Fashion and Dress Code Around the World

I think you would agree with me if I tell you that a tastefully dressed man would immediately attract attention of others and bring the desire in people to come up and talk. And if this coincides with your plans, then your appearance should be given a special attention.

However, always remember not to overdo it. Culture and traditions are different in every country, and if you lack the knowledge, instead of helping you get what you want, it can actually lead to extremely undesirable consequences.

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For example, in Japan wearing a tie is a compulsory condition of business etiquette. In the land of the rising sun, a tie is the embodiment of a businessman, a successful businessman. Therefore, the absence of a tie could come across to your potential partners as you being less successful in what you do, and can significantly reduce your chances of closing a deal.

Moreover, given the peculiarities of the Japanese culture, you should always remember about the condition and appearance of your socks. Since the tradition of the country suggest quite frequence removal of shoes, the Japanese would closely monitor the state of your socks. That’s why some experts on Japanese culture even suggest having a spare pair of socks.

In China, business etiquette is rather pedantic and strict. Since ancient times, the rule of law has less importance than your connections. Therefore, first appearance matters more than you might think. As a sign of respect, similarly to Japan, people would greet you with a slight bow, in which case a return bow is also expected. Shaking hands is also a common form of greeting. Ladies should give preference to a classic suit with a blouse, and minimal amount of jewelry.

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Women visiting Asian countries should be very careful with their choice of wardrobe. If your style of clothing highlights your femininity, it may raise questions in regards to your professional and business skills. Skirt length should be up to or below the knee, and not tight. In case if you plan on wearing a sleeveless blouse, experts recommend shaving your hands, because Asian women have almost no body hair and this can cause not just a surprise, but even disgust in some people.

In case you are planning to visit an Islamic country like Iran, wearing a tie is strictly not recommended, as the inhabitants of these countries perceive a tie as a Christian attribute of Crusades. However, the quality of accessories should be given extra attention — whereas people in wealthy Muslim countries are very considerate of the quality of your watch, pen, cufflinks, bag, etc. Therefore, if you are going to a rich Muslim country, bring the best things you have.

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Women should give preference to a classic business suit of neutral colors, complemented by eye-catching jewelry. In case if you have long hair, you are expected to put them in a neat hairstyle. It is vital to wear a blouse with long sleeves, buttoned to the top, and of course, not translucent. In these countries showing your stomach is strictly forbidden, and any low-rise clothing is out of the question. Such countries include: Iran, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Algeria, Afghanistan, and Libya.

Please remember that punctuality is not one of the main priorities in these countries, so you should have a calm attitude towards people being late, and do not take it personally. You should never show the bottom of your shoes to a companion but crossing your legs, this is considered disrespectful towards their religious feelings. Most activities should be performed with your right hand, especially eating. Moreover, on a holy month of Ramadan, it is preferred not to have any meetings at all.

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