Describing dress codes for men travelling on business in the States can be a risky business. It is far more difficult to generalise on this subject than for just about any other major industrialised nation.
Dress will vary from the formal, dark business suit, shirt and tie to literally T-shirt and shorts.
One general dictum could be that the further West you are doing business, the more likely you are to encounter informal dress in business – but this is not always the case.
The best advice would always be to check before departure with others who have visited your particular destination – failing that take a variety of types of clothes to meet all eventualities.
Dress code for women is as varied as that for men and the above advice would hold true.
Written and Produced by Keith Warburton
One of the paradoxes about the States is that we all know it from the media, films and music and we all form an internal image of the country and the way things are done there. The problem is that when you start to do business in the USA, you find that your internal image is a far cry from the reality you encounter on the ground. We go to the states with a million preconceptions, only to find them all challenged during the cut and thrust of normal business activities.
People often arrive in the States with the notion that it is the land of free-wheeling capitalism, where everything goes and red tape has been eradicated. Nothing could be further from the truth. Doing business in the States is as complex and challenging as in any other new international market. You need to do the same amount of initial research and strategising when entering the USA market as you do anywhere else in the world.
Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security – many have and suffered the consequences.
At Global Business Culture, we are often amazed that clients feel they need to gain a better understanding of Chinese or Brazilian business culture but that the USA will somehow be easy or in some way ‘business culture free.’ Like all countries, the USA has a distinct and formidable business culture which drives most strategy and day-to-day interactions. Of course, there are some distinct regional differences but there are also States-wide attitudes that are well worth understanding and which will make your business dealings in the States more successful.
This country profile provides an overview of some of the key aspects of business culture in the USA in a concise, easy to follow-format. The document includes information on: