Well, I have nearly been at my school a week and I am pleased to say that I am becoming more confident and comfortable with the school every day. What I have noticed however, is the issue of clothes. Before I started the school and during my time on placement, I bought lots of work wear. I like to dress smart- I am a teacher after all now- but more importantly, I like to have that definite separation between work wear and non-work wear. I like to get dressed at a weekend and feel like ‘me’. I don’t like to wear my best clothes to work, or go to a bar with my friends and wear a dress that I wore to school last week. I think you feel different when you have ‘work’ clothes and ‘normal’ clothes. Plus, I want to look different when I’m not in work!
My clothes have been suitable in all my previous schools. I felt like a proper adult finally. My heels clop when I walk. And it felt great putting jeans and leggings on at the weekend. My new clothes, however, are not suitable for my new job. It is casual central. But more annoyingly than that- it is fashion central. The females are all young (and pretty) and on my first day I felt like a frumpy office worker in my smart black trousers, ballet pumps and shirt. The females were swanning around in outfits that I would have worn going to a fancy restaurant with the girls. There were leopard print fitted midi dresses, bright flowing maxi dresses and out fits put together from next month’s Vogue. Never have I felt so uncomfortable or out of date in my work clothes before. I’m a teacher, I shouldn’t be worrying about my outfit, but as a female, unfortunately we are judged by other females by the way we dress.
The other problem is the casualness of the staff. Jeans isn’t unusual, one teacher was wearing trainers today (trendy, fashionable, not-for-the-gym ones no less) and with the absolute boiling weather this week, I have seen two TAs in towelling shorts- and yes they were short. While one girl wears outfits similar to what I wore when I went on holiday to Ibiza. Don’t get me wrong, the outfits are not unprofessional. They look good, there are no cleavages or bra straps on show and even the shorts look great with smart loafers and high neck blouses. They are just so casual and trendy and now when I look at all my dark shift dresses from Next, I realise I need to reassess my wardrobe. Especially in this hot weather.
I wore a new maxi dress yesterday that I had bought as a going out skirt. I fitted in with everyone else, but I couldn’t help feeling as though the shine had been taken off the skirt as it had crossed over to ‘work wear.’ So I wore a lovely, linen dress from Per Una today. I felt a little over dressed at first. All the other teachers commented on the dress, but I felt better for it and will definitely stick to a more watered down version of my work clothes. My sister said if I wore my shift dresses from now then everyone would just know that it was my style and it wouldn’t be an issue when I start in September. My mum said I shouldn’t lower my standards, and just because everyone was dressing casual, I should still dress in my usual smart attire. My dad said ‘haven’t you got more important things to worry about, than your bloody wardrobe?’
He’s got a point.