THE CORPORATE DRESS CODE: Dress for Success in Asia
Everyone talks about ‘Asia’ but we all know that it’s made up of many, diverse and different countries with different cultures and professional standards.
Here’s our guide to help you dress for some of Asia’s hotspot destinations!
China and Hong Kong take a formal approach to business attire. It’s all about suits and ties, even on the hottest days. For women, wearing make-up and jewelry is not advised for a professional look. For business, it’s not about looking flashy, your attire should reflect that you are serious about business.
Cotton and Linen are a must have in your professional wardrobe in India! Pantsuits are favored and don’t be afraid to brighten up an outfit with a colorful scarf or big earrings. Color is also welcome in the board room so feel comfortable to be adventurous with your choices!
Whilst Singapore may be known for its rules, it is surprisingly relaxed when it comes to business attire. Jackets are not required, one-two button open, tie-less shirts are fine. Trousers can be worn by either sex and men and women can feel comfortable to show personal style in their corporate look.
For men, business attire is commonly made up of dark pants or slacks, long-sleeved shirts and tie. Suits are worn during presentations and formal meetings. The attire for Malaysian women is more flexible and creative. Working women may wear skirts, slacks or traditional clothing, assuming they are classic and not over revealing.
Modesty is important in Indonesia, with button down shirts, khaki pants and closed shoes preferred – ties, however are not a standard addition. For women, plain dresses with long sleeves are standard with light makeup and a ponytail preferred.
Vietnam remains relatively conservative with corporate attire. Skirt lengths shouldn’t rise above the knee and sleeveless blouses should be avoided no matter how humid the climate. Whilst smart trousers and shirts without ties are fine within the office, your appearance should reflect the status of the people you are meeting – for government officials, the most formal business attire is best.
In Thailand, appearance is important and needs to be carefully considered. It is very rare to see a man not wearing a tie. For women, skirts are preferred over pants, and select subdued colors remembering that in Thailand purple should be avoided as it is a color of mourning.