What Should Teachers Wear?

It’s so tempting to dress down as a school teacher. Often times, sloppy clothing just blends in with students and other teachers. Vague dress codes don’t help, either.

In the most casual instances, most male teachers get away with wearing a T-shirt, cargo shorts, and flip-flops. But there are many more ways to feel comfortable and look decent.

First ask yourself: where do you teach? Do you teach at a public institution or private? A low or high-income school? Observe your environment and don’t overdress or underdress. Keep in mind you will have meetings with colleagues and parents.

Your dress should also depend on what you teach. Core teachers (of English, Math, Social Studies, Science) should dress more conservatively, in more somber colors. Visual & Performing Arts teachers have more flexibility with color and casual cloths.

I teach art and must beware of paint, ink, and clay stained clothes. An apron could save the day, but that puts a damper on the outfit, don’t you think?

Special Education and Physical Education teachers will likely require performance clothing, though I don’t really have any helpful advice in this area.

I would say sport jackets paired with odd trousers and brown dress shoes are appropriate 90% of the time. For grade 6-12 teachers this combination prevents you from being drastically overdressed or undressed. Plus, the jacket helps with frigid air conditioning.

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