Dress code etiquette while travelling for work

StevieJ's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 10

PwC auditor here. Haven't started yet but I'm travelling to Dubai for training on my third day. Should I wear a suit while travelling or can I just wear shorts and a t shirt?

Comments (23)

Sep 19, 2017

Shorts and a t shirt for all non-work functions, including those with work people being social. I spent time in another country too in my previous job, and would have gone nuts if I wore work clothes everywhere. No need to wear a suit on the plane unless you're going straight from the airport to a meeting. I travel a lot these days and that's what I do.

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Oct 15, 2017

This would look fairly out of place in Dubai.

Oct 15, 2017

No it wouldn't.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

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Sep 19, 2017

My advice would be slightly different - I'd recommend traveling in jeans and a polo/sweater/casual button-up. Even as staff you never know who you'll meet on a plane,

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Sep 19, 2017

This is true. People I've run into on flights or at the airport when I was with B4 include a number of former colleagues, office managing partner(s), client's CFO, general counsel, Dennis Rodman, and Jenna Jameson (flew in/out of LAX a few times...).

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Sep 19, 2017

Maybe my team was really lax then, but if you're going for training, people will see you in all sorts of casual/clubbing clothes anyway...

Sep 19, 2017

Also, try not to walk around the airport with one of those travel pillows / hemorrhoid cushions around your neck.

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Sep 20, 2017

When you trave try to be comfortable, specially for long flights. On casual occasion try to be casual but i would avoid shorts, even slim jeans and tshirt/shirt would be better.

Nov 9, 2017

[deleted] - did not factor weather into advice

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Best Response
Oct 14, 2017

When you wear a suit at airports/flights other business people seem very open to conversation.
Had a great chat with someone at an airplane restaurant/bar who apparently was a C-suite executive at a large reinsurance firm. At the end he gave me his card and told me to stay in touch if I ever wanted to go into the business. Probably wouldn't have happened if I had worn shorts and a shirt haha.

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Oct 14, 2017

If you don't want to go full suit, look for some solid linen shirts if you're going to be spending a decent amount of time in that sort of climate. I'd advise against shorts; I was perfectly fine wearing khakis/chinos when I was traveling in Dubai.

Oct 14, 2017

Jeans and a button down if you don't have a meeting directly after...work clothes if you do. Traveling in a suit or even business casual becomes really uncomfortable if you start to travel often. I only fly in a suit if I absolutely have to.

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Oct 15, 2017

Lol, why would it be unprofessional as hell to be seen wearing a t shirt when you're not in an environment, ie work where you should be more dressed up?

Oct 15, 2017

where did you find the time to open an account here between all the accusations from celebrities accusing you of being a sexual harasser?

Oct 14, 2017

Dark tailored jeans, polo, and dress shoes.

...

Oct 15, 2017

Generally people are shallow and judge you on first impression. At least wear something classy like chino and polo shirt (tucked in).

Oct 15, 2017

So much wrong advice being passed around here, except for one, tbh. Jeez, we're talking Dubai here.
As mentioned earlier, anything non-work social, wear shorts and a T-Shirt. Just be sure to wear close to knee-length. Cargoes seem to find too much hate here, but they are a lifesaver in Dubai, unless you really want to drench yourself in sweaty thighs and calves. The weather over there is still warmly pleasant this time of the year, so don't be a prude.
But over the first week of November, the weather will definitely turn colder, so you better hope to have a loose jacket on you sometime. I just used a loose unbuttoned trench coat apart from my usual attire. If you're European, then hey, it's summer for you!
As for formal stuff, suit and tie. Mostly you can let loose the tie and no one would bat an eyelid. Everybody understands the summer heat is not for everyone (including the Emiratis themselves). I've worn a dishdasha with the thobe and headdress with this particular variety of white leather chappal they have over there for work, and there were no issues with that.
As for travel wear, wear what you're most comfortable in. I can't stand cold airline temperatures, so I mostly go with jeans and a shirt with a blazer. If I were a bigwig, the last thing I would want is some prick who keeps talking on and on about random stuff. Remember (and this is very important), many Arabs who might be "worthy enough" for networking often travel rarely, and when they do, they often travel with their families in business class. If they are travelling alone, they would prefer conversation in Arabic. So not many opportunities that way.
Or if you're looking at networking with people like one of my uncles (who is a huge bigwig hotshot yada yada there), don't worry, you won't be, since he usually takes the jet he bought my aunt some years back. Most of the really wealthy tend to go on chartered flights there, or first class on the Big Three airlines there.

If you really want to network and stuff, don't worry. The major finance companies in Dubai are located in the DIFC area and Downtown, a small place that's smaller than the Vatican. So if you want to "network", there are a number of social events happening around in the locations there specifically for networking. Most likely, you'll meet a shit ton of guys just by having lunch in the same place - trust me, at one point, you'll get tired of trying out all the restaurants in DIFC/Downtown.

Tl;DR: Don't be a prude, dress for the weather, be respectful of local customs pertaining to dressing, and mostly keep to yourself in the flights unless you know Arabic. If you want to network, network elsewhere - chance meetups, specific events, etc.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

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Oct 15, 2017

Maybe it matters in banking. Could matter in Dubai. But I promise no one in audit gives two shits if you travel casually, and I would know.

Oct 16, 2017

Maximize comfort while minimizing style slack. If my travel is long and has a meeting immediately before or after it, I usually carry a pair of jeans in my Tumi.

You'll never have time (or comfortable privacy) to full on change, but changing from suit pants to jeans is way more comfortable without sacrificing look too much. As above, you never know who you'll run into.

Oct 16, 2017

The reason most people dress in a suit/button down on planes usually has a lot more to do with conserving luggage space than formality.

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Oct 16, 2017

Just wear a kandura on the plane so you will be dressed when you get off. plus i bet it is pretty comfortable

Oct 20, 2017
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Oct 24, 2017