Friday, 9 September 2011

Suits Me

The return to school brought a new uniform for the students, because we are a la Academy status now and as such everyone is required to look like they are working in an office.

Including, it seems, the staff.

Now, I didn't know this, because certain information that was handed out at the end of last term didn't reach me because I wasn't there. And that information included the notice that all staff were expected to wear a jacket 'when moving around the Academy.'

'When moving around the Academy?' I thought. But I always move when I'm teaching. It pays to scare the students sometimes by invading their space and looming over them. Keeps 'em on their toes. Am I expected to wear a jacket ALL THE TIME regardless of my hot flush moments and the fact my classroom sometimes likes to play 'Sauna' and roast me to a delicate pinkness even if I open ALL the windows and the skylights?

It transpires I am not. Jacket only to be worn when moving between buildings.

Now, I don't actually own a jacket because I am a cardi and coat person. Well, tell a lie, I have a little red velvety crop jacket which I bought from Monsoon about ten years ago. It has a rather snazzy floral lining and I bought it because a) it was red b) it was fuzzy and c) it doesn't really look like a jacket. Oh, and d) it was in the sale.

So I've been swanning around in this jacket all week and because it's red it's been clashing with some of my outfits something chronic. I've always gone for smart-casual at school because it's comfortable and colourful and the older you get the more comfort and colour you like. Also, as a one-time drama teacher you can get away with wearing odd combinations of clothes, in fact, it's almost expected of the arty type. You are forgiven fashion faux pas by the students because you have a brain that works in an odd way and can't be expected to be a la mode aware. I think 'eccentric' is the word. Well, I do have three cats...

But, to my chagrin I have noticed that almost ALL the staff are now dressed in suits. In various shades of black and grey and Occasionally brown. Or taupe. Cheerful, eh?

I DON'T DO SUITS!!!! I wore a suit in my first teaching job and it felt like trying to teach with a set of skis threaded up one sleeve, across the shoulders and down the other sleeve. It proved a very brief suit flirtation. I was soon onto the co-ordinated casual combination and when I got a drama studio I found I could even get away with no shoes. Heck, there were days when I didn't see another member of staff from morning 'til night and I could have worn jim-jams and fluffy socks for the ultimate in teaching comfort.

But now I feel I've got to go out this weekend and buy a suit because I feel like the Academy bag-lady. Do I go jacket 'n trouser or jacket 'n' skirt? Do I find a jacket that has both a matching trouser 'n' skirt in the range so I can ring the changes? And, oh, decisions about the or brown or grey or black or grey or beige or black or black? It'll have to be washable, of course, which means some horrid polyester blend monstrosity which will make me boil even more and probably meld to my skin in the Winter and cause static electric shocks in the Summer.

And I'll have to go to Canterbury if I want a decent choice because the shops in our home town are woefully inadequate on the work-suit front, and I know this because I checked out the possibilities last weekend and got very depressed, hence the digging out of the red crop jacket.

Never has the prospect of retail therapy filled me with more gloom.

It's all very stressful.


Bob said...

Black - definately black, or at a push grey - not beige, taupe, or magnolia. (actually the last one is a wall colouring im not particuarly fond of but you get the idea)

Also, Evans is not to be sneezed at - reasonable prices and suits that are cut generously!

Denise said...

Evans can be sneezed at - too many polyester fibres in the air.

I'm thinking of grey, mostly. One needs to be wary of wearing black in school. One tiny cell of dandruff and the students'll never let you forget.

My dad used to cover everything with woodchip paper and paint it magnolia, so I have a natural aversion. No danger of magnolia crossing my wardrobe door.