I met middle school art teacher Lindsay Gustafson through Rosewood Art Centre and quickly grew fond of her.  The first things I noticed about Lindsay was her flare for quirky artsy looks, her smile and her positive personality. Besides looking like a ton of fun, teaching and making art, Lindsay is also passionate about tennis, seeing live music and watching basketball! I was ecstatic when she said I could interview her because I believe what people choose to wear can say something important to the world.

Lindsay, will you share with us when you first got into fashion as an artist and more about your style?

I always loved picking out my clothes the night before ever since I started going to school!  I always liked bright colors and crazy patterns, all things unique!  This numbers shirt and tie get-up is me in Kindergarten.  I also rocked a tie and blazer again in middle school when no one else was wearing this! I kind of live by the Andy Warhol quote, “Art is what you can get away with.” I feel this way about my fashion and how I dress.  Even as I am approaching forty I still wear what I want. I often do not match, but I always stand out.

We would like to know more about how you incorporate your fashion in with teaching middle school art students?

I dress like the subject I teach- artsy! I do have a number of shirts, dresses, leggings, etc that feature famous artists or art tools.  I have an onomatopoeia dress that I bought specifically for a pop art 6th grade project a couple years ago.  Last year I bought a great watercolor inspired dress to wear for watercolor week with 8th grade.  I have a color wheel dress, galaxy inspired clothes and lots with classic characters.  Above all I dress for comfort.  I rarely buy something that I cannot teach in.  I also have NEVER worn an apron to make or teach art.  All I own has stains, so the more crazy the clothes, the more those stains blend in!

How do you pick what you are going to wear each day and does it play a role in what you are going to teach for that day?

I above all dress for comfort. Then I dress for the weather.  I teach on a crazy big campus where I am inside and out picking up classes a lot.  I dress for my mood too!  Many days I do try to incorporate a shirt or dress of an artist or style we are studying.  I have been known to make my clothes a brainteaser for students of trying to discover who the artist is!

Tell us the best compliment you have ever received from one of your students about something you wore.

Probably the best compliment is when a kid is wearing the same thing as me.  I get a lot of clothes from the awesome Cat & Jack line at Target kids.  So when a middle school kid has the same thing on as me and they are excited about it, I am thrilled.  Nearly every day I have sweet sixth grade girls telling me they love my outfit and want to know where I shop!

Show us your favorite outfit and tell us why?

My favorite outfit, wow, that is tough!  I will narrow it down to two.  ANY OVERALLS!  I live in them and have since high school.  I now have about eight pairs.  They are so comfortable all year and always have huge pockets!  If I had to pick one specific thing I would pick my galaxy print dress that glows in the dark.  It also has an amazing, huge hood.  I love galaxy anything.

What are your top three favorite places to shop for dresses?

I almost never physically go shopping!  If I do I love Artisans in Kettering.  I buy almost everything online!  I love amazon, ebay, etsy.  I find lots of small businesses through Instagram and buy a lot of great art shirts through this network.  I get lots of great overalls at www.evatrends.com   My favorite online store for dresses, hands down, is www.redbubble.com   It is an independent artist network that sells a variety of items.  I have about 15 of their a-line dresses.  They fit great, they are comfortable and I can get the craziest designs.  

Last but not least who inspires you most in fashion?

I get inspired most by the colors and designs I see around me.  I own almost no neutral colored items.  I own almost no solid colored items, except for a few neon items!  I live for bold designs, patterns and characters.  I don’t have any one fashion icon but I love women who wear what they want!  People like Stevie Nicks, Cyndi Lauper and artist Yayoi Kusama.

Where can we follow you at?

I post almost daily with my outfits and the on goings of my Middle School Art classes on Instagram.  You can follow me at lindzers31.  


I would like to personally thank Lindsay for taking the time to share with us. Teachers are extremely busy people. I hope she inspires you to add a little fun to your wardrobe.

Behind the scenes~

The scrappy scrap dress is inspired by Lindsays love of color. This dress was made from left over custom order scraps.
Probably the only advantage to being short is you can make an entire dress out of 30”s of knit fashion fabric.
After the second garment there were two triangle shaped scraps left and this was made into the collar.
No pattern was used.

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!


Tracy McElfresh
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