Social and Psychological Aspects

Appearance Management by Teachers: A COVID-19 Pandemic Exploration

Authors: ,


The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of life, including professional dress. The purpose of this study was to examine teachers’ perceptions of their use of dress to communicate, the formality of their professional attire, their impression of students’ perceptions of teachers’ dress with related to their professional identities, and teachers’ effort and planning involved in dressing appropriately for work (appearance labor); with an emphasis on comparing different teaching modalities and different educational levels (K-20). Participants included teachers in the U.S., from primary through tertiary institutions, recruited through Amazon MTurk. MANOVA and ANOVA were used in the data analysis. Results suggest teachers working equal time remote and in-person modalities report significantly higher levels of appearance labor and perceptions of formality. Theoretical implications of this study include expanding the understanding of appearance management by teachers and the role of remote teaching modalities on their professional dress.

Keywords: Appearance labor, Teaching modality, Student perception, Formality

How to Cite: Liang, Y. & Hustvedt, G. (2022) “Appearance Management by Teachers: A COVID-19 Pandemic Exploration”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings. 79(1). doi: