As students prepare to return to school for the year, you’ll busily prepare for the annual back-to-school night. Traditionally held on weekday evenings sometime during the first few weeks of school, it gives teachers, school staff, and the principal the opportunity to meet students’ parents, introduce them to the curriculum, and share any opportunities that might be available to volunteer or join the Parent-Teacher Association.
Although it’s not necessarily a formal affair in the traditional sense, back-to-school night is a chance for teachers to dress up just a touch. Leggings and tunics are on the casual side, so you should aim for something a little more polished overall. Treat it just as you would anything else where you might meet others in a professional environment, like a job interview or a meeting with a client. Making a positive first impression allows you to feel your best — something that’s key as you spend the evening meeting with countless parents. Here are some tips for looking your most stylish and professional.
Shirt dresses are among the most practical pieces for teachers to wear year-round. They’re smart, polished, and offer some structure that other styles might lack. Yet for their formality, they’re not quite _formal_ in the red carpet sense — they’re just more pulled together than the casual styles you might wear on weekends.
They’re available in numerous styles, from neutral colors to bright patterns, and they’re easy to dress up just a touch with a statement necklace or a bangle. Some dress styles feature adjustable drawstrings at the waist to help you create even greater definition, while others are a little more relaxed overall. Step into a pair of low-profile pumps and you’ll be ready to handle the evening with authority.
While wearing a skirt and a T-shirt almost sounds too casual, it really depends on the style of each piece. A mid length skirt is a great choice for back-to-school night because it presents a slightly more formal image than a mini or a maxi skirt. It exudes professionalism, and styles such as pencil skirts are practically synonymous with classic office attire.
The difference is ultimately what you wear with your skirt. While a blouse is a stylish choice that complements the look well, you don’t need to look like you’re headed to an office — it’s perfectly okay to wear something a little less formal, not just for your comfort, but also to suit the occasion. A solid-colored T-shirt tucked into the skirt creates a sense of balance from top to bottom, especially when you pair the outfit with heels. Add a necklace or two to dress things up just a touch.
You probably don’t want to wear jeans to back-to-school night — even parents will likely be slightly dressed up, so you should aim for something a little more reserved overall. A pair of women’s chino pants is a fantastic choice for back-to-school night. They’re available in a variety of colors and lengths. If you prefer a trendier style, opt for a pair of ankle-length pants for a more modern look.
If you opt for a neutral shade, create a balanced look by pairing it with a jewel-toned blouse on top. It’s a sophisticated, professional style perfect for an occasion like this. Finish with ballet flats or a pair of heels. If you prefer to wear a T-shirt, wear something structured over it, like a fitted blazer, to dress up the look just a touch. On their own, chinos and T-shirts are generally more casual. The blazer helps pull it all together nicely.
You may associate maxi dresses for women with balmy summer days. But the ubiquitous maxi definitely has its place elsewhere in your life, too. The key is to select the right _type_ of maxi. Some styles are strictly casual — those that are especially light and breezy and look like what you might wear while strolling on the boardwalk in sandals.
Steer in the opposite direction for back-to-school night. Try something with a fitted waist or a self-tie belt to create definition. That instantly establishes a more formal appearance, especially when you opt for a more neutral color. But don’t be afraid to venture outside of more neutral zones. It’s perfectly fine to wear colors and subtle patterns. Slip into a pair of flat sandals or your favorite heels for a perfectly polished look.
Back-to-school night only comes around once a year. It’s an opportunity for you to connect with your students’ parents and make sure that they know their kids are in the best possible care. That’s why making the right impression is so important. These outfits make it easy!