Ramping up a second-grade teacher’s wardrobe just takes a little planning.
Being a second-grade teacher isn’t always the most glamorous job. It requires a utilitarian wardrobe that can go anywhere and do anything. “My profession sort of dictates a more ordinary look,” says Kirsten Bergherr, 56. “It’s business casual, but casual enough to be on the floor, working with glue and paints, and moving around.” Kirsten often follows fashion in the magazines, and is always looking for something to bring a “ray of youth” and to “feel current.” But lately those fits and finishes have been harder to find as she struggles to find items that work for her workaday wardrobe and what she feels is age-appropriate. “I can dress to an occasion, but I never really go beyond the comfort zone,” she admits. “It tends to be classic and safe.” Citing celebrity-wardrobe crushes on the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Michelle Obama, and Diane Lane, and beauty aspirations to the likes of Diane Sawyer and Meryl Streep, she’s right on target. It was just a matter of encouraging Kirsten to be confident enough to show off her assets and add some modern touches to a classic aesthetic. “Kirsten has been teaching second grade for several years now,” Faith says. “She felt like she had no reason to dress for herself. But she has this life outside teaching that is worth getting dressed up for—wonderful adult kids, a handsome husband. I loved watching her confidence skyrocket.”
FROM THE EXPERTS
The Challenge: Updating and modernizing Kirsten’s basic pieces and highlighting her many gorgeous features.
Faith’s Take: "There seems to be an ongoing issue with women from their 40s to their 60s being able to fill wardrobe with pieces that are age-appropriate but not dowdy. But there are some awesome choices out there. Kirsten was a great candidate because she feels lost about where she should shop, what looks good on her body type, and how to dress for her age.”
Style Quotient: “Don’t feel like you have to dress in drab clothes just because you have passed the age of 40,” Faith says. “You deserve to look and feel your best. Add a pop of color with a scarf, a funky pair of heels, or a great cocktail ring. Those types of pieces will help you ease into a new look without feeling overwhelmed.”
Kirsten’s Take: “These looks worked so well for me; for my age, and my lifestyle. It was not only a learning experience, but really fun and a treat. Now when I shop, I have a whole different eye for what I can be looking for.”
1. Every woman should have a go-to dress she feels fabulous in.
2. The oxblood color of the dress sets off Kirsten’s Scandinavian coloring perfectly. The sheath is a classic piece, the color oh-so-current.
3. Invest in a quality handbag, especially if you know you’ll use it day in and day out.
4. Go for bold colors and patterns in pumps—it’s an easy way to update or modernize a simple look.
WHERE TO GET IT
Outfit, main image: Love Quotes scarf, $85 @ Bluebird, 3909 W. 50th St., Edina, 952-746-8675, bluebirdboutique.com. Clu cardigan, $315 @ OPM, 3700 Grand Way, St. Louis Park, 952-567-7399, opmboutique.com. Alexander Wang blouse, $280 @ Bumbershute, 5014 France Ave. S., Edina, 952-475-2684. Kate Spade watch, $175 @ nordstrom.com. Outfit, above right: Diane Von Furstenberg dress, $365 @ OPM. Iosselliani necklace, $678 @ OPM. Mulberry handbag, $1,350 @ Nordstrom, Mall of America, 952-883-2121, nordstrom.com. Kate Spade pumps, $298 @ Nordstrom. Outfit, right: AIKO top, $158 @ Bumbershute. Vintage necklace, $98 @ Bluebird. Rodebjer clutch, $392 @ Bumbershute. J. Brand denim, $197 @ OPM. Via Spiga booties, $275 @ Nordstrom
Channeling Jennifer Aniston casual
1. Weekend wear can still involve coats and ties. This wool blazer will last forever.
2. A crisp pair of colored denim is a great alternative to traditional “slacks.”
3. Layers add polish and interest to any look.
4. Invest in quality, not quantity, when it comes to footwear.