Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wardrobe for a Working Mama


I know fall is almost here because a) Target is selling school supplies, b) it's weirdly cool in the mornings, and c) Pinterest is blowing up with back-to-school crafts. I've spent a few days prepping my classroom and I'm feeling mentally ready to head back to work.  Physically, however, I'm in a bit of a pickle.

I've been pregnant for the last two years.  When I went back to work after having Milo, I was only in the building for two months before becoming pregnant again.  This means that I never stopped wearing maternity clothes.  Since 2011.  I also haven't had a full year in the classroom since the 2010-2011 school year, when I taught kindergarten and had a completely different life.  I'm going to back to school +2 kids, up 50-60 pounds, with a budget that includes minivan payments and daycare for two.  I have literally not a scrap of professional clothing that fits me, and I have a stronger-than-usual desire to prove myself, coming back to the full-time game with a new administration and some new programs.  I want to dress for success.

I've been spending a lot of time browsing plus-sized clothes sites to gather up some well-fitting staples.  Pinterest didn't exist the last time I cared in any way about dressing myself, so that's been a resource I really love.  I've found a few real-life fashion blogs that have given me some outfit ideas (Hems for Her is my favorite, because I think we have similar body types) and some trendy brands are offering plus sizes.  With reviews, you can really get a feel for the fit and quality of almost anything you throw in your cart.  And a lot of places are offering free returns.  

I made this vision board using Polyvore, which is a cool site that lets you put together outfits from their database or using clothes you found on the web.  It's like an outfit Pinterest.  I'm definitely buying the denim skirt, black pants, and polka dot cardigan.  I know I want some bright tops and at least one feminine skirt.  I'm giving myself some rules that should have always been rules: zero absolutely zero flip flops, Friday jeans outfits need to have a sweater or cardigan to take it up a notch, and spend money on a few comfortable things you can wear to death.  I'm also planning to take stock of my necklace situation (they're beyond useless to accessorize with when you spend your days with infants and toddlers) and get my second holes pierced in my ears.  Painted nails and a haircut will take me the rest of way.

Any tips for dressing to work in an elementary school?  For feeling like yourself when your body has been a factory farm for children over the past few years?  I'm feeling excited to spend a little time and money making myself presentable. I'll take some pictures of my working mama style as the year progresses!

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