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Q&A: What (not) to wear to work

Hi Christel, I often wonder what to wear at work in the embassy. I’m an American Foreign Service Officer, so do you think it’s better to stick to a strictly American wardrobe, or should I rock the local attire? I like the way women dress in the country I serve, but how do I know if something is appropriate?


Dear Anonymous: Fortunately, things are not always black-and-white. What is appropriate work attire depends a lot on the country you are posted in. Isn’t that why you wanted to become a diplomat in the first place – to analyze and understand other countries and cultures? It seems to me that you have your work cut out for you.

But until you figure it all out, here are a few rules to live by when putting your next outfit together:


1. If you think an outfit is too sexy, it probably is.

2. If the main fabric is leather, fur or lace, the outfit is not work-appropriate.

3. You can never go wrong with a blue suit. My husband only wears blue suits because he’s colorblind and they literally go with everything.


#Embassy #ForeignService #OfficeEtiquette #LifeAsADiplomat