Networking is a face-to-face event and how you dress can help you make the best impressions. Understanding what is communicated through the clothes you wear will help you develop a wardrobe that will enhance your networking and public relations goals. In this module, you will learn the following:
The meaning of colors is important to know and this should reflect in you’re the clothes you wear.
The colors you wear when networking could send a message you did not want to send. Understanding the basic meaning of colors will help you dress in a way that will help you be more successful in making connections with new people.
Here are some basic colors and their meaning:
The color you choose will depend on the audience and type of function you are going to encounter. When in doubt, dress with the basic colors (ex. Black, blue or gray).
Many times, a dress code will be announced for a networking event. Understanding how to interpret dress codes will ensure you will not be the odd person dressed at the event. The three most basic dress codes are appropriate attire, business casual, and business professional.
Appropriate attire presents a challenge to you because what does “appropriate” mean. When meeting people in a business environment, it is best to be on the safe side. Here are some safe guidelines for this type of dress code:
There will be times when a function has a theme or it is held outdoors. In that case, you may need to confirm if shorts and opened toed shoes are appropriate.
Business casual is more formal and is similar to appropriate attire but without T-shirts of any kind. Khakis and polo shirts are the most common garments worn in a business casual environment.
Business professional is more stringent and may be the most common dress codes for networking events in the business world. Business professional include the following garments:
If the dress code is unclear, it is best to be a little overdressed that under dressed. You can always remove the jacket, tie, and be business casual.
Sometimes deciding what to wear is a stressful event. Here is a helpful tip to make deciding what to wear a little easier. It is called PEAR.
This acronym stands for the following:
PEAR is a helpful guideline on how deciding what to wear. The next time you are invited to a particular function you should ask questions that help answer the PEAR model. The answers will give you a better understanding on what to wear.
John had all eyes on him as he sauntered into the office. John donned a top and tails for the Meet and Greet. Camden pulled the good egg aside and offered some advice. John didn’t understand how his fancy duds weren’t appropriate for the Meet and Greet. Camden gingerly explained the work events didn’t call for formal attire. Pulling photos from the last event, Camden enlightened John about what style would be appropriate. John’s face reddened. He’d gone too far. Camden patted him on the back, assuring him that all would fall into place. John ran home to change and returned wearing appropriate business attire, tipping his top hat at Camden before tucking it away in his cubicle for another day.