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Advocate Attire

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I attended a webinar today where we talked about how you dress for an IEP meeting, specifically if you're an advocate. I'm old school and have always worn a suit to client's school meetings. However based on conversations we had, I'm beginning to rethink my perceived opinion of professionalism. More teachers are wearing tees and jeans at schools now. So maybe wearing a suit is putting the teams I'm trying to collaborate with on the defense. I'm wondering what everyone else thinks. What would you think if your advocate dressed more casually (I'm thinking business casual. I don't think I would ever wear jeans)? 

Michigan mother of two with IEPs, and owner of MI Student Advocacy Services. Trying to change the world one IEP at a time. 





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Hi Angela,

Yes, that is true.  I wore a collared pullover shirt with jeans and an undershirt to a high school IEP meeting 2 days ago.  It helps relieve the anxiety of an advocate being present in a way, like you bring yourself to the same level as the team.  A business suite is great for making an impression, but to foster collaboration and meaningful discussions a casual yet professional look works better it seems.


Christopher Slate

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I admire a nice suit on anyone, but these days, school culture dependent, of course, I think t-shirt and jeans would certainly be good enough for your attire.

I had an administrator make a comment once that has stuck with me through the years: Good jeans and a nice top tend to look far more professional than your average khakis and polo of typical business casual attire.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I tend to wear nice shirts or polos.  Lots of option for pants but my choice tends to be jeans or pull-on pants or capris in warmer weather.  In many schools, wearing a suit has you overdressed.  If you ditch the suit jacket you might fit in better and still keep with a style you like.

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I tend to dress business professional "and up." I got rid of my suits a while ago. But I still usually wear skirts in warmer weather, nice pants in colder weather.

I've had to attend several IEP meetings in the days leading up to the 2018 and 2023 Super Bowls, and everyone at the table was in Eagles gear lol.


I LOVE my Eagles....but, I'm not wearing a jersey to an IEP meeting. Even if I feel like sacking someone.


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I always do "business casual."  Never suits.  But also never jeans - you want them to think of you as a professional, in my opinion.

However, I am rethinking my Friday attire during the fall.  Like Lisa, I attended several IEP meetings last fall and into the winter when it was both "casual Friday" and "red Friday." (I'm in Kansas City, so Chiefs kingdom - not to rub it in, Lisa 🙂. )  I was actually "shamed" by the school district personnel for not wearing red!!  I may not wear a jersey, but I will be in red from now on!

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