Hello SOTGC community,
In today’s post in the How To Connect With Your International Business Partners Through Social Customs series, we’re going to look at the confusing and sometimes stressful task of packing your suitcase
Packing your suitcase for a business trip in your home country is generally pretty stress-free. Once you know the formality of your industry or of the client you’re going to meet, the only uncertainty that’s left to think about is the weather.
But when you travel overseas to a different culture, it can get a little more confusing. What colour do you pack? How conservative do you need to be? And what about your shoes?
To make the job of packing your suitcase a little easier, I’ve put together a list of three things to think about when deciding what you’re going to wear on your international business trip.
- Aim for conservative dress. When my coaching clients ask me for international business etiquette advice on how formal they should dress for their trip, my answer is always: the more conservative, the better. You can always take your jacket off, or replace it with a cardigan. Pack a conservative business suit in a darker colour, such as black, navy blue, or charcoal.
- Wear closed-toed shoes. In US business culture, you might get away with peep-toed heels and still be considered “professionally dressed”, but in Asian and European business cultures, it’s conservative, closed-toed heels that you should wear. Pack a pair of dark coloured shoes in your suitcase that matches your suit.
- Don’t forget your stockings. Imagine being invited to a business meal in Japan. You arrive at the restaurant and are asked to take off your shoes. You then realise that you’re the only business women not wearing stockings! Pack a couple of pairs of neutral or black stockings in your case, and don’t forget to have a pedicure before you go.
Take a look at the Fashion and Beauty Tips on the SOTGC website to see what fabulous outfit ideas you can find. And, if you’d like to see some visual examples from me for the three suggestions above, follow this link to get ideas on what you should pack for a business trip in winter.
Remember, Coco Chanel once said, “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” Aim for class and elegance in your outfit, and you will absolutely be dressed to connect.
Photo credit: talesofthesissy.blogspot.com