Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best (Or, At Least, The Most Interesting) Posts On Teacher Attire


'Tie Straightened' photo (c) 2006, glindsay65 - license:

I’ve worn a sport coat and tie everyday during my ten year teaching career (except for when we go on field trips to San Francisco and to Yosemite), and have explained my rationale for doing so in previous posts that have garnered many comments (I’ll link to them later in this post).

Recently, the topic of teacher attire has been in the news lately, and I thought it would be useful for me to bring those new articles together in one “The Best” list, along with my past ones. I hope you’ll share your own comments….

First, here are the new ones:

Ofsted launches new clampdown on scruffy teachers
is from The Telegraph.

Teachers condemned for being too scruffy – report is from The Telegraph.

Do Clothes Make the Teacher? is by Walt Gardner at Education Week.

Now, here are my posts — and you definitely want to check out the comments left on them, too:

A Question On Teacher Attire

Can An Educator’s Clothes Affect How He/She Teaches?

Study: Appearances Matter

I’d recommend you also read Dave Dodgson’s post, Suits you, Sir!

Teachers, T-Shirts & The Messages That They Send

Teachers Should Dress As Students’ Advocate, Not ‘Peer’ is one of my Education Week Teacher posts. In Part One of a two-part series, four educators – Roxanna Elden, Renee Moore, Jane Fung, and Rebecca Mieliwocki – share their thoughts on how teachers should dress.

Let me know what you think….

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. When I started teaching, last century, male teachers always wore ties and female teachers only wore dresses. I started by wearing my hippie style clothing. Now I see teachers who just wear jeans and T-shirts all the way to the other extreme where they wear stiletto shoes. I understand that sometimes it is a nice reward to be able to wear jeans and the school T-shirt. Most times, I think teachers need to dress like the professionals that we want the public to see us as.
    My only warning to teachers is they need to trade those high heels into comfortable, cute shoes or they will end up with lots of complications. I don’t understand how one can get down to the level of a young child when wearing such high heels.

  2. Since I’m in a catholic school with a uniform, I was told by a colleague when I started that the men wear what the boys wear. When the boys are in their shirts and ties from November to April, we wear shirts and ties. When they roll back to ‘summer’ uniforms in mid-April until Halloween, we can wear our polo shirts. It works well for us and the men generally follow the precedent.

  3. “I think teachers need to dress like the professionals that we want the public to see us as.”

    What kind of “professionals” are people talking about? Some of the most highly respected, trained and skilled “professionals” in the world wear scrubs. Lunch period in my room, especially at the end of the quarter, feels like running triage in an Emergency Room on July 4th. I’m running around the room giving feedback, showing examples and eating lunch at the same time. I should wear fancy clothes that don’t shed Sharpie stains well because of all my disposable income? Or wear something practical that allows me to move around easily and do my job?
    Chefs are professionals, maybe I should wear an apron. If I am heading out to coach the cross-country team right after 6th period I should have to change out of a dress to go put my track warm-ups on?

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