Outfits Lately: Back to School

Greetings from the beginning of the school year. I am not ready to be busy again but it feels amazing to have a place to go and a reason to get dressed! Here’s what I wore for the first week of classes for some good old fashion professor style.

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My Online Back to School Capsule Wardrobe

Now is usually the time of year I start to feel the want for fall clothing. The back to college vibes always get me–yes, even as a professor–and I feel the need to make some teaching wardrobe upgrades. But this year is different for everyone, and I’ll be teaching online through the fall semester. So instead of upgrading my wardrobe, I’ve decided to downgrade it to 34 items. I hope this capsule wardrobe will reduce decisions and keep me comfortable for days of online class prep and a few visits to my office. Here is my early fall capsule wardrobe!

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My Starter Teacher Wardrobe: 10 items that mix and match for new teachers and professors

I get this question about once a year from someone who is either about to start teaching as a new professor or a graduate school teaching assistant–what should be on my list of clothing for starting out as a teacher, especially if I’m starting from scratch on professional clothes? I know many of us are not in a spot to spend on clothing right now, but I so love thinking of mix and match outfits and business clothing capsule wardrobes–and chances are you already own some of these items. So, here are my 10 items I would suggest for starting out as a new teacher, linked for those on a budget and those interested in investing in some ethical clothing!

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Beginning of December outfits + reading

I am currently enjoying what we in dissertation-land call draft purgatory. You know, where you have sent a draft of something to your advisor, and they haven’t given you comments back yet. So you do nothing. For like a week.

Usually I love draft purgatory. But I have a lot on my mind right now, job market-wise, and have definitely learned over the last month that research is your only form of agency on the job market. You can’t control the jobs. The only thing you can do is try to graduate.

Anyway. Here’s what I’ve been wearing lately.

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Shiny mules: These are the exclamation point on all my outfits now! $22 at Target. Another great source of styling inspo is Natalie Borton, who is rocking gold mules!

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Remixing Fall Clothes

The Fall 10×10 has ended and here’s a recap of what I wore…

During a 10×10, you take 10 items of clothing (including shoes) and remix them into 10 different outfits over the course of 10 days. It’s a great way to try wearing old favorites in new ways. Here were my picks again:

I ended up pretty happy with my selection, which included 2 shirts, 1 dress, 1 jacket, 1 sweater, 2 pairs of pants, 1 skirt, and 2 pairs of shoes (I don’t usually include basics so I used a couple t-shirts as layers as well). I also got a new pair of leopard loafers of Poshmark halfway through the challenge so I threw them in too, as a way to figure out how to style them (they’re old Madewell but Madewell’s current version is here). See how I styled my 10 selections below.

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How I figured out my personal style in grad school

When I arrived at my MA program, I had a lot of clothes, and liked clothes, but was also one of those people who never felt “pulled together,” and especially not in a way that looked effortless. Fortunately, I had a habit of stress reading blogs. And I soon found capsule wardrobe bloggers. Through their influence, I figured out that my problem might actually be too many clothes, going in too many directions. So I started doing a couple of things to find the direction in my style. 

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Bags for grad students

Thanks to @yikesbutmakeitfashion who asked for a bag round-up for grad school ❤ Here are my current favorite workhorse bags….

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Let’s start with what I’m currently using, the Everlane twill zip tote. This tote is $48, has a ZIPPER, and it has held up super well–no strap damage or loose stitching. Cons: It doesn’t have any shape so any bulges caused by throwing your whole life in there will show. Other options below.

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