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Guest Blogger: Teacher Style

It’s back to school time and after eight years of teaching, and even more thrifting, I’ve figured out three secrets to success for building your professional wardrobe.

Start With Great Shoes

Teaching is not a desk job.  It’s safe to say, if you spend most of your day sitting at your desk, you’re doing it wrong.  We’re on our feet for hours; standing, walking, possibly even chasing, so we need shoes that can keep up.  I’m a big fan of flats, wedges, and kitten heels for the classroom.  I make a point to check the shoe section of the Goodwill every time I go, even if I’m not looking for shoes.  I’ve found so many great shoes there that, at this point, seventy-five percent of my shoes have come from Goodwill, including a pair of leather boots I got six years ago that I still get compliments on. Even if you have to add an insole, or take them to the cobbler to be shined, you’re still paying less than retail and you’ll get to enjoy the look of shock on people’s face when you say “Thanks, I got them at the Goodwill!”

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Pick Versatile Pieces

Being a teacher has given me some hilarious stories, the opportunity to work with great colleagues, and the chance to interact with the next generation, but it has not given me a fat bank account, so I need to get a lot of bang for my buck.  I try to buy pieces that I will wear both in and out of the classroom, and that I can wear in more than one way.  My cost-per-wear goal is $1, so if I buy an $8.00 dress at the Goodwill, I need to wear it eight times to feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth.  When I’m trying on clothes at the Goodwill, I look at the price, and then think about how many different ways I can wear the piece, and if it will meet my cost per wear ratio.  If it does, I usually buy it and enjoy figuring out new ways to style it.

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Up Your Accessory Game

We’ve covered the basics, but every fashionista knows that it’s not just about your shoes and clothes.  Those are great, and you can’t make an outfit without them, but if you really want to take your outfit to the next level, you need great accessories.  My favorite Goodwill accessories are belts, necklaces, and scarves, and at less than five bucks a piece, you can afford to stock up.  Adding a belt to a dress can completely change the silhouette and make it look like a whole new dress.  A scarf and a cardigan make your favorite summer to ready for fall. Like choosing versatile pieces, adding accessories to your outfits gives you more options and makes your wardrobe feel bigger than it actually is.

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So say goodbye to sneakers and teacher sweaters and I look forward to bumping into you combing the racks next time I’m at the Goodwill.

A teacher by day, a thrifter by night, I love going to the Goodwill and finding great things.  Whether it’s organizers for my classroom, pots for my kitchen, or sweaters to relax in, I know I’ll find it all at the Goodwill.  You can follow all my favorite DC Goodwill finds on Instagram @gotitatgoodwill.

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