I REALLY enjoy dressing up, and my career as a teacher has been really good for that. Teaching requires a professional wardrobe, but no so professional that you are regulated to just dress suits and blazers. While schools typically have dress codes for their teachers as well as for students, and some are stricter than others, a lot of times you have some fashion freedom. You will see a lot of younger teachers especially who are dressing both professionally and really stylishly.

You would think this would be GREAT for having a date night-worthy wardrobe. That is not necessarily the case. While you definitely want to be stylish on a date, you don’t necessarily want to look professional. And professional/stylish clothes cost money; teachers shop with their profession in mind, and will hardly consider a piece of clothing that couldn’t be worn to school. Believe me, I do it, and I shop with other teachers who do it. We can’t stand to splurge on something that we couldn’t wear in the classroom.

That’s where cardigans come in.

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This dress by itself would be GREAT for a date night.  It has tank-top style sleeves and a lower back; sexy without being immodest.  However, with a scarf and a cardigan or blazer, you would never know! I’ve worn this to work MANY times.

Cardigans have magical powers. They can make almost any outfit look more pulled together and professional. But is professional what you want for date night? Probably not.

Heck, I’ve been known to wear cardigans ON dates, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make here. In fact, most people probably wouldn’t want to wear a cardigan on date night (I’ve jokingly said before that I don’t know how to dress myself without cardigans, and that I look too much like a teacher when I go “out”).

But with a cardigan, you can make a date-night worthy outfit completely appropriate for school/work as well. It really opens up your wardrobe options.

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Both of the dresses above are modest but sleeveless; wear them without the cardigan and they’d definitely be date-night worthy.

I’ve heard people complain about the “layering” trend, that it just requires more pieces (and thus, more $ moola $) per outfit, but that doesn’t have to be the case. If you invest in pieces that can be worn WITH a cardigan AND WITHOUT a cardigan, you have a slew of options.

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Many schools do not allow sleeveless shirts, regardless of how professional.  I’ve worn this shirt on dates, but also at school paired with dress pants and a cardigan.

I will make this suggestion though, although I need to follow my own advice on this one.  I think it’s really easy, when you have to “dress up” for work, to get lazy when you’re not at work.  I know that I find myself much more apt to put on more makeup and wear nicer outfits to make good impressions at work than I am to put on around my husband.  We are comfortable with each other. But I would never want our comfort levels to make it seem like I cared more about looking my best for others than I do for them.  That’s simply not the case.

I think, regardless of how nice or stylish your work clothes are, it would be nice to have something that you don’t ever wear to work–just on dates. Even if you are like my teacher friends and I–unwilling to invest in clothes that can’t do double duty and be worn to work–I think having something you don’t wear to work can make the outfit feel more “special.” I know that my work clothes feel like work clothes, even on a date.  I think investing in something that feels more special can help with overall atmosphere you want to have when spending special time with your sweetie 🙂

What do you think?  What do you like to wear on dates?  Do you have anything you save just for dates and don’t wear to work? Or can your work/outside-of-work wardrobes be mixed at all?

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Thank you for reading! The #LoveBlog Challenge is hosted by Belle Brita, introduced to me and co-hosted by my friend Charlene at Enduring All Things. Check out the introductory blog post for the challenge and link-up here.

LoveBlog with Belle Brita
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