Arts + Culture

What Not To Wear: Dress Codes Worldwide

by Eimear Lynch

Want to wear a Hawaiian shirt to your board meeting in Silicon Valley? Be our guest. But in Dubai? Not so fast. This excerpt from the etiquette guide put together by our colleagues at Condé Nast Traveler explains how to dress appropriately anywhere, from Indonesia to Italy.

What makes an Ugly American ugly? Is it the timbre of our voices? Or the way we travel in herds? Or is it (as we suspect) our love of sweatpants, baseball caps, and yes, fanny packs, no matter the occasion or place? While it can sometimes seem that the world has fallen victim to a sort of sartorial globalization, where jeans are welcome anytime, anywhere, the truth is—of course—more nuanced. What works in surprisingly laid-back Israel will be greeted with looks of horror on the streets (or in the boardrooms) of Paris. And ladies, while you can (and should) pile on the gold and jewels in Greece, quirky and stripped-down is the way to go in Germany. So here are the rules on looking not just appropriate but actually stylish around the globe, whether you're in a meeting, at a party, or just walking outdoors. Ugly American? Fuhgeddaboudit.

View the entire "Etiquette 101: Dress Codes" article, including tips on how to wear a head scarf, what to pack for safari, and how to play European for a day.

Published October 2009

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