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1. Business suit color: dark blue or dark grey – outright Milanese colors, you will not mistake.  Your suit can be pinstriped, but it is preferable if pinstripes are almost invisible. A black suit with a white shirt are absolutely unacceptable, -an acquaintance of mine, businessman Luca told me on the issue: «you will be taken for a waiter in Milan!» You’d better decide in favor of a single-breasted suit provided with three-four buttons.

Important aspect: a bottom button of the suit and cardigan is almost never fastened – Italian style specifics.wink

 Milanese business dress code

2. Shirt. White or light-blue, a white shirt should be your choice for important negotiations – this will emphasize the importance of the meeting and respect to your partner. The shirt collar should be “alla francese”  – French style with wide angles leaving space for a necktie. The dress code rules refer "button down" shirts to sportswear, rather than business formal and as usual the shirts are not accompanied with a necktie.

 Milanese business dress code Milanese business dress code

Important aspect: shirt sleeve should protrude from suit sleeve by minimum 2.5 cm.

3. Necktie. The necktie should reach the belt buckle centerline. Colors: the Italians are sensitive, so exotic or extravagant coloring of the necktie will do nothing else, but distract them during business negotiations, therefore neckties of the most restrained colors, all shades of blue or grey to match the suit, are more preferable.

4. Footwear. This is a very important element of your image (and Italy is the exact place where you should buy good footwear, shouldn’t you?), so I recommend choosing the footwear with the utmost care and top quality stuff when possible. The most classical options are black Derby or Oxford lace-up shoes. A grey suit can be supplemented with brown shoes, but black ones are better after all!

 Milanese business dress code

Important aspect: footwear should be well polished and the thinner shoes sole the more elegant.

5. Belt – the belt color should match the footwear color: black shoes mean a black leather belt, tan shoes – a brown leather belt.

6. Socks – dark self-colored socks should match trousers color, under no circumstances light color socks should be worn with dark color trousers and footwear! Black shoes can be worn with black socks.

Important aspect:  socks should be long, if while sitting cross-legged one can see a strip of your naked body between socks and trousers – you momentarily and irretrievably start falling in the estimation of your Italian partners!

7. Briefcase – businessmen in Milan prefer black leather briefcases. Brown leather briefcases are more used by doctors and medics.

 Milanese business dress code

8. Watches and adornments. Expensive high quality watches are surely welcomed, but they should not be too pretentious and attention-getting, in general you’d better put away golden adornments, you can leave wedding ring at the most.

And my last tip – sure enough, your general appearance should be well-groomed. Clean-cut hair style, smooth-shaven face and well-tended hands are welcomed at all times and in all places!

I wish you a success in your business trip!

I thank my super-brother Alexey for the professional English translation.






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