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How To: International Business Attire

October 23rd, 2013 by The JetSetter Team | Comments Off on How To: International Business Attire

Slide1 (1)Throughout the world, ideas about formal business attire vary greatly. They’ve also changed throughout time—women are now allowed to wear pants to their jobs (even in especially conservative places of work) and men can ease up on the traditional suit. In other countries, you’ll likely find different standards for male and female employees that may surprise you.

United States

In the United States, many jobs require a set uniform for work. Retail establishments, restaurants, etc. require employees to wear the same shirt, sometimes embroidered with a company’s information, or clothing in specific colors.

In more formal business situations, men often wear button-up dress shirts and ties, with or without a suit jacket. It is standard for men to be required to wear collared shirts and pants that are not jeans.

Similarly, women are required to wear skirts or dress pants and nice shirts (though they don’t always have to be collared).


Business attire in Japan is somewhat similar to that in the United States, though it tends to be more conservative in terms of color. Black and navy are the best choices, as brighter colors may suggest involvement with the Japanese mob.

Clothing should be tasteful and of high quality. Where is might be appropriate to dress more casually in the United States, Japan can be very formal. Complete your business look with formal shoes (for women, flats or very low heals) and an appropriate brief case or bag.


While a dark colored business suit may be appropriate for day-time business meetings, many a traveler has been left feeling underdressed when they didn’t change for after work drinks or meetings. There, cocktail attire doesn’t mean a day-old suit.


In France, you’d be overlooked if you simply sported a black or blue business suit. There, fashion is considered elemental to the business attire world. Bright colors and on-trend pieces are a sign of professionalism and class.

While fashion and business attire differs as you travel the world, a dark colored, wrinkle free suit (with undershirt options that adhere to different costumes) is always a safe choice. Clothing that transitions from day to night by adding or removing a jacket or a piece of jewelry will leave you prepared for anything—but remember, Casual Friday is a custom best left in the United States. Jason Hartman suggests a bit of research before you embark on a business adventure and come prepared to live and learn in the country of another.(http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathankosread/7155899297/)

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