Back To School Werk

The first day of class has always been a bit of a runway show for me. It all started when I went to Pre-K in an outfit my mother  styled for me. I grew up in a household where most of my clothes were  carefully curated by my mother to ensure that I looked my best even though we were of the working class. She would always point out that being on a budget should never take away your style.

Super casual and cute for my very first day of school. I seriously want this skirt back though.

So it should come as no surprise that, much like how I go about choosing  my annual planner, I became selective of my outfit for my first day of class to the point that I splurged from time to time. It does set the tone for the school year after all.  While I actually don’t have pictures of every look I have fond memories of reach of those 20 outfits (Pre-K to Grad school) and I remember the thought that went behind each of them. This hasn’t changed even as I made the transition from student to part time professor. For this back to school season, I’ve partnered with Lane Bryant to show my style for my first full week back to class. I have styled two looks, both are classroom appropriate but very different.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post; clothes were provided by Lane Bryant  for feature, but all opinions are my own.

Military Blush and Ivy

The nice thing about working at an art and design university is that lack of an actual dress-code. Instructors and students are encouraged to express our unique style and personality as we see fit. (Translation – Jeans are totally ok, but  don’t come in naked.) This allows me to be as traditional or casual as I like. For the most part I alternate between the two because of my schedule. There are days that I need to be at the office only to run over to campus soon afterword, be it for a faculty meeting or to handle some lesson plan prep at the university library.

For many of my colleagues, jeans, blouse and flats are they way to go.  So to shake things up a bit I went for some colored denim. Blush was the hue for summer this year yet it can still be dressed for fall with the right accents, like this ivy green military inspired long duster sweater vest. It  provides some light laying for the fall chill with visual interest from the bronze button detail.

Always taking some time to reread some class texts.

For this look I traded my usual oxford flats for wedges just to give me an authoritative height but also stability for running between trains as I commute from one job to the other.  This  is a comfy and chic, smart casual look that can easily go from the office to the classroom and to dinner with the girls right after. This is the kind of versatility that I love to have from an outfit so I will be reaching for it even when I’m not in class.

~Get the look~

Ivy Green Button-front Duster Vest (14/16) | Lane Bryant
Light Rose Super Stretch Skinny Jean (Size 16) | Lane Bryant
Mix No. 6 Shannan Wedge Pump |  DSW (old, similar here and here)
Chambray Button-up Blouse | Old Navy (old, similar here)

The Medieval Blue Shirt-dress

When it come to professional styling for the workplace a blazer and dress automatically comes to mind, however, I am also a big fan of the shirt-dress. Its a classic, being professional, effortless and feminine.  At first glance this dress is just a traditional shirt dress with an elastic waist for the fit-and-flare silhouette, a semi-exposed drawstring and some eyelet detailing on the hem. This is not the case at all.

The construction is simply amazing! It has convertible roll tab sleeves is perfect for this not-quite summer, not quite fall weather that we’re gonna have for the next couple of weeks. However my absolute favorite part are the hidden buttons that keep the top closed if you have a large bust like me. No safety pins or double-sided tape is necessary! It’s great to not have that anxiety of any gaping or pulls when I’m standing in front of my class.

Did I mention that this dress has pockets?!

For this look I paired the dress with a large tote to hold all of my class materials and my cognac ornamented wedges which are comfortable enough for me to stand through the entirety of my almost three-hour long lectures.

~Get the look~

Shirtdress With Eyelet Hem (Size 18) | Lane Bryant
Ventura Ornament Wedges | Avenue (old)


This semester is already off to a great start. I can’t wait to see where it goes from here and not just for me either. From September 5th through September 30th, teachers can present a valid school ID or paystub at checkout to receive 15% off their in-store purchases at Lane Bryant. 

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