What do you wear if you’re a plus size teacher? It’s just office-wear, right?
There are times in my job where I find myself shuffling around on all fours looking for a lost crayon, or trying to retrieve a freshly catapulted ruler from behind the filing cabinet. Believe it or not, smart office-wear does not lend itself kindly to these activities. Trust me, I tried wearing a skirt suit for my first week of teaching… it’s safe to say I won’t be making that mistake again! It’s not been easy, but over the past year I have managed to find my own quirky teacher style which suits all the needs of both being a teacher, and also being a plus size woman.
After what feels like hundreds of outfit disasters, I have reached a stage where without a doubt, my go-to favourites are bright dresses with a sensible jacket or cardie thrown over the top. These, coupled with a pair of tights (usually black to create an illusion of being sensible enough to educate children) always set me up brilliantly for whatever the day has to throw at me.
My job sees me teaching everything from 6 to 16 year olds, and my teacher outfits are always sensible enough for the older students, and fun enough for the littler ones – the best of both worlds. So with my wardrobe of colourful dresses, I finally feel like I’ve sussed it out.
Crawling around the floor trying to find things? No problem.
Standing on a chair on tip toes trying to put up displays? Cool.
Meeting parents for important meetings? Sorted.
Shimmying up a ladder in the drizzle to collect forgotten footballs from the roof? Come at me!
Whatever the weather and occasion, this staple outfit does the job. I usually pick dresses made from fairly heavy material which means they don’t flap about everywhere. Only once has the wind been strong enough to blow my skirt up and flash my knickers to the whole playground, which is saying something since I live in the North of England where the weather is grey and windy for 99.9% of the year. It’s also worth noting that I love anything with pockets, so I have somewhere to stash a spare red pen and a pack of tissues – which any teacher will know are must haves on a day to day basis.
There is no question that my all time favourite dresses for work come from Lindy Bop. They are all made with beautifully bright, patterned fabric which all the children love, as do I! The other staff always love my outfits too, and I am forever receiving lovely comments in the staffroom about my skirts and dresses. A lot of the designs have pockets, which gets bonus points from me, and I find everything really easy to dress either up or down.
I love having such a versatile and colourful wardrobe which can easily be adapted to make excellent teacher-ware with the addition of tights and a black jacket/cardigan, or even for going out on the town at the weekend if you add some heels and a bit of bling. It’s also worth noting that if your teaching job involves less floor-crawling than mine, Lindy Bop do a stunning range of skirt suits and twin sets that are all absolutely gorgeous!
Despite my undying love for Lindy Bop and constant obsession with their new designs, I am always keen to try out other plus size brands and love hearing other people’s opinions on workwear. For example Lady Voluptuous (featured in the picture above) do bright, patterned and pretty flared dresses up to a size 32. More often than not you can also find something at Simply Be, Evans, or Yours Clothing within their ranges like Voodoo Vixen and Hell Bunny.