Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Vintage vs. Work

Hi all! I'm sorry I have not written a blog post in some time, I'm currently very poor, and haven't really purchased new clothes and therefore haven't really had much motivation for blogging. I've had a lot of icky personal things going on in my life, and I've been rather depressed. But onto the blog post!

If you know me at all, you know that I am studying to teach media in high schools, and whilst I'm at university, I get plenty of practice in schools and must act like a qualified teacher should. Ever since I started my course, I'd been worrying about not being able to look like 'myself' in schools because I wanted to be taken seriously by my supervising teachers. Looking and feeling good is important to me in a teaching environment, and believe it or not, what you wear does reflect on the kind of attitude the students give you.

 I know my classes used to judge my English teacher because she wore almost the same thing every day, and were put off by her "old" clothing. So my dilemma lately, is trying to work out how to combine my love of vintage, without looking "old" and (I know, sounds stupid) being "uncool" to the kids; because believe it or not, it makes a difference, and I put an emphasis on being able to communicate with my students at a slightly the same level as them. Unfortunately, I've not had much inspiration of ways of combining my clothing
 I have almost never worn vintage out on placements because I pretty much raided target one day because I remember that's what a lot of my teachers in high school wore; I came out with a couple of pairs of tailored pants, and several blouses, my future-mother in law bought me several adorable cardigans, and a tailored pencil-dress. Unfortunately, as I wear a lot of vintage and vintage inspired dresses, pants make me very uncomfortable, and I shall roll over and die before I wear jeans in public. I also wear my hair up in a french twist or a pony-tail (which is so mind-numbingly horrible I feel so sluggish doing it), which looks nice but doesn't frame my face nicely, but I find is quite nice for all the leaning over I have to do.

My question to my little bloggy readers, is this: How do I look lovely, (and feel lovely and therefore will be happier at work) whilst being comfortable, easy to move around in, and be acceptable for work all whilst using my love of vintage and vintage inspired clothing? I'd appreciate some feedback! And don't tell me I should be focusing on the teaching, I think I've got that covered ;)


  1. One of my most memorable and beloved teachers in primary school was a woman who always wore pinup inspired ensembles. She always had pincurls, a flower in her hair, seamed stockings, high heels, pencil skirts and cropped cardigans. Just because a lot of teachers dress frumpy doesn't mean you have to! And especially seeing as you will be teaching a subject like media, I think if you dressed more like yourself your students would like you even more!
    After all, I don't think the term "work appropriate" should ever mean "frumpy".

    I have a feeling you might like some of the vintage inspired clothes Pinup Girl Clothing have in offer! They have some fantastic pencil skirts and incredible figure flattering high waisted trousers.

    1. I was seriously JUST going through your blog and noticing you have a lot of modern (well, modern made ;) clothes that would go lovely without looking too over the top. As much as I'd love to go all out with flowers and seamed stockings, I'm just a student teacher at the moment and we get assessed on how "appropriate" our clothes are and I don't want to be told my stockings are a bit too sexy, haha.

      Thanks for the encouragement! I'd love to go out and spend $$$ on pin up girl. haha. I think I might just start op shopping a bunch of a-line and pencil skirts, and super adorable cardigans. I think I might stick with my pin curls though, can't live without them, school or no school. Thank you so much for the comment!

  2. This is really a very interesting post! Now, I know very little about the primary and secondary school systems in Australia, but I guess that you – like we do here in Scandinavia where I come from – have a strong discourse celebrating inclusion, personal expression and cultural and sexual etc. diversity. Nonetheless, you must now go through a struggle and have doubts because of some ’otherness’ that you percieve in yourself. As an upcoming professional i the field of pedagogy this must be very thought provoking.

    Harlow Darling’s teacher is a wonderful example in this respect; for indeed it shows what is possible for the right person under the right circumstances. So, in the long run, you probably have nothing to fear. Of course, you can teach, and teach well wearing a pencil skirt and seamed stockings…!

    But you can also do the opposite. I had a Latin teacher in secondary school, and she looked so boring that you could hardly tell the difference between her and the wall paper. But she was toootally charismatic, clever, sparkling and full of humour – and when she talked everybody would just listen!

    Conclusion: Pencil skirt or sackcloth & ashes – in the end it will be your personality, your knowledge of the subject you teach and your level of didactical competence that does – or doesn’t do – the trick…!

    If I were you, I would just take it step by step and just see how far I can go and still feel comfortable. I would primarily wear modern dresses and skirts, but with a vintage turn in the design and not real vintage fabrics. You can actually find such things even in H&M. You really need very few skirts and tops and cardies in different colours to not repeat yourself each and every day.

    If you like wearing stockings why not do so? If you wear RHT stockings, you don’t need to worry about visible back seams; yet they are ’real’ nylons, and they are even incredibly cheap, see e.g. Clio stockings at (and generally, when it comes to your underthings you can be as vintage as you want; for indeed nobody is going to know that you are wearing a girdle unless you tell them so :-)

    1. Thank you for taking the time to reply in such a large comment! It was very helpful.
      I think the reason that I'm rather concerned about it, is because the kids these days are just so visual. They are very attracted to "modern" dressed teachers, especially females. And it'd be nice to gain such a positive attitude from them on that front.

      I love your idea of going step by step - thank you so much, you are ever so lovely!