Make Your Workwear Party-Ready



I have a closet full of teaching clothes.  When I had Greenlea, I made the decision to stay home with her (hellooo day care costs on a teacher salary!) and had to come up with some new ways to style my teacher-friendly clothes in a party-friendly way.  Y’all know how much I love my Portofino tops, and styling this was as easy as unbuttoning the top button and adding a statement necklace.  Have a pencil skirt?  Ditch the tights or nude hose in favor of back-seam black nylons (rawr) and swap the comfort pumps for some embellished ankle-wrap stilettos.  (Ok maybe not stilettos, maybe some modest wedges . . . but you get the idea.) Here’s how to dress up workwear for holiday parties and nights out.











Express Portofino Blouse (also available in a new slimmer fit)

Necklace (Old), but here’s a similar Black Fringe necklace, or a gold fringe necklace, a silver fringe necklace, and if you’re looking for a smaller statement this gold one is perfect and I think this white fringe necklace would look great under a black button up

Back Seam Pantyhose

Skirt: Old, but this one is super budget-friendly and this one is a bit longer in length

Shoes: Old, but these beauties are crazy beautiful and these ankle strap pumps have a lower heel (and are available in a gorgeous red suede) . . . but if you like the look of the shoes I’m wearing, these sexy heels from Jessica Simpson have ruffles on the back heel and the skinny ankle strap that looks great with those back seam hose! (they’re also available in red, blue and pink and are 50% off right now!)

Zack’s Outfit

Suit: Express Gray Photographer Suit Jacket and Slim Photographer Suit Pant in Gray (Zack swears by these suits because they have a nice slim fit without being super tight . . . and they’re half off right now at Express!

Shirt: Fitted Dress shirt from Express (they obviously fit nicely under their suits)

Tie: (old) This slim silk tie is the same color and is reversible!

Shoes: old, but these gray Base London wingtips are similar (and 40% off) and these wingtips from 1901 are a bit browner and also available in a steel blue color (and 50% off)




If your party isn’t that fancy, your work-wear Portofino can be dressed down with jeans, but still keep the festive holiday vibe with tone-on-tone colors and fancy accessories.









Top: Express Portofino Blouse (also available in a new slimmer fit)

Jeans: Express Mid Rise Bell Sailor Flares

Necklace (Old), but here’s a similar Black Fringe necklace, or a gold fringe necklace, a silver fringe necklace, and if you’re looking for a smaller statement this gold one is perfect and I think this white fringe necklace would look great under a black button up

Bracelet: (Old) This one from Express is similar (and currently half-off!) and this beaded leather cuff is amazing.  Oh, and this crystal and bead bracelet on soft lambskin is ahh-some.

Blazer: (Old) This wine-colored blazer is available in regular or petite and this “waistcoat with a cape” from ASOS is spot-on-trend.

Boots: Old Nine West booties but these boots from Nine West are practically identical but with a lower heel, these BP Trolley Ankle Booties come in burgundy leather (if suede isn’t your thing), and these Sam Edelman booties have a kitten heel for maximum comfort.

Clutch: A wedding gift that I use allll the time, this one is similar, and this Etsy seller, Red Ostrich makes one-of-a-kind feather clutches that would make great gifts!

So . . . with a closet full of teaching clothes, I’m always looking for new ways to spruce them up a bit and make them a little fancier.  Any tried and true ways that you guys are able to do so?  Let me know!






  1. Scotti –
    What did you teach???? I’m teaching 4th this year – I took some time off to be with my kids and am not back to work. I’m struggling with my teacher “look” – I know the blogs a lot about stay at home mom looks but I’d love advice on “teacher uniforms” especially since you are familiar with out salary. 😉
    Also – what color portofino are you wearing / it looks blush

    • I think this is a great post idea, no? I definitely had to work within a budget for my teacher clothes . . . and it’s hard because (as I’m sure you know), the clothes have to be warm in the morning (leaving the house in the dead of winter), and then it’s hot in the classroom . . . they have to be comfortable . . . and you don’t want to look like you’ve thrown in the towel to the frump, right?? 🙂 Totally get it. I wore lots of sweater dresses and leggings . . . not too tight, not too short, I’d wear Uggs in the car and then change into “cuter” boots there. Scarves and cardigans were almost always a must because of the hot/cold/hot/cold thing. I can definitely work on a post if that would be helpful! And the portofino was a blush color . . . I can’t remember the exact name and of course it’s not available now! They’re always adding and rotating colors on there, though, so I’m sure it will be back again soon!

    • Oh I forgot to answer your question! I taught world history to 9th-graders and English to 11th-graders. It was a fun, fulfilling job . . . until the Mom job came around. “Toughest job you’ll ever love” is true I think for both! 😉

      • Very Very True! I taught 1st last year and it rocked my world – my hat is off to all the primary teachers out there – I had taught 5th before taking time off. Now that I am up in 4th grade I feel the need to dress nicer (many of my co-workers do in the upper grades)- I wore more leggings (ponte knit) and such last year. I am trying to look more professional (teacher professional – not like business professional) but still staying on trend and like you mentioned – stay comfy in the classroom and not freeze at recess). I shop a lot at J Crew Factory, some Loft and a lot a Nordstrom. I have a hard time with pants too. I have been dabbling back in EXPRESS thanks to you (I used to manage one in between teaching gigs – crazy) Anywhoo – I think this would be a great post idea and I LOVE your posts 🙂

    • Hi Abbie! Just answered your question above . . . and yes, I did makeup on the side since most of my clients were brides who were getting married in the summertime. Doing both worked out pretty well and now I have even more time to devote to weddings and makeup clients!

  2. Looks like it was a fun photoshoot! That red blazer is fabulous; I like both the looks, but the second really stands out. I’d do up that top button and call it an everyday outfit! But then, I’m usually overdressed no matter what the occasion. 😉

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