A career in secondary education transcends the title of job. Teaching is a calling, and each teacher leaves a mark on the children who pass through his or her classroom. Many memories are based around the education experience, but others are tied to absorbing less obvious lessons from a new adult. Picture your favorite female teacher. Do you remember the way she talked? The way she dressed? The colors and the prints?
Fashion blogger and Instagram influencer Peggy Kollias is helping the children of a Chicago suburb master reading on the daily while leaving them with memories of a teacher who plays with patterns and loves color. The remainder of the time, Kollias is still exploring texture but in a grown-up sandbox with sophisticated ensembles ready for the office or an evening out. Keep up with Peggy at her blog Hallways Are My Runways and on Instagram @hallwaysrunways.
Colors for the classroom
Metallic pleated midi skirts are fun. You know what makes them even more fun? More colors and tiers of pleated sheen. For a classroom outfit with all of the colors — none of them primary — Peggy chose a pleated masterpiece with four layers of shiny hues including purple, green, sea foam green and an icy silvery blue. With a topping layer of a chambray or denim shirt knotted daintily at the waist, the outfit feels casual and easy yet 100 percent dressed up.
Carefully curated accessories also elevate the look to cutesy chic territory. A pair of Mary Jane inspired heels with light blue fishnet socks and a color pop rim of turquoise on sunglasses keep the outfit classy and a lot more fun. The best part is the ensemble is easily mixed and matched to create other looks throughout the year.
The denim shirt is perfect for weekend layering with jeans. A different color and style of top, new shoes and a pair of statement earrings or a necklace would make the skirt perfect for a dinner date or a party. Peggy often mixes and matches elements of her clothing throughout the year, so scroll her Instagram for added inspiration.
Take summer clothing year round
As a Chicago fashionista, Peggy often finds unique ways to maximize the use of summer favorites through the cold weather months or dress them up for a different occasion. A sleek sophisticated winter ensemble sees her pair a favorite pair of leopard print shorts with black tights to stay warm.
The look is all class with a touch of edge as the tights, coordinating shirt and black cardigan create a sleek silhouette. Black booties with metal detailing add a rock-worthy edge while black shades keep it cool. In addition to letting the shorts leave the closet before springtime, the outfit is an excellent example of letting a statement pattern fly solo to create a dramatic look.
For the 2018 holiday season, Peggy featured several unique looks including a sexy take on the toy soldier. A black military-inspired jacket with rows of buttons on either side was layered over a sleek black bralette. To keep the military vibe going, slightly bloused black pants were tucked into a pair of chunky heel metallic boots. A blocky black purse with ammo case feels completed the look without feeling too costume. To opt for a lower key version, consider swapping out the bralette for a slightly cropped or tucked in silk tank.
Whether she is rocking classroom ready colors or sophisticated street style, Peggy's fashions typically feature one standout element — big buttons, layers or a bold print — that do most of the talking while everything else acts as staging. The initial look is brought to a point by carefully chosen complementary items. It's an education in and of itself. The lesson? Pick a statement piece, decide how you want it to feel and choose the remainder of your outfit accordingly.