professionalism,  teacher inspiration,  teaching life

The best clothes for preschool teachers

Teaching preschool is not an easy job.  While I absolutely love my students, they can drain me emotionally and physically, and they wreak havoc on my wardrobe!  Washable paint is not always washable, and more often than not, I really have no idea where that stain came from or what it is – and sometimes it’s better not to know. I’m really lucky because I’m allowed to wear jeans to work – we’re expected to be participating in activities with the children, which often means on the floor, or outside making messes, so it is expected that we will get dirty.  Thank goodness that this is understood, but this means I also go through a lot of jeans.

I’ve always tried to find the best deals on my clothes, but this is especially true for my school outfits. I don’t want to spend a ton of money on something if the possibility of it getting ruined is very high.  I put this post together to show you some of my favorite school pieces (read: I wear these at least once a week), and to highlight the stores that I love to shop at – because I can get the best deals!

1.  Target – I love Target’s clothing because it is super affordable, but still very cute.  Their pieces are classic with a trendy twist.  I spent the summer in a navy blue Mossimo T-shirt dress, and I intend to wear it through the fall with a cardigan. I just bought a gray sweatshirt dress, and have nearly worn it out because it is so perfect. It is cute and comfortable, it can be casual, or I can dress it up, and it was only $20 (BTW, the dress looks REALLY short in the photo, but I’m not nearly as tall as that model…).

2. Gap Outlet.  Again with the classics.  I fell in love with Gap in high school, and it has had a place in my closet ever since.  Rarely can I afford to splurge on anything in the regular store, my secret weapon is the Gap Outlet.  My favorite pieces from the Gap are cardigans – theirs are perfect, the colors change often and with the season, so it is easy to keep my look fresh. They are also on sale a lot, and can be washed a ton of times without showing a ton of wear.  I also found my favorite chambray shirt dress at the Gap Outlet.  I think that I love this dress because it makes me feel very nostalgic. I was in preschool in the early 90’s, I’m pretty sure that all of my preschool teachers owned a chambray dress or shirt of some kind, so it just feels right to wear this to school.  The Gap is also my favorite place to buy leggings (and yoga pants, but that isn’t the point of this post).  I like their leggings because they are heavy and they have a wide waistband, plus they are super soft.

3. LC Lauren Conrad at Kohls. I’ve loved Lauren’s style since she first showed it off on The Hills, so the fact that I can buy her pieces at Kohls is just about the best thing ever.  If the Gap Outlet and Target keep me in the basics, then this line keeps my look on trend.  The trick to getting these pieces for the lowest price is knowing when to buy.  It’s best if you can wait until they go on clearance, but sometimes that means that your size isn’t available.  The LC line releases new collections every month, so after about two months in the store the pieces are usually at their best price.  And then there’s always the elusive 30% off coupon. If I can get my hands on one of those then I am definitely using it on something from this line.  My favorites are her sweaters.  They wash and hold their shape really well, and generally combine a classic shape with a trendy element such as an embellishment or popular color.  I also wear LC Jeans religiously, the slim bootcut is the perfect fit, and the black version can pass for a dress pant if necessary.
These are a few of my favorite stores because they have cute clothes and policies that help me get the most for my money. All three offer rewards for loyal customers, and Kohls and the Gap Outlet will let you combine coupons and discounts for even more savings.  These stores have allowed me to look and feel professional without breaking the bank.  Check back later this week because I’ll be giving you tips for staying clean among all of those messes, and talking about how to maintain a level of professionalism amongst the runny noses, sensory table messes, and play dough under your fingernails!
[This post was not sponsored by any of the above retailers, I just love them and wanted to share!]

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