With their shared loved of formal fashion, Czech entrepreneurs and friends Karel Řepa and Jaroslav Endršt were a natural fit for taking over the Galard brand, a made-to-measure label for men’s formal and business attire, in 2017.
The enthusiastic response to Galard’s tailor-made suits, handmade shoes, and tasteful gentlemen’s accessories, led Řepa and Endršt to open a flagship salon on Prague’s Petrská Street later that same year.
We recently spoke with the dapper duo who offered up their advice for foreigners on how to look professional in a Czech office setting:
In which industries in the Czech Republic do people still dress in suits these days?
The trend of casual wear has come slowly. Basically, senior management in corporate sectors still dresses in suits. Our most loyal customers are from the financial sector, lawyers, as well as top managers and successful entrepreneurs.
With regards to dressing for the office, how does the approach differ in the Czech Republic (Prague) and other world capitals?
Czech men don’t take risks with what they wear. They usually choose dark blue or grey colours. The style is more likely British rather than Italian. We can see that in shoes as well. British brands are more popular than Italian brands here.
Given all the start-ups and co-working spaces and more casual office environments you’d think that the interest in custom suits might be on the wane – are people still dressing up for work?
There will always be room for bespoke tailoring. Most men don’t have a ready-to- wear type of body and successful men want a perfect product. It is not about formal/casual style per se as it is about quality.
“Your future boss will associate your attention to dressing with your attitude toward work.”
What are the biggest fashion mistakes that people — both men and women — make in the workplace?
When the clothes don’t fit the body type. It is also inappropriate to be under- or overdressed compared to your colleagues.
How should one dress for a job interview in the Czech Republic? What are the expectations and do those differ when you are interviewing for an international firm?
It depends on the sector. In some professions, a suit is required [banking, finance, sales], while in other situations a blazer and jeans do the trick. Generally what’s most important is to be neat and clean. Your future boss will associate your attention to dressing with your attitude toward work.
How should one dress for an important meeting or dinner in the Czech Republic?
For a formal dinner, a dark color suit or tuxedo if the dress code says so. It’s also important not to be overdressed: obviously, you don’t want to wear a tie for a networking beer with friends or colleagues.
What about office casual days? Tips for not looking like a total slob?
Firstly understand what does “casual day” means in your company. We usually recommend not wearing t-shirts. Jeans, a shirt, and a blazer is always a good combination. Or a button-up shirt with a decent pattern. Combine this with bespoke jeans and you are the best-dressed casual-Friday guy in the office building!
“Forty years of communism pretty much destroyed all values in society, including quality dressing and adherence to etiquette. We strive to restore these values.”
Why have Czech men typically been accused of fashion crimes and what has your brand done to change that?
Forty years of communism pretty much destroyed all values in society, including quality dressing and adherence to etiquette. We strive to restore these values with a personal approach to our customers, as well as doing training at workplaces and universities to create awareness. We are also the official fashion partners of a number of significant social events, including ball season in the Czech Republic.
What are the 5 things every man/woman should have in their professional wardrobe?
White shirt, dark suit, blazer, black and brown shoes and belts, and silk accessories like ties, a bow tie or pocket square.
Is dressing well important to professional success in the Czech Republic?
Here dressing well always matters and people notice. It doesn’t really matter what are you wearing but if it fits. I’m not saying that everybody has to wear bespoke clothes. There are the lucky ones that fit perfectly in retail apparel. But if you aren’t happy with the fit or design, call the tailor!
What if you haven’t got a huge budget for professional clothes but want to look nice. Some tips?
You can do with one well-fitting, one-color suit. It is great to combine with various accessories and shirts. You can also wear a jacket with your jeans. It is important to align the shoes with the belt.
If you are a relocate coming to the Czech Republic from another foreign office, how should you transition your wardrobe to “fit in” locally?
Galard has locations in Prague and Brno. Visit www.galard.cz for additional details.