Woman in Clothes: French Teacher Marielle Coadic
“Pret A Teacher” (“Ready to Teach”) is the project of New York Public Schools teacher, Marielle Coadic. Before she leaves her home every morning, Marielle takes a quick picture of her herself in the mirror and shares it on Instagram. She’s been chronicling her workwear like this for two years, always in the same spot in front of her dresser, with the enviably healthy succulent thriving on top. Her IG feed is a beautiful testament not only to Marielle’s lovely taste (do you believe the above pic was her last day of school outfit? Geez.) but also the joy she feels in preparing for her day.
While, she doesn’t have a “work uniform,” which my sis and I have tried, she does limit her wardrobe in ways that keep her style cohesive and consistently classic (although, it doesn’t hurt that she’s French). Here she is answering some questions about how she approaches getting dressed each morning.
What do you admire about how other women present themselves?
I am very fond of natural class and simplicity.
When do you feel at your most attractive?
When I am wearing beautiful heels.
Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple?
Oh yes, definitely! I have been buying some of the same items for 30 years!! For example, I have at least 20 pairs of 501's, many white button down shirts and also lots of denim jackets.
How long does it take you to get dressed?
A few minutes, I don't have a lot of time in the morning. I think about what I am going to wear in the shower. It better be ok, because I have no time to change if not.
What is the favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
I have a couple of favorites. My mom knitted me a navy sweater that I love. I also still have a pair of Levi's 501 from high school that my grandmother patched some 25 years ago! My favorite earrings were a gift from my boyfriend, they are from Mociun.
What was the first investment item that you bought?
I would say an Hermes scarf.
Was there a point where your style changed dramatically? How has teaching affected your style?
It's actually the opposite for me. I think I have been true to my own style through the years, since I am still wearing similar clothes and accessories to 20 or 25 years ago. I am probably more feminine as I am getting older though. Teaching hasn't really changed my style, I am just cautious about not wearing skirts or dresses that are too short (I don't like them anyway!).
What are you trying to achieve when you dress for the world?
I just try to put together something I like to make my day nicer. Nothing more. :)
How do you care for your body?
I exercise about three times a week, or I try to exercise three times a week! I also take my bike instead of my car as often as I can. I am a vegetarian and eat pretty healthy, I would say. I also try to sleep at least eight hours a night. I believe that sleep is so important for the body and mind.
Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, and chores?
Being organized is the key! I don't have kids so it might be easier for me to stay on top of things.
What are some dressing or shopping rules you think everyone should follow?
I don't have specific rules. Keep it simple, I guess. In general, I invest more in shoes, purses and other accessories. I wear perfume everyday. I avoid pieces with labels on it. I keep most of my clothes and accessories for years. I mix expensive pieces with cheaper ones. I don't really buy trendy stuff but if I do, I don't spend too much in it. I also buy only natural fibers.
How has Pret a Teacher affected your style and/or your life?
It hasn't affected my style but it has pushed me to make a daily effort on what I am wearing to go to work. I am wearing almost everything I own now. I have been teaching for over twenty years now, it's nice to break the "teaching routine" with something light like having an Instagram account. It has been pretty fun and I can't believe I haven't missed one day for the last two school years!
Ok so, some takeaways...
1. Wear natural materials.
2. Stock up on 501s.
3. Buy staples that will last.
4. Invest in a few nice accessories.
AND MOST LOVELIEST...
5. Make thoughtful clothing decisions to “make your day nicer.”
For Marielle, getting dressed is about having fun! FUN?! Yeah, fun. I wanna start my day with fun. Thanks for showing us how to do it, Marielle!
p.s. Marielle links to all the clothes she’s wearing if you tap on the screen on each IG photo)
ALL PHOTOS TAKEN FROM PRET A TEACHER INSTAGRAM
ALL QUESTIONS TAKEN FROM “WOMEN IN CLOTHES” by Sheila Heti et al.