neckline or back. Many of their pieces would still be great for the general office, but as a teacher I need more options. That is where LOFT saves me. So many of their tops fit and have higher necklines.

Now, not all of my tops HAVE to “choke” me, but I just have to be a little more prepared when I do where other necklines.

My favorite type of top to wear, I have noticed, is a sleeveless shell.

 

These tops are so versatile for me. They allow me to wear cardigans with out getting too hot and they can be mixed and matched if you are creative! Easily worn with pants or skirts.

The wildflower and sunflower yellow top will get worn most during the first and last of the school year. I tend to wear lots of orange, brown, and black in October and then begin mixing in other fall colors and eventually winter colors.

The next kind of tops that I have are ones with sleeves.

 

I’m trying to add more of this type of shirt to my wardrobe to get away from wearing cardigans most of the time. I’m excited about the possibilities of the black and white top because there are some great colors that it will pair with! Pink, red, yellow, burnt orange…

Next up, sweaters. First, cardigans.

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Ive got a head start on fall AND colors that are a little out of my comfort zone!

Pullovers also exist, but rarely get purchased! I have two more in mind that I want to get!

And the last category… DRESSES! I VERY rarely wear dresses! But I adore the ones that I have purchased, and They do get worn at least once a year.

SO there you have my LOFT collection so far! I’m so happy that this brand is there for me. Their style can seem kind of strange at first, but as I am getting older I can definitely embrace their simplicity.

Now… That can’t be ALL that I own, of course. It’s definitely a good start, but I have a few pieces from other brands that I still LOVE.

Tops come from Maurice’s, JCP, Buckle, and Forever 21. Dress are Angie, Maurice’s x2, JCP, and Forever 21. Cardigans come from JCP, Maurice’s, Buckle, Charlotte Russe, and Forever 21. Some of them I have had for years.

Let’s talk about dress pants! I buy all of mine from Express. Again, one of the few places that makes them small enough for me. But there are two other MORE important traits about their pants.

  1. Slim leg opening. The columnist┬ábarely boots and ankle pant create a slimmer silhouette, and when you are 5’3″ you need that in order to not look short and stumpy!
  2. Tailored and well made. These pants will last if cared for.

Now, it may seem like I am a bit high maintenance when it comes to my clothing, to some. I could definitely be wearing items that are more expensive or less expensive, but these were purchased on sale, and others have been held on to for a long time. I think it also takes time to figure out what works best for you! I invest in Express pants because I know they will flatter and last. I invest in LOFT items because they flatter, are work appropriate, and can be often found on sale at reasonable prices. Don’t ever shop there at normal price, unless it’s something you MUST have and you know it will sell fast. This does happen!

I also will probably not always be able to shop like this, that is why I am trying to build up a wardrobe now. This has also taken all summer! I purchased my first LOFT top in May. I also received a raise in January and my living situation lightened up a lot, so investing in my career has been a rewarding luxury.

One detail about my style, I noticed, is that I do not accessorize much and that is exactly what makes the teacher outfits I see so fun! That is definitely one goal for my wardrobe. In the coming weeks I will not be making many purchases, as I am saving up for a new fitness watch. (I lost my Fitbit!). But here is my brainstorm for my wardrobe:

  1. Tops from Loft (Fall and Outside the Comfort-Zone): Pullover sweaters, basic shells (black, white), cardigans (grey, white, brown)
  2. 3-4 Express dress pants, skinny ankle (hopefully a sale will pop up, they usually do a buy one-get one)
  3. FOOTWEAR: aiming for two pairs black and two pairs brown… undecided on brands
  4. Jewelry: a couple of statement necklaces, a couple that are just nice

If you take a look closely at my wardrobe you can see that there is a good amount of oranges, browns, creams, and blacks. I definitely love to dress up for October, and these colors also work well into November.

I am excited to plan my October outfits. I am hoping to have enough to mix-and-match something unique for every day! So, fall is always on the list as well!

Using each kind of top (shell, cardi, sleeves, etc.) it is easy to diversify your look. I currently do not have many outfits that are fun colors, most of them have a fall look, so building up some other outfits that are outside my comfort-zone has been an exciting challenge!

In the future I hope to share my outfits with you! (And someday I will have a master closet that I hope I can organize and share!)

So how about you? How do you all plan your outfits and wardrobes? What are your favorite places to shop? Do you have a style that you embrace? A style that you try to break away from?

Teacher Proof

This may be one of the most odd posts I ever write, but I think there are several reasons I am doing so.

What happened was: I spilled a drop of foundation on my brand new LOFT top. “Oh, boyyyyy… Who CARES?!” they’re thinking, but let me share a lesson with you all.

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This is the face this top gave me before I realized what had happened. Just sheer joy.

I should not have felt the whirlwind of emotions that I did, but I did! This stuff wasn’t coming out. This had happened to me maybe 8 years before, and one reason I switched to Bare Minerals. I switched to Bare Minerals liquid because of the brown powder mess I was constantly wiping up… Anyway.

When I got home I started treating it with Shout. NOPE.

Treated it with Shout over night. NOPE.

Tried treating it with Clorox 2. NOPE.

I could see just MINIMAL progress, so something in me decided to keep trying.

I did a lot of Googling as well.

I picked up a Tide-2-Go, OXI-MAX, Bleach, Hydrogen Peroxide, even Ammonia… I was desperate and curious.

Tide-2-Go wasn’t working and the marker tip freaked me out that I would scrub it all stretched out. Oxi over night made the most progress I had seen, but came to a halt. Then I got crazy trying the peroxide and ammonia… NOPE!

I had finally lost it… So to try bleach.

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To my surprise it didn’t harm it at all. I started with 1 minute soaks… nothing… 5 min soaks… nothing… FORGET IT! I whipped out the Tide pen again and scrubbed. soaked in bleach and scrubbeddddd. Soaked in bleach and SCRUBBEDDDDDD!

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And it went away!

Almost completely. Only I can really see where it was.

At first there was a strange smudging of the fibers where I had rubbed it so hard, but nothing I didn’t think I couldn’t live with. So I blow dried it and ironed it and even that went away!

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You are asking why I am so obsessed over a tiny little spot at the bottom of the shirt that no one would really even care about… Well for one I had spent $50 on it, it was an important part of a vacation memory, and I had been wearing it for the first time when it happened. AND because I’m a bull in a china shop and it sometimes gets me down that I am so naturally careless, but I think it’s because I am proud of pursuing a remedy rather than settling for a stained shirt that is sub-par or even buying a whole new one.

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The most important thing this shows me is just how resilient this shirt is and that it is definitely teacher approved! Thank you LOFT for designing a shirt that can withstand bleached and being stretched out!

Find clothes that are teacher proof!