How To Dress: After October 1

October is here and that means one thing: Your work attire must change. In Japan, how you dress for work relates more to the date than to the current weather conditions. After October 1, no matter how warm it still may be outside, long sleeves and pants are the appropriate dress attire. Since temperatures and the humidity may still be high during this time, I recommend dressing in short sleeves, but bringing a light jacket or cardigan that you can take off throughout the day.

While you may technically be able to wear short sleeves on your own, be prepared for teachers to ask you 「寒くない?」(Aren’t you cold?). I’ve never been able to pinpoint whether this is actual concern or some sort of code indicating that my attire was inappropriate, I suspect it’s a little of both. Save yourself the trouble and cover up those arms. Ladies, if you’re going to wear skirts, make sure you wear panty hose or tights. Don’t be discouraged, the weather will cool down soon enough and you’ll be able to enjoy all your awesome new UNIQLO sweaters.

Fun fact: Did you know that your school’s hallways aren’t heated? Good luck and stay warm on your way to class!

Other items to bring to work for colder winter months:

  • a lap blanket for your desk
  • hand warmers and body warmers that you can stick to your body
  • scarves

Melanie is a third year ALT from the United States who knows that a short-sleeve sweater still is not acceptable work attire in October.


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