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This post originally appeared on the blog 2 Peas and a Dog.  

Teachers are professionals; therefore it is important that we dress professionally. It can be difficult to find stylish and professional looking clothes on a teacher budget. Read on for 10 tips to help teachers dress for success. 

1. Outlet Stores. Shop at outlet stores. You can find great prices and stylish pieces for less than they would cost at a regular store. 

2. Reward Cards. Think about what stores most appeal to your style, and see if they have a rewards card. Be loyal to these stores when shopping to get the most points for your money. Also visit your bank to see if your credit card can be switched to a points card that can be redeemed for rewards at stores where you shop or for a gift card. I recently read a great blog post by Maria and Rob from Crazy Together about exchanging their extra coins at a Coinstar machine for a gift card. 

3. Thrift Stores. I love shopping at second hand stores. Every piece is unique and costs far less than at the mall. Put your Google powers to good use and see where your local thrift stores are located. Make an afternoon of it, and see what great things you can find. I also love looking into their book sections to see what great literary finds I can buy for my classroom library. Multi-tasking at its best!

4. Ask for Gift Cards. If your friends and family like to ask you what you want for holidays and birthdays, ask for gift cards to the mall or specific stores. Save up those gift cards, and go shopping a few times a year when you need some new pieces.

5. Consignment Stores. They’re a great place to find brand name quality clothing for less than retail. People use consignment stores to sell their gently used pieces. I have found some very good deals on nearly-new, still-in-season clothing pieces. Grab a coffee, bring a friend, and go shopping!

6. Big Box Discount Stores. Stores like Costco, Walmart, and Target are great for buying wardrobe staples like socks, underwear, boxers, undershirts, pajamas etc.

7. Shop End of Season. Any good shopper knows that the best sales can be found near the end of a season. I always buy expensive seasonal purchases like winter coats at the end of the season. It costs a lot less than it would if I bought it at the start of the season.

8. Invest Only In Timeless Pieces. When spending your money, make sure you spend more on timeless pieces like a warm outdoor duty coat and boots. A cold and wet teacher = a sick teacher. Teachers also need really comfortable shoes because we don’t sit during the day!

9. Be Mindful of Trendy Pieces. We have all seen great photos of trendy clothes on social media sites. Before you splurge on that new outfit, ask yourself: “Can I see myself wearing this more than just this season?” When I want to add something very trendy to my wardrobe, I seek out the cheap stores in the mall that are trendy, but not very expensive.

10. Don’t Buy Too Many Non-Work Clothes. As teachers, we spend a lot of time at work. It is important that our money is well spent on buying clothes that work for both the classroom and weekend apparel. As much as I love leggings and jeans, I don’t buy too many pairs because they are not something I can wear to work regularly.

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2peasandadoglogoKristy of TpT store 2peasandadog is a Canadian middle school ELA and Social Studies teacher who enjoys creating engaging resources and blogging about topics that help teachers achieve a better work-life balance. She is currently in her 10th year of teaching. Follow Kristy on Pinterest, InstagramFacebook, Twitter, and her blog to see more of her resources and teaching ideas.