This post is coming a week late, but it’s a perfect example of my Friday mantra: comfortable and casual. Last Friday I wore my comfiest pair of black pants from Forever 21. You could do yoga and bike to work in these babies even though they are high waisted and marketed as jeans. My new thing this school year are clothes that trend towards the “athleisure” look. I hate that word, and it reminds me of 20 somethings in makeup wearing Lululemon and spotless Nikes while they shop at Whole Foods for prepared meals (I’m so judge-y, I’m sorry, not sorry). But here we are – I am one of them now. I shop at Athleta, I’m technically wearing a workout shirt here, and I now own more than a few pairs of Nikes. I draw the line at Lululemon though….for now.
Every time I see these jeans in my pants drawer, I think about trying to recreate this image with what I have. It just looks so relaxed but chic with the clogs, and white linen-but-ruffly top. When I see an outfit like this, I picture some ridiculously cool 30 something mom with a chubby little baby and a cool minimalist but impeccably designed and decorated Spanish villa style house in LA somewhere. Definitely not me in any way. I think I ended up looking more like the adult-kiddie version with my new favorite hair accessory, the snap hair clips in pastels. Also, a kid said to me, “Miss, I like your pockets!” #winning
It was bound to happen one day. Most days I am inadvertently matching with a fellow teacher. Today, I went to the door to let in my AP Bio class, and there was my outfit, on another person, a student. Obviously I had to ask her for a quick photo, and her permission to post this online. I really don’t mind matching with her though because she is so darn cool looking 😉
shirt: uniqlo (on both) – jeans: levis (unknown on her) – shoes: birkenstocks and vans
School is officially in session! The first week is coming to a close and I’m just now getting around to posting about the first days of school. It’s always hard to break back into the teaching routine every fall. I’m exhausted by the end of the teaching day and my body feels like it’s been run over by a truck by the time I get home (after a HIIT or spin class after school as well). I’m sure I look like a zombie walking out of the building every afternoon, it’s so hard to be “on” as an introvert after such a relaxing summer of being “off”.
It’s been a great week so far though. I have a fantastic group of kids this year, for real. I know I say this every year, but these kids are so freaking awesome this year in both Physics and AP Bio. I’m very excited, as cliche as it sounds. We did labs these past 2 days and I was blown away by the thinking these kids were doing. So much creativity and insight, I’m really going to have to ramp things up this year! I’m also super thankful to be able to teach the same subjects for a second year in a row. It’s big, because it means I can actually improve my lessons from year to year instead of constantly running just to keep up. Now I will finally have the luxury to think about how to make lessons more exciting, how to build independence in learning, and how to really work at developing critical thinking and analytical thinking skills in science.
Anyways, this is what I picked for the first days. The first day is 9th grade only, so I did not have classes ’til the second day when my 11th and 12th graders showed up. My tank is not new here at all (I’ve had it for over 6 years!), but pretty much everything else is. My pants are the Everlane Straight Leg Crops and they’re really good for everyday use even though I got them in a size too small. A woman at the SF store told me they stretch out a lot, but I should have known not to go that small as I generally prefer looser pants now a days. I normally wear a size 8 and these are a size 4! But still considering I went 2 sizes down, they’re really stretchy and still super comfortable even sitting down.
The shoes are my new favorite sandals, the Mohinders Woven Slides. These sandals were my best shoes of summer by far – super comfortable, versatile, and ethically made, which is something I’m trying to learn towards more and more. I’m eyeballing getting a pair of their woven flats, but I can’t justify another pair of shoes just yet. These were a gift from B via Huckberry last December, so hint hint on the shoes!
These earrings though…a co-worker stopped me in the morning and said I was really upping the earring game this year. I secretly pumped my fist Napoleon Dynamite style when she was out of sight. I have my good friend Sara to thank for them, as she made them herself! They’ve inspired me to start a ceramics class this November!
earrings: a sara boeck original – tank: madewell – pants: everlane – shoes: mohinders – watch: fitbit
That second day, the air conditioning was not functioning very well, and I sweat through my dress every period with the nervous type of sweat. I’m sure you can all relate. The dress (and sandals) you have all seen before. It’s such a great spring/summer work dress that I have one in Navy also. Good to know it can handle sweaty pits without showing the sweat stains too badly!
Summer has come and gone, seemingly in a heart beat. This year B and I did not do any international travel, so I theoretically I had plenty of time to just lounge around. Never seems to work out that way though right? What I did do was work in the garden, camped three times, traveled to SF twice, spent some time in DC with the family, and took a quick trip to NYC! Phew! I am forever grateful to have 2 months off every year to decompress from the school year. I don’t think I would ever last if we didn’t.
Yesterday was our first day back to school for a week (and a day – we started on a FRIDAY) of meetings, planning, and set up time. Students show up right after. This means I’m going to get good use out of my closet again. I’ve essentially been living in my Nike shorts and a tank all summer! There have been a few new additions to my closet for this coming school year – first of which is a new school bag. I end up changing up my school bag pretty often. In BK I used my Freitag tote for 2 years, then started switching every year here in Denver. I guess I’m just always on the search for the perfect school bag. I need something that can protect my laptop from drippy coffee thermoses, water bottles, and can haul my lunch without crushing it, all while being cute and gentle on my back. I don’t have far to walk ever (car to classroom), but as I’ve gotten older my back is more sensitive to weirdly balanced weights. The truth is though, I’m just a sucker for cute bags.
This year’s bag is an Osprey one I picked up at the Summer Outdoor Retailer Conference in Denver back in June. B and I worked for our friend’s coffee company Bivouac pouring cups at the event. This means of course that I got to go and check out all the new stuff coming out soon by all the Outdoor brands. Not many booths were selling things, but Osprey were on the first day. This bag is set to come out in Spring 2020 (I think), and it’s called the Arcane Totepack. I jumped on the chance to buy one as soon as I saw it (they sold a second style too, which of course I also bought because I couldn’t choose). Currently, they have something similar, but definitely not as cool. This one is a roll top style with an internal laptop sleeve which means I can just open and dump stuff in without fumbling around with a zipper that accidentally unzips as I load. There are padded backpack straps that can be disconnected and tucked into the bag, as well as tote style handles that also can be tucked in out of sight. The fabric is a soft brushed matte material that doesn’t seems to collect hair, but does collect dust a bit. The tote handles are a seat-belt material that is soft on the hands. So far this bag has been on a 11 day trip with me from SF to DC to NYC, and I’ve used it one day for school. I really like it! The pink bunny charm is an extra cute thing I added for fun.
Welcome to the Over Analysis. In this series, I go over an item in great detail – positives and negatives. Sometimes I spend way too much time going over small ridiculous details about clothes, skincare, makeup, anything else most people consider shallow. This series can be about as deep as a puddle, so enjoy!
This past winter I became increasingly interested in functional, durable work apparel. I was diving deep into the hipster horticulturalist/potter/shop girl look and was quickly getting obsessed. So for Christmas, I asked B to get me a pair of Carhartt overalls. He laughed at me and said “For what? What kind of work do you think you do?” I wanted them for working in the garden, but to be honest I really wanted them for the aesthetics. B and I are always out working in the garden, especially in summer. We grow heaps of vegetables, maintain a few fruit trees, and we just like to keep our garden neat and clean with beautiful perennials and annuals. I wanted something rugged I could wear everyday and not worry about scraping up my knees kneeling in the mulch. Most importantly though, I wanted something that would keep my butt crack in check when I’m bending over weeding – overalls!
Ever since I got my overalls, I started noticing how cute work pants were for everyday. I did a bunch of browsing through Carhartt’s website, but wanted something a bit more everyday and less cowboy. I picked up a pair of Topo Design’s Chore pants when I found them sale at a local shop, but they fit terribly on my curvy body. Then I spied these pants at REI when they first released their spring items in March. The Trailsmith pants were exactly what I was looking for so I snatched them up the moment they had a $20 off for members coupon come through. I’ve been wearing these pants regularly since then and I can honestly say I have no regrets. If they made them in other colors, I’d get a second pair.
From the REI site: “Like your favorite work jeans but better, the women’s REI Co-op Trailsmith pants have added stretch, durability and mobility so you can build a deck, boulder or shoot pool in comfort.“
I really like the look of these pants. The brown color is reminiscent of Carhartt brown, sticking with the work pants vibe. The thighs are double layered to below the knees, again giving them the work pants/duck pants look. The fabric is thick, warm, and rugged without being too scratchy and stiff. The front pockets are deep enough to fit my whole hand ensuring my lip balm will have a hard time falling out. The back packets are large enough to fit my phone in them without worry that the phone will hook on something. The length is long enough so the can be worn as pants, but can be cuffed to flash some ankle while still looking proportional. The waist is fairly high which I absolutely love to help balance out my long torso. I wanted something specifically with a high waist, helping bridge the aesthetic gap between real work pants and everyday fashion-y pants.
The downsides: the fabric doesn’t really stretch even though REI claims you can boulder in them. They also shrunk a bit in the dryer – or maybe I’ve gained a few pounds since purchasing them – but they have softened up a bit. The fabric is durable, but after only about 10 wears and 3 washes, there are faded (patina?) areas at the zipper fly and along the seams.
All in all, I love these pants and it seems like many others do too according to the reviews on REI’s site (though there are mixed feelings about the high waist). I chuckled a bit reading through the reviews and what people wear them for…”I’m a petite archeologist!” and “I work outdoors in swamps and mud”. I’m busy wearing them to work inside a classroom, and to the brewery!
sweater: uniqlo – shirt: mont bell – pants: rei – shoes: vans
I know there are plenty of teachers (people) out there who might look at my classroom fashion choices, and think “that’s not appropriate for a teacher to wear in front of kids/teenagers”. I have heard that I shouldn’t wear skinny jeans to work because they’re not professional. I have also heard that I shouldn’t show my shoulders at work because it’s too much skin. Frankly, I don’t really care what other people think is appropriate or not because I have already set my own boundaries in terms of what not to wear to school. I won’t wear anything short (one or two inches above the knee is where I draw the line), I won’t wear spaghetti strap tops, and I won’t wear leggings on a teaching day (non-student contact days though, I might). There are very vague guidelines for a dress code of sorts in our district. I can’t even find anything that states an official dress code other than “Attire must not disrupt the school’s learning environment.”
I find that the later in the school year it is, the more lax I get with my attire. In September, I’ll wear a lot of dresses, and nicer clothes. In May, I’m in jeans almost everyday and the arms come out. This past week I wore what many other teachers might consider too “risky” or inappropriate. There were holes in my jeans. My top was sleeveless, though I wouldn’t personally call it a tank top. The top has an open back where a tiny bit of skin peeks out. I think if I worked in a private school, this outfit would have been a no-go. If I worked in a more conservative district/area/state, my outfit on this day maybe would have been outright scandalous. But thankfully I work where I do and no one says a thing to me about what I’m wearing other than, “miss, you look cute today!” Also, I think these jeans make my butt look good. I bought them last weekend at Banana Republic and they are so very comfortable. I’ve worn them 4 times this past week and I have them on today (Saturday) too. Highly recommend you check them out! They are a bit mom jeans-ish and many sizes are sold out online. They are cheaper in store anyway, so I’d recommend you try and find them in person.
So here is a question for everyone reading: do you think these items are appropriate for a teacher or not?
jeans with holes/distressed denim
tops with open backs
skirts/dresses that are above the knee
top: j.crew – jeans: banana republic – shoes: sven clogs