Dressing for Success: Networking and Meetings

Post in collaboration with House of Fraser.

I mentioned in a previous post about my daily routine that I often wear running kit into the office. Note, this doesn’t actually mean that I make it out for a run, although the intentions are there. Anyway, it’s comfortable and sometimes I *do* make it out. Sometimes.

Anyway, although I work for myself and have my own space, sometimes it’s necessary for me to meet with potential clients, or go to a networking event and on these occasions, it’s important to dress up a bit and make an effort. I’m a big fan of dresses and often favour tailored dresses when I need to be smart. Smart workwear and tailoring doesn’t have to be boring through; I prefer a slightly shorter hemline (just above the knee) and I love bright colours – one of my go-to dresses for meetings is a turquoise, tailored number with a square neckline – it looks great with a black jacket for a sharp contrast. It’s fun, so I feel like me, but it’s also smart. For smarter affairs, I do have a knee length, black, tailored shift dress and I usually team this with a brightly coloured handbag – I have a gorgeous, smart Russell & Bromley handbag which also happens to be pink and I often get compliments on it.

 

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It’s important to be confident in what you’re wearing at events. It’s a shame to admit it, but first impressions do count. But although it’s important to be smart, it’s also important that you feel confident. If you don’t feel confident in what you’re wearing, you’ll spend the event straightening skirts, rolling up sleeves, unbuttoning and rebuttoning jackets. Be comfortable and like what you’re wearing. If you feel good, you’ll look good and you’ll likely act with more confidence at events. For me personally, I know sticking to a trademark bright colour, whether it’s the dress, or simply the handbag, makes me feel good, so I feel more confident – plus it’s often a talking point! Someone comments on the handbag and then we get chatting.

It’s also important to think about shoes! Oh, I love shoes. I own far too many pairs. I especially love heels and I often wear them for conferences and meetings. In the fashion industry, I imagine you can get away with more of a heel, more angle, more fun, but I’m quite fond of this pair of navy shoes with a low heel, from Dorothy Perkins.

 

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They’re smart, they’re comfortable, but they’re also a bit fun. They would also serve well as good day to night shoes if you did work all day in a smarter office and then went straight out in the evening.

 

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Much less practical but definitely good fun, are these black shoes. I wouldn’t recommend wearing these to networking events unless the event was a little more glitzy – think party dresses instead of tailoring and make sure you can walk in them! There’s nothing worse than watching someone teetering uncertainly in their heels.

How do you dress to impress at events? Have you got any go-to outfits? Remember though, what’s appropriate to wear depends on the context of the event or meeting!

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