When you’re first starting out as a teacher, you’re pretty much broke. And yet, you have to build an entire professional wardrobe in a matter of weeks before starting your new job. You want to build a professional look and you want to save money so what’s a new teacher to do? The answer? Build a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is a 10-item wardrobe that allows you to build a wealth of outfits. Although you start with 10 basic items, you can add additional pieces as your budget allows. Here’s how it works:
- Choose a base color. Pick a neutral like black, brown, navy, khaki, or grey for your foundation pieces like pants, skirts, or jackets. Try to choose a color that won’t show stains easily.
- Choose your accent colors: Select one or two shades that go with your base colors and that flatter you. Again, try to choose shades that will hide stains.
- Plan to dress in layers: Classrooms can be cold one minute and hot the next. Pick items that can layer well. The added benefit is that the more you layer, the more outfit options you have.
- Mix and match: Everything in your capsule wardrobe should be able to go with everything else.
- Choose classic styles: You want your capsule wardrobe to last so don’t choose anything that is too trendy or that stands out too much. Otherwise, your students and colleagues will notice every time you wear that zebra print skirt.
- Make sure it fits: You don’t want to be squeezing out of your tops or giving your students a great view of your underwear every time you bend over. So make sure that every item fits well, covers your underwear, and isn’t too tight or revealing. Choose fabrics with a bit of stretch which will be more forgiving for minor weight fluctuations.
- Choose washable fabrics: Teaching can be a messy job. With only 10 items, you won’t have time to go to the dry cleaners every few days. Instead, choose fabrics that can be washed at home.
- Make sure it feels good: Choose clothes that flatter your figure, and that you can move in. Since these clothes will form the basis of your wardrobe, you want to feel confident and comfortable.
- Accessories make the difference: You can get a lot more mileage out of your capsule wardrobe by changing up a belt, adding a t-shirt to the mix, or choosing different shoes. Look at what you already have and get creative to keep from getting bored.
- Above all else, look professional: You don’t want to dress like your students. Instead, try to look polished, professional and adult. That means when in doubt, go for the more conservative look
Here is an example of a capsule wardrobe and 40 different outfits you can get from it. Day 1 – 1+4 Day 2 – 2+6 Day 3 – 3+5+9 Day 4 – 7+10 Day 5 – 9+4 Day 6 – 2+5 Day 7 – 1+6 Day 8 – 3+10 Day 9 – 1+6+7 Day 10 – 2+4+8 Day 11 – 9+5 Day 12 – 7+6 Day 13 – 1+10 Day 14 – 3+4+9 Day 15 – 2+4 Day 16 – 4+7 Day 17 – 2+10 Day 18 – 3+6+9 Day 19 – 1+4+9 Day 20 – 2+5 Day 21 – 3+4+8 Day 22 – 2+6+9 Day 23 – 1+5+7 Day 24 – 3+6 Day 25 — 10 Day 26 – 1+4+7 Day 26 – 9+6 Day 28 – 3+4 Day 29 – 5+7 Day 30 – 2+6+8 Day 31 – 1+5+9 Day 32 – 2+4+7 Day 33 – 8+10 Day 34 – 1+6+9 Day 35 – 1+4+8 Day 36 – 2+6+7 Day 37 – 9+10 Day 38 – 1+5+8 Day 39 – 1+5 Day 40 – 2+4+9 We want to know… What’s your goto wardrobe advice for the fall (and men, we especially want to hear from you!!!) Share your suggestions below.