I can’t believe my eyes!!
The topic of this post was the result of a conversation I recently had, while on vacation, with a friend who works at a high school in Southern California. Due to our busy schedules, we were able to squeeze in a short visit at a Starbucks during her lunch break.
My friend, who I met close to 30 years ago, has always looked very nice and professional, and it’s apparent that she takes pride in her personal appearance. During our time together the topic of “appropriate work attire” was brought up as I had complimented her on the cute dress she was wearing. In her case, since she works in the front office of the school, she comes in contact with students, parents and staff members throughout the day, it’s imperative that she presents herself in a professional manner. She told me that before she leaves for work in the morning, she stands in front of the mirror and bends forward to make sure that everything remains covered and nothing is “over exposed”. I like this fast and effective method to check for adequate coverage and wish others would implement it, also. I can think of several occasions that I got an unexpected “eye full” of teachers’ breasts when they leaned over to help a student at their desk. I was taken by surprise, and if I was, I’m sure most students were as well.
I know I’m a bit old fashioned, a prude perhaps, but I don’t believe there’s any place at school where showing too much breast or cleavage is acceptable. A school is a place for learning, not a place where concentrating on the subject being taught is overshadowed by a pair of 34C’s starring you in the face!!! I realize that many women are blessed with a beautiful cleavage or bounteous breasts, and blouses may fit differently on them then the rest of us; however, I wish they would take the time to run through the “lean forward” test to determine if their clothing choice is appropriate in a school setting.
Many work places do not have, or enforce, a dress code for their employees. I know the schools I have taught at there was nothing in writing indicating appropriate/inappropriate attire for teachers and support staff. Personally, I suppose my modesty has been my barometer to tell me what a teacher’s appearance needs to be to fall within the “appropriate” guidelines, but many individuals don’t possess that built-in gauge. Whether it’s the length of shorts or skirts, sheer blouses, flip flops, yoga or work-out attire, I’ve seen it all and am shocked that women employees, in particular, don’t see that their outfits are more appropriate for a trip to the beach, than a school.
When I attended high school many, many years ago, a satisfactory length for a girls’ dress could not be shorter than her extended hands/fingers by her side. As an adult, I still use this measurement to check my own skirt/short length, and if needed, I change my outfit
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. I have stood in shock sometimes when I see the shorts or skirts that some of my peers have worn during school hours, and have held my breath when I see them bend over, hoping that their cheeks stay covered!!
I own over a dozen camisoles that I wear for warmth, to give extra coverage when I’m wearing a low-cut top, or give an extra layer of material when wearing sheer material tops. I have bought most of my camisoles at Ann Taylor or Loft factory stores as they are usually finished with a lace trim and can act as a focal point in outfit combinations.
Plastic flip flops have no place whatsoever at school, whether you are a student or teacher. Although they may be very comfortable, especially if they are being worn with yoga pants and tee, a teacher just can’t come to school looking like she is already dressed for her 5:00 PM yoga class! There are plenty of clothing items that can still be casual and professional, but comfy.
I have included some affordable sets (even for teachers), that you might find helpful when addressing your clothing needs. These three sets can be mixed and matched into 7 or 8 different combinations; a good start to building your career wardrobe. And please…. take a good look at yourself before you leave your house for work and ask yourself, “Do I look professional and appropriate for the clientele I work with?” If your answer is no, take another look through your closet and make a better choice; your co-workers will thank you!!
Until next time,