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Blog Insight & Commentary

What Women Wear to Work in Different Countries

Who runs the world?

Cara Hutto
Contributor

woman mathematician in a hijab

Ever wondered what women wear to work around the world? It might be different than what you imagine—not all Italian women wear designer clothes every day and not every French woman wears a beret to work. 

It’s also important to be aware of what the appropriate attire is around the world if you travel for business. What you wear to your office may be completely different from what other women around the world wear to the office. 

So here’s a glimpse into what women wear to work in seven countries around the world:

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1. Japan

Work attire in Japan is considered fairly conservative. Most women avoid showing their shoulders and wearing any form-fitting clothing at work. Most commonly, women wear suits or dresses and skirts that hit the knee. Many women in Japan are actually required to wear heels to work and have started a petition against the rule under the campaign name #KuToo, a play on the words for shoe, “kutsu,” and pain, “kutsuu.”

2. Spain

Spanish women always dress to impress at work. Women usually wear suits and dresses, using work as an opportunity to highlight their personal style and, often, to sport designer brands. Women also pay special attention to their hairstyle and makeup in addition to immaculate clothing. Sharp, sharp, sharp.

3. Pakistan

Women’s work attire in Pakistan is conservative. Generally women’s legs and arms are covered, and women often wear salwar suits (loose pants with a tight ankle) and hijabs to work. If women work in a religious setting, their heads must be covered at all times. 

4. Germany

No, women aren’t wearing dirndls to work every day. Women typically wear dark suits or dresses, and are discouraged from drawing much attention to themselves in the office with bright, bold colors. However, many German offices are now adopting “Casual Friday” attire policies that allow women to dress down a bit. What will make you stand out (in a good way)? Well-polished shoes. 

5. India

Women in India have many different appropriate work attire options. There’s the saree, a traditional garment usually paired with a formal sandal. Women also wear the salwar suit or formal skirts, trousers, and blouses to work. In general, shoulders and knees are covered. 

6. Thailand

Women in Thailand commonly wear formal blouses that hit the elbow and skirts that hit the knee to work—pants are less common. It’s acceptable for women to wear a range of colors, but they save the color red for more special occasions. Jewelry like necklaces and rings are super common in the office.

7. Argentina

In Argentina, work attire is formal and conservative and dress is considered extremely important when making a first impression. Women wear white blouses, dark suits, and long skirts to work. If you’re trying to fit in with the fashion culture here for work, here’s a tip: Don’t ever wear sneakers.

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