Are you attracted to an androgynous look?

“What do I wear today?” Or: the right outfit for school

(imi) Stephanie Grupe is the "fashion whisperer" and has been giving women tips for many years on how to present their own type well - also at school.

Every day, teachers stand in front of a very critical audience for several hours: their students. You can see at a glance whether your teacher's outfit is right or not. Stephanie Grupe is the “fashion whisperer” and has been giving women tips for many years on how to present their own type well - also at school.

Every Sunday you write about fashion in your blog and you are one of the most successful over 40 bloggers in Germany. There is also a separate article on the outfit for teachers. How did you come to contact this professional group?

I hadn't explicitly planned to do this. At some point I noticed that teachers kept asking me if I could give them tips on how to wear the right clothes for everyday school life. It was important to them not to dress up, but still to exude professionalism through their clothing; it was about respect for them.

What does fashion have to do with respect?

A lot - and more than you think. It is not clear to many that clothing appropriate for the situation positively supports their own professionalism, while unsuitable clothing works against them. By dressing appropriately, a teacher expresses appreciation and consideration for the students and shows that she is aware of her role as a role model. I can tell from the many letters that teachers are very careful about what to wear. You ask yourself: Are the jeans too tight? Is the blouse neckline too wide? Do you see spots of sweat on my armpits when I write something on the board? How comfortable can pants be so that I can bend down easily without looking shapeless?

Children: critical and direct

Now children and young people are also a very critical audience ...

Oh yeah! Children and young people immediately scan whether a teacher is dressed appropriately, whether she looks old-fashioned or whether she comes to school too trendy. I know from the teachers among my readers that they are asked directly about a new hairstyle, new shoes, a new piece of jewelry and, more generally, about their style of clothing.

Let's imagine a teacher, let's call her Julia, has her first day in a new school tomorrow: What should she think about in the evening?

If she prefers the androgynous business style, then she can combine, for example, a shirt blouse or a blouse top with trousers made of a suit fabric. Over it she wears a blazer or a short jacket, and as shoes, for example, pumps with block heels or lace-up shoes in men's style. If Julia wants to look more feminine but still want to stay in business style, then a pencil or A-line skirt with stretch, a sheath dress or a wrap dress that doesn’t open up, or a shirt dress.

Secret: high quality fabrics

What if Julia is more of the casual type?

There is a fine line between casual-comfortable and careless. Especially when Julia wants to appear friendly, but still professional, approachable but still respectable, youthful but still adult and also modern, but not as a fashion victim, the balancing act can be difficult. But she could combine, for example, a T-shirt made of a solid fabric or a thin sweater with a blouson and wear it with a dark denim skirt or jeans. A robust, high-quality leather belt underlines the casual touch. The right shoes would be ballerinas with solid soles, sneakers, but not from the sports department, or well-cared for sailing shoes. While jewelry should be subtle in business style, necklaces or earrings should stand out - they just shouldn't jingle, as that distracts in class.

In a nutshell, this means that every teacher should think carefully about how she wants her clothes to appear and not leave this to chance, right?

Yes, a teacher always makes a statement with her clothes, whether she wants to or not. The choice of fabrics, cuts, colors, accessories says a lot about a person and their attitude. Teachers have to ensure optimal freedom of movement, but should also always be able to maintain posture. The secret are high-quality fabrics that are flexible or processed with stretch components and wrinkle as little as possible. Teachers also emphasize posture when the shoulder area is well worked out and sits perfectly. A well-fitting blazer always helps to present the teacher as a person of respect.

Style can be trained

What do you advise teachers not to do?

No Walle dresses, no wild, colorful patterns - and if so, then only in a single element of the clothing - no see-through fabrics, no wide or deep necklines, no skirts that are too short; and overall, not showing too much skin, even in summer. All oversize elements should only be used discreetly and supplemented with figure-hugging, structured parts. Oversized clothing takes its contours from the body and thus also its posture. Strong women in particular or those with a larger bust should not cover themselves up, but rather wear flowing, figure-flattering clothing in not too intrusive colors. You can set accents, for example, with a beautiful cloth or a long chain.

If a teacher wants to reorient her wardrobe, how can she go about it?

She should get a basic outfit that she can vary and "upgrade" fashionably with details. This includes a perfect skirt, perfect trousers and a well-fitting blazer in neutral colors, such as blue, gray, black, cream-colored. When a woman has found the perfect T-shirt for her figure, she can put several of them in her closet in her favorite colors. She finds support when she asks about casual business chic in good fashion houses or well-stocked boutiques. Another thing that is important to me to say: It takes a while to find out what suits you in the phase of life you are currently in. Style is like a muscle that always needs to be trained.

Inge Michels

Compact:
Teachers have a varied job that is exhausting and, depending on the age of the children to be taught, involves a lot of exercise. It is not always easy to exude respect, authority and serenity in every situation.
The right clothing helps teachers radiate competence and security. Style advisor Stephanie Grupe gives comprehensive tips at www.modefluesterin.de.