Business Attire for Men When Temperatures Sizzles

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Last week I wrote about how women should dress for work during the hot summer months.  At the risk of repeating myself, I pointed out out that women have more choices and  challenges than men when it it comes to deciding how to dress professionally when temperatures soar. When it comes to business attire for men and business casual, it is pretty straight forward. There are fewer choices.

In a strictly formal business environment, there is little choice. Bankers, brokers and financial advisers need to present themselves in a trustworthy and serious manner.  Having said that, it leaves no room for deviation.  The person who deals with other people’s finances needs to look the part by dressing in a business suit and tie. No matter what the thermometer reads, his attire should remain consistent. Behind the closed door of his office, he can remove his coat and loosen the tie, but when he steps out or a client comes in, it’s back to coat and tie.

If the office environment is informal or casual, here are my suggestions and cautions.

  1. The operative word in business casual is “business.”  If  man wants to be comfortable and yet maintain a  professional look, his best choice is to wear a full or long-sleeve dress shirt, tucked in of course, with a quality pant and matching belt and shoes.  His shoes can be a relaxed loafer or slip on shoe, well-polished and maintained. A tie kept nearby will allow him to dress up a notch if the need arises.
  2. If the work environment is less formal, short sleeve  shirts may be acceptable but do not say “business” the way long sleeves do.

No matter what the temperature or how casual the setting, the following are all no-no’s:

  1. Sandals and athletic shoes
  2. Collarless shirts
  3. Tee shirts with pictures or sayings on them
  4. Jeans of any kind
  5. Any clothing that is wrinkled or stained

It should go without saying that men who work outdoors have more license to dress down. Even they need to start the business day, neat and clean.

Business goes on as usual regardless of the temperature.  Keep in mind that your business attire is intended to show respect for your clients. It is all about the client, not about you.

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3 thoughts on “Business Attire for Men When Temperatures Sizzles

  1. Casie Smtih

    If you sell product, consider including your card with the product when it is delivered to your customer. Same goes for services. For example, if you are an auto mechanic, consider slipping your business card in your customers car visor, or create a sticker business card that will adhere to a discrete area of the customers car windsheild. If you provide regular on-site services, consider a business card magnet to be prominently placed on a refrigerator, or filing cabinet. Keep in mind, you dont need to actually sell product, or deliver service to ensure your business card gets and stays in the hands of others. Include your business card with every piece of correspondence: quotes, RFPs, letters, even photocopy your business card and include it in fax transmissions. When mailing out information, include it in the mailing by stapling your card (if possible) to the bottom or top corner of your letterhead.*

    Look at the helpful short article on our own website

  2. Henriette Watanabe

    There are some folks who cram up their business cards with all the information it can hold. This is not done, for a business card is business card and not sales literature. Let the additional info be there on your sales literature and keep the business card as simple as possible. This will ensure that the card will be able to pass across the information it was supposed to convey immediately. Would you rather want that the CEO of a reputed company scanned all through your business card just to find your contact information? A proper business card design should have as much `white space as possible on it. People should be able to access the necessary information immediately.’

    Most up-to-date write-up on our web-site

  3. David Morgan, CCIM

    Re: Male Business Attire
    Even back in the 1970s, when IBM had the reputation that all their salesmen wore navy suits, white shirts and ties — they allowed flexibility within local custom. Sales Reps in Miami and Honolulu wore short sleeved shirts and no ties, if that’s what the customers wore.

    For business attire, the key is to dress to a similar standard (perhaps a little higher) as the client or customer.

    When we went to “business casual” dress at a large American-owned corporation in Canada in the 1980s, the rule was simple: no jeans, and all shirts had to be collared. At first, people who wore jackets and ties got “ribbbed” with comments like “I hope you get the job…” — but soon people realized that if someone “dressed up”, it was because something on their schedule that day required a different dress standard.


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