Dress code in Japan – what to wear as an English teacher at an Eikaiwa school

Dress code in Japan - what to wear as an English teacher at an Eikaiwa school

There was once a young candidate who came for the training session. She had a nose piercing. Her clothes were fine by me as a trainer – just what a teacher at our school would normally wear and nothing too unusual. What bothered me was the nose stud she was wearing as I wasn’t sure how customers would perceive it.

In the end, she didn’t start teaching after the training due to some sort of visa issue, so this case came to a close and that was it. But looking back on what happened, I suppose I should have said something or at least figured out whether it was for religious
purposes or just a form of self-expression.

What to wear as an English teacher at an Eikaiwa school?

As a job candidate – if you are not sure what to wear for an interview or your lessons, it might be best to play it safe by not wearing anything that could potentially be considered inappropriate or unprofessional, and communicate with your employer at some point throughout the early stages – during an interview or the training – to find out what isacceptable as each company is different.

Asking politely shows that you do respect your company’s point of view and are doing your best to accommodate yourself to the
company’s values.

Example – b Watashino Eikaiwa dress code

As for our school, our dress code is officially business casual – different from some bigger Eikaiwa chains that require employees to wear more formal clothing. That said, even if the school you landed a job at does allow plenty of freedom to express your clothing style, do watch out for the following details as they might affect, in a negative way, how a student views you. Some of the examples provided might just be out of common-sense judgment but just in case I will include them anyway for your reference:

– Strong perfume
– Clothes that are too revealing
– Flip-flops, open-toed shoes, Crocs, or any kind of shoes resembling them
– Wearing bold lip color such as black
– Make sure your clothes don’t smell.

This happens very easily in the summer and wearing deodorant is strongly recommended as teachers sit close to their students.

Making sure you do not wear any of the above may not be the most critical factor for becoming a successful teacher, but it will definitely help form a better first impression on your employer or your first-time student.

Good luck with your teaching journey!