What To Wear When Networking

What to wear when networking can be a dilemma, especially for women. It’s great that generally the business world is more accepting of a wider variety of clothes for women than for men, but this leaves women with more decisions to make and more scope to get it wrong!

The following guidelines will help you to get it right before you start and enable you to focus on your networking in hand rather than worrying about how you look.

  • Check out the dress code

    First check out with the organizers the code of dress
    - you will probably feel more comfortable if you know you haven’t broken any norms
    – if you do want to dress differently at least you will be prepared.

  • Consider your image

    People will judge you according to what you are wearing whether it is consciously or subconsciously.

    Generally, wear what you would normally wear in front of customers, whether that is a suit or something less formal. If you wear overalls for work then perhaps dress up a bit, but consider the practicality of this.

    Authenticity is also important when considering what to wear and it’s about getting a good balance between creating the right image and ensuring your dress reflects the ‘real you.’ E.g. I like to look smart, professional and feminine, but don’t like suits. I therefore avoid tailored suits and instead wear smart but comfortable dresses and skirts which still look right in a room of suited males. I know I’ve bought the right thing when I look forward to wearing my outfit and feel good in it.

    Remember you are there be taken seriously as a business woman not find your next partner in life.

  • Wear what suits you

    You want to make a positive impact and wearing clothes that suit your colour or shape can help. Consider using the services of an image consultant such as Color Me Beautiful (to name just one) – this could be an investment well worth making – it was for me.

  • Dress for comfort

    Wear what you feel comfortable in and think about the environment and what you will be doing whilst networking what temperature it be, and how does your body react on a hot or cold day?!! will you be standing for long periods or eating whilst talking?

  • Be practical

    When choosing what to wear think about where you will keep your business cards . Briefcases can be cumbersome and a nuisance to carry while working the room, and even handbags can be awkward especially if you are eating buffet food.

    Jacket and trouser pockets can be useful…but make sure they are not stuffed full of everything else that might be in your handbag.

  • Dress ‘safely’

    Avoid clothes which might let you down so ‘test-dive’ clothes before wearing them.

  • Clothes to avoid
    • Low cut dresses and short skirts
    • Loose dress, top or bra straps which fall off your shoulders
    • Clothes with buttons and fastenings which come undone easily
    • Underwear visible under clothing and even worse bras and tops which show your nipples!
    • Stockings with tops which slip below the hemline of your skirt and ‘hold ups’ which fall down.
    • Uncomfortable and unstable shoes

See Also:-

More Info For Women
Why Womens Networking Works
Become A Work At Home Mom

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