You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Area sellers recommend flexibility

Susan Johnson doesn’t hesitate when she offers the perfect clothing item for teachers heading back to school: a pair of pants.

The pants, made by Lisette, “are the most comfortable … especially for a teacher,” says Johnson, owner of Susan’s, a women’s clothing boutique in Covington Plaza on West Jefferson Boulevard.

Johnson says the pants are hot sellers at her store because of their flexibility in not only designs and colors but also fabric.

“(Teachers) can sit or get on the floor, and it won’t get out of shape,” she says.

Johnson says many teachers come into her store to buy the pants, and a teacher who works for her gives the pants an A-plus.

She says the pants come in sizes 0 to 16 and don’t have any buttons or zippers. They also have a contour waist band which helps with tummy control.

To complete the outfit, Johnson says teachers can buy a longer top to go over the pants. Tunic tops are a hot look right now, she says, which would help in updating a wardrobe and prevent the worry of wearing a jacket.

Nancy Nokaya, owner of Essentials and Frosting in Auburn, says her teacher clients want clothes they can move around in or get on the floor with while being comfortable and appropriate. She says fabrics are important, such as those that stretch and move with the body.

She suggests wearing leggings under a dress or a tunic, which “looks cute and professional” but allows movement and comfort. Another example would be a denim A-line dress that the store carries. Nokaya says it is not overly dressy but would work well in a classroom.

“We don’t have to wear suits anymore,” Nokaya says.

Finally, adding a fun piece of jewelry will pull an outfit together, Johnson says.

Accessories are a great and inexpensive way to help update a wardrobe, especially if teachers are on a budget, Nokaya says.

Purchasing a stylish belt or a scarf can give a different look to a tired blouse or dress.

Nokaya also offers customers the option of bringing in some of their clothing so she can help coordinate a new look. And for $30 an hour, she will go to a customer’s home and offer new ideas for using what is already in the closet.

“It’s budget-friendly in the long run,” Nokaya says.