Arts + Culture

What Not To Wear: Dress Codes Worldwide

by Eimear Lynch


At a meeting: In Germany, men wear the tweedy jackets you'd expect, while female professionals—who hold only 15 percent of management positions—strive to be staid in dark suits, discreet jewelry, and loaferlike shoes.

On the street: Germans run the gamut from wildly fashionable to definitively frumpy—with an intellectual in-between group that pairs their sack dresses with edgy haircuts and bold jewelry. Although nothing's verboten, the perpetual cold dictates sensible coats, which, for the stylish, are asymmetrically zippered or bat-sleeved and made of wool.

At a party: "Restrained flash" is the ideal, according to Jenny White, associate professor of anthropology at Boston University, and Henrik Vibskov's bias-cut patterns are the perfect approach for both sexes. At a hipster shindig, women add an eclectic twist with Buddy Holly glasses and colored tights.

P.S. Anything shabby will be noticed; people will cluck at a scuffed shoe and gape unrestrainedly at a hanging hem or soiled shirt.

Next: What Not To Wear in Greece ›

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