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Suits and indoor shoes
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JerkyBoy



Joined: 12 Jan 2012
Posts: 446

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:29 pm    Post subject: Suits and indoor shoes Reply with quote

Do the Japanese absolutely insist on a suit for school assemblies or whatever when you're an ALT?

Also, I bought some nice work shoes but apparently when you teach you have to use "indoor shoes" (sneakers)?
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2677
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've gotten away with trousers (non-suit type, but still reasonably smart), shirt and tie. On cold days in the assembly hall or outside I'd just wear my coat (again, reasonably smart, and short) or even a zip-up sports top over the shirt. You don't see many JTEs wandering around in suits all day every day, so why should AETs!

Yes, indoors you can wear whatever is most comfortable and convenient for you to slip into. Within reason of course (e.g. no long clown shoes).
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For ceremonies, dress up. Otherwise do as your employer tells you. Case by case.
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marley'sghost



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 132

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a JHS ALT. I'm usually in a tie. Slacks are wash and wear. Summers in Japan are hellishly hot and humid, so the long sleeves are gone by April, the tie by May. I don't wear a tie when I do elementary schools. Don't want to give the little monkeys another handle to grab me with.
For your 1st day, definitely wear your good suit, you'll most likely be making a introductory speech in front of the whole school. Graduation would be another dress up day.
As for "indoor shoes", sandals (I wear Birkenstocks) or anything you can slip in and out of easily are good. Sneakers are no problem.
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move



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 113

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on the assembly. I would say wear it for the first day of school and graduation ceremony. The other ceremonies/assemblies are probably optional. Rule of thumb, if parents are coming it's a good idea to break out the suit. Keep it in your locker at school. Other teachers change from their regular clothes to P.E. clothes to a suit faster than Superman.

If you don't have one already don't worry, there are plenty of places you can buy a cheap suit here, if you aren't overly tall/short/wide. I would bring shoes from abroad if you are anything over 28cm.

Indoor shoes are almost anything goes. Older men will wear these terrible looking sandals that are comfortable as hell.

Usual attire is slacks, dress shirt and tie. My current school is a bit more uptight so no track jackets/adidas warmups unless you're a P.E. teacher or heading out to your club.
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steki47



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 680
Location: BFE Inaka

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

move wrote:
Indoor shoes are almost anything goes. Older men will wear these terrible looking sandals that are comfortable as hell.


I wear Crocs inside my JHS. They look stupid, but are easy to slip on and off. Many J-teachers buy another pair of sneakers.
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GambateBingBangBOOM



Joined: 04 Nov 2003
Posts: 1892
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have worn either a suit and tie or blazer and dress pants and tie pretty much every regular work day for over six years- in all but a JET job. They'll tell you when you can stop wearing a tie (or, more to the point, they'll tell you when you HAVE to stop wearing a tie and therefore jacket [regardless of weather] and when you start wearing it again [again, regardless of weather]), and of course you can (and often do) just kind of wear the jacket in, then put it on the back of your chair and then repeat to bring it to class, or conveniently 'forget' to bring the jacket from the teacher's room.

Indoor shoes are a requirement in all but one school I've ever taught at. I heard all sorts of things about toilet shoes, but you rarely see them at schools- one elementary school I used to teach at a few times a year had them, and that's it. You see them at restaurants and sometimes in houses more often.

Indoor shoes tend to be
-either slippers / sports shoes that look similar to Birkenstock sandals (not the kind with a toe thong).

-A pair of shoes remarkably similar to the outdoor shoes (I have personally usually just bought two pairs of the same 'dressy casual' shoes every time I've bought work shoes in Japan).

CLICK HERE!

the shoe at the top of the page made by timberland is what I wore for several years until they wore out- except on days like opening ceremonies, graduations etc. On those days (and to job interviews, pretty obviously) I wore regular business dress shoes (again, I have two identical pairs- one for outdoor and one for indoor). On these occasions you are pretty much expected to wear a (solid- often) BLACK suit with a WHITE tie and a solid WHITE shirt. You can get black suits if you're a regular size here easily. You can get a solid white tie at a 100Y shop for 100- 500Y, or at a suit shop for anything up to over 10,000Y. Mine is closer to the 10,000Y type. Note: on white tie days, it's often a good idea to bring a second coloured tie (like red- you'll be wearing a black suit) because pretty much as soon as whatever ceremony you are at is over, people will remove the white tie. I don't think you need a white tie for your initial ceremony, but you should ask. You should usually ask if you need a white tie whenever there is a major ceremony (entrance ceremony, graduation, end of term, beginning of term). Different schools have different protocols.
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OneJoelFifty



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 463

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pro tip: go to Primark before you leave England. I bought some cheap (3 quid I think) black canvas shoes when I went home in the summer. Perfect for school.

Wear a suit your first day, and second, until you can get an idea of how the other teachers usually dress. You'll probably be surprised at how nearly everyone teaches P.E., but they actually don't. I liked to dress a little smarter than the other teachers so I'd always wear a shirt and tie.

Like someone else said, keep a suit at school if you can. Or at least a suit jacket. If you're in a junior high school, you might not get much warning for stuff. You could end up being the only teacher wearing a cardigan in the newsletter/school photo/yearbook...
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JerkyBoy



Joined: 12 Jan 2012
Posts: 446

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't get hold of my suit until the summer as it's in storage. I can't afford to buy one for the start of the semester.

Are my Japanese bosses likely to have a seizure if I am at the opening ceremony dressed in dress shirt, dress pants and a tie?
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JerkyBoy



Joined: 12 Jan 2012
Posts: 446

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OneJoelFifty wrote:
Pro tip: go to Primark before you leave England. I bought some cheap (3 quid I think) black canvas shoes when I went home in the summer. Perfect for school.


Black pumps from Primark sound like a winner.
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timothypfox



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 369

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think having 2 suits is good, and a pair of dress shoes. Bear in mind that size 11 and up sized shoes (sorry that's American size - not sure the of the equivalent in the UK) - are not sold in most stores except through special order in Japan. At my work, people wear slippers except for when we go out of work (dress shoes) or at a special ceremony. I brought 4 or 5 pairs of cheap kung fu slippers along which have been really nice.

Now did you listen to my song yet Jerkeyboy?
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JerkyBoy



Joined: 12 Jan 2012
Posts: 446

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which song is that?
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timothypfox



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 369

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This song JerkyBoy--->

Stop My Complaining Laughing
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JerkyBoy



Joined: 12 Jan 2012
Posts: 446

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BAM - Cradlerock style!
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JerkyBoy



Joined: 12 Jan 2012
Posts: 446

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JerkyBoy wrote:
OneJoelFifty wrote:
Pro tip: go to Primark before you leave England. I bought some cheap (3 quid I think) black canvas shoes when I went home in the summer. Perfect for school.


Black pumps from Primark sound like a winner.


I bought me some Primark specials. I'm good to go.
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