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teacher attire



Do you feel that a teachers attire is important for effective learning? Does it really matter if I am up teaching in a dress or more comfortable in pants? Any thoughts would be appreciated!!


comfy but professional

I feel that a teacher's dress is important. However, I also feel it needs to fit the job. Our life skills teacher wears jeans almost everyday, but you should see what she has to do! And she wears nice jeans and nice sweaters or shirts, I don't think I've ever seen her in a sweatshirt. What I don't like are the teachers that look sloppy almost every day. There is one at my school that wears what looks like sweats and baggy shirts. I don't feel this is very professional, not asking her to wear suits and nylons, but nice pants would be nice. There is another one that often wears shirts that are stained. Ugh. I like to wear dresses and skirts, mostly, M-Th and on Fridays I wear jeans with a nice sweater or top.


Senior Member
I’m out of the fashion loop

since I’m 50+. In my humble opinion, most of our young teachers wear stylish pants and tops that are really cute and professional. I did see one of our new teachers dressed in attire that seems inappropriate. She wears hip hugger pants. (Do they still call them that?) Anyway, when she sits down her pants slide WAY down. She shows a major 3” plumber’s crack. It’s hard to miss since at staff meetings the chairs have no lower backs and her back is facing most of the staff. One day she was talking about how some boys were laughing behind her back. I thought that if they could see what we could see they were getting a quite a view. It’s not my job to monitor her clothing. It would be a real act of kindness if a close friend of hers gave her a fashion heads up.

It is important for teachers to be clean, professional and comfortable. Finding clothing that fills those requirements is tough. I don’t think it matters if we wear a dress or pants but I’ve noticed that very few of the teachers at my school wear dresses.

I just came home from the mall looking for a few spring items. My clothes need to be professional, comfortable, my size, a color I don’t look dead in and a price that I can afford. I didn’t have much luck. :( I’m really glad that teachers at my school are allowed to dress casually. Hopefully I’ll find something to wear this weekend. :) Who knew that clothing could be such a bit deal?


Full Member
my 8th grade math teacher told me once that he did an experiment with his students. One semester he came in wearing jeans and tee shirts most days with his motorcycle helment. The second semester he dressed up nicely every day and rove his car (no hemet head an no helmet to bring into class). He siad he noticed a definate diffrence in behavior, grades, and even dress between the 2 semesters. The second semester his class was better behaved which lead to better work getting done. Many of them even started dressing up for school :)


Senior Member
Teacher Dress

I really do not think that teacher attire is what effects learning. It is more a matter of prescence. In a way what you wear is part of prescence but if you are confident it does not matter. I am on the floor 90% of the day. I have a set schedule for clothes... Monday is dress day, Tuesday is jumper day...Wed. is pants day...Thurs. is skirt day...Fri. is jeans day. To say the least i still have clothes from high school. I have been teaching for 16 years.


Senior Member
Teacher attire

I think it makes a big difference as to where you teach. I taught in a school where the parents were really low income. I know that the parents felt more comfortable with teachers that were not "dressed to the nines".



Renea-Maybe my style isn't hiphugger's style, but there's something to be said about tact.

I like to wear nice, washable suits often, but also have some "teacher clothes," too. The suits are great because I always have had the benefit of a tailored, ready set to wear on a rushed morning. I like the basics, too. Black and khaki slacks that go with anything, and a lot of tops from which to choose. I keep a couple nicer skirts (black knee length or long) and heels for special nights with parents at school. I buy a pair each-black and brown-of business casual shoes to match my outfits, plus keep a couple pairs of nice jeans and tennis shoes for workdays.


Senior Member
Casual and Comfortable

I don't think you have to wear dresses, skirts, pantsuits, or heels to be able to teach and have the kids learning. As long as your clothes are not revealing or you look like you are going to clean house, we should be able to wear what makes us comfortable. I have had foot surgery three times;therefore, I am only able to wear a good pair of walking tennis shoes. We have teachers who end up wearing tennis shoes with their dress, skirts, or pantsuits and I think that looks funny. I know I teach better when I wear clothes that makes me comfortable, and comfortable clothes helps me deal better with kids who tend to act up. Casual dressing makes me comfortable teaching and dealing with the ups and downs more so than wearing a dress and nylons. I also know, I prefer dealing with someone who is dressed casual but nice more than someone who is dressed to the max ( like sales personal, car dealers, and even doctors).


Senior Member
I think it's okay to be casual, but I do think the kids respond positively if you look put together. Not sloppy. I think it's okay to wear jeans if they aren't sloppy and your top compensates. I think you need to look put togehter at work even if you are casual. We should try to look clean and neat and a million miles from sloppy and tawdry. I don't think we should be overtly sexy either. That means no butt cleavage! I don't think you need to wear business attire that might require dry cleaning and such. I don't think you need to wear pany hose (I haven't in years!). There are plenty of ensembles available at every price range that get you dressed appropriately and in a manner to elicit maximum learning from the kids. (as much as you can get from just looking good)

Sharon D. W.

Full Member
Warm and Comfortable

I too feel better when I am dressed comfortable. I teach grade 1 and teach in a very cold climate so my goal most days is to dress warm and comfortable especially right now. I often dress in layers so I often have a sweater or jacket that I can put on or take off if I need too. I'll wear cords or casual dress pants or jeans. I also looked for pants with pockets and sometimes shirts, jackets or sweaters that have pockets sometimes too. I am on my feet a lot and therefore have 3 different pairs of shoes that I keep in my classroom. I try not to wear the same pair 2 days in a row. I think I read somewhere that this was bad for foot care. One pair has a bit more of a heel then the other two but are very basis black or sometimes another basic colour. I also have a black pair of runners that are indoor footwear as well. My school teaches on a 6 day cycle and I usually dress in jeans and a school sweatshirt on my 2 duty days and not so much Monday to Friday. The new school sweetshirts ordered this year has been like an unificial staff uniform. :) We are all comfortable in them and feel proud to wear our school letters on them. The order was put in just for staff not students so we are not dressing like the students when we "dress down" in this particular sweatshirt.

I have not liked dresses or skirts most of my life but have a few for those dress up occations however most are not school related except for retirement dinners. I do not wear skirts/dresses for P/T or open house unless it is very hot weather and I feel like it.

For the most part I feel that most co-wokers dress neat and clean and that is what I appreciate the most.



Junior Member
No 3" cracks allowed. . .

For the sake of those boys in that teacher's class, you should slip a note in her box. If one of my sons had to look at that during the day, I'd be one of those updet parents marching in with a bigger pair of pants to donate!

Let's work together to prevent dreaded plumber's crack! For the children!


Junior Member

As long as you look professional and not distracting I think it's fine. We also had a teacher that wore the too tight everything, a note in her box did the trick. I have noticed that depending on the grade level you are taken more seriously when your dress is at least a step up from the students. We are role models in more ways than one and jeans every day should not be standard attire in my humble opinion.


Senior Member
I think there is a fine line between being comfortable or looking as if you are about to go to the beach right after class or perhaps clean out the garage or tight revealing clothing suggesting bar hopping after class. When I served on an accredidation team for a local middle school, I did see all of the above (obviously not by the majority). Since the staff was aware that a team was coming in that week, I couldn't help but wonder what they wore otherwise.

The following is a good article that pretty much reflects my opinion. Although I do think if a teacher has a position that requires crawling around on the floor, or teaching an art or shop class, etc. NICE (not holey, frayed or faded jeans) jeans should be allowed.


This is a newspaper article which I also found interesting: