Choosing the Right Attire for a Business Event

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Attending a business event can be a nerve-wracking experience for even the most seasoned pros.  The pressure to make a good impression, network with the right people, and say the right things can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to your field and haven’t attended many industry events.  Deciding what to wear can be one of the most stressful parts of going to an event, as first impressions are everything and the way you choose to present yourself can be a big factor in the way your peers see you.  If you often find yourself struggling with this, here are a few tips for choosing the right attire for your next business event.

Assess the Vibe

What you wear will depend on the type of event you’re going to.  The invitation will typically say what kind of event it is and the dress code attendees are expected to follow, but don’t be afraid to ask a colleague if you aren’t sure.  In events with a business casual dress code, you can usually go with the same clothes you would wear to work on a typical day.  For men, business casual usually involves neat, collared shirts, trousers or dark-wash denim, and dress shoes or tasteful sneakers.  For women, a blouse, slacks, and a pair of sensible shoes make a great outfit that looks nice without looking too formal.  Knowing the dress code prior to the event will help you make a more confident decision when it comes time to get dressed!

Consider the Weather

If you ignore the weather and go out wearing something that doesn’t align with the temperature outside, you’ll end up looking silly and feeling uncomfortable.  Depending on where the event you’re attending is taking place, be sure to check the forecast for that day.   Coordinate your outfit around it.  In a place with a more mild climate, like Georgia or Virginia, you might be able to get away with wearing short sleeves or more lightweight clothes.

In colder conditions, a warmer outfit would be more appropriate.  You should also consider whether the event will be held indoors or outdoors.  Indoor events allow a little more flexibility when it comes to choosing your attire, since you can put on or take off layers depending on the temperature in the room.  Keeping the weather, as well as the location of the event in mind when dressing for a business event will help ensure that you feel comfortable and you won’t be running home to get changed!

Don’t Feel the Need to Break the Bank

If you decide to purchase a new outfit for your event, it can be tempting to break out the credit card and buy something expensive that isn’t necessarily in your budget.  What many people don’t realize, however, is that you don’t need to drop money on expensive designer clothes just to look put-together.  In fact, many retailers like H&M, Gap, and Old Navy sell business attire at an affordable price so that you could purchase a few different pieces without breaking the bank.  Buying inexpensive staples like dress shirts and trousers in solid colors can really help you build a work-appropriate wardrobe that you can be proud of!