Dhaka - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Most people wear ties or dress nicely at work, but some employees wear jeans and flip flops. The vibe is that you're expected to dress in business, but some people ignore it. - Jul 2023

Business casual mostly in the Embassy, business dress for outside meetings. Formal for Marine ball. Expectations are that women will dress modestly. Local women may cover their heads or not, it's a personal decision. Western women will get stared at (or worse) if wearing low-cut or sleeveless tops, or short dresses. - Dec 2021

You can wear just about anything, but looser fitting clothing and covering knees, chest and shoulders would be more than enough for women. Formal wear is rarely needed. - Sep 2021

I enjoy wearing suits, so that's what I normally wore. Dress code at the office ranged from suit/tie to business casual. Local fashion was worn on some days. The diplomatic community had the normal range of formal events (Marine Ball, Burns Supper, etc). I will make a plug here for the local tailors. They range from VERY good and expensive designers to cheap (but good enough) tailors. - Zurhem is a fantastic and well-recognized designer who insists on quality and perfection - at a price. - Dapper Bespoke is an extremely good tailor - high quality fit and materials. A bit less expensive than Zurhem, but well worth it. - KL Sweden and Ferduz - Ok for an inexpensive daily wear suit that is a slight step up from "off the rack" regarding fit. Medium quality materials. You need something tomorrow? They can probably do it. With any of the tailors, you can bring your own material in. The quality tailors will only work with high quality fabrics. - Jun 2019

Modest dress for women when walking around in public, there are a lot of events where western clothes are the norm. Local women usualy wear sari or shalwar khameez to work. There are tons of shops with beautiful fabric and clothing options. - Jul 2018

Business casual at work. Formal dress is rarely required. US embassy staff are not allowed to visit any public places, for any reason. - Apr 2017

Business casual within the Embassy, casual outside. Men and women should avoid wearing shorts, and women should avoid exposing shoulders, legs, and cleavage. Long skirts/maxidresses and a light shawl to cover the shoulders and chest are a good idea for women. - Jun 2016

Work: Business casual, similar to DC. Public: Men shouldn't wear shorts, women shouldn't wear anything short or revealing. - May 2016

Covered legs/arms - Jun 2015

casual - Mar 2015

At work I would say the same as any other, many men don't wear ties because it's very hot here. In public women are the ones that need to be careful not to be revealing. It's easy to buy local outfits that fit our Western taste. Women cover breasts with scarves because of the staring (even without cleavage) and nothing too short. It's a primarily Muslim country but much more lax in that sense. - Sep 2014

At work, formal as in U.S. formal. Public, dress like you're in the U.S. - Aug 2014

Conservative. Local women wear the shalwar kameez, which is designed to hide the fact that a woman actually has a body underneath all that fabric. Many local women also wear head scarves. Foreign women should avoid exposed knees, shoulders or cleavage in professional settings and expect to be followed around if exposing the same in public. - Jul 2014

Conservative. Women shouldn't show shoulders, cleavage, or thighs/knees. I wear a suit for work and tunics with jeans on the weekends. - Aug 2013

Relatively modest. Business and business-casual at work. - Apr 2013

Business at work, some business casual. In public, it is a muslim country, so it's better to be respectful - no cleavage, knees, shoulders, etc. I take a scarf everywhere I go to cover up a bit. No one would say anything if you didn't, but again, be respectful. - Aug 2011

Embassy is slacks and collared shirt. Anything goes in public, I wear shorts and t-shirts on my off days. - Jun 2011

Largely informal. Shirt, pants, no tie, no jacket. - Feb 2011

Girls should dress conservatively. Guys can wear whatever they want. - Jan 2011

This is a conservative muslim country. - Jan 2011

Conservative, particularly outside of the embassy. Normal business attire is fine at the embassy, but those working out on the local economy (particularly women) will want to dress more conservatively. - Oct 2010

Conservative for the locals. Casual at the embassy. - Apr 2010

Generally, business casual at work. Dress for women tends to be more conservative; some expat women feel uncomfortable in knee-length skirts. Western dress on local women is very, very rare. - Oct 2009

Conservative. The embassy used to be business casual. I've seen more suits lately. - Aug 2009

Business casual at the Embassy, but it depends on the section. Most men do not wear a suit every day. Women rarely have to wear suits. - Mar 2009

It's always good to honor a host country. Dress modestly when you are in the street, but don't forget to bring your shorts and spandex for when you are among expats. - Nov 2008

Relaxed. - Mar 2008

All Bangladeshi women wear local dress to work and men wear pants and ties. Many foreign women also wear local dress (especially those employed with NGOs). Otherwise, business casual. In public, no tank tops, no short skirts or dresses. - Feb 2008

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