Charm, as the subtitle tells us, was a magazine geared toward the young career woman. In 1951 a career woman was often an office worker or a nurse or a teacher. Personally, I’d like to see this woman in a classroom.
Teacher fashion gets a very bad rap, often with good reason. I’ve witnessed too many teachers wearing ill-fitting dowdy denim jumpers and baggy elastic waist knit pants. And come October, schools are filled with adults wearing heavy orange sweaters liberally decorated with scarecrows, pumpkins, and if the community allows, ghosts and witches. But that’s only the beginning, as there are sweaters for Thanksgiving and Christmas and Valentine’s Day and so on.
Teachers will tell you that the reason they dress like that is because the job necessitates that they be comfortable and look cheerful. While that is true, it does not mean that sloppiness is requisite. Whether or not they like it, teachers are strong sartorial role models. Children notice what the teacher wears and they get a sense of how a professional is supposed to dress from the woman or man standing in front of them every day.
It may sound as if I’m being over harsh in my assessment of how many teachers dress. It’s only fair to point out that for every teacher who looks like a refugee from the Quacker Factory, there is another who dresses simply but professionally, like our cover girl. A trim and neat sweater topping a pleated skirt or a pair of well fitting slacks with a scarf at the neck (brooch optional) makes a good school uniform for the teacher, and sets a high standard for the children to aim for in the future.
Of course, when I retired there were five black pleated shirts in my closet.