First, we have Pajama Day, which is definitely one of my favorites:
3.59 GBP - disneystore.co.uk
Christmas slippers »
$30 - encore-editions.com
$119 - endless.com
On your first day with students, you don't want to be too interesting. At the same time, you want to be yourself. This ensemble strikes a balance: a dark palette, romantic earrings, puff sleeves, but otherwise a very tailored look. All items are $50 or less except for the shoes - because on your first day in the classroom/library, you need good shoes. (I actually own this blazer.)
Apt. 9 Solid Shirtdress, $29.99 at Kohl's (down from $50.00)
Mudd Levy, $30 at 6pm.com (I paid $34.99 at DSW)
So, perhaps a dress and shoes aren't an entire ensemble... I did order some grey tights from WeLoveColors.com which should be here Wednesday or Thursday. There's still the matter of jewelry, hair, and a bag, but I've got a whole week to figure that out.
So here is the excitement. As I mention in my userinfo, when I was a child I consistently selected black clothing for myself (much like now). At that time, my parents were usually fairly indulgent, but my mother, who managed somehow to be both a theologian and a licensed minister at the same time, felt that more colorful clothing was required for Easter, and that was the one time of year when she begged me to wear pastels.
So when we got in the car, I asked Opera Ghost (as I shall refer to my husband from now on, or just O. G.) if it would be acceptable for me to wear my new black shirtdress on Easter. He was perplexed because, of course, I am an adult and thus capable of choosing my own clothes. But as we are eating with his family, I didn't want to do anything they might find too upsetting. I don't know that I would be up for pastels, but I certainly could go for jewel tones and silver rather than black and grey, if he thought it would be a problem. He assured me that it would be absolutely acceptable for me to wear this dress to Easter, and I was ecstatic.
Now that you've read that, I can close by saying that a shirtdress is a classic look which, so long as it is either buttoned to the top or buttoned all but the top button and with a tasteful camisole underneath (which is how I will probably wear it), is absolutely safe for an educator to wear. Likewise, the shoes are perfectly acceptable, though I don't know if I'd recommend them to a classroom teacher. I haven't tried standing for six hours in them yet.
I think as a science educator you could get away with wearing any of these any time of year. I think the spinal cord is kind of unrecognizable and would be easy enough to wear no matter what your position. As a Latin teacher or librarian, I'd only be bold enough to try the rib cage or the foot in October.
eHow.com provides this very useful article: "How to Dress Like a Teacher." I'd like to take a look at some of its points and see how gothiness can be maintained while still adhering to these very reasonable principles.
1. Dress professionally. Do you know what is super professional? A black suit. Dressing professionally does mean leaving out or toning down those bits of your wardrobe which others might consider costumey.
2. Modesty is key. Corsetry is not welcome in the K-12 environment, but clothing which provides sufficient coverage of cleavage, midriff, and thighs is. For the more Edwardian-inclined among us, this is no problem whatsoever.
3. Wear clothes that are in good condition. The aesthetic of decay which you might find in a lovely tattered dress is best saved for the weekend.
4. Buy fabrics that are easy to clean. Good news! Home dry cleaning kits are reasonably priced. So wear your velvet and lace (although make sure that you've got something opaque under the lace, see #2).
5. Dress for comfort. Another instance in which, for some, corsetry is the exact example of what not to wear. You're going to be on your feet all day. You don't want things to be too binding. Well-tailored is a very goth-friendly look.
And because I like to make lists in sets of seven, I'd like to add one further:
7. Make sure you don't dress too much like your goth students. Maintaining the teacher-student distinction is important not only so that your students will respect you, but also so that your colleagues will respect you. You should always look more professional and polished than your students do.