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Thread: What to wear at Elementary School

  1. #1

    Default What to wear at Elementary School

    Hi again guys!

    I just recently found out I'll be working at the elementary school level. Since my supervisor said I'll be working at "an elementary school", I'm guessing it's only one? Which seems strange, because I thought JETs typically visit several different schools (and of different levels), during any given week. I guess this is a rare case?

    Anyway, my purpose for this post is to ask what kind of clothes ALTs typically wear at Elementary schools? I've heard the dress code is a lot more lax at ES than it is at JHS and SH, but how lax? Can any JETs who has worked at the Elementary level give me an idea of what you wear? (For winter and summer). I want to buy a good amount of clothes before coming to Japan so I don't have to worry about finding clothes in my size. Plus, I'm certain I can get clothes A LOT cheaper here.

    So far these are the clothes I've purchased for JET:

    Black Slacks
    Grey Slacks
    Khaki pants
    Couple of Blazers
    Indoor Slip ons
    Indoor Gym shoes
    3 Polos (of different colors)
    2 long-sleeve Button-down shirts (one white, one light blue)
    Rain Coat
    Rain Pants
    Outdoor Dress Shoes (for TO)
    Cargo Capri (khaki colored) (Bought for casual wear, but can I wear this at school? Looks like THIS)
    1 pair of jeans (for casual wear)

    And that's it. I'm not really sure what other kinds of shirts and pants to buy (especially for the summer). I usually only wear t-shirts and jeans, so this whole "shopping for good blouses and pants" thing has got me overwhelmed. Especially since I'm on a tight budget for clothes. I've dropped 3 clothes sizes since January, so I'm having to buy everything from scratch. All the clothes I had previously bought for internships and such don't fit me anymore. Which I suppose is a good thing, but buying all new clothes is expensive.

    So, can anyone give me an idea of what clothes I should bring? Links to specific pieces of clothing would be very helpful.

    Thanks in advance!

    (Note: Please don't ask me to "ask my pred", or to "just buy clothes in Japan", these are two things I cannot (or don't want to) do)
    Last edited by JPNLKatie; June 28th, 2016 at 16:35.

  2. #2

    Default Re: What to wear at Elementary School

    Quote Originally Posted by JPNLKatie View Post
    Hi again guys!

    I just recently found out I'll be working at the elementary school level. Since my supervisor said I'll be working at "an elementary school", I'm guessing it's only one? Which seems strange, because I thought JETs typically visit several different schools (and of different levels), during any given week. I guess this is a rare case?

    Anyway, my purpose for this post is to ask what kind of clothes ALTs typically wear at Elementary schools? I've heard the dress code is a lot more lax at ES than it is at JHS and SH, but how lax? Can any JETs who has worked at the Elementary level give me an idea of what you wear? (For winter and summer). I want to buy a good amount of clothes before coming to Japan so I don't have to worry about finding clothes in my size. Plus, I'm certain I can get clothes A LOT cheaper here.

    So far these are the clothes I've purchased for JET:

    Black Slacks
    Grey Slacks
    Couple of Blazers
    Indoor Slip ons
    Indoor Gym shoes
    3 Polos (of different colors)
    2 long-sleeve Button-down shirts (one white, one light blue)
    Rain Coat
    Rain Pants
    Outdoor Dress Shoes (for TO)
    Cargo Capri (khaki colored) (Bought for casual wear, but can I wear this at school? Looks like THIS)
    1 pair of jeans (for casual wear)

    And that's it. I'm not really sure what other kinds of shirts and pants to buy (especially for the summer). I usually only wear t-shirts and jeans, so this whole "shopping for good blouses and pants" thing has got me overwhelmed. Especially since I'm on a tight budget for clothes. I've dropped 3 clothes sizes since January, so I'm having to buy everything from scratch. All the clothes I had previously bought for internships and such don't fit me anymore. Which I suppose is a good thing, but buying all new clothes is expensive.

    So, can anyone give me an idea of what clothes I should bring? Links to specific pieces of clothing would be very helpful.

    Thanks in advance!

    (Note: Please don't ask me to "ask my pred", or to "just buy clothes in Japan", these are two things I cannot (or don't want to) do)
    Seriously, you'll find clothes in Japan in your size, and shops like GU and Uniqlo have everything you'll need.

    Elementary school is quite casual, loads of them wear tracksuits.

  3. #3
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to wear at Elementary School

    running shoes, tracksuits, t-shirts, stuff that can stand up to mud, blood, sweat, tears, paint, marker pens, chalk, vomit, nasal mucus, more sweat. Japanese ES love the rather pedo sounding term "skinship" so you'll have little sacks of disease and filth climbing over you all day. You'll be expected to be more hands on than at JHS and SHS with events such as marathon, area sports tournaments, school sports days, PE lessons, rice planting, playing with the little buggers during break time, swimming lessons, road safety walks, evacuation drills, blah blah blah. You'll want some smart clothes for graduations, opening ceremonies, demonstration lessons etc but the rest of the time you'll want to dress for combat.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  4. #4
    Looking for some chaw acpc2203's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to wear at Elementary School

    Yeah you can wear a t-shirt and basketball shorts at my ES.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What to wear at Elementary School

    Quote Originally Posted by mrcharisma View Post
    Seriously, you'll find clothes in Japan in your size, and shops like GU and Uniqlo have everything you'll need.

    Elementary school is quite casual, loads of them wear tracksuits.
    Seriously. I know you "don't want to do" this, but it's actually a really good idea. I basically had to buy a whole new wardrobe upon arrival because all my clothes from America were not at all suited for Japanese weather.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What to wear at Elementary School

    Quote Originally Posted by Penguinonfire View Post
    Seriously. I know you "don't want to do" this, but it's actually a really good idea. I basically had to buy a whole new wardrobe upon arrival because all my clothes from America were not at all suited for Japanese weather.
    What I meant by "don't want to", is that I don't want to go searching around for clothes during my first month in Japan when I'll be too busy stressing out about everything else. I do plan to buy clothes in Japan once I get settled, but I want a nice set of clothes that will last me awhile before I absolutely have to go clothes shopping. Besides, I'm kinda worried that even if I can find clothes in my size, the styles would be limited. I have a much better selection of clothes in my size in the states.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What to wear at Elementary School

    Quote Originally Posted by JPNLKatie View Post
    I'll be too busy stressing out.
    Yeah we've gathered that.

  8. #8
    Formerly the Hot One OatsCurrySummer's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to wear at Elementary School

    Also, you're probably going to get fat when you come here, so don't bother bringing nice stuff from home.

    Source: Personal experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by webstaa View Post
    That's the best thing about having books on your phone etc. You can read without having to be self-conscious of what you're reading
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    We're in a country where salarymen read doraemon on the train, I wouldn't worry either way.

  9. #9
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to wear at Elementary School

    when you first arrive you wont have any lessons or any kids to deal with for a few weeks so it doesn't really matter what you turn up in. You'll want something smart for your first day meeting people at the BOE and the schools, then you can wear anything you want within reason if you are just in a school staffroom during the holidays. It'll be hot and humid so keep that in mind. Then you'll have school opening ceremony where you will be introduced to the kids so you'll want something smart for that. By the time September rolls around you should have a good idea of what your schools dress code is, where the local shops are and you'll have you first months paycheque to blow on sexy engrish t-shirts. If your town expects you to spend the summer in the BOE you'll need something that fits "cool biz" to wear. thats not hard to figure out, no tracksuits, no jeans, keep the twins under wraps etc etc.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  10. #10

    Default Re: What to wear at Elementary School

    Quote Originally Posted by JPNLKatie View Post
    What I meant by "don't want to", is that I don't want to go searching around for clothes during my first month in Japan when I'll be too busy stressing out about everything else. I do plan to buy clothes in Japan once I get settled, but I want a nice set of clothes that will last me awhile before I absolutely have to go clothes shopping. Besides, I'm kinda worried that even if I can find clothes in my size, the styles would be limited. I have a much better selection of clothes in my size in the states.
    At your height there are plenty of clothes. Even if you are heavy, unless your BMI hits something like 35, there are clothes readily available.

    You have nothing to stress out about. Like we've told you, you probably have no responsibilities at all until the start of August.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87;
    U da real mvp.

  11. #11
    Senior Member ambrosse's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to wear at Elementary School

    I'm actually taking home a lot of my business attire...
    Have one good suit, call it good. Or a mix and match set. I have a professional dress that works with my suit coat, but also pants if I'm not feeling like a dress. Outside TO, I've only worn my suit two or three times my entire first year. (JHS + 2 ES)

    I wear some sort of pants (usually jeggings because i'm a savage), and a t-shirt, blouse, or sweater depending on the season. I also wear a track jacket frequently.
    If you wear an L/XL and under back home, don't waste your money at home.

    I don't know where exactly you're from, but I'm from Minnesota. The clothes meant for Minnesota summer are definitely NOT clothes I can wear for the Japanese summer. The fabrics are a lot thicker and more synthetic which means it doesn't breathe well. Clothes in Japan are, for the most part (UNIQLO and affiliates), are made for the weather here. Please think about that.
    I did what you did, for fear I wouldn't fit in clothes, and I ended up re-buying anyway and either tossing, or shipping stuff back home.

    Just a little bit about the rain pants and rain coat. If you're driving, you won't need the pants. The coat I suppose, but I never use mine anyway. Definitely have them if you're biking or walking though. It's not uncommon to get doused in curb water by a fast moving vehicle...


    As a final note....I almost never wear any of my U.S. clothes anymore. Bringing piles of clothes on a "but what if!!!!" mentality is my biggest regret while packing for JET and I'm sure is for a great many people.

  12. #12
    Looking for some chaw acpc2203's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to wear at Elementary School

    Quote Originally Posted by OatsCurrySummer View Post
    Also, you're probably going to get fat when you come here, so don't bother bringing nice stuff from home.

    Source: Personal experience.
    not getting jacked so the kids call you mukimuki, smdh

  13. #13

    Default Re: What to wear at Elementary School

    Alright, I get it. I really want to thank all you guys for you help. I honestly really do appreciate it, even when you all are teasing me about being a worry wort and that I'm overthinking things. And I do realize I am overthinking things, but that's just how I am. I'm the kind of person who likes to have things planned out "just in case". I don't expect many of you to understand. But truthfully, I probably wouldn't be posting here as much if I had a predecessor in which to ask these questions. I think that's what was really stressing me out. But, I'm feeling a lot calmer now, thanks to everyone's help.

  14. #14
    Senior Member ambrosse's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to wear at Elementary School

    Quote Originally Posted by JPNLKatie View Post
    And I do realize I am overthinking things, but that's just how I am. I'm the kind of person who likes to have things planned out "just in case". I don't expect many of you to understand.
    I understand. Because I was that person. And in the end, I wish I hadn't had things "just in case"....
    Now I'm trying to get rid of crap.
    Last edited by ambrosse; June 28th, 2016 at 16:30.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What to wear at Elementary School

    Quote Originally Posted by ambrosse View Post
    I'm actually taking home a lot of my business attire...
    Have one good suit, call it good. Or a mix and match set. I have a professional dress that works with my suit coat, but also pants if I'm not feeling like a dress. Outside TO, I've only worn my suit two or three times my entire first year. (JHS + 2 ES)

    I wear some sort of pants (usually jeggings because i'm a savage), and a t-shirt, blouse, or sweater depending on the season. I also wear a track jacket frequently.
    If you wear an L/XL and under back home, don't waste your money at home.

    I don't know where exactly you're from, but I'm from Minnesota. The clothes meant for Minnesota summer are definitely NOT clothes I can wear for the Japanese summer. The fabrics are a lot thicker and more synthetic which means it doesn't breathe well. Clothes in Japan are, for the most part (UNIQLO and affiliates), are made for the weather here. Please think about that.
    I did what you did, for fear I wouldn't fit in clothes, and I ended up re-buying anyway and either tossing, or shipping stuff back home.

    Just a little bit about the rain pants and rain coat. If you're driving, you won't need the pants. The coat I suppose, but I never use mine anyway. Definitely have them if you're biking or walking though. It's not uncommon to get doused in curb water by a fast moving vehicle...


    As a final note....I almost never wear any of my U.S. clothes anymore. Bringing piles of clothes on a "but what if!!!!" mentality is my biggest regret while packing for JET and I'm sure is for a great many people.
    This is really helpful, thank you! I did get the rain pants for the purpose of biking to school in the rain. I don't plan on getting a car in Japan, so I'm preparing to face riding a bike in all kinds of weather. The rain pants were just a cheap pair I found on amazon for $12. I'm sure I can find a better pair in Japan if I need to.

    As for the clothes, I am trying to spend the least amount of money on clothes as possible for the same reason. I'm just trying to gather up a few outfits to take with me that will last me until I can go shopping in Japan. I just wasn't sure that polo shirts a capris were going to fly at school or not. I'm guessing I'll just pick up a couple of plain t-shirts, and a cropped trouser to go with the clothes I've listed above and hopefully I'll be set.

    By the way, my "suit" is only a good black blazer paired with black slacks. I wonder if this will be good enough to pass as my "suit".
    Last edited by JPNLKatie; June 28th, 2016 at 16:46.

  16. #16
    Formerly the Hot One OatsCurrySummer's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to wear at Elementary School

    Quote Originally Posted by JPNLKatie View Post
    Alright, I get it. I really want to thank all you guys for you help. I honestly really do appreciate it, even when you all are teasing me about being a worry wort and that I'm overthinking things. And I do realize I am overthinking things, but that's just how I am. I'm the kind of person who likes to have things planned out "just in case". I don't expect many of you to understand. But truthfully, I probably wouldn't be posting here as much if I had a predecessor in which to ask these questions. I think that's what was really stressing me out. But, I'm feeling a lot calmer now, thanks to everyone's help.
    Yeah, if I came off as snarky, I apologize! But everyone here is right. And trust us, we do understand what it's like to be a worry wort with a need for control. Today I was reading some old emails between me and my city co-ordinator when I got upgraded from the waitlist and now I'm absolutely cringing at the needless questions I bombarded that poor woman with. In the end, they were groundless worries.
    I think one of the most important things you will learn here is that you can't control a thing. So don't try. Instead, become more adaptable so you can deal with whatever shit will be flung your way upon arrival.
    "That which bends, does not break" or some shit like that.
    Quote Originally Posted by webstaa View Post
    That's the best thing about having books on your phone etc. You can read without having to be self-conscious of what you're reading
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    We're in a country where salarymen read doraemon on the train, I wouldn't worry either way.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What to wear at Elementary School

    Quote Originally Posted by ambrosse View Post
    I understand. Because I was that person. And in the end, I wish I hadn't had things "just in case"....
    Now I'm trying to get rid of crap.
    Well, that's really the reason I'm asking everyone here about this. That way people can tell me about what things I should and should not bring, instead of doing it by myself and regretting it later.

  18. #18
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to wear at Elementary School

    just bring a credit card and a smile.



    and baked beans.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  19. #19
    Formerly the Hot One OatsCurrySummer's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to wear at Elementary School

    ^ Pretty solid advice, actually.
    Quote Originally Posted by webstaa View Post
    That's the best thing about having books on your phone etc. You can read without having to be self-conscious of what you're reading
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    We're in a country where salarymen read doraemon on the train, I wouldn't worry either way.

  20. #20

    Default Re: What to wear at Elementary School

    Baked Beans huh?

    I was thinking of just bringing a jar of ovaltine seeing as they don't have chocolate milk. Chocolate milk is my guilty addiction.

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