How to dress for business success—Latin America
In most Latin American countries, your appearance is looked upon as a representation of your respect for your host and how serious you are about your business.
In Brazil a three-piece suit is reserved for executives, while a two-piece conveys lower rank. In most situations, aim for the higher standard and wear a good-quality jacket.
Women should wear heels of an average height. A safe bet is a small heel with a modest skirt and well-manicured hands and feet. Both men and women need to pay close attention to their feet, as shoes are regarded an important investment. A woman should keep her makeup minimal and avoid bright colors.
If doing business in a tropical region, keep a change of good-quality clothes. Women should have a cocktail dress of a dark, modest color with a skirt past the knees for dinnertime. Men should avoid wearing shorts but instead invest in good-quality pants of tropical wool.
Appropriate dress also varies by occasion. Men should always be formally dressed in all business situations. A suit jacket may be removed during meetings and when indoors. Wearing a tie can help make a positive first impression, but in general, follow the lead of your host.
Women can vary their wardrobe according to the time of day. For business lunches and dinners, it is appropriate to wear a conservative skirted suit. If attending an event in the evening, a cocktail dress in a modest style is acceptable. The length of the heel should correlate with the social function, but this is not very important.