What Should Female English Teachers Wear in Thailand?

conservative thai students
Dress as conservatively as your Thai students, and you’ll be fine — copyright Children’s Organization of Southeast Asia

What should female English teachers wear in Thailand?

Are you a female English teacher planning on coming to Thailand and don’t have a clue what to wear? Are you worried about the heat and finding the right clothes to make you comfortable? What about your hair? Can female teachers in Thailand wear long hair, or is it better to keep it up or have it cut?

Yep, there are a myriad of questions women will have when it comes to what should female English teachers wear in Thailand. Luckily, we have a resource that can help.

Basics for what a female EFL teacher should wear

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article about what to wear if you’re an English teacher in Thailand. One of Tasty Thailand’s most popular articles, I might add, so it’s not just you that is confused.


On that article, you will see there is a section for the dress code for female EFL teachers in Thailand and, if you want the basics, that’s honestly all you will need to know.

Basically though, what it boils down to is always, always, always wear what the Thais call ‘polite dress’.

In Thailand, that usually consists of full-shoes (no sandals even though the country is incredibly hot all year round, and definitely never ever flip flops), shirts that do not show much skin and that have sleeves to at least elbow length, skirts at knee length or lower and, of course, always wear clean, laundered and ironed clothes every day.

After all, there is nothing worse than a teacher who smells, and the eternally clean Thais will notice it very quickly.

Can female English teachers in Thailand wear trousers?

Female English teachers in Thailand are also rarely, if ever, allowed to wear trousers.

I got away with it at a corporate job but in all my teaching jobs in Thai schools they were absolutely forbidden — with the only exception being when we went on a field trip into the countryside and ‘polite trousers’ were allowed. But never ever jeans.

In other words, when in doubt as a female English teacher in Thailand, go the conservative route and that will almost always serve you in good stead.

Hope that helps?