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PGCE Wardrobe

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by C_Lowe19, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Ok - time for a post that may seem rather trivial and vain to some people!

    I'm starting to have a good look around for 'teaching' clothes for placement (my first one starts 17th Oct). I'm trying to find a good balance between looking fashionable and still professional and someone to be taken seriously. I've got a couple of pairs of the smart chino style trousers that are around at the moment and I'm thinking of teaming them with various blouses tucked in and cardis and wedges or small heels. Flats are not an option for me at 5'2!!

    I'm probably being far to vain and overthinking it all but in school we all took notice of what teachers wore; I will be doing secondary English. I'm 22 and a mum of a lovely two year old so really don't want to feel frumpy - I also feel much more confindent in my 'trendy' clothes.

    I would also like some advice on tattoos. I have a bow on the front of one ankle so don't want to expose that. I also have one on the back of my neck, making wearing my hair up awkward. Some teachers in my school had them subtly exposed, will each school have their own policy?

    Thanks for taking the time to read what I realise is a post lacking in substance compared do many of the other PGCE worries - but would love to know what others are doing clothes-wise! X
     
  2. Ok - time for a post that may seem rather trivial and vain to some people!

    I'm starting to have a good look around for 'teaching' clothes for placement (my first one starts 17th Oct). I'm trying to find a good balance between looking fashionable and still professional and someone to be taken seriously. I've got a couple of pairs of the smart chino style trousers that are around at the moment and I'm thinking of teaming them with various blouses tucked in and cardis and wedges or small heels. Flats are not an option for me at 5'2!!

    I'm probably being far to vain and overthinking it all but in school we all took notice of what teachers wore; I will be doing secondary English. I'm 22 and a mum of a lovely two year old so really don't want to feel frumpy - I also feel much more confindent in my 'trendy' clothes.

    I would also like some advice on tattoos. I have a bow on the front of one ankle so don't want to expose that. I also have one on the back of my neck, making wearing my hair up awkward. Some teachers in my school had them subtly exposed, will each school have their own policy?

    Thanks for taking the time to read what I realise is a post lacking in substance compared do many of the other PGCE worries - but would love to know what others are doing clothes-wise! X
     
  3. katnoodle

    katnoodle New commenter

    Don't worry about seeming vain - it is important to make the right impression! I'd say go for as professional as you can to start off with because it's far more embarrassing to look too casual; however different schools vary in their dress codes. One of my placement schools was really quite laid back, especially in when it came to the summer. The school I've landed a job at, however, is much smarter, e.g. no flip flops allowed. Some are even stricter - I know of someone (a female) who had to wear a suit including jacket at all times, and she was a classroom teacher, not SLT. So I'd wait and see, gauge what other people at the school wear, but make a good first impression by dressing smart initially.
    PS Also make sure you're reliabily informed whenever it's non-uniform day - I was caught out a few times!
     
  4. I know tattoos can be a problem for some people but I've worked in a (secondary) school for the past 6 years and for the last 3 I've had a tattoo on the top of my foot, it's a pretty cherry blossom design with falling petals that have my OH and kids initials in, and although I don't 'show it off' I do wear shoes that expose it at times. Not once have I been asked to cover it up, in fact anyone who has commented on it has said it looks lovely or asked if it was painful! (Answer - yes the top of the foot is painful!!) If you don't make an issue of them then most people won't take any notice!
    I too have a wardrobe issue, mainly because I am loathe to buy too much stuff as I plan to lose weight! I am going gung-ho with my exercise and eating in the holidays and want to lose 2 stone, I will then buy some key items a few days before I start, but I still have another 3 stone to go after that!! [​IMG]
    I think the advice to see what the school is like before you spend too much money is spot-on, at my school we are pretty casual and people do stand out if they are overly formal, yet I know of other schools that expect suits at all times.
    I have the joy of going into Year 2, so I think machine washable, cheaply replaceable, smart but casual will be the choice of the day!
     
  5. Altogether I've got 7 tattoos - one on the front of one ankle and one on the side of the other. So I think exposing two wearing a skirt in summer may be a bit much? Also got one on my wrist that can be covered by a watch strap, one on the back of my neck and then the other 3 will always be covered. I'n just aware of having my hair up and then it being the first thing all the pupils notice when I'm at the front with my back to them? I know how you feel weight loss wise. I've lost 2 stone since having my daughter. Hoping to lose a bit more before sept but I doubt it will take me down a whole dress size. I'm very aware of my image - I'm used to nail extensions, fake tan and hair extensions and am far too aware of the stereotype that goes with this. The last thing I want to be thought of is the dull blonde student teacher; with both staff and pupils! So it's hello short nails and pale skin for me. Hence why I want my wardrobe to still feel like me! Xx
     
  6. I would probably try to avoid buying too much clothing now, because, as mentioned before, different schools vary with their dress rules. Gauge what its like when you get there, and then buy bits as you need it. This is what I did for my placements.
    With regards to shoes, don't completely disregard flats. I am the same height as you and alternate between heels and flats, as heels can get painful. In most cases your clothing will set you apart from the pupils so you won't get confused for a sixth former!
     
  7. Yay, I'm so chuffed we have a clothes thread now. I do agree with waiting to see what your placement school is like, especially since you Secondary and Primary people tend to have placements around October, so you don't have too long to wait. I've been buying bits and pieces over the last few weeks, but I'm going to hold off on any large purchases until my placement starts in January (doing a PGCE PCET). Hopefully this way I can get my parents to buy me some stuff for Christmas / my birthday in February.

    I've bought two pairs of chinos and two blazers, as well as a wrap dress and a knee length suede style skirt, all of which I can wear outside of placement so I'm not too worried about having bought them in advance. I guess it's different for me though as I'll be teaching in the Post Compulsory sector which is more casual in that sense.

    Of course, I've still got to get back to my usual size 8 after piling on a dress size in my full time call centre job, so there's a good chance I'll be throwing all these lovely new clothes out when I fail to lose 7lbs. The joys of being female.
     
  8. Trivial? Vain? I LUV posts about teacher clothes!

    What I am going to say works for me, other people have other experiences.

    1) as others have said, don't buy too many clothes at once, wait to see your school and you will get ideas (e.g. I decided I needed a pair of smart trainers in my second placement because I had a 20 mins walk from the station to the school. Or back in the days when I was an assistant I started wearing a lot of skirts because all the females in my dept wore skirts all the time)

    2) the two magic words for me are: charity shops!!! I have found SO many absolute bargains and almost my entire teacher wardrobe is charity shop-bought. Having to throw away an irremediably ruined pair of trousers feels less painful if you only paid them a fiver.

    3) have ONE good suit (skirt or trousers, whatever you prefer), classic colour (black, grey, navy blue...) with a couple of smart shirts or tops for the first few days and for observations and interviews (it helps a lot with confidence). Of course, if your school has a "suit only" policy, then get more suits.

    4) aside from that, what I suggest is: find your "uniform". Stuff that is comfortable and smart enough to fit in your school. I don't want to think about what I'm wearing in the morning or during the day. My "uniform" has to be comfortable, smart-ish, flattering and modest. I found that for me what works is:

    WINTER: smart trousers (I have them in grey, navy blue and black), long-sleeved turtleneck shirt (I have six or seven in different colours), V-neck wool jumper or cardi. Blundstone boots. Occasionally I would wear a white shirt instead of the turtleneck. When it rains or snows I wear a dress with boots.

    SUMMER: smart trousers, blouse or loose smart top, cotton cardi, smart trainers or flat pumps. My current school is quite laid back, so I also wear dresses with leggins and flat pumps sometimes, but not too often.

    I am 5'1 and I would never, ever wear heels in school. I spend the entire day on my feet (and walk a lot because we are on a split site), so it would get just too painful. That said, I have two pairs of sensible heels for special occasions.

    Hope that helps ^^
     
  9. Ha, I had to start a clothes thread - glad its appreciated! My placement starts 17th oct! Eeep. So don't want to be stressing over wardrobe last minute. So far I've got some smart chino trousers, nice blouses that can be tucked in and two pairs of wedges. Like you, I also would wear them out of school so not to worried. I think what I've got will fit in in both a smart and more casual school. There are none in this area that require suits as far as I know - this may be when my lat minute panic arises! Haha. Basically I want to get a good balance between trendy and professional, I don't want to look like I've tried to hard! Or let my 'trendy' wardrobe have me stereotyped by staff or pupils! Any suggestions for good shops?! I've done Next so far for my trousers - they do a petite range so saves me the hassle of having trousers taken up! X
     
  10. What you have described sounds nice - something that I would definitely wear in & out of school. I try to buy clothes that I can wear again outside of school & obviously have a few smart outfits such as suit dress & jacket, a couple of pairs of trousers & a few blouses ( I used to work at Next so got them all at a discount price haha) that I wear for parents evening etc. Like you, I am in my 20's so I want to dress for my age but also keep in line with the schools policy and not look too frumpy/old fashioned. But your style sounds lovely so definitely wear that!! x
     
  11. Im starting a PGCE in September, a huge career change for me!
    I think I'll be wearing the usual office wear - knee length skirts with shirts, blouses with trousers -plain maxi dresses can look v smart too!
    I might invest in more flats though - Aldo do EXCELLENT comfortable smart flats.
    I'll see how I go with each school and buy as I go - M&S have brilliant workwear. I only own 1 suit..if i need more, I shall buy more!
    Bobshki,am in that same boat too mid 20s not wanting to look frumpy! :)
     
  12. lucie19

    lucie19 New commenter

    I was thinking M&S too. I'm going to get a few pairs of tailored trousers and some nice blouses and probably a jacket. I'm going to M&S for the shoes too as their footglove range has some smart heels that you can actually wear all day failing that I will go to Clarks. Guess at the ripe old age of 30ish I'm a bit older than some of you so M&S and Clarks wont be trendy enough. ;)
     
  13. Some advice from an old timer........
    • Watch your skirt length, what seems decent stood in front of your mirror in the morning can be more of an issue if you have to stand on a chair to switch on your projector or scramble under a table to get stuff. (Yes in an ideal world all projectors would have remotes and children would pick up everything that is dropped...... But we live in a far from ideal world!)
    • Ditto with your blouses, I taught an all boys group for a year and am now addicted to wearing scarves with all workwear outfits as no matter how decent the neckline they would be trying to figure out what bra I was wearing. Also projectors tend to make white blouses see-through so watch out for white or lacy bras underneath.
    • Too much make-up makes you less sincere when you hand members of your form a baby wipe to get rid of theirs.
    • With regard to tattoos I would keep them covered up. Schools can be very conservative and you're better to make a good impression on all levels since your references will depend on this. I am only 31 and I don't really like visible tattoos in a professional environment and I know many of the older members of staff in my school are the same.
    • Wear layers, classrooms vary enormously in temperature. My school also has several separate blocks so if I need to go to the staffroom I have to go outside (although being science I have the benefit of a labcoat for extra layers!)
     
  14. I'd echo what kritur said about skirts! Check- jump, run, spin, bend and stand on a chair with someone who's happy to be honest. Beware the Marylin Monroe complex some skirts get (one gust of wind crossing a playground....) Necklines too are sneaky and evil. What seems wonderfully modest at home will slink down by the time you've done one lesson.
     
  15. LaRedoute have some pretty nice stuff. I'm 22 so I'm getting a lot of things from New Look, Primark etc, but my mother always ropes me into ordering things from her LaRedoute catalogue when I visit (like I'd say no!). The clothes are generally pretty good quality while still being affordable and have that 'look' which Primark bargain bin stuff just misses. Don't get me wrong though, I love me a bit of Primark :D

    I've ordered these things with teaching in mind:

    This skirt in brown:
    http://www.laredoute.co.uk/suede-effect-skirt.htm?ProductId=324205220&FiltreCouleur=3242052200001&t=6

    This dress in teal:
    http://www.laredoute.co.uk/long-sleeved-jersey-dress.htm?ProductId=324245290&FiltreCouleur=3242452900001&t=6

    As well as three very soft wool wrap style, long sleeve tops. One in white, one in pink and one in grey.

    As I was saying in my other post, I'd wear all of this stuff again and outside of placement. Plus it's all decent looking (admittedly not especially fashionable) and doesn't make me feel like a frump or like I'm wearing an extra 10 years and 10lbs.

    Anybody else looking in unusual places - i.e. not High Street shops - for their PGCE wardrobe?
     
  16. Please be aware that wrap style tops have a habit of opening up at the front with lots of movement, so wear a vest top to protect your modesty underneath!
     
  17. Don't worry, the way they're designed it would be completely impossible to wear them without a vest top in the first place, so no chance of flashing anybody. At least not accidentally.
     
  18. Vivmillion

    Vivmillion New commenter

    Marks and Sparks plain black and white t-shirts, big jewllery, smart trousers and cardigan. Dull maybe; cheap to replace and easy to wash/iron. Don't go too colourful or you can spend ages trying to match clothes in those precious early morning minutes! and M&S do little packets of wipes to dab marks off clothes. Excellent things!
    Have fun and remember they soon forget what you're wearingonce they get to know you.
    [​IMG]

     
  19. I have to echo the advice about layering! Not only do classrooms vary greatly in temperatures, even if they are next door to each other, as a PGCE student you never ever stop. You'll be running around so much, quite often between buildings, that layers are vital.

    Good luck with your PGCE!
     
  20. Next have some good wedges in stock, they are in their comfort range. I have them in 2 colours and they are fab!
     

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