Saturday, April 29, 2017

And Then It Was Friday...

Let's be honest--Fridays are the best! You've made it to the end of the week, haven't yet procrastinated on your weekend to-do list, and you can enjoy the evening because you can tell yourself you'll do all of those things on Saturday. It's the best.

My Friday teacher style has evolved over the years. At my first teaching gig, we all wore school colors on Friday. At my current school, most people still wear school shirts on Friday, but I'm a bum. I don't.

Why, you might ask, did I stop wearing my Friday uniform? Well, if you must know, it's my couch's fault. You see, if I wear my school shirt to work, then I have to go home to change before I meet friends for the evening.
If I go home to change, then I will sit on my couch.
If I sit on my couch, I will realize how tired I am.
If I realize how tired I am, then I will be absorbed by my couch and never leave my apartment again...or at least not that night.
So, after many cancelled Friday night plans, I decided that momentum is my friend, so I go straight from work to my evening outings whenever possible. I know--this is when you start to realize that I really am an 85-year-old woman stuck in a not-85-year-old body. Just wait until the strawberries are ripe and I start talking about making jam.

Before I get to today's outfit, I thought I would mention a few things I have figured out about Friday nights.
1. Keep your Friday nights low-key if you can. Teaching requires quite a bit of attention to other people, and by the end of the week you might very well be ready for some time that doesn't require you to be quite as socially engaged. So--things like movies, dinner with a few good friends, or a baseball game can be much preferred over parties, group outings, or other things that require meeting new people or really deep conversations.
2. Don't let cultural norms dictate your Friday night. If you are tired, emotionally drained, or getting sick, stay home. Watch bad TV, order pizza, put your pajamas on whenever you feel like it. And don't judge yourself or become overwhelmed by FOMO.
3. Not every hangout has to be filled with serious, deep conversation. Going to the movies and laughing with a friend can be meaningful. Watching a game and eating nachos can be good for you. Sometimes not talking or only talking about trivial things is just the break you need. And sometimes it seems counter intuitive, but if you've had a really hard week, sometimes talking about other parts of who you are is just what you need.

Okay--back to my Friday uniform.

This outfit seems to be pretty teacher-y, but I'm a teacher, so I think that's okay. My new Friday uniform is typically skinny jeans, a non-t-shirt top, and shoes that can handle a day at work and then walking around a bit at night. As I mentioned earlier, I try to keep my Friday night plans low-key when possible, so I don't really need to be club-ready straight from work, but I also want to avoid looking like a wiped out teacher when I meet friends for an early dinner. This uniform seems to, at least for me, give me the comfort to move from one part of my life to another.

My Birks are my current favorites for Fridays. I hadn't had a pair since college, and I had forgotten how comfy they are. They were a bit of an investment, but I'll tell more about how I decide when to spend big bucks and when I stay cheap some other day, but just to say, these were a good purchase. They've already sustained me on a two-hour walk around the Cherry Blossoms, a few days of teaching, and a week walking around with my family over spring break.

As for buying tips, here's what I have:
1. Much like Thursday's outfit, I typically build up the basics and then enjoy mixing and matching. J Crew Factory, every season, puts out a ton of these cardigans in different colors. This means I can buy one or two here and there and then have all kinds of options for how I style things. Here is the link to this season's options:
Basic J Crew Factory Cardigan
It will probably require you to use a sweater stone or something similar from time-to-time, but other than that, it seems to hold up pretty well.

2. Take the time to really find jeans that work for you. Most of my favorites right now are from Banana Republic, but that keeps changing from season to season, and I have a weird body type, so I can't really say that they're a good fit for anyone else.

3. I'm a sucker for a summer denim/chambray shirt. I think it looks cute with skinny jeans and a cardigan, but I also think it looks cute with bright shorts or a basic pencil skirt. This shirt is 2 or 3 years old, but here's something similar:
Loft Option 1
Loft Option 2

Okay--Hope that helps!

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