Style Watch: Teacher Edition

4 mins read

From throwbacks to their high school days to modern looks, here is what M-A’s stylish teachers are wearing.

Digital photography and AP Photo teacher Sarah Frivold rocks a colorful getup with a dress and headband from Target, a wrap top from TJMaxx, and shoes from Girl Tribe Co

“If I like it, envision myself wearing it, and put it on and feel comfortable, then I think it’s a good buy,” she said. “I like to describe my style as ‘spooky Lisa Frank,’ ‘grandma chic,’ and sometimes ‘Barbiecore’. It depends on the day.” 

She loads up on gold jewelry to accessorize by stacking rings and bracelets: “Coco Chanel said, ‘Before you leave, take one thing off,’ but I say, ‘Before you leave, put one more thing on.’ I’m a maximalist and I love mixing metals, textures, and stacking rings. It’s like my armor.” 

Describing her high school style, Frivold said, “Most of my clothes were hand-me-downs. I didn’t feel comfortable in my skin until I was in my mid-twenties, so I used to hide a lot with oversized clothes. As I’ve gotten more comfortable, my style has gotten more colorful.”

Regular and marine biology teacher Mark Helfenberger puts a fun twist on business casual with lots of accessories. He wears a shirt and hat from Kohl’s, explaining, “I buy a lot of dress shirts from Kohl’s because they’re always on sale.” 

He wears pants from Ross, vibrant galaxy shoes from Yes We Vibe, and teal-tinted sunglasses from Rainbow Optix

As for his scarf, Helfengerger said, “I was taking a trip to Europe with my wife and we were like, ‘Let’s be as European-esque as possible.’” 

When it comes to his fashion inspirations, he explained, “I had a lot of issues with self-confidence and thinking that people are going to judge me based on my look. I’m in the process of breaking out of that. If it’s something that’s not what people are usually wearing, I’m interested in trying it out.” In high school, Helfenberger said he frequently wore “sunglasses that were just entirely too big for my face.” 

World history and AP Psychology teacher Jason Knowles wears an eye-catching monochrome outfit, specially picked out for the Chronicle. He said, “Pink is my favorite color, so I like to wear it as much as possible.”

His picks include a button-up from Robert Graham, Ralph Lauren pants, and Nike sneakers. “Fashion is more about comfort than anything else, but if I’m going on a date with my wife, I’ll put my best foot forward,”he explained. 

“I went to a private high school that had a dress code, so we had to wear collared shirts, pants, and no jeans,” Knowles said. “Now, I just dress to be professional but also casual.”

Rudraigh Quattrin, who teaches finite math and trigonometry as well as statistics, adorns a dapper two-piece setup. He wears a vest and tie from Men’s Wearhouse, pants from Stitch Fix, shoes from Payless, and a dress shirt of forgotten origin. 

Quattrin explained, “I like to look professional and make myself feel like a teacher by putting on a tie.” 

As for his high school looks, he said, “We had a strict dress code. You need to wear a collared, button-down shirt. When I wasn’t at school, I would put on my blue jeans and a tattered jacket with a graphic T-shirt.”

AS English II and English Intensive II teacher Jason Hunt sports a fresh look with a Zara button-down, J. Crew pants, and shoes from Comme des Garçons

“I usually shop at J. Crew, because they have a teacher’s discount and their items work for both teaching and a casual weekend,” he shared. “When I shop, the key things I think about are: ‘Can I teach in this?’ and ‘Can I casually hang out with my friends in this?’” 

Hunt’s style in high school leaned more casual. “I was a runner, so I was usually in sweatpants and a sweatshirt or a graphic tee. American Eagle and Abercrombie were really popular, so that’s all everyone wore.”

MCLV and gender studies teacher Erin Walsh spruces up a classic black dress from Old Navy with a colorful headband from Marshalls, as well as shoes and statement earrings from a thrift store. 

“I like accessories because you can wear a more neutral outfit, and use them to add some interest,” she explained. “I started wearing bigger earrings when teaching over Zoom, so I got into the habit of wearing them. It adds some fun to the outfit.” 

As for inspiration, she said, “I just like having fun. I enjoy getting dressed in the morning and putting effort into my outfits because it makes me feel better and put together. I buy clothes that can go with a multitude of outfits and situations.” 

Walsh recalled, “I don’t think I developed my style until I was halfway through college. In high school, I just wore jeans and a sweatshirt every day because I didn’t really know what I wanted to wear. Now, I’m the total opposite.” 

Regular and AP Biology teacher Patrick Roisen dresses perfectly for the autumn season. He wears a shirt from his late father-in-law, a gifted tie, pants from Kohl’s, and shoes from Rockport

“I try to coordinate the colors so that they look appropriate and professional,” he said. “I thought, given the fall colors and such, I would wear this particular tie”.

During high school, Roisen said, “I wore jeans and a T-shirt most of the time, and sometimes a sweatshirt from one of my soccer teams.”

ELD 3, ELA 3, and AP Literature teacher Lisa Otsuka styles an elegant blouse, blue jeans from Therapy, and white Converse shoes. 

She said, “Therapy is one of the only stores that still gives a teacher discount—my bracelets are from there as well. I’m pretty loyal.” 

In addition, she always wears a beautiful flower necklace. “My husband lived in Hawaii,” Otsuka explained. “Even though this is just a little cheap necklace, it’s Hawaiian, so I like to wear it.” 

She added, “I like to be comfortable, and I almost always wear jeans. When I first started teaching, it was dresses and high heels, but now I just try to be comfortable.” 

Leehan is a senior and this is her first year in journalism. She finds interest in fashion, the arts, and M-A’s diverse student life.

Latest from Blog