I have learned that "How do you do? is very formal and is not used very much, especially by younger people, these days." (source: BBC — Learning English).
I would still like to know if using "How do you do?" in following contexts would be perceived as overly formal or not?
- When meeting for the first time a senior manager, at work;
- When meeting for the first time a new coworker (with a similar or a lower hierarchical rank);
- When meeting for the first time an "important" trader (e.g., a banker, lawyer, etc.)
- When meeting for the first time an "ordinary" trader (e.g., a baker, shop assistant, etc.)
This would happen in the UK, I'd say I belong to the upper middle-class, and I don't mind appearing very polite, a bit old-school, or slightly mannered (despite I'm a foreigner). I gather one should use "How do you do?" the first time we meet only.