It’s back-to-school season across the country. This time of year can inspire a wealth of emotions—excitement, apprehension, and whatever the French word is for the feeling you get when you smell a freshly-sharpened pencil. (The French have a word for that, right?)
If you’re a teacher, you might be feeling all of those—plus a serious desire to save money. The good news? Many retailers offer discounts for educators, and are starting to expand their deals to work online, not just in stores. Take advantage of them to treat yourself to some new duds, as well as educational material or decor for your classroom—after all, students shouldn’t be the only ones to get a fresh new outfit or backpack for the school year. (Though a few of these are good for students, too.)
J. Crew for classic clothes you’ll wear for years
J. Crew’s catalog may seem as though it was tailor-made for teachers, thanks to the brand’s array of slacks, blazers, and proper-but-not-prissy button-down shirts, available in women’s sizes XXXS to 3X and men’s sizes XS to 4X. If you’re looking to stock your school-year wardrobe, take advantage of the 15 percent discount for teachers and students who verify their eligibility. This discount can be used both online and in stores.
MZ Wallace for a sturdy bag that holds everything you need
NYC-founded bag brand MZ Wallace makes plush nylon totes, duffles, and purses that accomplish the rare feat of holding a ton while still looking fashionable. That’s appealing on its own, but the brand also offers a 30 percent discount for teachers and students. To get the discount, sign up with your @edu email address, then pick out the bag (or, perhaps, bags) that work best for you.
Rothy’s for durable and sustainable flats
We tested Rothy’s, an eco-friendly, machine-washable ballet flat—available in women’s sizes 5 to 12—made from recycled plastic bottles. After putting them through 20 consecutive wash cycles, we found that the brand’s claims of durability check out. Though we didn’t find Rothy’s flats quite as comfortable as some others, their toughness makes them popular among teachers—particularly those who work with younger, spill-prone kids. Rothy’s also offers a loafer and slip-on sneaker style, which reviewers suggest may be more suitable for standing in front of a classroom all day.
Another reason Rothy’s might be popular among educators? The brand offers a 20 percent discount for teachers, which knocks the cost of its $125 flat down to $100. To qualify, verify your identity, then shop away.
Karen Kane for unique, stylish staple pieces
Karen Kane has a plethora of dresses, skirts, pants, and tops, available in women’s sizes 2 to 3X, that look at home at the head of any classroom. The brand also offers a sweet deal for teachers—20 percent off all online purchases, once your identity is verified. This is a great way to support an American-made brand, look cool when heading back to school, and save a few bucks while doing so.
Dagne Dover for a cool-looking work bag
Want a bring-to-school bag that won’t get confused for one of your students’ backpacks? Get a Dagne Dover. The trendy luggage brand (and perennial podcast ad presence) has a wide range of professional-looking totes and backpacks—like the Signature Tote and the Dakota Backpack—that will help you schlep your supplies to and from school in a neat, stylish package.
It also offers a 20 percent discount for teachers and members of the military. To get it, fill out this form using your official education email, and you’ll get your discount on anything on the site.
Bonobos for extra-cool menswear essentials
Menswear brand Bonobos has a firm hold on the sweater, chinos, and patterned short-sleeve shirt market, all available in men’s shirt sizes XS to XXL and pant sizes 29 to 40. Its offerings make it a great option for any teacher who wants a youthful, stylish wardrobe that isn’t overrun with fleeting trends.
Even better for teachers? Bonobos’ 20 percent discount, which applies for all teachers online once their identity is verified through SheerID. Once complete, you can enjoy all the sensible chinos your heart desires at an even more sensible price than usual.
Anthropologie for vintage-inspired clothes and home goods
Anthropologie is a fantastic catch-all store for anyone in the market for retro-looking clothes (available in women’s sizes 0-26), whimsical home and kitchen gear, and highly specific coffee table books. If you’re a teacher, you get to save some money on all of those things with Anthropologie’s ongoing back-to-school deal.
From now until October 6, Anthropologie is giving teachers 20 percent off all full-price purchases in stores and online after signing up and using the discount code TEACHLOVE.
Madewell for must-have apparel for casual day
J.Crew’s sister brand Madewell recently expanded its teacher and student discount to online as well as brick-and-mortar stores, which is great news for any teacher whose wardrobe is in need of some straight-leg jeans and structured tops, available in women’s sizes 00 to 24. Now, you can get 15 percent off any Madewell purchase once you register as a teacher—so ready your closet for an influx of gingham.
Vera Bradley for a colorful, work-appropriate bag
Quilted bag brand Vera Bradley makes a great backpack—Reviewed’s lifestyle writer Jessica Kasperian says it’s “perfect” for carrying her laptop—as well as a bunch of other patterned, blanket-like bags and lunch boxes. The brand also offers 15 percent off to all teachers and students (as well as military personnel and first responders). To get the discount, put whatever you want in your cart, then verify your identity with ID.me at checkout.
TOMS for sharp shoes that won’t make your feet ache
If you’re on your feet all day for work, you need supportive—but professional-looking—shoes to help get you through the day. Take a look at TOMS, available in women’s sizes 5 to 12 and men’s sizes 7 to 14. Yes, it still sells the casual canvas shoe that made the brand famous, but TOMS also has an impressive collection of loafers, mules, booties, and slip-on sneakers, all of which should feel at home in a classroom, office, or anywhere in between.
TOMS also offers 10 percent off on all styles for teachers who register for their discount program with the code TEACHER10.
Zappos for all the shoes and clothes you might need throughout the year
Not quite sure what brands you want in your closet? Try your luck at Zappos. In addition to keeping a wide range of popular clothing, shoe, and bag brands in stock—including Levi’s, Nike, and The North Face—Zappos offers 10 percent off on every order for teachers, students, and anyone in the military. Apply online to get your discount.
Classroom supplies and decor
Michael’s for creating a decked-out classroom
Michael’s is a teacher favorite for a reason. The craft-supply juggernaut offers 15 percent off for teachers in stores and online—and the discount works on top of any other promotions and coupons you already have, at least according to a teacher friend of mine who says she uses her discount for “everything,” from readying her classroom for the start of the year to getting things for her own home.
Once you enroll through the Michael’s teacher page, the discount applies immediately, both in stores and online.
Once you enroll in its teacher program, you’ll get a 15 percent discount on everything the store offers.
Office Depot to get rewards from your purchases
Office Depot (and Office Max, owned by the same parent company) doesn’t have a specific teacher program, but they do have an overall rewards program that many teachers may find helpful. Members get 2 percent back on rewards, program-exclusive deals, and $2 back when you recycle ink and toner cartridges. The program also offers a $2 reward for providing product reviews on some items, which you can take advantage of three times a month.
Staples for free shipping and cool rewards
Staples has a similar rewards program. In it, members receive free next-day shipping on orders over $49.99, up to 5 percent back in rewards, and $2 rewards for recycling toner and ink cartridges in the store.
Adobe Creative Cloud to impress students with your photo-editing skills
Whether you teach graphic design or AP Literature, there is a great deal of (educational) fun to be had with Adobe’s Creative Cloud Suite, which includes Photoshop for creating and editing images, InDesign for creating newspaper layouts, Spark for creating short videos, and more. It also offers a special rate for students and teachers of $19.99 a month for your first year, and $29.99 a month after that. Considering it’s normally $52.99 a month, that’s a pretty steep discount.
Barnes & Noble to get your reading fix
Teachers may be among the majority of people who still acquire books on the regular. If this describes you, join Barnes & Noble’s educator program, in which verified teachers receive 20 percent off their purchases in stores and online. As an added bonus, from now until September 15, Barnes & Noble has “educator appreciation days” on Saturdays and Sundays, in which members of the educator program get 25 percent off nearly everything in stores and online—and 10 percent off all cafe treats if you go to a store and need a sugar rush.
Amazon Prime Student for free shipping on everything else you need
Working on an advanced degree in addition to teaching full-time? If so, first of all, good for you! Also, you can use your student cred (or, more specifically, your @edu email address, plus proof of your enrollment in a university) to qualify for Prime Student, which allows you a six-month free trial, followed by a reduced rate of about $49 a year if you decide to continue. With Prime, you get access to a ton of clothing brands, daily deals, free two-day shipping on eligible items, and access to Prime shows like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Fleabag,” “Good Omens,” and more.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.