Congratulations! You’ve sent out your teaching CV, aced the interviews and now have your next supply teaching placement – but what to wear? Men, you have this conundrum as well.

First, double-check with your supply teaching agency or school to see if they have a particular teacher dress code or preferences for staff. If there are no guidelines, always err on the side of caution with a smart, professional look.

Need more guidance? See our guides below for men and women.

General Dress Code for Teachers

Teachers Dress Code
Flickr Creative Commons / Jeremy Willburn


You can look professional and be comfortable at the same time. Make sure that you can sit down, stand up and move your arms with ease at all times, and that you’re not constantly tucking in your top or pulling up your trousers. This is especially important for Early Years supply teachers!

Cover up

It is never alright to expose yourself, even if you are proud of those hours at the gym. Keep an eye on your hemlines and lengths of your tops at all times.

Never wear something that would make you fidget, or uncomfortable while meeting your students’ parents for the first time!

Dress as an Authority Figure

Forgo flip flops, sharp or too many visible piercings, faded or ripped clothing, or anything else that would make the students – or other staff – doubt that you’re a teacher.

Be Yourself

There’s nothing wrong with showing off your personality. However, make sure you adopt a professional version of your wardrobe when dressing for your teaching job.

Teacher Dress Code for Men


Male Teacher Dress Code
Flickr Creative Commons / Bark
  • Master the tie. It is one thing to wear a tie, but to successfully tie it is another. Straighten it up to avoid looking sloppy or inexperienced; you don’t want to ask your pupils for help!
  • Save the character tie and matching socks for special occasions, not as part of your everyday school attire.
  • Don’t blend in with your students. For reasons other than not wanting to be mistaken for a pupil, emulate the school’s uniform but set yourself apart with the air of authority a jumper or different colour blazer brings.

Teacher Dress Code for Women


Teacher Dress Code for Women
Flickr Creative Commons / cybrarian77
  • While heels are acceptable, make sure they are comfortable and you are able to walk in them at a normal pace.
  • Over the top makeup, sheer or strapless clothing, or any hemlines that are higher than an inch above the knee should be avoided.
  • A well-cut suit can do wonders for your confidence and sense of authority in the classroom, but a cardigan and pencil skirt or trousers can accomplish the same task if that’s more your style.

Looking for more recommendations for what to wear as a teacher, discover our Pinterest boards!

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