OOTD: What does “Young Professional” look like to me?

When I first started this blog, I was a new graduate student who only had classes 3 nights a week. It later turned in to…


When I first started this blog, I was a new graduate student who only had classes 3 nights a week. It later turned in to more time being and working at the university, but I was a student and I had a good deal of time on my hands, even if it was meant to be spent researching and writing. Well I’m in my 3rd year here on theplussideofme.com (which just seems crazy–it’s really been that long?!), and my life has changed and so has my fashion. Over the last 2 years, I’ve really struggled to find my voice again. Itย was really easy for me to drag on the nearest (and less wrinkled) black pants and plain colored sweater and head to school to teach.ย I was creatively inspired in graduate school, and now I was being a teacher and needing to dress in pants more than jeans. It was a transition and not a smooth one!

Since August, I’ve been working at the university where I went to graduate school, and the creative inspiration is coming back. It makes me excited, so I’ve decided that this year I’m going to really put a focus in finding out what it means fashion and otherwise to be a 25 year-old “professional” for me. I’m lucky in that my university doesย not expect suits or blazers, so I’m able to have fun with it again and find my style within all the possibilities.

I started back a week and a half ago, and I’ve worn a lot of outfits that I already love. Below is one of my first looks of the semester:


I won’t lie. I kind of maybe wear this top at least once a week. It’s from Evans, and it is honestly the most comfortable top I’ve ever owned. It’s the perfect length and lightness for me when I teach (I often get hot and I move around a good bit). I paired it with this mixed material Michael Kors jacket. This piece is also light, which I love. It’s faux leather with a suede-like interior. The back and arms are a soft cotton, and it’s a great in-between of a cardigan and jacket. While I ended up liking the size I got, if you want a tight fit, you could probably size down once.





The Evans top isn’t the only piece I wear often. I’m almost permanently wearing these Torrid Ankle Zip skinnies during the work week. They fit great and I tend to gravitate more toward skinny jeans than other styles. ย I do not wear a lot of jewelry when I teach because bracelets end up destroyed or I use a necklace or ring as a nervous crutch and will continually mess with them. Earrings are safe though! I finished the look with House of Harlow’s signature sunburst earrings.

aaIMG_8756Evans top (similar), MICHAEL Michael Kors jacket, Torrid Stiletto Ankle Zip jeans, House of Harlow Sunburst earrings (similar), Target wedge heels (similar)

What does “professional” look like for you? Do you have freedom in your work clothes? Do you have a cultivated style at work?



  1. I love wearing skinnies to work. It shapes every body type and has started to become the new business trouser. I love the MK jacket too! Seriously debating on getting it (but my bank account thinks otherwise…)



  2. I teach middle school and am 33. I think I used to be more creative in my 20s and then there was a point when I just wore black pants and a top. I have started to go through my closet and started to mix and match more pieces and I also am happy to be getting more creative with clothes again. I have a tendency to like leggings but sometimes wear jeans and a blazer or longer top.

    1. I’ve been wearing a lot of leggings and tunics to school lately (those outfits will be up soon). The comfort is amazing, and I think it looks stylish. I’m learning that I want to be fashionable, but it MUST be comfortable to teach in. I hate blazers because I get way too hot in them, so even if I like the outfit with them, I just won’t put myself through it. Glad you are getting back to the creativity of dressing too. It makes it much more fun.

    1. I hope you like all of it once it arrives. You’ll have to send a pic if you wear it all together! I wear flats almost daily, even if I drag along heels for a part of the day. Even with flats I have to put in the Dr. Scholl’s insoles. I will not let my feet hurt for fashion ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. You look so great in this outfit. You are a young teacher and your school allows you to dress in a comfortable and trendy way. You are lucky. I would love to visit your class sometime and see you teach, I know your students love you. I am not so much a skinny pants girl, For me it makes my rear look big, I go for a more longer line with straight leg and flairs or bell bottomed pants. I wear comfortable shoes and I always think separates are great. I like blazers and a neat top and black or dark pants. I try to go monochromatic with the bottoms and shoes. I like scoop necked tops because I am big busted and blazers that flatter the waist or hide it a little. This pretty much covers casual and business. I haven’t worn dresses or skirts in a long time. My job in the past I have worn just junk, tee shirts and jeans and stretch yoga pants and comfortable shoes because I work with preschoolers. I have to wear a smock over things anyway. I am moving more into the real world now and I can now wear my more dressier pretty clothes.

  4. I’m 48 and a counselor, and my work outfit usually consists of black dress pants, a cute top, and a cardigan. I have these items in all kinds of colors, materials and shapes (accept the pants, those are always black). I don’t want to dress really loud or distracting, since it’s not about me in that room. I’m just soothing and nice ๐Ÿ™‚
    Unfortunately I can’t wear skinny jeans, my calves are too big, sigh. But I do love maxi dresses and skirts, they are my favorite for the summer!

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