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Do you conduct business with people from the United States? Via zoom or face-to-face meetings? If yes, keep reading. It is useful to know what the etiquette is and which clothing style they appreciate in a business environment. To find out what the do’s and don’ts are, I asked etiquette expert Anne-Marie van Leggelo for advice.
What characterizes business attire in the U.S.A?
”Americans are known for their loose-fitting clothing. They think it’s important that clothing is comfortable. If it also looks good, that’s a bonus. You can see this reflected in the suits. They often buy suits one or two sizes bigger. The tie is usually also wider than is customary in Europe. Take former President Trump as a good example of the corporate American style of clothing.”
What about the ladies? Do they also wear wider clothes?
“Women’s clothing is generally more fitted. They often wear a neat skirt and jacket combo, or jacket and trousers. When a dress is worn, a sleeveless model is very common. In Western Europe, this is not the norm in a business setting. The same goes for open-toe shoes, perfectly acceptable in an American workplace, in Europe less so.”
And what about the use of colors and accessories?
“Wearing bright colors is very common, even in a business environment. For example, the gentlemen wear brightly colored shirts and ties, often combined with jeans. Jeans are extremely popular in America for both leisure and business wear.
The everyday jewelry worn by ladies is not that expensive, but it is of good quality. This ties in with their business wardrobe which is usually kept simple. Because in the united states a simple outfit gives the correct impression. The more precious jewels are kept for special occasions. In short: less is more.”