Summer style for teachers 2016

How to refresh your summer teaching wardrobe

Alex PatersonFashion, How to 8 Comments

Editor’s note: sharing her style on the blog is What The Teacher Wears blogger, Alex Paterson. I met Alex and discovered that there is a whole world out there of teachers sharing their style. It’s far from the teacher style I knew back in the day and even if you’re not a teacher you’ll be inspired by what these women have to share.

This is a very mixed time of the year for most teachers.


The summer break is coming to an end and it’s time to head back to school.

Gone are the days of no alarms, lazing around and staying in your pyjamas well past a reasonable time.

But then there is the other part of us that can’t wait to get the 2016 teaching year started.

I think one of the best things about our job, is that we get to have that first day of school feeling every year.

So you’ve planned for the first day, week or term, but what about your wardrobe?

If you haven’t even given it a thought, it’s ok, that’s where I come in.

First thing you need to do is make all of your summer teaching staples the first thing that you see in your wardrobe.

Pack away your heavy coats and knitted items and leave only a light jacket and cardigan. You may leave a few more if you live in the Southern states.

I also said to do this in my last Styling You post before summer. If you haven’t done it now, then get to it.

I know we have about a month of summer left, but just because summer ends in February doesn’t mean that hot weather suddenly disappears.

Before you start your summer teaching wardrobe, what should it consist of?

  • Clothing made from light and natural fabrics – especially if you are teaching in a non air-conditioned room.
  • A longline vest that you can add over a summer tank.
  • Short or cap sleeved blouses that can be worn with any pant or skirt.
  • Midi skirts.
  • Open toed sandals with a strap that goes around the back of your foot.
  • Accessories that are bold and bright in colour.

Here are some outfits that I have worn to school during the warmer months.




I cannot stress enough the importance of investing in breathable fabrics during the summertime.

My top three fabrics to be wearing are cotton, linen and rayon.

Cotton is a great material in warmer temperatures because it reduces the movement of air from the skin through the fabric, allowing heat to dissolve.

It also absorbs moisture well, so it will keep your skin dry. The best part is that it can be machine washed and dried.

Note* Your teaching wardrobe should have one item max that needs to be dry cleaned. You need fast, easy garments daily.

Linen is comfortable to wear and like cotton is absorbent. It is machine washable but will most likely need to be ironed.

Rayon once again doesn’t trap body heat and is comfortable to wear but hand washing is recommended.

When was the last time you gave your Summer wardrobe a cull? I have a one year rule.

If there are pieces in your wardrobe that you didn’t wear last summer, they can stay, for now…

By the end of this season, if you haven’t worn it to work once, it has to go!

Summer is a great time to experiment with colour and pattern. If you aren’t quite ready to work with that yet, an easy way to inject colour and pattern into your summer teaching wardrobe is with makeup and accessories.

It is as easy as adding a bright lip colour or shimmery eye shadow.

If makeup is not your thing, then go down the accessory path. Add a bold bangle to an outfit or a light patterned scarf over a top.That way, you aren’t investing in pieces that you won’t be able to wear in a few months before Winter comes right back around.

Still after more for your Back to School summer wardrobe?

Add these pieces into your summer staples for an instant summer lift.

Light and Easy Tops

These tops can easily go with a straight black/navy or lighter colour pant.


1. Forever New Shirt $59.99 | 2. Target Top $35 | 3. City Chic Top $30 | 4. Seed Top $59.95 | 5. Country Road Blouse $149 | 6. Witchery Tee $69.95 | 7. Target Shirt $49

Bright and Bold

Add a bright, bold or patterned piece to your outfit. Once again, any of these pieces can be teamed with either black or neutral colour.


1. Country Road Top $129 | Sportsgirl Skirt $89.95 | 3. Saba Dress $183 | 4. Marcs Shirt $179 | 5. Country Road Top $59.95 | 6. SHIEKE Pants $129.95 | 7. Midas Shoes $168


Add accessories to add some oomph to your teaching outfit.


1. The Adorne Collective Necklace $45| 2. Colette Wristwear $14.95| 3. Seed Bag $99.95| 4. Sussan Scarf $19.95| 5. Sportsgirl Keyring $19.95| 6. Seed Necklace $19.95 | 7. Mimco Bracelet $39.95 | 8. Sportsgirl Earrings $14.95 | 9. Sportsgirl Sunnies $39.95

What’s in your summer teaching wardrobe? If you aren’t a teacher, what’s in your summer work wardrobe?

Alex PatersonAlex Paterson is a part-time teacher, stylist and blogger at whattheteacherwears. She has a passion for style, grace and elegance in fashion, and wants to give other ladies ideas and tips about how to put together fashionable (while not ridiculously expensive) work and everyday outfits and ensembles.


Comments 8

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  1. I love your Styria Alex , I’m not a teacher but I love the outfits you have created!
    I also could not agree more about the fabrics in your wardrobe.I hope you have a lovely start to the year Xx

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  2. Hi Alex, I’m not a teacher, but where I work is not super formal. I love the bright and bold pieces you’ve suggested. 1, 2, 3 and 5 – gorgeous! All the very best for the start of school next week 🙂

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