First impressions are powerful. How you dress at a networking event communicates either a positive or negative message about you.
In general, you can expect to wear business casual to most networking events (especially in the Greater Phoenix Area). Informal networking events require business casual wear and formal events require suits for men and suits, skirts, or dresses for women. Men should consider wearing black or gray dress pants with a dress shirt and black or brown dress shoes. Women should consider wearing dresses or nice dress pants, a dress shirt and heels or loafers.
First impressions count and are formed in the first 10 to 15 seconds. What does your dress say about you? It is helping you or hurting you? You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Your appearance is key to how you interact with others and how they interact with you. Dressing well is an instant confidence booster.
Dress appropriately for the situation, group or event. It makes a difference in the contacts that you make. Not being dressed appropriately for the situation shows a lack of respect for others. Improper attire could lead to being alienated or not being taken as seriously by others. People can easily become distracted by how you dress at a networking event. If you’re not sure what everyone will be wearing, ask around to ensure you won’t be the only one in jeans or shorts.
Sloppy dresser equals sloppy business practices to me. Proper dress helps keep the focus on who you are and not what you look like. When in doubt it’s a better idea to slightly overdress. Do your best to dress slightly better than the average for the group; overdress and look like you don’t belong or underdress and look like you’ll never belong.
Present yourself well. Business networking is often about first impressions, and first impressions are often about your personal presentation; how you look.
It might help to read, “How to Dress for Success!” by Edith Head.
Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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