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What to wear wherever you go on business (in Brazil and anywhere you go)
While it is difficult to know the dress code for every single region of every single country (unless you do some homework), there are general rules that you can follow when choosing your wardrobe for a business trip.
First of all, it should go without saying that you should never try to wear traditional garb. Your Saudi Arabian hosts will not be amused if you show up for negotiations wearing a thawb and an agal (traditional robe and headdress). In Brazil, for example, it is considered to be in bad taste to wear the colors of the Brazilian flag (and green, yellow and blue would be tacky).
Though some countries, like Japan, are phasing out the necktie (especially in summer), it is still a good idea to wear one to an initial meeting. Experts also say that navy blue or charcoal grey are the safest colors for a suit. Similarly, you should wear a tie that is a conservative color. Nice shoes are also a good idea, but make sure they are clean and polished!
Also, it may help to keep in mind who you are meeting with. In general, people in the IT and communications industries wear more casual clothes to work. Bankers and lawyers tend to wear more conservative clothing.
If you are a woman, it is a good idea to look into local customs. A pant suit may be fine in one place, but in others only a skirt will be appropriate. And of course, in most Arabic countries, the skirt will have to cover your knees.
There is an old saying in English that applies itself very well to business attire: it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Dress code – protocolo
Wardrobe – vestuario
Garb – vestimenta
Robe – bata
Tacky – hortera
To phase out – suprimir en fases
Necktie, tie – corbata
Polished – pulido
Clothing – ropa
To look into – investigar
A pant suit/pantsuit – traje (de mujer)
Skirt – falda
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