If you’re a teacher, getting your classroom style just right can be challenging. You want to be comfortable, and professional, but also approachable. You want your colleagues, students, and parents to give you the respect you deserve. And, whether you like it or not, outward appearances play a big part in that. Let’s take a look at the best outfits for teachers to get you ready for class.

Even though we created this article and capsule with teachers in mind, it will also be suitable as a smart casual style for any work situation or outing.

How to choose your outfits for the classroom

First, some general thoughts about what to wear as a teacher. Then, take a look at the capsule wardrobe we put together with lots of stylish outfits for teachers. You will find a set of clothes, shoes and accessories that you can mix and match to create lots of Monday to Friday outfits.

How to choose the best outfits for teachers

Here are some general tips to keep in mind when you choose the best outfits for teachers:

1. Outfit should not be too revealing

You’re not going to want to wear anything too short or revealing that could be deemed too ‘sexy’. That’s true of any place of work, but perhaps more so at school. Avoid sheer fabrics, tight silhouettes, low-cut tops and short skirts.

2. Opt for Breathable fabrics

Dawn Lucy wears a shirt dress | 40plusstyle.com

Opt for clothing in natural, breathable fabrics so you don’t get sweaty, and you stay at the right temperature throughout the day.

Dawn Lucy @fashionshouldbefun above opts for a mid-length shirt dress that would be perfect for a day in the classroom. You could always wear flat loafers or sneakers (if you’re allowed) if you’re going to be on your feet all day.

Recreate her outfit with this similar dress (other options here and here), pumps, handbag and earrings.

3. Consider the age group you’re teaching

If you’re teaching older pupils, then think about how you want to appear to them. For example, a pair of dark jeans and a blazer exude professionalism while being hip. For younger pupils, you may want to make your outfit more ‘fun’ and include more bright colors. Leave any accessories that can be grabbed at home if you have a younger age group.

4. Are you Able to move in your clothes?

Shan wears a pink blazer | 40plusstyle.com

Again, this is likely to depend on the age group you’re teaching. If you’re teaching younger students, you’re likely to be moving around a lot more. Choose styles that allow you to bend down and move around.

Shan @teachingonthegc above opts for an outfit that looks both professional and playful. Note she opts for stylish flat shoes rather than heels.

Check out this similar top, blazer (another option here), pants, pumps (flat option here), scarf and earrings.

5. Do you have meetings or parents evenings?

Your plans for the day will determine what you want to wear. If you have important meetings or parents evenings, take a blazer so you can easily pop it on to look more professional.

6. Can you wear the outfits in different ways?

You’re likely to be teaching five days a week, so you’ll want clothes, shoes and accessories that you can style in many different ways so you don’t look like you’re wearing the same outfit all the time.

7. Don’t forget your layers

Wearing layers makes it easy to adjust to any temperature. The heat and air conditioning can vary from room to room in school, and you might be going outside to supervise break time.

8. consider Your school dress code

Some schools have them, some schools don’t. If you do have a school dress code, make yourself familiar with it. It’s likely to be commonsense suggestions like the ones above, as well as any rules on wearing denim or tank tops, for example.

the Best outfits for teachers

Okay, let’s look at some clothes, shoes and accessories you could combine to put together the best outfits for teachers and create a capsule wardrobe that will give you many different options.


A classic white shirt is a great option since it can be styled in so many ways. Depending on the season choose long or short sleeved tops. For Fall and winter, look out for cozy sweaters to keep you warm in the classroom. Also add a tank top that you can wear with a cardigan or blazer.

Outfits for teachers - tops | 40plusstyle.com

COS Oversized ShirtAnne Klein Dot Print Pleat Front Sleeveless TopCOS Deconstructed Wool SweaterCOS Slim Fit Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Stripe top and denim skirt outfit | 40plusstyle.com

COS Deconstructed Wool SweaterXÍRENA Spence Button Front Denim SkirtBlondo Darleen Waterproof BootieKate Spade New York All Day Leather ToteGas Bijoux Semiprecious Stone Stud Earrings

Coats, jackets and cardigans

A blazer will keep you professional on days you have important meetings or want to make a particularly good impression. A sleeveless vest is also a great option as you can layer over sleeveless or long sleeve tops.

Also look out for well-cut cardigans that you can keep on the back of your chair to take on or off depending on the changing classroom temperature.

Jackets for teachers | 40plusstyle.com

J.Crew Willa City Crepe BlazerMango Long Bow VestBarefoot Dreams CozyChic Ultra Lite® Open Front CardiganLock and Love Draped Front Open Cardigan

Style for teachers: the best outfits for teachers to stay stylish and comfy in the classroom | 40plusstyle.com

Shan @teachingonthegc above opts for a blue and neutral outfit with a large tote to carry her essentials.

Get her look with this similar top, blazer, pants, loafers, tote, belt, necklace and earrings.

Pants and jeans

You’re likely to want to wear more pants and jeans than skirts (although we’ve got some great options for those too below). If you’re allowed to wear jeans, opt for darker washes like dark blue and black as these look more professional.

Also look for a quality pair of leggings that you can wear with longer tunics or shorter dresses. A pair of classic, pleated dress pants is a great addition to your teaching capsule, and you could always add a print pair of pants too.

Pants and jeans for teachers | 40plusstyle.com

PAIGE Claudine High Waist Ankle Flare JeansMango Pleat Straight TrousersDIARRABLU Leer Ben Palazzo PantsVince Camuto Seamed Back Ponte Leggings

Cardigan and jeans outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Lock and Love Draped Front Open CardiganAnne Klein Dot Print Pleat Front Sleeveless TopPAIGE Claudine High Waist Ankle Flare JeansMUSSHOE Bowknot FlatsCOACH Polished Pebble Leather Crossbody BagChild of Wild Twisted Sister Small Hoop Earrings

Dresses, jumpsuits and skirts

When it comes to your dresses, look out for knee-length, and midi styles that won’t be too revealing, and that will allow you to move. Denim skirts are back on trend again in full styles, and a jumpsuit is smart yet comfortable.

Dresses for teachers | 40plusstyle.com

Vince Pleated V-Neck Drawstring DressDIARRABLU Tilo Print Tie Back DressFraiche by J Smocked Waist Wide Leg JumpsuitXÍRENA Spence Button Front Denim Skirt

Blazer and dress outfit | 40plusstyle.com

J.Crew Willa City Crepe BlazerVince Pleated V-Neck Drawstring DressNaturalizer Morrison SneakerKattee Soft Genuine Leather SatchelCOACH Polished Pebble Leather Crossbody Bag

shoes for teachers

When it comes to your shoes and boots, you’ll mainly want to focus on flat or low-heeled styles as you’ll be on your feet a lot during the day. Choose flat boots and booties, ballet flats and loafers. If it’s okay with your school dress code, you could also add a pair of sneakers.

Shoes for teachers | 40plusstyle.com

SARTO by Franco Sarto Tracy FlatMUSSHOE Bowknot FlatsBlondo Darleen Waterproof BootieNaturalizer Morrison Sneaker

Dawn Lucy wears a striped top and jeans | 40plusstyle.com

Dawn Lucy @fashionshouldbefun above chooses a classic striped top and black pants outfit. You could easily change the look of this day-to-day by switching up your accessories.

Get her look with this similar top, coat, pants, pumps, bag, earrings, belt and sunglasses.


Opt for bags that you can fit everything you need in for the day – whether that’s your laptop, books or marking. Add colorful scarves to your outfits to change the style each day. Keep your jewelry on the subtle side, particularly if you’re teaching younger students who might grab it.

Accessories for teachers | 40plusstyle.com

Kate Spade New York All Day Leather ToteKattee Soft Genuine Leather SatchelCOACH Polished Pebble Leather Crossbody BagKate Spade New York On the Dot Scatter Station NecklaceBaubleBar Beaded Pavé NecklaceGas Bijoux Semiprecious Stone Stud EarringsChild of Wild Twisted Sister Small Hoop EarringsKate Spade New York Garden Plaid Square Scarf

Outfits for teachers - suit | 40plusstyle.com

Mango Long Bow VestCOS Oversized ShirtMango Pleat Straight TrousersSARTO by Franco Sarto Tracy FlatKate Spade New York All Day Leather ToteChild of Wild Twisted Sister Small Hoop EarringsChild of Wild Twisted Sister Small Hoop Earrings

Your outfits for teachers together in one capsule wardrobe

Below, you can see the clothes, shoes and accessories from above put together into a capsule of 9 outfits to get you started. You can easily mix and match everything to create lots of different looks.

For example, wear the tank top and blazer with the denim skirt, the belted vest over the jeans, the white shirt with the striped pants or the yellow pants with the stripe top.

There are lots of possibilities.

Teacher outfits | 40plusstyle.com

What would you consider the best outfits for teachers? Let us know in a comment below.

Continue reading:

  1. Classy Business Outfits For Women Over 40 – Your Work Capsule Wardrobe Sorted
  2. A Capsule Wardrobe For The Classic Style Personality
  3. How To Wear Jeans Over 40 – Guidelines And Lots Of Ideas

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Style for teachers: the best outfits for teachers to stay stylish and comfy in the classroom | 40plusstyle.com

Feature image by Shan @teachingonthegc


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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