My Favorite Teacher Shoes Ever

I know I just wrote a post about teacher shoes, but I’m doing it again because this is a very important topic! Like, we should have professional development days dedicated to effective educator footwear. I’d show up for that.

And these are my actual favorite teacher shoes. Ever.


I’ve been wearing Toms ever since I started running after school programs seven years ago. I wore a pair of grey wedges (similar) every single day with jeans and my YMCA t-shirt and they were perfectly comfortable even during activities and games. I wore a black pair (similar) nearly every day during my first year of teaching, and I’ve owned two pairs of the strappy version as well. All together I’ve had about seven pairs of Toms, but I’ve actually never owned the classic alpargatas (I had to look up the official term!). They are so comfortable that I rarely feel the need to venture out to other brands.

I went on the Toms website to look for another pair of the black wedges that I loved so much, but I was drawn in by these black leather heeled sandals. They sold out a couple of times while I was trying to decide whether or not to order them, so the next time they were in stock I jumped at my opportunity! I’m sorry to report that at the time I am publishing this they are sold out again. This pair is similar, and I’m considering getting them in another color.

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For me, wedges and shoes with a block heel are more comfortable than flats. I also love that they give me a little bit of height, and they make me feel slightly more dressed up. The ones here are particularly comfortable since the leather forms so well to my foot, and the open toe ensures that there is no rubbing or pinching. Today I wore them all day while teaching and then taking care of Jenson and I didn’t even remember to take them off until about 7pm. Twelve hours in and they were still feeling great.


You are probably already familiar with the Toms mission to give away a pair of shoes for every pair sold. They also provide vision services, access to clean water, safer birth resources, and they donate to causes to prevent bullying. Production-wise, they produce one-third of their shoes in the regions where they give them. They have factories in Ethiopia, Kenya and India, and they also employ and equal ratio of men to women. I’m happy to incorporate their products into my increasingly ethical and sustainable wardrobe.

These black heeled sandals are hereby declared my official teacher shoes of the 2017-18 school year. What are yours?

Black jacket





Ethical Weekend Style

This year my resolution was to only purchase clothing that is fair trade or made in the United States. After participating in Dressember and watching the documentary The True Cost, I felt convicted about how my frivolous fashion purchases affect the environment, the global economy, the lives of individual workers, and even my own happiness. Ten months into this journey, I have learned so much more about ethical fashion, and I’ve found several fair trade brands that make beautiful clothing while also fulfilling a mission to improve the lives of women.


One of these companies is Elegantees. They employ women in Nepal, and actively participate in the effort to rescue sex trafficking victims on the Nepal-India border. They also make ethical and fashionable clothes. I love purchasing from them because I know that not only am I investing in a well made, lovely piece of clothing, but my money is helping to keep a woman employed in a dignified job.

When I saw this top I knew I had to buy it–it’s called the Megan. I love the asymmetrical hem with a longer cut in the back. It’s perfect for my every day teaching style, or as an easy, casual shirt for the weekend. It’s comfortable and fits perfectly (I ordered a medium). I even made an error when entering my shipping information and Elegantees worked quickly and kindly with me to rectify my mistake and get my order shipped to me within a few days.



Additionally, Elegantees is working with Dressember again this year to create, not one, but FIVE styles of Dressember dresses. I’ve already ordered the Penny dress to add to my Dressember collection. I’ve also got my eye on the Courtney dress because apparently I can’t get enough black, hi-low pieces!

The dresses and shirts I’ve purchased from Elegantees cost a little bit more than I was used to spending on clothing. In the past I did a lot of my shopping at places like Target and TJ Maxx. Those places have some really cute outfits at great prices, but these days I am much more selective about how much I buy, and who I am supporting with my money. I could make a huge corporation even richer, or I could literally help keep a woman out of a sweatshop with my purchase. Whenever possible, I choose the latter.


Since I have been buying simpler, more classic pieces that I can wear for years to come, it’s also been fun to add some jewelry to my collection. I love the unexpected yarn detail on this Joy Necklace from Noonday Collection. Noonday is another Dressember partner that offers gorgeous fair trade jewelry, handmade by artisans all over the world. You can search their website for a Noonday Ambassador in your area. I’ve always placed orders online, but ambassadors also host trunk shows where you can check out their jewelry in person.

As I continue on my journey toward becoming an ethical consumer, I want to share what I learn with you. For now, I will only be providing links to items that are fair trade, made in the United States, or ethically produced in some way. I still own clothes that I bought before I made this shift in my purchasing habits, and I see no reason to throw them out and simply create more waste. Ideally, I’d like to transition to a fully fair trade wardrobe, but that will take time. It will also take creativity, and I welcome the challenge.



Photography by Joyetic

2014 spring semester in instagram ootd’s

My summer break has finally arrived and I’m looking forward to catching up on about a million blog posts! Since I failed to upload “teacher chic” posts for about six months, here are 15 looks for inspiration for next school year. A few are weekend outfits (clearly), and the rest are casual classroom looks (I don’t get all that fancy). I realized while writing this that I really only shop at about 5 stores, and that I get a lot of use out of the more expensive/quality items that I’ve invested in. I love browsing through other teachers’ work outfits, so here is my contribution to the teaching world.  🙂

(descriptions are under each photo)


cardigan: JCrew

chevron shirt: GStage (I think!)

necklace: World Market

jeans: Guess (my first Christmas gift from my husband, 5 years ago!)


blazer: H&M
striped top: Forever 21
belt: Target
jeans: Express
flats: Cathy Jean


cardigan: Target
necklace: Charlotte Russe
shirt: Target
pants: Target
shoes: H&M


chevron top: Windsor
jeans: Express
shoes: Payless Shoe Source
wallet: G Stage
nails: Essie Play Date


cardigan: Old Navy
dress: H&M (school colors for bonus points!)
wedges: Toms
necklace: Forever 21


sweater: Windsor
jeans: Express
wedges: Toms
earrings: G Stage


tunic: G Stage
scarf: Target
jeans: Lauren Conrad (Kohls)
earrings: Target
phone cover: Phone Cover of the Month
(I had just discovered beauty bloggers and was trying to get in on the action)


jacket: Forever 21
sweater: Windsor
jeans: Target
flats: Sole Society
earrings: Target
phone cover: Target


necklace: Charlotte Russe
top: Ann Taylor Loft
pants: Banana Republic
loafers: Me Too (Marshalls)


sleeveless top: Peter Pilotto for Target
t-shirt: Cynthia Rowley (Marshalls)


earrings: Target
cardigan: Target
striped tank: White House Black Market
pants: Banana Republic
flats: Me Too (Marshalls)


necklace: Forever 21
chambray shirt: Target
skirt: Target
belt: G Stage
shoes: Target


necklace: Icing
top: TJ Maxx
jeans: Express
shoes: Calvin Klein (TJ Maxx)


top: Kohls
shorts: TJ Maxx
shoes: Aldo


necklace: Forever 21
tank: Old Navy
vest: Target
pants: Ann Taylor Loft
sandals: G Stage

january target dress haul


We live in a very dangerous area–and by that I mean that there is a Target right across the street. The other night I headed over to pick up some soup for my sick hubby…and walked out with 3 dresses. (Has this ever happened to you?). Usually with Target I will either hate everything they have or love everything they have. Obviously this time I was pretty smitten with their dress selection, so here is a little summary of what got:

cream xhilaration lace dress
This one is my favorite of the three. It’s just very sweet and has a vintage feel. I wore it to a baby shower yesterday and a group of adorable ladies in their sixties were fawning over it. (So, ya know, that’s the demographic I fit in best with). There are no zippers or buttons or anything; you can literally just throw it on and go.

white jacket
I love the dress even more with my favorite jean jacket (this one is from Forever 21). I kept my jewelry simple (the studs are from Kohl’s and the long gold necklace is also from Target), and after starting with my Tom’s wedges, I ended up going with flat sandals (I think they were like $8 from Styles for Less). I was comfortable all day and I could focus on what really mattered–being there for the mommy-to-be!
($27.99, size medium)

Oh yeah! You probably can’t see my toe nail polish very well, but it’s Ruby Wing color-changing polish in “Ride ‘Em Cowgirl” from my January Birchbox. I love it! It really does change color in the sun!

merona chambray dress
blue hot
I absolutely love the look of chambray shirts, but they never really look great on me. I gave this tunic/dress a shot though, and I actually really like it. The skinny belt gives it a little more shape, and you could switch out the belt with any other slim one to change the look. I like it for a weekend look, and if it were very warm outside I would wear it with wedges like these (from Kohl’s) or sandals.

Today I am wearing it with leggings and my favorite Cathy Jean boots while I sit around and blog/ avoid doing my homework. I’ll probably throw a scarf on tonight when I meet up with my husband for dinner. It’s not fancy, but I think I’ll find myself wearing this a lot, switching up the belt, adding a cami underneath, or pairing it with patterned leggings. It’s super comfy too!
($27.99, size small)

striped merona flared dress
I’m a sucker for the Mad Men ’50’s/’60’s style dresses, and I couldn’t resist this one. It’s polyester and rayon, and the quality is amazing for the price. The fabric is fairly thick and sturdy, the construction is fantastic.

One of my favorite features is the tiny loop of thread that keeps the belt buckle at the center of your waist. I have never seen this on a dress before, but it’s genius! It can be so annoying when you have to keep twisting your belt around to the front after it sneaks over to your side again and again.

The neckline is very flattering and I like the pleated detail. It’s sleeveless, but the straps are wide enough that your bra straps wouldn’t show. I think I am going to wear this dress to an upcoming wedding, and it will be nice to have a drama-free undergarment option.

black side
You could probably wear almost any color shoe, but I paired this dress with my Calvin Klein pumps from Marshalls.

I love any excuse to wear my signature red J. Crew Jackie cardigan! The cut of a fitted cardigan compliments this dress really well.
($27.99, size small)

So if you’re in my neighborhood, I’ll meet you at Target and we can do some serious dress shopping while the cute styles last!