Andréa Novais

Andréa Novais

The Brazil Business


Dress for Success in Brazil

Andréa Novais

Andréa Novais

The Brazil Business


During the last three decades, Brazil has increased its concern with appearance. This article will give you some simple guidelines about how to dress for business occasions in Brazil.

More and more Brazilian people are using the advent of plastic surgery. In a context like this, appearance becomes a crucial aspect, a code that determines who is going to succeed and who is going to fail.

The way you dress has to comply your position: in Brazil it is a common sense to believe that a manager should wear a suit, or that a secretary should be neatly dressed-up. Overall, there is the idea that if you are well dressed, then you deserve to be respected.

This concept also applies to business meetings and what you are wearing tells a lot about who you are, your position and even about how serious your intentions are. Having that in mind, we selected some very useful information for those who are planning on having a business meeting in Brazil.

Dress code in Conservative Industries

Many companies are known for keeping a conservative trend and this is reflected on what people wear. These companies tend to be very strict about what is acceptable on a working environment, so it is important to follow some general conventions:

Guidelines for men attending formal meetings in Brazil:

  • Wear a formal suit with a tie
  • Vests and pockets watches should be avoided
  • Make sure your dress-shirt is neat and that your suit is free of wrinkles
  • Your suit must fit well, it should not be tight or baggy
  • Give preference to the dark colors

Guidelines for women attending formal meetings in Brazil:

  • You should wear suits or dresses that are feminine and elegant.
  • Good quality accessories are always welcome
  • You should have your hair up or in a pony tail. Some people in Brazil believe that letting the hair down is not appropriate for formal situations
  • Manicures are expected

Dress code in Modern Industries

Modern industries may not have a strict dress code like conservative companies do, but it doesn't mean that there isn't a code at all. If you're not sure about what to wear, pay attention to the industry dress code in Brazil.

Guidelines for men attending casual meetings in Brazil:

  • Suits should be avoided. A nice pair of slacks, a dress-shirt and a belt are enough
  • You should not look untidy, but you also don't want to out-dress your host
  • There is no need to wear a tie
  • Leave about two buttons open in your dress-shirt, showing hair chest is not appropriate
  • Make sure you don't button your dress-shirt all the way to the top, as this is a sign of formality

Guidelines for women attending casual meetings in Brazil:

  • It is important not to wear jeans. Use a nice skirt or a pair of slacks instead
  • For the top, keep it plain and simple

Dress for Security

It's common to advice foreigners to blend into the crowd when visiting Brazil. Some business people seems to misinterpret the advice. Don't put on your beachwear (if you are not on the beach) but dress fancy to blend in.

Be careful with the accessories: men should avoid expensive watches and women should avoid extravagant jewelry as this is popular objects for street robbery.

Don't dress like a clown

A final advice: never come to a meeting in Brazil dressing yellow and green, as these are the colors of the Brazilian flag.

If you are unsure about the formality of the meeting, keep in mind that in Brazil it is more acceptable to err for dressing-up than for dressing-down.

Learn More About Brazil