Chinese Business Dress Code

According to our textbook, “The standard business dress around the world is the suit, shirt, and tie for men, and some sort of suit or dress for women”. In China, appearance is very significant within business circles for good impression. Successful businesspeople want to look successful. Chinese people usually admire wealth, so they tend to wear good quality clothes, shoes, and watches and the like. From now on, I will show you some rules of Chinese business dress code.

First of all, “China is huge country and has various climates from sub-tropical to freezing according to the area within the continent”. Therefore, you should check the weather conditions before you go to certain region in China for business meeting.

Basically, Chinese business attire requires both businessmen and businesswomen to wear conservative colors and styles. Suits and ties in subdued colors are the norm, and loud colors or patterns are considered inappropriate. Therefore, beige or brown color is preferred. Neither men nor women should wear blue jeans for a business meeting.

Originally, “the business dress for Chinese men was the traditional wardrobe called Mao. However, it is no longer the preferred attire”.

Conservative suit such as a dark colored suit and unostentatious ties became the standard business attire these days. However, tuxedo is generally not appropriate in the Chinese business culture.

The dress guidelines for women are a little bit more complicated. “Women also should wear conservative suits or dresses; a blouse or other kind of top should have a high neckline. Sleeves should be full or three-quarter length. Sleeveless and sheer materials are not appropriate.”

Because of the emphasis on conservative, the main footwear options for women are modest, dress, flat shoes or very low heels. “Chinese businesswomen can wear High heels only at a formal reception hosted by a foreign diplomat.” On top of that good quality jewelry should be neither ostentatious nor expensive and never flashy for making the right impression.

To sum up, when meeting with Chinese businesspeople, Westerners simply should think “conservative” dress code. “Avoiding wearing loud colors or styles is the best way to reduce unnecessary attention and to help you in your dealings with the Chinese businesspeople.”

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