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Improving your Image at Networking Events. . . Professional Attire Tips for Men
It takes only seconds to make a first impression. The clothes you wear and the words you speak convey an image to other people. You are what you wear. . . Hopefully, the outfit you wear to a networking event communicates confidence, professionalism, competence, kindness, and integrity.
- Men should wear a solid white, short sleeve undershirt, button-down/oxford-style long sleeve shirt, coordinating slacks with a matching belt, dark-colored dress socks and shoes. Ties and sport coats can be added if needed.
- Evening events after 5:00 p.m. indicate a dressier look. . . A suit and tie is appropriate.
- Reserve wearing khaki slacks for casual Fridays and during summer months, as they are more casual style of pants.
- Do take shirts and slacks to dry-cleaners if time and budget allows. If not, make sure clothes are laundered, ironed, and still FIT! Clothes can shrink and few pounds (plus or minus) can alter the look of a garment.
- Do make sure you try on the entire outfit the night before the event to double-check all buttons are secure and there isn’t an old ketchup stain on the sleeve.
- Don’t wear tennis shoes, boat shoes, cowboy boots, Crocs, sandals, flip-flops or any other footwear intended for wearing outside.
- Don’t wear jeans, exercise pants, cargo pants, or shorts. If you would wear the same outfit to a concert or sporting event it probably isn’t appropriate for a networking event.
- Refrain from wearing bold, bright or neon-colored shirts or slacks. You will not be wearing the outfit. . . It will be wearing YOU!
- Don’t wear sport jerseys, shirts with team mascots or baseball caps. These are too casual for a networking event.
- Don’t wear scrubs, food service, or delivery-type service uniform if you are attending an event with professionals from various industries.
We make assumptions based on how people are dressed as well as their social and communication skills. Therefore, preparing for a networking event should require the same attention as a job interview. The networking location and time of day typically dictates the appropriate attire. Regardless of your industry, professional business attire is always acceptable. Working with an image consultant can ensure you are equipped with a “WOW” wardrobe to make a positive impression at any networking event. When you look good, you feel good. . . when you feel good about your image, you convey confidence! Confidence is the key to personal and professional success!