Today's feature female worker is AppGirl from Musings on the Mountain. Her blog was a recent find for me--and I have since devoured her archives like a stalker (in a nice, admiring way). She is absolutely adorable--and her style is incredibly down to earth--she makes it seem so effortless! Sometimes, I think she has "my style" more than I do. (ha!)
Hi everyone! I'm AppGal from the blog Musings on the Mountain. My little corner of the blog world is focused on showcasing my frump-free teacher style in the form of (somewhat) daily outfits of the day, but I also like to throw in fitting room reviews, healthy living stuff like recipes and workouts, and good books I've read, and other random musings that pop into my head. Thanks to Whitney for featuring me; I hope you will stop on by and say hello! Now to the questions...
I teach high school English at a public high school. I just finished my 7th year, 4th year at my current school. I'm excited about year #8! I've taught every grade from 9-12 at least once, but my "specialty" (if there is such a thing in high school teaching) is American and British literature, which is 11th and 12th grade. I love, love, love teaching these particular classes; unfortunately, what I teach is completely up to the administration from year to year. I am crossing my fingers for a great class schedule next year!
2. Do you have a dress code? How does that define how you dress to work?
Our teacher dress code states for us to dress "professionally" and at least adhere to the student dress code (no hems above mid-thigh, spaghetti strap tops, etc). On special occasions, our principal will allow us to wear jeans on Friday, but this is not a weekly occurrence. I feel like I take the word "professionally" a little differently than do my colleagues, and I usually dress "up" on a daily basis. It's not that my colleagues dress badly, they are just more casual than I'd like to present myself at my job. There are some who show up to work wearing knit pants, t-shirts, and flip-flops. When I started my teaching career, I tried to dress maturely and professionally to set myself apart from the students I oftentimes got confused with. Even though I look older now, I still like to present myself as extremely professional; it's rare that you will find me in a casual outfit at work.
3. What challenges do you face (from your job) in terms of style?
The biggest challenge at my job is the feedback I get from colleagues about how I dress. It has gotten better recently, but I used to get comments every single day about how I "wear a new outfit every day" or how I "must have a 100 different pairs of shoes" or "why are you so dressed up? Special occasion?" It is really frustrating to get these passive-aggressive comments from people I work with because it's not like I do the same thing to them about their lack of fashion sense or any of their other life decisions. We all have something that makes us feel more confident at our jobs, whether it is swipe of red lipstick, a kick-ass portfolio, a fierce outfit, or a highly organized classroom. I think they have gotten used to it, and I am trying to no longer encourage or tolerate these types of comments. Hopefully it will stop being a problem! (If you're interested, you can read a more detailed rant of this issue on my blog here!)
Another challenge is more on a comfort level. I wear heels pretty much every day because they make me feel confident, powerful, and let's face it...taller than the senior boys I teach! I also have really weird feet that end up hurting when I wear flats, so heels are actually a better choice for me. However, I AM human after all, and they still hurt after 6+ hours of standing up all day! I meet this challenge by keeping a pair of fold-up slippers in my office for emergencies. I have been known to pad around in them during my planning period or at lunch to give my feet a break!
4. What are your closet staples?
I've really narrowed down my style in the last year and have started to notice a trend in what I reach for on a daily basis. Here are some things I could not live without:
-Pencil skirts: just a few short years ago, I didn't own a single pencil skirt because I just knew that the shape wouldn't work on my body (without even trying them on). I forget why I decided to try one, but I ordered one from J.Crew and on that day, my life was changed forever. I don't even want to count how many I own, but I live in them during the school year.
-Blazers: Another wardrobe staple that is a recent discovery for me. I find that they're a great way to put some "oomph" into an otherwise casual outfit.
-Cardigans: Similar to the blazer, cardis are a great way for me to add something to an outfit. They're also a great way to protect myself from the crazy heating and AC at my school. You just never know what the temps are going to be when you get there!
-COLOR! I know this isn't technically a piece of my wardrobe, but I love playing around with different and fun color combinations in my outfits. They really have a way of brightening my mood. Anyone who's ever worn a bright yellow dress on a dreary day can, I'm sure, attest to this! I also like to think that it helps my students pay attention to the lesson I'm teaching...haaa!
-Prints: I'm just going to go ahead and put this out there because you're going to notice it anyway in my pictures...I like a good print, okay? And yeah, I *might* be a wee bit obsessed with polka dots. I find that prints vs. solid colors, for me anyway, really make an outfit more interesting and exciting. I love finding ways to incorporate the prints I have with fun colors. I've even started experimenting with pattern-mixing lately.
That's all! Again, thanks to Whitney for allowing me to share a little piece of myself with you.
Be sure to stop by and say hi!