We are often required to attend networking functions and they can provide great business leads or opportunities and help establish you as an expert in your field or area of expertise.
You never know who you will meet at these functions so it pays to dress appropriately. If you look your best you are much more likely to stand out from the crowd and be noticed. It also tells those around you that you are focused, knowledgeable, trustworthy and worth talking to. It can be difficult to take someone seriously when they have clearly not put any thought into what they are wearing and turn up in jeans. If they don’t care about their own work and image, how can you trust they will care about yours?
Give your networking functions a little pre event thought and wear something that makes you feel confident and that people will take you seriously with. It should represent you, be appropriate for the event and be something that people will remember you by. There are often lots of people at these functions so you want to stand out in a good way. Here are our ABCs of dressing for networking functions.
ACCESSORIES. A simple outfit can look amazing with great accessories. They are a simple and effective way to brighten up your outfit if you keep them appropriate and in proportion. They are also a great talking piece or conversation starter. A stylish brooch or headpiece for example will spark attention. Once the conversation has started, it is easy to introduce yourself and keep the conversation going.
BE aware of your audience. The art of dressing for a network function is about a little research and good grooming. Find out what the format and dress code is and make sure your image is appropriate to this. If you want to let others in your field or profession know who you are then your dress needs to reflect this. After all you want to be noticed and remembered for the right reasons. If you have your own business then your image is your brand and it needs to compliment what your business is about.
COLOUR. Colour is an important communication tool and conveys strong emotional feelings. People react to colour so wear colours that make you come alive and look good. Your best colours will make you look younger because they smooth and minimize lines and shadows around the eyes and face. When wearing these colours you get a healthy glow that is a great boost to your self-esteem and confidence.
If you don’t want to blend in with everyone else avoid wearing too much black. How many times have you been to a networking function where everyone is wearing black? Be a bit different a choose colour instead.
A great lipstick in your colour also helps complete your outfit. It will tie everything together and bring attention straight to your beautiful eyes. People will notice you without realising why.