In honor of the new school year, I wanted to share my vision for the teachers of the world: a clothing store with tags that will, in advance, describe how our wardrobes will disrupt our classes and frustrate us. Most of these concerns, as you will see below, are for the women standing in front of the kids all day.
BAI: Boob Anxiety Issues. This won’t actually show your boobs, but you’ll be anxious about showing your boobs or revealing the shadow of a nipple through the fabric and you’ll spend the whole day pulling the back of it down to try to restore the neckline to the place it rested when you tried it on for two seconds in the dressing room.
Black Chalk Monster: This is nice and black, will go with anything and seems to be a wardrobe win. But somehow chalk dust adheres to this poly-blend fabric with such tenacity that it resists all attempts to brush it off, and you will look like you wiped the chalkboard with your butt, which is not a good image for your students to be contemplating.
CBS: Cute but sweaty. This product is 90% polyester, and although it is drapy and has a great colorful print, it will make you perspire like a hog when you are up in front of the classroom gesticulating and writing on the board.
CTHRU: Transparency Issues: This will reveal you wear a bra. A bra is mandatory for most women, and going without one is not okay, but apparently also acknowledging that you wear a bra by showing its ghostly outline through a shirt is not okay. These things on my chest? Oh those are just hovering ghost boobs.
Dog Hair Magnet: This is black, will go with anything, so it seems to be a win. But when you sit in your dog-hair-encrusted car, it will pick up dog hair in places you can’t reach with a lint roller before your first class. This matters unless you’re so far gone into the semester that this seems like a good thing, or unless you are wearing a CTHRU or HOT and the dog hair is your strategy for taking down the sexiness of your outfit.
HOT: Hot for teacher: This is not a boob issues or a transparency issue but may just have a little bit of cling or maybe just too much style. It just looks nice here on the rack, and it looks cute in the dressing room, but when you put it on in your bedroom, it looks too cute. Somehow. Crap. Or this is the outfit your wildest student will say is “cute,” which will make you lose all sense of authority in the classroom.
LOL: Learning Outcome Lag: This is either too weird, too noticeable, or too three-decades-ago, and it will get you on a list that kids will pass around to make fun of, and this is only important because it will distract them for their Learning Outcomes
PF: Pants Fail. Why do I not throw these pants away? I probably got them from Goodwill. The waistband is too low. I lean over to get something out of my bag, or GODFORBID I squat with my back to the class to plug in an AV cord, and practically flash the class with an asscrack or at least a vision of pale lower back skin. Or they’re too freaking loose and I spend all class surreptitiously trying to pull them up while looking like I’m… what? scratching at hives?
TENT: Sexless tent: This is teacher safe but will make you feel like a warehouse, and you’ll experience a dip in self-esteem and a rise in worthlessness that will happen to coincide with the request for heading up a committee or dead-end service project that you, in your sexless tent, will say yes to, which will lead to much suffering.
WAW: Wash and wear and winning! This is a Thursday outfit.
Wrinkly Mess: It’s nice, it’s linen-ish, and Mom always said linen was classy. It’s cool enough to provide ventilation, which alleviates CBS concerns. And yet when you get out of the car, you already look like you slept all weekend under your desk. This is a useful outfit to wear if you are part of salary negotiations.
BOOTS: These knee-high boots, worn on the first day, let you know I will kick your late work to the curb. If you remember nothing else, remember these boots and know I mean business. I don’t care how much my calves sweat in the August heat, these boots are worth it.
U-Squared: (Thank you to Kelly Ferguson for this one!) The Square, a Menswear jackets with shoulder pads circa 1976 Power Suit. Useful for creating a hegemonic silhouette. You think you can out-Camille Paglia me? Pick up the course packet and we’ll see about that.