Art teachers are different. Our creative profession gives us license to have a bit more fun with fashion than most. I mean, have you seen the fabulous Cassie Stephens? I rest my case. Since I’ve opted to rock a uniform in lieu of ruining my wardrobe at work, I enjoy donning art related accessories to highlight my love of art instead. With minimal effort, they add a bit of panache. Plus, they are a great way to profess my passion for art and generate unexpected conversations with my students.
Accessorizing like only an art teacher can gives me a chance to show off my funky side while also supporting independent artisans I appreciate and companies whose mission I believe in. Also, it’s just a good time! Some mornings you just need to put something on that brings a smile to your face.
Here are some of my favorite art teacher accessories to brighten your day.
1. Wearable Reference Materials
These are a great way to sport useful information. My favorites include Primary Color & Value Scale Earrings by Yellow Owl Workshop. They also sell a necklace and a lapel pin, but since the color layout isn’t correct, I prefer the earrings. I don’t want to promote misinformation, no matter how cute. You could also wear the earrings as pins if you prefer. There are no rules.
2. Colorful Footwear
This can put an extra bounce in your step. My favorites are Miss L. Fire Rainbow Wedges, these super fun Pencil Flats, or splashy paint-splattered sneakers. The other obvious option is to DIY a pair yourself… we are art teachers after all!
3. Art-Related Pins
These make for impromptu mini art history lessons and sometimes, a laugh. Pins are all the rage right now, so they are easy to find. Popglory has a great fun Magritte emoji pin, but Etsy is where you want to go for the mother lode of options. From Shrinky Dinks to hand carved wood pins, you’ll find it all here.
4. Artsy Totes or Bags
These beauties make lugging all the junk you collect back and forth bearable. Carry all those little extras in here and you’ll never confuse your bag with another teacher’s in the lunch room.
If we have to wear a lanyard, let it be beautiful. My school requires teachers to wear an I.D. badge around their necks. Why not jazz that standard school-provided lanyard up a bit?
This can help you stay hydrated while reminding people what you do is not child’s play. It’s good to have a clearly marked drinking vessel when you have lots of children in and out of your room. No need to share any more germs than necessary by accidentally sharing a drink! Plus, having a reusable vessel of one kind or another is more eco-friendly.
7. Masterpiece Ties
Have to wear a tie to work? Man, that’s rough. Well, why not wear a masterpiece around your neck? This debonair tie changes the game. You may even want to include this awesome Arcimboldo tie tack for extra style points.
8. Temporary Tattoos
These offer zero commitment and wearable fun! Some of my favorites include Tattly Color Burst and CMYK Temporary Tattoos. If your students are anything like mine, it will cause a minor twitter panic when you show up with one of these on your wrist. It’s one way to get them talking about the color wheel!
9. Art Socks
Because I’m fairly sure Warhol would approve. Why stop with Pop Art? There are entire sites devoted to art socks. Even with the most conservative of dress codes you could rock these socks and have an art party under wraps.
Etsy has a proliferation of awesome iron on patches related to both artists and the field of art. I have bedazzled many a uniform with them. Plus, they are a remarkably awesome way to cover any art accidents your wardrobe inevitably encounters. Shh… I’ll never tell.
11. Art Teacher Tees
This is becoming a small movement. On Fridays, many art teachers now rock their favorite art related tee. Add this to the rotation because aren’t we all a bit crazy? Art teacher tees are also a great way to introduce kids to budding artists you find interesting. It’s one affordable way students can begin to collect and support the arts.
Being an art teacher is fun stuff and getting to accessorize colorfully is only one small part of it.
Enjoy living on the fashion fringe and accessorize like the original you are. Your students will love you for it. As an added bonus, it may reinforce how cool it is when people embrace their individuality and creative spirit.
What’s your favorite art teacher accessory? Where do you find fun art teacher embellishments?
What is the wildest thing you’ve worn to school? Share a photo!
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.