Dress for success
Business etiquette manual on clothing – outdated or up to date?
You worry about this development because you are unsure about the right outfit for your next appointment? Never fear: A generally accepted business etiquette manual on clothing still exists. Your business wear should be clean and tidy, however not too revealing, yet stylish. An outdated blazer that looks like it has spent the past 20 years in a box in the attic is the definition of negligence.
Add to the mix a flattering hairstyle, subtle make-up and, most importantly, light perfume. The personal scent is often neglected – and wrongly so: Many people are sensitive to smell. You might want to rethink wearing a noticeable, heavy perfume when you share a desk or are stuck in a poorly ventilated conference room – you won’t do yourself or your colleagues any favour.
Dress code: Business casual
Probably everyone has heard of the business casual dress code. You might have noticed a mention on invitations to informal occasions such as business lunches or after-work events. But be careful: Don’t confuse business casual with Casual Friday! The latter is very popular with American companies and means that everyone is free to wear their leisure clothes to get into the weekend mood. With business casual, however, you are still within a business context.
Men are on the safe side wearing a coloured shirt or polo shirt and put on a light knit pullover. Down below the following rule applies: no denim, but linen or cloth trousers are ok. You can leave off the tie but make sure to be wearing sensible shoes. Loafers or slip-ons are fine, but never choose boat shoes or trainers.
When it comes to business wear, women have even more options at their disposal: Showing too much skin is taboo, but apart from that you can combine shirts and pullovers, skirts and cotton trousers as you wish. When choosing your shoes, you are also less restricted – you can even show your toes – but only if you opt for elegant sandals or fashionable peep toes instead of flip flops.
Dress code: Business attire
For men, the correct business wear is a well fitted suit. Accepted colours range from black via brown to blue, depending on the hierarchy level. The higher the position within the company, the darker the suit. In addition, a tie is mandatory just as simple low leather shoes.
Women play it safe with a unicoloured ensemble. You can choose between a women’s suit or a pantsuit. Try to avoid open shoes as well as too high heels – a maximum of an inch to an inch and a half is recommended.
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