Are you one of those people who thinks that these dress codes will “restore professionalism” and “instill respect” into teaching? I can’t remember the last time I saw a doctor who wasn’t in jeans or dockers. My dentist is an overdresser, it’s true, but her receptionist never moves beyond jeans. Casual Friday died the death in corporate America a decade or more ago; we dressed down every day of the week. Hell, lawyers don’t even wear suit and ties routinely unless they’re at court.
So spare me the pieties about teachers’ clothes. Many of us want to wear jeans, or shorts, or sweat pants. Unless there’s research proving that kids achieve better when their male teachers wear ties and the female ones wear dresses, then take a big cup of shut up. Curb the excesses, fine. No holes, no spaghetti straps, no tattoos, sure. But jeans? Please. The era of suit and ties is over—not just for teaching, but for the country. You want to bring it back, start with an occupation that pays in the six figures first.