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Thread: Work Attire

  1. #1

    Default Work Attire

    Hey guys, Sorry if there's already a thread on this or if I'm int he wrong subforum, but I couldn't find any other threads, soooo here's my question.

    What is the expected dress attire for a ALT? I was a guest instructor briefly at a highschool, but the director specifically asked me to come in casual dress that time, so I'm at a loss of how ALTs are expected to dress.

    I imagine it may depend somewhat on your contracting agency, type of school and/or location, but I want to try to buy clothes here in the US before I leave as I find it difficult to find usable clothing in Japan, given that my shoulders are three miles wide by japanese standards, for one.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Work Attire

    Really something that depends on your placement, as it can range from completely casual to wearing a tie everyday. I think it's pretty rare for an ALT to be required to have on a full suit everyday with JET.

    I'm assuming you're a man and most male ALTs can get away with non-jeans and a collared shirt, no tie. I wear black/grey dress pants and a collared shirt every day. You will need one or two suits for the ceremonies and maybe the bigger enkais.

    Edit: I forgot an important point: in the summer they do this thing called "cool biz" meaning even the Japanese can and do leave off the necktie and wear light, short sleeved collared shirts. Short sleeved dress shirts might not have the best image at home but here almost everyone will be in one, and you will want to as well due to the heat. Not so popular in the US so it may be better to look here. Places like Uniqlo make large sizes so you should be ok.
    Last edited by patjs; May 12th, 2011 at 07:42.

  3. #3
    Smashes through the wa Miss_igirisu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009


    Some girls will no doubt ask about this too so here's the general outline: again it depends on school but no skirts shorter than the tops of your knees (I wear leggings under shorter skirts), no super short sleeves especially sleeveless shirts. You will know of you've failed either of these because people will ask if you're cold.

    Most Japanese women wear the same dull office clothes every day in rotation. I wear what I like really, and am pretty colourful every day. I don't wear dangly earrings but I know places where it's ok to. On the other hand I had hair extensions and also pink hair extensions (that I tied up for work so they weren't in your face) and that was fine but other alts have been shouted at for doing the same.

    One bit of advice is that if you try to look nice the kids will appreciate it and will come to talk to you about your clothes/accessories. I like to wear nice jewelry especially animal designs because the students love it. I consider my job to be talking with the students (as opposed to teaching) so it's important to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by tenderRondo View Post
    they said your uk blood has extremely high levels of tea and crumpets in it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Work Attire

    Sweet thanks for the quick replies, guys! Yea, I'm a man, so I figured button-downs and slacks was probably a safe bet. I guess I'll wait until i get placement first and then go from there, but it's nice to have a general idea. Thanks again guys!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Work Attire

    I'm waiting until I hear from my pred before I go crazy and get five suits that I really don't want to wear in the first place. Yeah I'll look fly, but if I can get out of wearing them then that's a win in my book.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Eudox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011


    Quote Originally Posted by jumpman85 View Post
    I'm waiting until I hear from my pred before I go crazy and get five suits that I really don't want to wear in the first place. Yeah I'll look fly, but if I can get out of wearing them then that's a win in my book.

    I bought my first suit for my interview and felt like a total fake wearing it, so I'm really hoping I don't get a school which requires you to wear a suit everyday.

  7. #7


    You likely will not have to wear a full suit every day. You should at least remember though that Japan tends to be a little more conservative with their dress, so don't expect that you can get away with jeans.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Easy_money's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Giving gaijin a bad name all over Japan.

    Default Re: Work Attire

    I have to wear a full suit everyday to JHS. It's not so bad. At elem I wear a tracksuit.
    Ok, picture a mind.... Now flay that shit!

    Quote Originally Posted by mothy
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