by admin on February 24, 2011

victorian school-marm


’50’s school marma

a locker room conversation lead to the following interesting question:  what should a beginning teacher wear to school?  one of esme’s readers was taking her niece (excited about starting her teaching career) on a little pre-employment shopping spree, and needed advice from a sportshopper. 

this was to be grade-school, so no need to be crawling about on the floor or getting splashed with finger-paint.  professional but comfortable was the phrase that came to mind, with shoes appropriate for lots of standing and the occasional dash onto the playground. 

and of course, one would want to look pretty and smell good so as to be a worthy recitient of the inevitable crushes of one’s pupils, both male and female.  esme will never forget her second grade teacher, a beautiful dark-skinned, dark-haired perhaps italian lady partial to orange lip-stick.  this teacher was kind-hearted and once gave esme her tuna sandwich when esme forgot her lunch, but she smelled frighteningly of cigarette smoke (and perhaps sex)—an earthy, burnt terroir—when one got close. 

anyway, school-clothes:  we decided that a nice pair of dark jeans, straight cut, and some slacks would make a good foundation.  start by looking at banana republic.  top these with something simple, such as gap’s favorite t (still one of esme’s basics), a white shirt, a turtle neck or even a little silk blouse (think joie).  esme thought a chanel-like plaid-and-fringe blazer would look cute, and of course, one needs some sort of black blazer as well (short or long depending on one’s figure).  some leggings with tops long enough to cover one’s behind would come in handy, and definately a pair of low, comfortable boots (of course esme couldn’t resist showing off her arcopedico’s, which will be completely sold out if she keeps telling people about them!)  a few colorful sweaters or perhaps an anthropologie jacket with do-dads and flowers would add pizzaz, and you could go with scarves if you were sure your pupils would not try to strangle you with them.  definately some lip-gloss, eye-liner, blush perhaps, but go easy on the foundation and under no circumstances wear orange lip-stick!!  (oh, and you might bring an extra peanut butter sandwish…..tuna really doesn’t age well).

in memory of mrs. f.,



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