At Target yesterday, I was in the dressing room near a teenager buying her first day of school outfit with her grandmother. They debated the pros and cons of dresses versus pants, shorts versus pants, sandals versus shoes, and the different styles of shirts she had in her pile.
Do you remember those days? I'd pick my outfit at least a month before school started, and I'd keep going back to my closet to look at it. I remember imagining what my first day would be like-- where I'd sit, what we'd do, and what my classmates would think of my outfit. I actually still remember a few of my first day outfits (I had a striped skirt with suspenders for the first day of fourth grade. I LOVED that outfit). I also know I wore jeans and an Abercrombie olive green tank the day I moved into college.
Why were those outfits such a big deal? Why have they stuck in my head all these years later? I think it has to do with the symbolism of the outfit (here comes the English teacher...). Each school year is a fresh start, and the outfit you choose for that day sets the tone-- not just for how others might perceive you, but how you perceive you. I wanted to be a little more laid back in college than I was in high school. Clearly, wearing a ribbed tank would accomplish that.
What's neat about my job is that I can get that fresh start every year. Tomorrow is the first day back with the kids, and it's my first opportunity to present myself the way I'd like to present myself at this stage of life. I want to look like I've got my act together, but I'm past needing to wear a suit (which never felt comfortable anyway). I don't have to prove to the students that I'm a grown up. I want an outfit that says I care about myself, I'm comfortable in my skin, and I'm approachable. Now to choose which dress in my closet says all of that.... And to play around on Nordstrom to look for more pretty things that give that same message...
I'm an English teacher, a wife, a dog lover, a bibliophile, & a wanna-be fashionable mom. Well, I'm already a mom. Just trying to get the "fashionable" part going...