India: Business Dress
Guidelines for business dress
In recent years, the dress code in Indian business settings has undergone a transformation. Moreover, it also differs widely across regions and business sectors. Therefore, it is difficult to make a generalization about the most appropriate way to dress that will be valid across India. However, the following points should assist you in making the right decision.
Normal business dress for men is a suit and tie. However, since India has a warm climate, often just a full-sleeved shirt with a tie is also acceptable. It is also important to select neutral colors, which are subdued and not very bright.
In most companies, particularly in the IT sector, however, the dress code is much more casual. It is not unusual to find people wearing T-shirts and jeans with sneakers. However, as a visitor, conservative, though not formal, dress is advisable.
For foreign women, pant-suits or long skirts, which cover the knees, are more acceptable to wear. The neckline of the blouse or the top should be high.
For women, a salwar-suit is also acceptable for business dress.
Jeans with a T-shirt or short-sleeved shirt are acceptable as casual wear in informal situations for both men and women.
You can wear casual dress if invited to a social gathering. However, if a foreigner wears an Indian costume [kurta-pajama for men, and sari or salwar-suit for women], this kind of dress is also appreciated, and often seen as a gesture of friendship.
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