How to Dress Appropriately as an Elementary Teacher

Dress codes for elementary school teachers have not always been strict. However, as things change, this is too! Schools of all levels are now carving out dress codes for teachers, and if your school has done this too, it may be time to reevaluate your wardrobe for appropriate teacher dresses and outfits. Here’s all you need to know.

Public School Teacher Dress Codes

Many public schools do not enforce uniforms or strict dress codes for students and teachers. For private schools, dress restrictions are often tighter, with the majority of them enforcing uniforms for students. For public schools, dress codes are often standard and cut across for various schools.

The general dress code for male teachers are:

  • Collared shirts
  • Tailored pants
  • Shirts should remain tucked in
  • Ties and jackets are unnecessary unless in more formal settings. There will be exceptions for P.E teachers who will need more casual, sporty, and comfy clothing.

The general dress code for female teachers are:

  • Tailored skirts or pants
  • Modest dresses
  • Outfits that are not too tight, sheer, or revealing
  • Blouses or sweaters

Private School Teacher Dress Codes

In private schools, dress codes are often stricter than public school dress codes. While students wear uniforms, teachers may wear traditional professional clothing in muted or neutral colors.
Female teacher dress codes may include:

  • Knee-length tailored skirts
  • Tailored pants

Male teacher dress codes may include:

  • Dark-colored tailored pants
  • Button-down shirts and in some schools, a tie

Some private schools do not have a dress code this restrictive, so again, ensure that you find out what your school requires and dress accordingly.

What to Do About Casual Fridays

Casual Friday is a concept that could mean entirely different things in various schools. Typically, teachers ditch their business casual attire and opt for more casual outfits. This doesn’t mean a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. A tailored casual shirt, khakis, polo shirts, or pullover shirts if allowed. You might be tempted to liven up your casual Friday outfits but stick to professional and calm looks. Avoid head-to-toe animal prints, lots of sequins, large and noisy jewelry, and heavy makeup.

What to Avoid

While there are many outfits you should wear, there are just as many that you shouldn’t. Avoid tight, form-fitting clothes, t-shirts, casual or loungewear like sweats. T-shirts, tight jeans, and short skirts do not belong in your elementary school classroom. You should also note that leggings and yoga pants are inappropriate for an elementary school teacher.

Revealing items like sleeveless tops, skimpy tops, and clothing with tears also do not belong in the classroom. Also, avoid outfits that show your midriff or too much skin as with sheer or transparent items.

Ensure that your pants or skirts do not ride high enough to show any hint of underwear, including thin-strapped tops that show a lot of skin and possibly your underwear. While it might seem like a lot of rules, you can still get the best out of your school’s dress code and look great while at it!