Every day, teachers stand for several hours in front of a very critical audience: their pupils. They can see at a glance whether their teacher’s outfit is right or not. Stephanie Grupe is the “fashion whisperer” and has been giving women tips for many years on how to present their own type well – even at school.
Every Sunday they write about fashion in their blog and are among the most successful over 40 bloggers in Germany. There’s also a separate article on outfits for teachers. How did you come to turn to this professional group?
I didn’t explicitly intend to do that. At some point, I noticed that teachers kept asking me if I could give them tips for the right clothes for everyday school life. They wanted to avoid dressing up, but still radiate professionalism through their clothing; they wanted respect.
What do custom suits have to do with respect?
A lot – and more than you think. Many people don’t realize that clothing appropriate to the situation positively supports their own professionalism, while unsuitable clothing works against them. Through appropriate clothing, a teacher expresses appreciation and consideration for students and shows that she is aware of her role as a role model. I can see from the many letters that teachers are very concerned about what to wear. They ask themselves: Are the jeans too tight? Is the blouse detail too wide? Can you see sweat stains in my armpit when I write something on the blackboard? How comfortable can a pair of trousers be so that I can bend down well without it appearing formless?
Teens are also a very critical audience
Oh, yeah! Children and teenagers scan immediately whether a teacher is suitably dressed, whether she looks old-fashioned or comes to school too trendy. I know from the teachers among my readers that they are addressed directly to a new hairstyle, new shoes, a new piece of jewelry and generally to their clothing style.
Let’s imagine that a teacher, let’s call her Julia, has the first day in a new school in front of her tomorrow: What should she get ready for in the evening?
If she prefers the androgynous business style, she can combine a shirt blouse or blouse top with fabric trousers made of suit fabric, for example. On top, she wears a blazer or a short jacket, and like shoes, for example, pumps with block heels or lace-up shoes in men’s style. If Julia wants to look more feminine but still stay in the business style, then a pencil or A-line skirt with stretch, a sheath dress or a wrap dress that doesn’t open, or a shirt blouse dress fits.
What if she’s the casual clothing type?
There is a fine line between casual-comfortable and careless. Especially when Julia wants to be friendly, yet professional, accessible, yet respectable, youthful, yet adult, and modern but not fashionable, the balancing act can be difficult. But she could, for example, combine a T-shirt made of a solid fabric or a thin sweater with a blouson and wear it with a dark jeans skirt or dark jeans. A robust, high-quality leather belt underlines the casual touch. The matching shoes would be ballerinas with firm soles, sneakers, but not from the sports department, or well-maintained sailing shoes. While in business style the jewelry should be rather discreet, necklaces or earrings may attract attention – they should only not jingle, that distracts in class.
In a nutshell, this means that every teacher should think carefully about how she wants to look with her clothes and not leave this to chance, right?
Yes, a teacher always makes a statement with her clothes, whether she wants to or not. The choice of fabrics, cuts, colors, accessories says a lot about a person and their attitude. Teachers have to pay attention to optimal freedom of movement, but should always be able to maintain their posture. The secret lies in high-quality fabrics that are flexible or with stretch components and wrinkle as little as possible. Posture is also emphasized by teachers when the shoulder area is well worked out and fits perfectly. A well-fitting blazer always helps to stage the teacher as a person of respect.
What teachers should not wear
No Walle dresses, no wild colorful patterns – and if so, then only in a single element of clothing – no transparent fabrics, no wide or deep necklines, no too short skirts; and overall, even in summer, not showing too much skin. All oversize elements should only be used discreetly and should not be