It is often touted that the first five seconds are the most important. In that time, someone can look you over, hear you say a few words, and form a judgement about your character in their head based on your appearance.
Your appearance is an outward projection of who you are. That is why it is essential you dress the part when you attend networking events. You want that first impression to be impeccable. You want your attire to scream sophistication, reliability, and confidence.
Skip The Jewellery
Bright chains, chunky rings and earrings raise red flags. Business professionals are not magpies and will not be drawn in by something shiny.Thick chains and earrings scream “I’m wearing my life-savings plastered across my body”.
Instead, wear a simple, plain wedding band, and a bespoke timepiece. This shows that you are someone who appreciates fine, tasteful accessories, but won’t turn up to work looking like Mr T.
Wear A Suit
While a suit isn’t necessary for a networking event, it will make an awesome first impression. A handcrafted suits that are made-to-measure and fit your body well scream sophistication and don’t come across as over the top.
If you don’t have a suit that fits well and is made for your body, opt for smart dress pants and a button-down with a blazer instead (no tie). A badly fitting suit is worse than no suit at all at networking events. It will over whelm you and give off struggling car salesman vibes.
Leather Dress Shoes
Wearing your business casual attire with sneakers or other casual shoes is a common men’s fashion faux pas. If in doubt, go for polished leather to complete the outfit and create the look of a gentleman.
Tone Down the Colours
The image of a sleek and reliable professional does not include bright coloured sweaters, socks, ties or glasses. Employers who might have more conservative tastes will look down their nose at pastel suits, and neon socks.
Stick with standard colour schemes. If you want to get creative and add flair to your look, do it with a pocket square, cuff links, or a textured tie. If you want to be slightly bold in one area, for example a burgundy tie, have everything else significantly toned down and make in the centerpiece of your look. That way, you won’t look like an explosion of colour, and people’s eyes will only be drawn to one area of the outfit.
Keep Facial Hair In Check
Just because Brad Pitt and Jake Gyllenhaal can walk the red carpet with a full beard, doesn’t mean you can turn up to networking events looking like you’ve spent the winter in Siberia.
Your personal grooming says a lot about you. Make sure it is saying the right things by keeping your neckline clean, trimming your beard, cutting any loose hairs jutting out of your eyebrows, and getting your nose and ear hair under control.
With these fashion tips, you will stand out without being loud. You will draw curious eyes without demanding them, and you will have successfully pulled off the look of the gentleman.