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weepinbell
April 18th, 2015, 03:53
I'm using this thread as an excuse for shopping more or less...

Just wondering what all you ladies are wearing in Japan/planning on wearing. I've heard some of it is dependent on placement, like if you're in elementary you probably won't be wearing dresses every day. I have a pretty nice wardrobe for work, lots of dresses, slacks, a few blouses. I only have one skirt and one suitcoat, though. I'm thinking of investing in a professional blazer or two and then one or two more skirts - I've heard skirt/blouse combos are more common over there, but hopefully I can play my foreigner card and get away with my dresses. :(

Also, school shoes - Keds okay?

naginataonthebrain
April 18th, 2015, 04:07
My plan is to basically raid all the sales at Ann Taylor/Banana Republic before departure. Especially for blouses and blazers (I have plenty of black/navy blue slacks). I think keds are alright, but ESID. I'm probably just going to bring some ballet flats I got at Clarks.

weepinbell
April 18th, 2015, 04:14
That's a good plan! I'll probably stop by there at some point for certain things (you can find good quality blouses that are really similar and way less pricey at H&M though, ps! c:) I have plenty of ballet flats, but I've worn them all outisde already lol. I thought they had to be gym shoe style for some reason, am I totally wrong?

naginataonthebrain
April 18th, 2015, 04:20
You assume I live with a place that has an H&M though...closest one is 2 hours away in Atlanta lol.

ambrosse
April 18th, 2015, 04:28
I would wait until you hear from your pred (if you have one). Unless a deal is far to good to pass up, I'm waiting to buy supplemental items for my wardrobe.

weepinbell
April 18th, 2015, 04:29
Boo! The online store sometimes is better than the real stores though, so if you're an online shopper it might be worth a shot.

weepinbell
April 18th, 2015, 04:31
I would wait until you hear from your pred (if you have one). Unless a deal is far to good to pass up, I'm waiting to buy supplemental items for my wardrobe.

I figure if I get basics I'll be fine. I figure you can't go wrong with a blouse and a skirt since I guess you need to dress up for at least the first day of school. I need another nice professional outfit for orientation anyway and shoes are something I always need. :P

Shincantsen
April 18th, 2015, 06:22
Your inside school shoes can be whatever's comfortable, they don't need to be fashionable. I saw more than one teacher at my school fixing their inside shoes with duct tape.

webstaa
April 18th, 2015, 08:28
Your inside school shoes can be whatever's comfortable, they don't need to be fashionable. I saw more than one teacher at my school fixing their inside shoes with duct tape.

Yup. I (a guy) wear 'tennis shoes.' One of my JTEs wears crocs. Most of the lady teachers wear a variety of shoes - some of the 'stricter' teachers wear (very) low heels or flats etc. A good number wear sports shoes. One (an art teacher) alternates between Chuck Taylors and running shoes.

As far as apparel goes, you'll need to know more about your school. Some schools have strict dress codes for teachers, others are extremely laissez-faire. Also depending on events, vacation etc.

sourdoughsushi
April 18th, 2015, 14:19
I work JHS and ES. I'd say that ladies are in luck in that the rules are far more vague than they are for guys. Guys in JHS usually wear suits, but I've seen all levels of fancy or unfancy in the JHS ladies here. In pants you obviously wouldn't want jeans, but any other material seems to work fine. Most days, you're just fine in a cardigan and blouse with some slacks. It can pay to dress a bit nicer around JHS, but it's all about your gaijin objectives. I can't speak for any individual HS, but I hear they're usually suits every day.

Ananasboat
April 18th, 2015, 14:36
Yeah. Dressing is really easy especially over here in inaka land. Most of the female teachers either wear long skirts and blouses or pants.

I've got a wardrobe of colored pants and blouses. I dress pretty casually, but people don't seem to mind too much (that said I was rated 2/3 in three of my schools for dress)

We certainly get some leeway for being foreigners, but it can't hurt to dress up some.

uthinkimlost?
April 18th, 2015, 15:38
Just as an FYI, certain shoes can't be worn in gyms. If you have to go for a ceremony, you might get stuck in the awful one-size-fits-none slippers provided.

Swmrgrl
April 19th, 2015, 03:33
I would honestly wait until you are in contact with your predecessor. At my main school, every single high school teacher wore some sort of track suit, except for one lady who would occasionally wear a skirt suit. I just wore slacks and sweaters there. At my other school, the men all wore dress pants and button-down shirts and the women wore dresses. I wore skirts and dresses more often at that school.

moonbeam
April 19th, 2015, 05:29
I think I'm also going to stock up on professional clothes--blouses, skirts, slacks--because it's high time I do. I've been in school and working at uniformed places so my professional attire has been ignored up until now. I mean, I'm almost 26, it has to happen.

Jedirust
April 19th, 2015, 13:28
I wear a track suit to work mostly. Rare days I wear a suit for ceremonies and the like. When I first arrived I dressed up everyday until I realized I was the only one in the office (other than the kōchō sensei.)

I wouldn't overbuy, but a few dress shirts and a dark suit is nice. If you teach in a less inaka place than me, then you'll probably dress nicer. Ask you predecessor what the attire is like before you go out spending too much.

weepinbell
April 19th, 2015, 14:49
I wear a track suit to work mostly. Rare days I wear a suit for ceremonies and the like. When I first arrived I dressed up everyday until I realized I was the only one in the office (other than the kōchō sensei.)

I wouldn't overbuy, but a few dress shirts and a dark suit is nice. If you teach in a less inaka place than me, then you'll probably dress nicer. Ask you predecessor what the attire is like before you go out spending too much.

Jeez I can't believe wearing a tracksuit to work everyday is a thing, I half hope I end up with a situation like that because hello comfort but also I kinda think I'd end up not feeling like a real person anymore without dressing up decently hahaha. Positives and negatives for both I guess.

Only things I've bought so far are a cardigan which I need for work to put over some of my sleeveless blouses anyway (and obviously I'd need to cover that up in Japan too), and a pencil skirt that I got for free with some rewards buuut... I have kind of a butt so those skirts tend to cling a lot. Might be returning that. I have a feeling it might not fly too well overseas lol.

catamongthepixies
April 19th, 2015, 15:00
Wait until you hear from your predecessor. I didn't, and bought too many blouses and dress pants. It turns out most of the female teachers at my two junior high schools wear non-denim jeans (lots of blues, blacks, and greens) and track suits. For day to day work I mostly wear non-denim jeans (red and blue, but no skinny jeans!), cardigans, or dresses. And I wear keds as my indoor shoes.

Jiggit
April 19th, 2015, 15:32
The discussion about women's work clothes has been had a million times before. Long story short, ask your predecessor or wait until you see what other women wear at your school if you're not too big to fit into Japanese clothes.

Although bear in mind that showing even a moderate amount of neckline or your shoulders is risque here. Definitely not at work and probably not casually if you don't want to stand out.

weepinbell
April 20th, 2015, 00:36
Sure might've been had a million times in the past, but not while I've been around.. just curious, dude. Also, I'm probably too big to fit into Japanese clothes lol. MAYBE I'll be in the L/XL range if I'm lucky.

Yea that's why I bought the cardigan. I'm not really specifically buying for Japan yet, just keeping it in mind when I go shopping for stuff I need/want for work right now so that hopefully I won't have to get too many new stuff when I know more about my school and if I find cheap professional stuff, keeping it in mind for orientation/1st day of school.

Jiggit
April 20th, 2015, 00:40
I'm not trying to say you can't ask, just that the conclusion has been resolved... Also you can find those discussions if you search for them.

moonbeam
April 20th, 2015, 01:03
Is there something wrong with wearing skinny jeans--or skinny pants--over there?

weepinbell
April 20th, 2015, 01:11
Sometimes it's nice to get a fresh perspective/discussion though instead of digging through the archives for less recent advice.

Yeah, most of my slacks are pixie pants so they're kinda-sorta jegging-like... not as much as legit jeggings, but still. Hopefully I get a placement that's chill with that, they're kinda my staple not gonna lie hahaha...

uthinkimlost?
April 20th, 2015, 06:22
Perfect for kanchos!

moonbeam
April 20th, 2015, 06:41
Ha! Oh boy...

weepinbell
April 20th, 2015, 08:14
LOL noooo. I guess the girls can't even expect to escape that dreaded fate hahaha.

Ananasboat
April 20th, 2015, 08:57
LOL noooo. I guess the girls can't even expect to escape that dreaded fate hahaha.

Thought it would never happened to me. Then it did.

But I haven't learned my lesson and I still enjoy wearing fitted pants.

catamongthepixies
April 20th, 2015, 09:23
I wear skinny jeans all the time when I go out, and I've seen a lot of women here wear them. Never had any problems with that. I was explicitly told not to wear tight pants or short skirts by one of my schools, so I keep the skinny jeans for weekends.

Jiggit
April 20th, 2015, 09:28
Short skirts are definitely going to be a no at any school, btw, mostly because they have so much trouble stopping students from hiking theirs up.

Also bear in mind that if you're a foreigner you're going to get more kids paying attention to your body if you show it. Especially if you are "curvier" than Japanese women. Japanese teachers at my school wear skinny jeans but if I were a female ALT I might not.

Isola
April 20th, 2015, 10:42
Like Jiggit said above, most of the female staff at my schools wear skinny pants. I do, too, but 1) I don't have a butt and 2) I wear long shirts.

Libellule
April 20th, 2015, 14:24
I agree with the others - wait to talk to your predecessor as they will have the best idea of what is appropriate.

I usually wear dresses that are at about knee level (or lower) with cardigans. For formal events I'll throw a blazer over one of my more neutral/formal looking dresses. I also sometimes do dress pants with a blouse and cardigan/blazer. The women at my schools all dress quite differently, but the common themes are neutral colours and very high necklines. If you want to fit in stock up on those things. I don't care about fitting in so most of my dresses are brightly coloured. I do want to be respectful so I try to keep my necklines high, my skirts at or below the knee, and my jewlery/makeup minimal. Hope that helps!

weepinbell
April 20th, 2015, 22:24
I agree with the others - wait to talk to your predecessor as they will have the best idea of what is appropriate.

I usually wear dresses that are at about knee level (or lower) with cardigans. For formal events I'll throw a blazer over one of my more neutral/formal looking dresses. I also sometimes do dress pants with a blouse and cardigan/blazer. The women at my schools all dress quite differently, but the common themes are neutral colours and very high necklines. If you want to fit in stock up on those things. I don't care about fitting in so most of my dresses are brightly coloured. I do want to be respectful so I try to keep my necklines high, my skirts at or below the knee, and my jewlery/makeup minimal. Hope that helps!

Yes thank you! I know it's obviously ESID, but based on lots of accounts/advice I've seen so far, I'm getting the feeling my wardrobe miiight not work out too well unless I get lucky haha (pixie pants and a bit of a butt, just-above-the-knee dresses...). Placements cannot come soon enough, I am very curious about whether or not I'm gonna have to do a total closet overhaul. I'm really crossing my fingers that I get schools that are cool with makeup at least... I'm that person who feels naked without liquid liner, not gonna lie.

sourdoughsushi
April 21st, 2015, 08:33
I'm really crossing my fingers that I get schools that are cool with makeup at least... I'm that person who feels naked without liquid liner, not gonna lie.

Chances are you're going to, without realizing, do worse things socially than wear liquid liner. It's just part of the cultural learning curve. The idea is to respect the workplace culture, but at the end of the day you're different anyway, and you'll have to pick and choose which battles are important for you to fight. Placement will make many differences, but I do have to advise against dresses and kindergartens in general.

Ananasboat
April 21st, 2015, 08:44
but I do have to advise against dresses and kindergartens in general.

Bingo.

Libellule
April 21st, 2015, 18:22
I'm really crossing my fingers that I get schools that are cool with makeup at least... I'm that person who feels naked without liquid liner, not gonna lie.

I totally get that - for me it's mascara. Most of the female teachers at my schools do wear a little makeup. As long as you're not wearing a lot of dark makeup you won't stand out in that way, but you're already gonna stand out since you're a foreigner so I wouldn't worry too much :)