>The Professional Wardrobe – second hand style


Regular readers know that I’ve traded in my classroom for a cubicle. I’ll have a sizable class, but I’ll be teaching them online. It’s an exciting move, one for which I’ve been preparing for quite a while.
My new cubicle will be in an old building that’s been remodeled many, many times. It now houses two charter schools on its first floor, IT & helpdesk & Media Central offices along with a computer lab in the basement, and offices on the second floor. The offices include Special Education, Title I, English Language Learners/ Bilingual Education and more department heads. My new workplace, a virtual charter school, is also located on the second floor.
Now the issues: the building is air conditioned. How well? I don’t know. It is heated, but old windows are drafty and leak. The end result: I need to dress in layers. Serious, professional, layers. Since I’ll be sharing hallways and bathrooms with administrative peoples, I feel the need to upgrade my wardrobe somewhat. Since my take-home pay will be lower next year (thanks to our nasty current state legislature), I was faced with the dilemma: upgrade wardrobe on a downgraded pay scale after a lengthy unpaid leave of absence. The solution was actually quite simple: second hand. Consignment.
The first pair of jackets are good neutrals. They’re both brand name pieces, and both were on sale 50% off the marked price.

Then La Petite found some more colorful neutrals for me. I think we’ll replace the rhinestone button on the peachy blazer, but I really like the yellow. Fall and spring, pastels for the office.
Then I became more adventurous. Below is a Laura Ashley jacket in great earth tones with scattered shiny trim. Each time I looked at this one I thought of another pair of pants or shirt that would coordinate with it.
La Petite said she wouldn’t wear it herself, but agreed that it was a good style and good fit (and fun) for me. Here’s the back view. It’s fairly lightweight, too.
Then I got serious about having fun. These two pieces were on the clearance rack as I went to check out. It’s hard to see the detail on the vest; it’s really gorgeous, front and back. These were 50% off the already low consignment price. The shirt is Croft & Barrow; the vest is Coldwater Creek.
All that for a total of (drumroll, please) $60. Five jackets, a dressy shirt, and a vest: I’m rather pleased with the results. Oh, one more detail: only one needs to be dry cleaned. The rest can be washed on delicate cycle. Now that, my friends, is priceless.

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