Thursday, 29 November 2012

Demystifying Men’s Business Attire by Guest Poster Hendrik Pohl

( Many thanks to specialist Hendrik Pohl for his insightful tips in this guest article sent to me from San Francisco - please also note Hendrik has given a link to business dress codes around the world )
You may have heard people say “dress for success”. But what exactly does this mean? The sad truth of it all is that people judge based on first impressions – meaning the first few seconds of meetings someone. Things like a handshake, eye contact, and personal hygiene are certainly contributing factors. But just as important are the clothes we decide to wear.

Dressing appropriately is especially important in our professional lives. Be it a business meeting, a job interview, or a luncheon with colleagues, “dressing for success” couldn’t be more apparent than when on the job. To help you get on the right “dress for success” path, here are all the things a man needs to know about different types of business attire.

Formal Business Dress
When most people think of a business man, they picture a man dressed in dark suit, white shirt, a tie, and a briefcase. In short this is what formal business dress looks like. It is classic and conservative, and commonly worn by lawyers, bankers, and politicians around the world. Suits are either midnight blue or dark charcoal in colour. The dress shirt is white, the classic oxford shoes are black, and the necktie is typically navy, grey, or dark red in colour.

General Business Attire
Although this dress code does require you to wear a tie, it is much more relaxed compared to formal business attire. Suits in any shade of gray, navy, as well as beige/tan (summer) are all acceptable. In addition, sports coats and blazers worn with off-coloured, yet complimenting, dress pants are another acceptable choice. Even more flexibility is given with the dress shirts. Most colours are acceptable as are patterns. A check-patterned shirt, solid coloured tie, navy blazer, beige dress pants, and dark brown dress shoes are a good example of someone taking advantage of the flexibility this type of business dress offers.

Business Casual
In short, “casual” means you can leave your tie at home. The classic pieces that make up this outfit are: long sleeve button down dress shirt (any colour & and all classic patterns), dress pants, and dress shoes (leather shoes in black and brown). A jacket is optional, although it does make an excellent addition for a chilly day days. Other alternatives to the suit jacket are sports coats, V-neck cashmere sweaters, and cardigan sweaters. 

Casual Fridays: What it is & What it Isn’t
Don’t be fooled by the word “casual”. In short casual Friday is an even more dress down version of “business casual”. Collared shirts are required. Although short sleeves are acceptable they are not recommended from a sartorial point of view. Jeans can be worn as long as they are dark in colour and do not have a visible faded wash or tears. Casual brown dress shoes are a great choice, but the even more casual boat shoes and loafers also work for this dress code. The things that are not acceptable are: shorts, sandals and flip-flops, T-shirts, faded or torn jeans, excessive jewelry.

About the Author:
Hendrik Pohl is the owner of as well as of He himself is a tie aficionado, and he turned his hobby into his job when he started the US tie retailer in 2007. When he is not managing his business he freelance writes for a handful different fashion & style blogs. For more information, please visit the following guide for business dress around the globe:


  1. Please update it more often as I find it very professional and informative for your visitors.
    Wildfox Couture

    1. Thanks Brian
      I will pass on your comments to Hendrik and see if I can get him to do anoter post for Fruits of Succes with Hugh

      Good selling to Wildfox Couture

  2. Tks very much for your post.

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