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Back To School: Teacher Capsule Wardrobe

August 24, 2020

By:

Erin Schrader

Hi ho, hi ho — back to school we go [ish]. While this year may look a little different than most, one thing remains the same – for all of you teachers out there, one way or another you’re most likely going to have to get dressed to some degree to start teaching all of your students for another year back in session. Whether you’re talking through a computer screen or back in action in person, you deserve to look [and feel] great in your teacher wardrobe! We thought it would be fun to put a spin on our traditional capsule wardrobes and create one that is teacher specific. Think fun colors, comfortable fits and shoes that yes, you can stand to stand in all.day.long. We have big hearts for our teachers here at LIY [my mom was a teacher for 35+ years with other moms of the LIY team still in the school systems]! Providing just a small amount of outfit inspiration for the year ahead is the least we can do.

If you’re not familiar with what capsule wardrobes are, allow me to explain quickly.

WHAT IS A CAPSULE WARDROBE?

If you aren’t familiar with what a capsule wardrobe is, I’ll quickly explain – a capsule wardrobe is where you take several pieces (15-20) that all work together within your wardrobe to interchange and get creative with. The point behind a capsule wardrobe is to minimize the number of items you have on hand while maximizing the number of ways you can wear each piece. From a creativity standpoint, it’s awesome – a capsule wardrobe will force you to be more intentional about making sure all items work together in multiple ways, which really will make you feel like you have a closet full of options with just a few pieces! This not only creates a lot less headache and time in the morning when deciding what to wear but also saves you money as well. I think we can agree that we like saving on all of the above.

HOW TO BUILD A CAPSULE WARDROBE

For our teacher capsule wardrobe, we went with a color scheme of yellow, navy, white and green that balance each other out well and can work well for the season we’re in while transitioning to fall with zero problems. For this capsule, we included four bottoms that are super versatile [and comfortable], eight tops to mix and match with ’em, one lightweight summer dress, and 4 pairs of shoes that are suitable for all day wear. With just 17 items we were able to come up with 40+ different looks for both work and play. Curious what pieces we chose for our capsule? Here you have em’!

MEET THE PIECES IN THE TEACHER CAPSULE WARDROBE

TOPS:

Relaxed Linen-Blend Sweater • Banana Republic [fit tip: true to size, wearing in small] I’m a sucker for a linen-blend sweater this time of year and this one was perfect for pairing with all of our bottoms. The v-neck isn’t too low so showing any ounce of cleavage isn’t an issue here.

Pleated Yoke Knit Top • Halogen [size down if in between, wearing in small but could have done XS] This classic navy short sleeve top is dressy enough to wear alone and looks very professional while remaining flowy and comfortable.

Classic Ponte-Knit Blazer for Women [true to size, wearing in small] Put the word ponte on anything and you know it’s good. If you’re unfamiliar, this fabric provides ultimate stretch and is awesome for all day wear. I love that it looks super polished while feeling like you’re kinda in your favorite sweatshirt.

Relaxed Boat-Neck Sweater for Women [true to size, wearing in small] The minute I spotted this sweater online I knew it was a good one. One thing to note: you will need to wear a cami under this while at school as it does have sheerness in between the stitching. Nice and lightweight and can work in or outside of school.

Tie-Sleeve Top • Gap [true to size, wearing in small] Why wear a basic tee when you can have one with a twist [or at least a tie!?] That little detail adds just enough to be able to call this tee work friendly.

Short Sleeve Round Neck Satin T-Shirt [true to size, wearing in small] A little satin goes a long way. I love the sheen that this cutie brings to the party [or at least the classroom].

Short Shawl-Collar Open-Front Sweater [true to size, wearing in small] If you’re school is anything like my old cubicle, it’s often freezing. Insert this cardigan. The perfect lightweight piece to layer over these tops to warm up a bit!

Smocked-Neck Floral-Print Gauze Blouse [true to size, wearing in small] How fun is this little floral cutie?! I love bringing in a fun pattern to cheer up anybody’s day! The little ruffle sleeve detail is fun and again – cleavage free zone!

The Dress:

Wrap dress • J.Crew [true to size, wearing in small] It can be hard to find flattering dresses that you feel great in but that are conservative enough to wear around a group of students. I love the length of this and that you have some control over how tight you want to wrap it!

The Bottoms:

Kate Kasin Women’s High Waist Pleated A-Line Swing Skirt [true to size, wearing in small] When I spotted this skirt on Amazon and all of the positive reviews, I knew it was a worth a try. I’m so glad I did! It is fully lined, a great midi length and I love the flattering pleats.

Crop Wide Leg Jeans • JEN7 by 7 For All Mankind [true to size] Did somebody say casual Friday?! We did and we highly recommend these jeans to keep things fashion forward in the classroom. I love the wide leg [but not overwhelming wide leg] and cropped length.

Curvy Skinny Ankle Pants • Gap [true to size] We all love the classic skinny pant to get us through work and this pair is no exception. It’s nice and stretchy and this green color is so fun for fall!

All-New Mid-Rise Pixie Straight-Leg Ankle Pants [true to size] Last but not least in the bottoms department, you can always count on the Old Navy Pixie pant for a great option for the work place. If you prefer a straight leg vs skinny option, this is the pant for you!

The Shoes:

Clemens Espadrille Wedge Sandal • Franco Sarto [true to size] Because teachers can wear fun shoes too. These wedges are great because they don’t have a high heel height and are all sorts of comfortable + versatile!

Steve Madden Feather Loafer Flat [size up .5] If flats are your personal pick, I love the look for these loafer flats. Thanks to their pointy toe they look less ballet like and more fashion forward. This light tan color can be worn with just about any outfit which makes them a no-brainer.

Hazel Pointed Toe Pump • Sam Edelman [true to size] While some teachers may opt out of heels, I say if you want to rock ’em, go for it. These heels are hands down the most comfortable I’ve ever tried [and believe me. we’ve tried a lot].  I’m obsessed with them in this navy suede and as you’ll see below, they can be worn with nearly every outfit we put together!

CC Corso Como Women’s Brianka [true to size] If walking on air was possible, it would feel very similar to wearing these sandals. I couldn’t get over just how lightweight and comfortable these are. They offer so much cushion and are so cute at the same time. A big win!

Accessories:

Old Navy Face Masks Last but certainly not least, the accessory every teacher will be rocking this year — the face mask. If you want to keep your fashion in check, I highly recommend getting your hands on some of these fun Old Navy options that have prints and colors that will match any of your outfits! Here is the pack that I bought to coordinate with the capsule wardrobe!

Now, let’s see all of the outfits that we were able to come up with from the above items — we’ll start with these classic navy pants and all of the endless possibilities when it comes to styling them!

Next up – how to style these Curvy Skinny Ankle Pants  in this fall friendly green color!

Casual Friday may have a whole new meaning this year [aka, jeans all day every day thanks to your Zoom calls] and we thought these Crop Wide Leg Jeans added a touch of fun that can be worn outside of your work wardrobe as well!

Can we talk for a second about this Amazon High Waist Pleated A-Line Swing Skirt!? How beautiful is she? It turns out she can easily be dressed for school too.

It’s almost time to wrap this capsule up 😉 Or at least flaunt this oh so cute wrap dress!

Teachers — thank you for all that you do, during normal and very very abnormal times. We are so thankful that you continue to show up for the youth of America to educate, inspire and be a positive support to so many. We couldn’t do it without you. Wishing you a wonderful year, no matter what it may look like!

share this with your best girlfriends:

  1. Marisa Hartling says:

    I love the blazer and pants from Old Navy. So cute and perfect for middle school teachers!

  2. Helen Moore says:

    I like the classic navy pants and the cardigans.

  3. Briana says:

    Love this!! Thank you!! Please consider doing this for ea season! I hate to shop for myself, but want to look cute & put together in the classroom!! And I love how affordable everything is!!????????????????

  4. Kristen says:

    Can you please do one for the fall/winter!

  5. Gloria Gray says:

    You are looking so beautiful. Graet outlooks. Thanks for sharing this informative post.

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