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September 28, 2023

Dress like Ms. Teagues with new 'Abbott Elementary' clothing line aimed at teachers

Created for JCPenny, the collection includes skirts, sweaters and pants priced under $100; real educators are featured in the department store's ads

Shopping Clothing
JCPenney 'Abbott Elementary' collection Provided image/JCPenney

Social media-famous teachers like Barry White, Mrs. Bo and Mr. Talcott are featured in the ad campaign for JCPenny's new clothing collection, 'Abbott Elementary' Teacher’s Edition, Volume 1.

"Abbott Elementary" superfans can dress like their favorite Philadelphia educators, thanks to new apparel at JCPenney.

The long-time mall staple, which operates 22 stores in Pennsylvania, has partnered with Warner Bros. for a limited-edition collection of women's and men's clothing inspired by the hit ABC sitcom. Aimed at teachers, the items is designed to be comfortable and affordable, with all but one piece retailing for less than $100. 

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"Abbott Elementary" Teacher's Edition, Volume 1 includes a colorful mix of tops, dresses, skirts, pants and jackets. Fans of the show will instantly recognize the style influence of Janine Teagues, the lead character played by "Abbott" creator and Philly-native Quinta Brunson, in the patterned maxi skirts and crewneck sweater with "kindness" printed on it in looping script.

"Too often, teachers and working families have to make a choice between comfort and fashion," Michelle Wlazlo, chief merchandising officer for JCPenney said in a release. "We wanted this collection to feature quality, stylish and relevant pieces that could seamlessly be mixed-and-matched at an affordable price, so any teacher can feel empowered to dress their 'inner Abbott.'"

While the teachers on "Abbott Elementary" are fictional, JCPenney's ad campaign stars seven real-life educators from across the U.S. They include TikTok personalities like Mrs. Bo, a math teacher from Idaho, and Mr. Talcott, a kindergarten teacher from Redmond, Washington. Barry White, who gained internet fame for creating personalized handshakes for each of his fifth grade students, is also featured.

Ironically, Janine's clothes are a frequent source of ridicule among her "Abbott Elementary" colleagues, but fans have chronicled and coveted her "teacher chic" looks. The outfits are often sourced from H&M, Target, Old Navy or Zara to reflect a realistic teacher's budget, though the show's costume designer occasionally springs for an Anthropologie piece.

It will still be several months before "Abbott Elementary" returns to TV for Season 3. The Writers Guild of America's strike has ended, but the actors guild and the studios remain at an impasse — "Abbott" stars Sherly Lee Ralph and Lisa Ann Walter walked the picket line in Philly during the summer.  The projection is that Abbott's new season will debut sometime in 2024.

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