The Art of Dress: An Examination on How Teachers Can Form Positive Teacher-Student Relationships Through Attire Choice


Author/Creator ORCID



Type of Work


Secondary and Physical Education


Citation of Original Publication



Contrary to popular belief being a teacher is not an easy job. Navigating the dual life of friend and mentor to the students while also maintaining professional relationships can be a difficult task and teachers must also educate, grade, plan, and control classroom discipline. At the very basic pedagogical level, teachers are told that fostering relationships with students is the best way for students to have a successful learning environment. This is a difficult concept to define because everyone builds relationships in different ways. One thing that can be controlled however is how an educator dresses. Dress codes are put into place at schools in order to maintain a sense of professionalism in the work place; however, within those limits, there are ways to purposely use fashion to create bonds with students. In this study, the idea of attire and fashion will be explored individually in order to best understand what it means to students and how it can be used to the greatest effect by teachers to achieve their goals, in this case specifically teaching and building teacher-student relationships. Understanding exactly what is being referred to when discussing fashion is also crucial. Is the main focus on clothing? Or do other variables play a role in what is considered fashion? The idea of dress involves a number of things and is not just limited to the concept of clothes. The conclusion of this study will directly relate to attire and clothing choice however when exploring dress and attire and how it relates to society and communication, the dress that is being referred to in addition to clothes includes hairstyle, accessories and jewelry, make-up, and body decoration. All of these play an important role and each can modify and effect a fashion so that it denotes different implications (Lurie 1981). Using the information about how our society views and uses dress to communicate as well as the pedagogical information, a better idea of the best attire for teachers to wear, will be created. This final conclusion will use ideas from both fields of study in to create a solid visual for the attire of teachers. Additionally, I will present, following the guidelines of the conclusion what I will wear on the first day of school in order for me to build strong teacher-student relationships with my students.