• Japan Tips

Dress to impress: the ALT dress code

All ALTs are expected to wear business attire during working hours. It is a requirement to maintain a professional appearance.


Hairstyle & Facial Hair

  • For men, keep your hair short, neat and business-appropriate. Always be cleanly shaven; beard or mustache must be neat and trimmed.
  • For women, keep hairstyles business-appropriate.




  • Conservative and businesslike shirts and blouses. No low cut necks on short tops.
  • Suit or sports jacket is required. Casual jackets are not appropriate.
  • Always wear a necktie! Top shirt button must be buttoned.
  • Pants should be well-pressed, clean and appropriate for a business environment. Belt with a normal buckle.
  • Socks should be dark colored and matching for men.


  • Conservative and businesslike shirts and blouses. No low cut necks on short tops.
  • Skirts should cover the knees; business-style dress pants are acceptable. Should be worn at waist-level (not hip-level)
  • Nylon stockings are required for women wearing skirts.



  • Business style shoes that are clean, polished and in good repair. No sandals or sneakers.



  • For men, earrings or other body piercings are not appropriate.
  • For women, only wear jewelry that is appropriate for the business environment.



  • Maintain good standards of personal hygiene. Ample use of deodorant is essential, especially in the summer months.


General Points

  • Perfume and strong aftershave should not be worn to school.
  • Any piercings other than earrings for women should also be taken out when you are at school.
  • Summer “Cool Biz” is in effect in some areas for a limited time. Please confirm with the branch regarding any dress code changes during the summer months.
  • Tattoos in Japan are associated with persons involved in organized crime, and are definitely not in line with the image and expectations of a teacher or sensei. As an ALT, there is an expectation that you will take part in school festivals and sports/club activities. In these activities, you may be required to wear shorts and t-shirts, and therefore any visible tattoo must be covered. In addition, living in the communities where you work will require that your tattoos are covered at all times. Therefore, living and working in Japan will prove to be a significant challenge if you have tattoos.