What do teachers wear? "Teacher clothes" can be confusing and vary base on the school where you work. For instance, jeans are an absolute no no at our school. Teachers have been sent home to change for wearing jeans to work. The school where I student taught let teachers wear jeans every Friday. Some schools will let teachers wear jeans every day. Before you get used to your school, it's best to overdress; especially if you're a younger teacher. Overdressing can help set you further apart from your students. You'll find if you dress too similarly to your students, you may find out that another teacher thinks you're a student. My coworker and I were almost denied the ability to return to our classrooms after a pep rally as another teacher refused to believe we were not students.
Apparently, I was sporting some "freshness" today, according to one of my students. I'm not sure what the "freshness" is, but I said thank you all the same. Picking out clothes can be confusing for a teacher, so I was happy for the compliment. I was wearing a red dress with black leggings, a black cardigan and black ballet wedges. Because the dress was a v-neck, I was also wearing a black camisole. Apparently this is the "freshness". Dressing as a teacher is a delicate balance of hip and something I call "not showing off the goods". Too tight? Too low cut? Too short? These are problems. You do NOT want your students ogling you.
There are a few musts in the teacher clothing world. The first thing you want to make sure of is that you have comfortable clothing that allows you to bend down and kneel. You also want to make sure you have some type of layering. Classrooms run hot and cold depending on the time of day and you could run hot and cold depending on the activity you're doing. I keep a large supply of cardigans and jackets in my closet at school for this very reason. I also keep a change of clothes in my closet because I've been thrown up on before. You need to plan for things like that.
Shoes can be a fun issue. The woman across the hall from me wears high heels on a regular basis. I just can't. I need to be comfortable walking around my classroom. I walk around my classroom the entire day. Heels don't work for me. Skechers has a mostly flat, strappy shoe that is easy to dress up. I bought them in black and brown and wear them fairly regularly. You want to make sure whatever you pick out is very comfortable. There are very few schools that will let you sit down for the majority of the day. It's even worse if you teach younger grades.
Most of picking out teaching clothes is about common sense. Despite this, some teachers still dress in an inappropriate manner. Some dress to casually or to provocatively. Both of these are issues because it can compromise the amount of authority you have in the classroom. It's important to maintain your authority through how you chose to present yourself in your classroom. The manner in which you dress is just one of many ways that you project confidence in your teaching.