Hot for Teacher – Rockabilly Style at Work

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Renee asks:

Hi Sandra!

PinupTeacher.jpgI just stumbled across your blog on Google. Anyway, I was very intrigued when I read the 5 things about you because I am going to start teaching this fall and am concerned about my love of vintage and rockabilly fashions in such a conservative place. I have tattoos, but I have figured out ways to cover them, but it’s the clothes themselves that are stumping me. I can find plenty of after work clothes, but clothes that are “teacher-looking” enough yet still retain some sense of my love of vintage/rockabilly are soooo hard to find. What kinds of stores did you shop at as a teacher or did you dress one way at work and another after work? I’m really for advice from someone who has been there/done that! How far did you let your fashion take you or did the job dictate for you a more conservative look? I hope to hear any advice or stories you would like to share.
Renee

Hi Renee.
Oh this is such a good question! Thanks for contacting me. When I first started out teaching about 7 years ago, I looked a lot more Rockabilly. The rockabilly boys and girls at a high school I taught at were perplexed that a teacher could relate to their style. I don’t necessarily wear vintage everyday, but definitely vintage inspired and I always try to wear some kind of vintage accessory. I love vintage above all else.
My suggestion would be to wear vintage inspired clothing: cute cardigans, A line skirts, 3/4 length sleeve tops, capri pants. I always wear comfy heels or adorable flats and mary janes. I’ve even worn the comfort/orthopedic kind because they are perfect for teachers who have to stand most of the day (and some don’t look as matronly as they once did).
I wouldn’t suggest patriotic rolls in my hair, but maybe wear some hair combs or a cute headband. Think cute 40s and 50s versus pin up. And yes! Keep those tattoos covered! But don’t worry, there are many of us living the double life.
Good places to shop: Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft, Old Navy, thrifts, Marshalls. I love shopping online too. Shopstyle.com and Reddressshoppe.com are a good ones also.
The trick is not to give up too much of your personal style, but still fit in with “normal” society. But the reality is that as long as you are not a distraction or showing skin inappropriately, principals won’t care what you wear. Most of them anyway.
As a personal preference, I don’t think it’s appropriate to look costumey at work, no matter what your field. But that’s just my personal taste.
Good luck Renee! Teachers are a blessing to this world. Even though the public education system can be a pain in the rear, the kids are what makes me come back.

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13 comments

1 boardincali { 07.25.08 at 3:39 pm }

Well I don’t think that the school should be so conservative. Freedom of expression should be encouraged, especially by example from teachers. i learned the most from my AP English Lit teacher who dreesed anything but “typical.” Out of all my teachers, i still remember him the most! so who craes if you look rockabilly, even better! But no visible tatts lol
http://www.motodanica.com

2 tony andrews { 07.28.08 at 1:00 pm }

I think dressing appropriately and conservatively can be good since a lot of teenagers at high school are just starting to reach puberty. It saves you a lot of trouble later on.

3 BarkingDogShoes { 07.30.08 at 2:54 pm }

Great post Sandra!

4 retro shoes { 08.10.08 at 8:09 pm }

thanks for the list of places to shop. maybe you can write a post dedicated to this? thanks!

5 Chris Hiedseck { 09.25.08 at 7:36 pm }

Do really teachers need to dress formally. I read some of the article about teaching but some of them where not dress formally.they always put in there mind is to teach there student.
___________________________________
http://www.work-at-home-parents.org

6 Chris Hiedseck { 09.25.08 at 7:38 pm }

Do really teachers need to dress formally. I read some of the article about teaching but some of them where not dress formally.They always put in there mind is to teach there student.
___________________________________
http://www.work-at-home-parents.org

7 Chris Hiedseck { 09.25.08 at 7:39 pm }

Do really teachers need to dress formally. I read some of the article about teaching but some of them where not dress formally.They always put in there mind is to teach there student.
___________________________________
http://www.work-at-home-parents.org

8 Chris Hiedseck { 09.25.08 at 8:56 pm }

Do really teachers have to dress formally it doesn’t make sens for me.If the teacher really love her work why she has to dress formally inst the most important.Is to teach the children right?
___________________________________
http://www.work-at-home-parents.org
We are happy!!!

9 Chris Hiedseck { 09.25.08 at 8:57 pm }

Do really teachers have to dress formally it doesn’t make sens for me.If the teacher really love her work why she has to dress formally inst the most important.Is to teach the children right?
___________________________________
http://www.work-at-home-parents.org
We are happy!!!

10 Sandra { 09.27.08 at 9:55 am }

Hi Chris-
Teaching does come first, but children and staff should be able to perceive you as someone they can trust and feel comfortable with. I don’t like to feel this way outside of work because I know many people who are good citizens, and highly intelligent that have tattoos and pink hair.
But we still have certain expectations of the people who teach our kids, so it is best to be comfortable but approachable.

11 Jessica Rogers { 02.25.09 at 5:17 pm }

That was great advice, Sandra– I think you nailed the concept of finding the balance between who you are and what is needed in your role at work. I teach in a middle school and most of us dress rather casually and in clothes that reveal our individual senses of style. The kids love being able to relate to us in that way. Still, I know we all feel most comfortable when everyone keeps their look professional, even if it’s still casual and showing personal style. Great advice to blend your own collection with items that might be vintage-inspired and interesting but also read as comfortable and approachable to the kids/parents.
Best!
Jessica Rogers
6th grade teacher and owner of Sakura Rose Boutique
http://www.sakurarose.com

12 Sandra { 02.25.09 at 6:28 pm }

Hi Jessica! It’s so cool that you are a teacher too! How do we manage to work with kids all day and still have time to have a business on the side? When I first started teaching, I definitely looked like one of the kids. As I grew in my career and started getting noticed, I was more aware of my wardrobe and sacrificed really creative styling for work. Cest la vie! Thanks for stopping by. Off to see your site…

13 Subculture Clothes Versus Workaday Wardrobe | Ever So Scrumptious { 03.06.13 at 12:33 am }

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