At Long Last: TEFL Gear

bild1.jpgBack in the day when the TEFL Logue was just getting off the ground, Mika over at the Travel Gear Blog did his best to keep me updated on Travel Gear. I was quite the recalcitrant blogger, telling him:a) EFL teachers in many places don’t have a lot of disposable income, or at least not disposable income that can pay for US products and b) EFL teachers don’t really buy things for the classroom in the same way public school teachers at home might. But I have finally found some TEFL gear to post about:

Much TEFL gear can be found at H&M – that’s right – Hennes and Mauritz! If you are trying to dress for ESL success, a visit to H&M will take you a long way. But just what is so special about this store?

1. The prices are reasonable, dare I say even low and there are regular discounts or sales. Totally hypothetically speaking, for €81, you could get two cute striped sweaters, a fitted collar shirt that requires only minimal ironing, two flattering mid-length skirts, a nightgown and a set of three barrettes.

2. There is usually a lot of variety, so you are likely to find something you like, style-, price- and size-wise. And H&M does sell both men’s and women’s clothes.

3 You can (probably) visit H&M at home and so know what you’re in for if you have to travel to another city to visit one abroad. I firmly believe that while local shops may have comparable or occasionally lower prices, you don’t usually know where to go to find the style you like or the selection and so end up spending more.

4. In Central Europe at least, the tags have both European and US sizes as well as prices in at least a couple of currencies (the Euro hasn’t come to all the new EU countries yet!), so this is one less conversion you need to do in your head.

Any downsides? Well, the Carrie Bradshaw in me feels the need speak out and note there hasn’t been a shoe section at any of the H&M’s I’ve toured. And I must say, their underwire bras do NOT seem to be made to last (and honestly, they can even become a health hazard – don’t even think of trying to clear airport security with an aging H&M underwire bra). But as far as the clothes and acessories…given the low low price, they last a good while. And they’re cute. And oh yeah, you can wear them to teach in and 99% of the time be confident you are appropriately dressed.