The question of teacher attire always generates a lively discussion.

Some of the posts I’ve published on the topic in Education Week have gotten an enormous number of “hits,” and the then-editor told me at the time that this was typical of any article on the issue they published (you can see a link to that, along with other articles, at The Best (Or, At Least, The Most Interesting) Posts On Teacher Attire).

The Harvard Business Review just published an article sharing research that might or might not be relevant to a discussion on teacher attire.

What Retail Workers’ Attire Communicates to Customers is from the authors of a study focusing on how customers in retail stores view employees.

I thought their findings were intriguing, and are summed up in the text box at the top of this post.

Personally, I’ve worn a tie everyday of my teaching career – except when we’ve gone on field trips. However, I don’t think “formal” necessarily has to mean what I wear.

What do you think? Could how we dress impact how students view our level of “expertise”?