Allison White

What to Wear for Classroom Open House Night

Open house night, which is sometimes called things like “Back to School Night,” or “Meet the Teacher Night” or something similar, is a chance for families to meet and talk with you, their child’s teacher. It’s also a chance for you to make a good first impression! So, what should you wear?

Business Casual

In general, business casual dress is a good baseline. This could look like khaki pants and a button down shirt or like a pencil skirt and nice blouse. At most events, you won’t be truly teaching students (though some schools have you do a bit of an “example lesson” with kids for parents’ benefit), but rather talking with parents as they come to tour your classroom. That means you can wear some “dressier” pieces that you might not usually want to get dry erase marker all over!

What to Wear for Classroom Open House Night Magoosh

Dress Conservatively

Schools have varied populations, and students are from all different backgrounds. What you see as stylish or trendy might be seen as “racy” or inappropriate by some families. Find a balance between wearing something your own style and still playing it super safe. I know, I know, this is no fun. There is a reason cardigan sweaters have been the go-to teacher style for decades! When families know you better, you don’t have to be as concerned that they will misinterpret your intentions, so you can show off your style a bit more as the year progresses as long as you follow the school dress code.

What to Wear for Classroom Open House Night Magoosh
An example of a conservative yet stylish outfit

Source: Flickr user Maegan Tintari

Always Be Professional

Your open house outfit is most likely a little dressier than your day-to-day look, but you still want to be recognizable! To me, this means you should dress professionally day-to-day, whatever “professionally” means in your classroom. While teaching, you want to wear something you can perform your job duties in (being on your feet all day, varying levels of mess, and perhaps getting down on the floor) and still look nice. If you are a slob in your day-to-day teaching dress and show up in a suit to open house night, some parents or colleagues might think you’re just putting on a show.

Stay Comfortable

Not all open house nights are created equal! Some are outdoor cookouts, others are ice cream socials. Dress to the demands of the event — don’t wear spike heels if you are going to be walking in the grass all evening! Similarly, keep in mind that most Open House nights take place in late summer, and not all schools have air conditioning. Dress nicely, but don’t sacrifice your comfort, either.

What to Wear for Classroom Open House Night Magoosh
Warm-weather friendly outfit

Source: Flickr user Jamie


  • Allison White

    Allison is an Early Childhood Educator who has been a teacher since 2010. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2010 with a degree in Psychology, focused in Child Development. She began her teaching career as a 2nd grade teacher in Washington, D.C. After moving to Denver, Colorado she discovered a passion for Early Childhood Special Education. She earned a Master’s in the subject from University of Colorado Denver in 2015. She spent Spring 2016 teaching pre-service early childhood educators at the undergraduate level. Now she and her husband are on a big adventure travelling around the western United States in an RV!

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