List 37/52 – What to wear when teaching in Thailand

Thai schools are quite formal. The student uniforms are very smart and the teachers dress smartly too. There is a teacher uniform that they wear on Mondays, the scout uniform that both students and teachers wear on Wednesdays, and pink shirt day for the King. So what should a farang teacher wear?

1. Dress modestly. Women should wear knee-length skirts. Men should wear long pants.

2. Sleeves should cover the shoulders. No singlet tops. For women, a short sleeve or 3/4 length sleeve is good. Short sleeved shirts are probably ok for men (and have been fine for Dave here) but if the school is more strict a long sleeved shirt will be needed.

3. Shoes should be closed. No thongs/flip-flops! (Thai female teachers are supposed to wear black heels. I have been wearing black leather flats.) Remove your shoes outside the classrooms and office buildings.

4. Simple colours and patterns are best. eg. A black skirt, a plain coloured shirt.

5. Clothes are usually only worn once before washing.

So, what have I been wearing, considering we’re on an extended trip and didn’t have a lot of room in the bags.

– Two black skirts – one straight and one flowy, both come to below the knee. I will abandon the straight one here when we move on.

– A 3/4 sleeve length blue shirt (I also came with a 3/4 length khaki shirt but only wore it once because I discovered it shows up sweat too much in this heat! Not a good look.)

– A navy knee length button down dress (that I also wore to the wedding.)

– In Bangkok I bought some flat black shoes. I’ll donate them here when we leave.

– At the Tesco Lotus here I bought two extra tops for teaching that I’ll also leave here – a short sleeved shirt and a cowl neck top.

With a midweek wash that has been enough to get me by. Apparently I am the first foreigner our host has had who dresses like an actual teacher!



1 Response to “List 37/52 – What to wear when teaching in Thailand”

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