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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by cat2611, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. cat2611

    cat2611 Occasional commenter

    The leadership team at my school have just introduced a dress code. It bans leggings. Unfortunately for me leggings are one of my favourite items of clothes. I have lots of leggings and long tops that I enjoy wearing. Do you think that I should continue wearing leggings as my attire does not have a direct effect on the children's progress or do I need to adhere to the new dresscode?
    Thanks in advance
    stmha likes this.
  2. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Get some cheap black trousers from Tesco or Sainsbury or Asda or somewhere, and wear those instead. I can understand why leggings are banned - they're not exactly professional-looking, and you will have students arguing that if the staff can wear them so can they - and to be honest, it's not every figure that can do leggings justice - long tops or not!
    solvacrime and CWadd like this.
  3. cat2611

    cat2611 Occasional commenter

    I've been teaching for a decade and I've always worn leggings. I started wearing them when I was training because leggings and a long top was the best way to hide my tattoo on my back. Due to a lack of child bearing hips I find that trousers hang off me and make me look like a clown. If need be I'll stick to a black skirt and top or a dress with tights.
    stmha likes this.
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Come on!

    You know the answer to that!

    Of COURSE you adhere to the new dress code. There are more important things to get heated about than leggings.

    Can my employer legally impose a dress code?

    Best wishes

    mark6243 and solvacrime like this.
  5. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Personally I hate dress 'codes'… I blame starting my career in higher education where such things do not exist.

    However, I've sat in many a staffroom where colleague push the boundaries beyond sensible, sometimes verging on obscene. Flip flops in the summer come with obvious health and safety risk for example! My favourite was the flesh colour legging trend which made some colleagues look half naked, and some portly ladies look quite frankly like walking blancmange and as though they got dressed in the dark. I guess a line has to be drawn somewhere…

    I wear leggings myself primarily because lycra allergy renders most tights infeasible and no one notices or has ever commented because it's along with the knee length skirt and boots.
    DYNAMO67 and CWadd like this.
  6. blueskies31

    blueskies31 Occasional commenter

    I know it makes no difference to pupil progress but I have to admit I hate seeing teachers in leggings especially with Ugg boots. (Think I'm just old fashioned!!!) I just don't think it looks professional.
    CWadd and snowyhead like this.
  7. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    I have always thought that what women can wear (many different items of clothing) vs what men can wear (shirt and tie and trousers ONLY) has been a form of sex discrimination against men in the workplace for decades!

    I am sorry OP but you work in a SCHOOL with impressionable young people, not a trendy upstart company in Notting Hill. Keep the leggings for weekends.
  8. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Personally, I hate leggings as they leave little to the imagination. Arguments for and against dress codes in school have raged on for years. Many, many years ago one teacher training college (yes, that long ago) advised female teachers against wearing 'forked garments' in school. Imagine that - no leggings, trousers, culottes or knee-length shorts!

    As for flip-flops...
    solvacrime likes this.
  9. e_rift

    e_rift New commenter

    I was at a union meeting a few months ago and they said the school has no right to demand a dress code unless stated in the contract you signed. Double check what you signed when you joined the school.
    stmha likes this.
  10. old_dobbin

    old_dobbin Occasional commenter

    Don't you think that this a trivial matter to get so worked up about? Why do you care about such a superficial expression of your personality ? Of course teachers are expected to look like teachers, not like the back of a bus that's been dragged through a hedge backwards.
  11. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    On balance though, isn't this just a case of picking your battles? It might irk that female teachers have been told not to wear leggings, but it could be worse - they could request that female teachers wear suits (like their male colleagues) and put long hair in a neat bun. If you work in an office in a client facing role you dress accordingly, mainly because you want to make a good impression.

    I know some teachers aren't bothered about how untidy they look, but I always feel like I give the impression (at least) that I'm a professional when I dress fairly smartly.

    Changing the subject slightly, it bothers me greatly now when I visit hospitals and see doctors in jeans and t-shirts. What happened to suits and white coats?
  12. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Be grateful you don't have to 'power' dress!

    I would have thought that dressing professionally meant that your back was covered up anyway - teacher's should not really be displaying flesh anywhere between their shoulders and their knees in my opinion (and I say this having worked with young women who wore strappy or extremely low-cut tops both of which left little to the imagination, with all sorts of tattoos on display. Yeeccchhh!!)
    solvacrime and snowyhead like this.
  13. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Leggings, sleeveless tops, low cut tops, short skirts - my school banned the lot. Men have to wear a shirt and tie - why should women be allowed to wear clothes that would be more suitable for a day at the beach or shopping?

    You've already said what you will wear as an alternative. Just adhere to that.
  14. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I agree with the (so far) unanimous responses: yes you need to comply with the dress code.

    It's hard enough to get support to fight for the rights that really matter. Don't expect your colleagues to be very sympathetic if you end up getting dismissed over whether you can wear leggings.

    I don't know the specific context of that comment but in general it isn't correct, As the link Theo posted says, employers can impose dress codes.

    In any case most contracts of employment say somewhere that they incorporate whatever is in the staff handbook and the like - it doesn't have to be in the formal contract of employment that was signed.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
    CWadd and monicabilongame like this.
  15. alexdoncaster

    alexdoncaster New commenter

    You're a professional and you should dress like one.

    Long tops and leggings are just too casual for a smart, business like environment.
  16. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    Can't you wear a pair of trousers with a long top? Then no-one will see how they hang off you, because the long top will cover it.
  17. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Agree you should dress professionally, or look for an alternative career.
    mark6243, monicabilongame and CWadd like this.
  18. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    if the dress code applies to teachers then yes you may have to conform. Use your professional judgement. However, it is a little draconian to hear that a school dictates how teachers dress. As for a teacher showing any flesh...oh dear.

    What is important is connecting with young people. One of the ways that can be done is being a positive role model. Look at any research on modelling and shaping behaviour and you will see how the visual image of the teacher is an important aspect of shaping behaviour.

    So make your own mind up and decide which century you want to teach in. Lets face it most high school students dont think their teachers have real lives as we look so awkward in the manner we present ourselves. I was a PE teacher, thank god I never had to think about what to wear the next day. Red shirt with logo and black shorts with logo...bliss

    stand up for leggings
    good luck.
  19. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Leggings are form then weekend and notmmany women have the figure form them anyway.

    Adhere to the dress code and get some trousers that fit correctly.
    solvacrime likes this.
  20. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    Leggings look dreadful on most women. If trousers hang off you, then buy a pair that fit properly.

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