I think I am going through a ⅓ life crisis. In preparation for a much needed fun weekend up north, I decided I wanted to dress for the occasion. Meaning, NOT like a teacher. Don’t get me wrong. I am a pretty stylish teacher, and there are students who have intentionally emulated my style although it is nothing unique. Skinny jeans, heels, flowy tops, cardigan, scarf- those are pretty much the staples in my closet. A far cry from the image one may have of a “teacher”- shapeless khaki or black pants, a blouse, and maybe a vest or sweater emblazoned with school buses, apples, and rulers. But as I scanned my closet I found 2 extremes: teacher and casual, conservative flowy tops and flannel shirts.
It sunk in that I am almost 40. I am at that age where the line between stylish-yet-age-appropriate and 37-going-on-17 is blurry. And as 40 approaches like wolf on the heels of a wounded deer, I am struck with the realization that I can be eaten by my 40s allowing them to swallow up every ounce of youthfulness, or I can give them one hell of a chase. This is a fight worth fighting.
So I head out to go shopping with one mission: do NOT buy teacher clothes. I tried on bohemian style dresses that I mistook for shirts and shirts that revealed my shoulders (a fashion I have yet to understand- is it a tank top with sleeves?). I found a few items that didn’t make me look like I was trying to be a teenager again, but were still youthful and fun. But no matter how hard I tried, I found myself strangely drawn by some incomprehensible magnetic force to every cardigan in Target. It’s like they ended up in my cart without me even realizing I had put them there! I suddenly realized that I was subconsciously looking at every dress and top with the question, “How would this look with a cardigan?” or “How will these sleeve fit comfortably into a cardigan?” I put them all back, I am sorry to say, with a degree of sadness. I am happy to say, however, that I was not at all drawn in by any khaki capris or high-waisted mom jeans.
In the end I did find some things that will pass for not being “teacher clothes” (although I will still wear them to teach) and ONE cardigan. I mean, c’mon, it’s winter and I am bound to get cold. I can still be youthful AND practical.