Working in Spain: what’s the dress code at your office?

Article by Marc Vervoort

Fashion is becoming more similar everywhere. With the rise of the Spanish Inditex empire, stores like Zara, Massimo Dutti, Mango and Bershka are dominating high streets across the globe. Yet, each country has its own unwritten dress rules. What’s the dress code at your work in Spain?

Dress rule number 1: No shorts at work, ever

Spanish men will wear long pants even in the heat of summer. In more formal companies, they will show up in suits. And it’s not only at work, but for many events, shorts are a no-no. It does depend on where you live. Madrid and Seville are, for example, more conservative than Malaga, which has a beach culture. Yet even in Malaga, shorts to work will not do.

Dress rule number 2: Traditional clothing and good grooming

Though this is not really a rule, Spaniards do tend to like more traditional clothing and will always leave the house well groomed. No sweatpants or Mark Zuckerberg hoodies here.

At work and also in a club going out, many guys will wear a shirt, with the top buttons usually left open, long pants and dressy shoes. Though sneakers are becoming hip.

Spanish women are more varied in their outfits. It can be anything from a conservative to a full out Boho look. However, they do generally like to look well polished. Few Spanish women will go to work on trainers and without at least some makeup on.

Dress rule number 3: Suits can be more colorful

If you have to wear a suit for work, then try to avoid a black suit. Though it’s not an ironclad rule, for the fashion-conscious these are considered evening wear.

In Spain, it is common to see lighter suits, like beige or light blue, instead of only the standard navy blue or dark grey. You can also vary the color of your shirts, tie and even mix up your dress pants and jacket as long as it matches well together. Again, avoid black shirts.

Dress rule number 4: Be yourself

In the end, your clothing choices are all about who you are and feeling good when wearing them. So don’t worry too much about it. Especially in an IT environment, it’s much more important what you do and deliver, than what you wear to work.


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