Thursday, December 13, 2007

Teacher Dress Code

Fashion is more important in Tokyo than eating or sleeping, which is why everyone is so skinny and snoring on the trains. No matter the age or job, no one leaves home without properly dressing. For girls, this means stockings underneath jeans (often times in the summer as well) so that not even the tops of their feet have a skin flaws or discoloration. Since it is winter, the pink scarves impeccably match the pink iPods (I'm talking about the men). Sea foam green gloves clutch a Starbucks cup steaming to the brim with a green tea latte; Or gingerbread latte if one happens to be wearing brown gloves that day.

Elementary school teachers are allowed to wear casual clothes while at work, however the same decorum applies. Teachers wear full suits, ties, stockings, hair styled for an hour in the morning. They come to work either by being crammed on a train or riding their bikes, then go into the school locker room and change into gym clothes. Granted the workout gear they wear are the matching Adidas and Nike track suit sets. Math, Japanese and Chorus teachers look like PE coaches. At the end of the day, they enter the locker room and reemerge into a formally dressed citizen of the runway.

I don't have enough clothes to wear three different outfits a day, so I just come in normal clothes, teach in normal clothes, then leave in my same clothes. Normally, I feel like a slob because I don't have the hair and make-up done that indicates it took me three hours in the bathroom, which is very attractive here. I need to move somewhere beachy after this.

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