Bogota - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

At the embassy most seem pretty professional (jacket, some ties, blazers, dresses, skirts, etc.). Around the city there’s everything, but you’ll stick out as a tourist/expat if you wear shorts or flip flops. Colombian women especially love to dress up, being on the frills, jewelry, and color. I would be careful if walking around to not make yourself a target. (For example, I and most married women I know do not wear their engagement rings.) Fanciest all year is the marine ball: many men wear tuxes but you can have those and gorgeous dresses made. - May 2024

More on the conservative side. Women never show their bare legs at work in Bogota; skirts and dresses are always worn with pantyhose underneath. Likewise, sleeveless shirts are very rare. No local will ever wear shorts in Bogota. Expect to dress like it's fall all year round. - Aug 2023

It’s seems pretty casual to me. Depending on which office in the Embassy you work in. Colombianas tend to dress in proper uniform or in more formal dress then USA folks. - Feb 2021

More on the formal side. - Jul 2020

Colombians generally dress well. Business attire at work. Formal dress for formal events. - Feb 2020

Colombians tend to dress well and more formally than in the U.S. Business and business-casual are common in the embassy. Formal dress is required for the Marine Corps Ball, American Society ball, and other galas that some people attend. - Nov 2018

Formal at work (suits). In public, Colombians are more likely to be dressed up, where even casual looks well thought out and put together. You can tell someone is a foreigner if he's wearing shorts in public. - Sep 2018

The embassy is business dress. My spouse wears a suit and tie every day. We haven't had to wear formal dress for anything yet. - Aug 2018

Professional. More formal than in the US. - May 2018

The Colombians dress nicer than the average American. - Apr 2016

Bogota has a well dressed society. - Aug 2015

Professional at work. Less casual in public that the U.S. No one wears shorts or flip flops. - Aug 2014

More formal than in the U.S. Women and men alike dress up with jackets and nice shoes/boots. - Jun 2014

Bogotanos tend to dress up, and the climate requires long pants and sweaters/jackets. At the workplace it is ties and jackets. - May 2013

Fairly formal. - Oct 2012

Bogotanos are typically very formal, so the dress for work (especially if you have meetings outside the embassy) is business attire. With that said, you can wear dressy jeans to nice restaurants and nobody looks twice at you. - Jul 2012

Dressy. Lots of high heels and suits. Imagine NYC business world and everyone taking note. - Apr 2012

Colombians are fairly formal, and the State Dept folks don't come to work if they don't have a suit on. - Dec 2011

Fairly dressy and proper. Ladies are always in high-heel boots and are made up (even at the park/gym). Men in suits. Folks look good! - Jul 2011

Fancy: high heels, makeup, tag clothes, jewelry, expensive purses and watches. - Nov 2010

Dressy. - Sep 2010

Suit or sportcoat/slacks. - Aug 2010

Formal. I would never wear jeans to work, and I often feel underdressed at the grocery store in jeans. - Aug 2010

Nice to formal. - Aug 2010

Dressy. - Jun 2010

Casual-nice. Suits for business people. A perfectly acceptable 'uniform' otherwise is jeans, a nice shirt, nice coat and boots. - Jan 2010

Colombian women tend to dress up more than most Americans. Depending on your department, the dress code at the embassy ranges from suits and ties to jeans. - Sep 2009

Depends who you work for. Some agencies have the majority of their employees in jeans or cargo pants, for others it's suits. - Dec 2008

Definitely a dress up city -- you will never see a woman wearing sweats and sneakers and walking around. They are always wearing boots and nice jackets and have make-up on, etc. - Dec 2008

Colombians are very dressed up, high hills, big hair, big make up you will not see any sweatpants or sloppiness. - Nov 2008

At work business formal; in public, jeans are ok. - Nov 2008

Business. . .many dress casual on Fridays but with all the meetings and constant VIP visits a casual Friday is sometimes just not going to happen. - May 2008

Business Dress within the Embassy. There is an informal dress down Friday, but is often discouraged by many American supervisors. - Apr 2008

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