Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Total frivolity on professional appearance

I have a deep and inexplicable fear of "teacher clothes." You know the kind, the awful red-black-white holiday sweaters, the GAP/American Eagle/A&F-infused (and thus bland) business casual. These things just aren't me. Although at one point in time, I was guilty of the polo-shirt-khakis-keds uniform of millennium soccer mom set.

But I woke up, thanks to the wonders of H&M and Zara, but mostly to Style Bubble for opening my eyes to a whole new world of fashion. One where you don't have to look like anyone else on the street. One where you can wear what you like, and be comfortable in it, even when people look at you funny. Now, I'm not as brave, nor do I have the coinage to lay down, as Susie. But I like to think I've progressed from those old days of Dockers and button-downs.

Does wearing nice, fun clothes make me a better teacher? Perhaps not. Do students respect me more because of my dress? Maybe, but can't be proven. Am I thought of as more professional because of my clothes? Well, I like to think it's an outward display of my character, but that doesn't mean other people will translate it to what I mean. Or even notice.

I do get a little tired of the "express yourself through what you wear" line sometimes. And I don't purposefully put together a theme or anything like that through what I wear. But I do want to wear what I like, and not be limited to the confines of other people's opinion of me. Other people being my students, my colleagues, and the education world in general.

Of course I still follow the no-cleavage, in front or behind, no-shorts/skirt hems higher than my fingertips when my arms are at my sides. And I'm not skilled enough with wearing high heeled shoes to try them for any full school day (ouch). But those aren't things that I would choose outside of the classroom anyway, so it's not big stretch.


Hedgetoad said...

I too have feared the themed sweater... but as a high school teacher, it is a little easier to get around wearing them. However, I have to say that due to our weather and the heating issue (rather, lack thereof), by Oct. my school uniform becomes slacks in black or brown, turtle neck and fleece pull-over. Even my shoes are bland...

I always start the out the year with the best of intentions, but by October I'm back in the "uniform".

bun2bon said...

Story of my life. Hey, nothing wrong with the uniform. I actually like uniforms. But just because it's a uniform, doesn't mean it can't inspire as well.