Do you have a big business meeting coming up? Struggling to decide what to wear?
Business meeting attire can often confuse people. Many people think that because their dress code at work is super relaxed, they can follow the same suite in a business meeting and show up wearing flip flops and t-shirts.
However, this is not how you should be dressing for a business meeting.
If you are aiming to be taken as a serious professional, then you need to dress like one.
So, what should you wear?
Read on to learn how to dress for a business meeting.
1. Appropriate Attire Really Does Matter
As we touched on in the intro, appropriate attire really does matter. This is because it makes you appear more lucrative.
So, no matter how big of an advocate you are for business casual attire, when it comes to business meetings, always err on the side of caution. It is always better to be a bit overdressed than underdressed.
Suits for men, or a pencil skirt and silk blouse for women, are good go-to pieces. These outfits will make you look more professional, productive, and intelligent.
2. If the Meeting Says Dress Business Casual…
Sometimes, the meeting holders will specifically state that business casual dress is accepted for the meeting. Sometimes, it is even encouraged.
In these cases, by all means, don’t be afraid to rock the business casual wear.
For women, business casual could mean wearing a pair of capri pants, a pencil skirt, or a pair of well-fitted pants for your bottoms. This could be matched with a blouse or a tailored shirt.
For men, the right business casual look usually involves a nice pair of pants with either a sweater or some kind of nicer jacket.
3. Keep Skin Exposure to a Minimum
For both men and women, exposing skin should be kept to a minimum.
Make sure your bottom attire doesn’t go above the knee, and make sure your top isn’t cut too low. And while clothes should fit you well, you don’t want them to be so form fitting that it looks like you are headed to the club after.
Even if it’s hot out, showing too much skin makes you look unprofessional and incompetent. When in doubt, always err on the side of modesty.
4. About those Accessories
Just because you have to wear business attire, doesn’t mean you have to be boring.
Many people mistakenly think that wearing business clothes means they also need to mute their personal style.
However, this is not the case. If you are looking to add a touch of your own personal style to your business meeting outfit, accessories are the perfect way to do it.
Simple diamond earrings, pearl necklaces, or silver bracelets are a great way for women to elegantly accessorize for a business meeting. If you’re allowed to dress a little more casually, you could also wear some statement jewelry, such as a statement necklace or some statement earrings.
For both men and women, no accessory screams professional more than a wristwatch.
Start by browsing through online watch stores if you’re looking to purchase a new watch. But if you have one laying around already that might just need a quick repair – one of the best watch guides to read is how to fix a watch so it can be ready in time for your big meeting.
5. Tie or No Tie?
For many men, the tie is a staple piece for a business meeting.
Ties do certainly make you look more professional; however, if your business meeting is business casual, then a tie really isn’t necessary.
If you do need to wear a tie, however, make sure it is made of a quality fabric, such as silk. Also, this probably isn’t the occasion where you want to bust out your Donald Duck tie. Stick to simple, neutral patterns to keep the look professional.
6. Make Sure It All Matches
Just because you have a really nice belt, does not mean you have the right belt for your outfit.
When dressing for a business meeting, it’s very important to make sure your whole outfit matches.
Now, this doesn’t mean everything should all be the same color, as that would look a little ridiculous. Rather, you just need to make sure that all the colors and styles flow together to make one cohesive outfit.
When choosing a belt, opt for colors that match your shoes or match your suit. If you do not have a two piece suit, make sure you buy a jacket that matches with your trousers.
Ties are usually where you have a little more wiggle room. As long as it goes with the flow of the outfit, it’s ok to select a tie in a different color.
For women, while shoes can match your skirt, it is not always necessary. For example, a gray skirt with a white blouse and black shoes looks just fine.
However, one thing that we cannot stress enough when it comes to matching: always make sure your socks match with your shoes. Mismatched socks can make a look that would otherwise be totally coherent look totally disheveled.
7. Mind the Hair and Makeup
When dressing for a business meeting, don’t focus solely on the clothes. To complete the look, you also need to make sure you are paying attention to your hair and makeup.
For men, make sure your hair is well-trimmed. And while some gel can make sure everything stays in place, remember that a little bit goes a long way, and there’s no need to overdo it.
For women, you will want to make sure that your hair isn’t distracting you by constantly falling in your face. Therefore, it’s usually a good idea to tie it in either a bun, a half ponytail, or a loose full ponytail.
Also, while wearing makeup is of course fine, don’t overdo it, and stick to neutral tones.
With these seven tips in mind, you should be well on your way to looking great for your business meeting.