So you are new to the event world and nerves are setting in as you get nearer to meeting your first client. We’ve all experienced it at one time or another; you’ve been so busy putting together and practicing your pitch, it’s the night before and it suddenly dawns on you that you haven’t given a thought to what you are going to wear. Questions arise, doubts begin to hook themselves into your thought pattern and dilemma kicks in. You are now standing with wardrobe drawers wide open staring at an assortment of clothes that right now, just don’t make any fashion sense to you. Don’t panic…here are some easy-to-follow tips.

Appearance

Always aim to look professional even if you are having an “off day”. Allow plenty of time to get ready and get to your meeting point in plenty of time. There is nothing worse than arriving late because you wanted an extra 15 minutes snooze time. The hot, sweaty, flustered look is also not a convincing opportunity to prove your professionalism. If you really are going to be late call ahead of time and advise your client. Get to the meeting as quickly as you can but always set aside a couple of minutes to peer into a mirror to ensure you don’t look like you have just been dragged through a bush….get my drift!

A first meeting definitely needs a stylish business look that oozes confidence. Dress to impress but don’t go over the top.

Ladies

If the meeting ground is informal, such as the client’s local pub or their private residence, a suit isn’t always necessity. A nice outfit will do just fine. It is always important, however, to keep the following in mind:

Skirts: not too short! Skirts to the knee are generally considered an appropriate length and yes, slits in the side or back are fine depending on the length of said slit. One great test is to sit down when trying the skirt on and noticing where it rises to. If you feel you might be revealing just a little too much skin or you will be constantly fidgeting and trying to pull it down every 5 minutes, then go for something longer or preferably trousers.

Trousers: Definitely no jeans, even if they are your best pair. Jeans are not professional and don’t evoke a business image. Keep them for Saturday night.

Trouser suits for women look extremely elegant. Add a smart blouse or shirt and a belt, and away you go. You may not even need to take a suit jacket if the location doesn’t require it. While you are aiming to appear business-like, dress so you are going to be comfortable, especially if you are going to be out all day. Wear something that makes you feel good both on the inside and on the outside, it is a real confidence booster.

Tops: Stay away from really low cut v-necks. V-necks are fine, the ones I am talking about are the cliff hangers, where a sudden movement could prove to bare all.

Heels: Heels look elegant as they help to shape the leg but ensure you can walk in them. You don’t need to wear a 3-inch heel to look professional. A classy closed toed 2-inch or even 1-inch will do. Stay away from stilettos unless you really can carry them off. Try however, to keep stiletto heels appropriate for the location. If you are meeting at the local “garden tea room”, stumbling over a terrace, pebbled driveway or lawn area in your finest, is not the most elegant of entrances.

Commute to your location in comfortable flats. While these don’t look so great with a suit, you can always slip into something more formal at the last minute. For a trouser outfit, it is perfectly acceptable to wear a pair of wedges. These will be a lot easier on your feet as the day goes on.

Gentlemen

You are lucky, you don’t really have quite so much to worry about as the ladies. A business suit is generally the norm, although of course there are occasions when it is perfectly acceptable to loose the suit jacket.

Colour Coordination: Don’t go too over the top with your tie and suit colour combo! Something too bright and you might risk appearing over confident or attracting attention away from what you are saying. Whatever you do, stay away from your prize Bart Simpson tie. It might be fine to wear it around the office but for client meetings, something subtle and smart will do.

Shoes: You may have your favourites but ask yourself if they fit in with your business image. I have seen everything from cowboy boots to black and white spat style shoes. My suggestion; keep to regular suit shoes.

Make Sure You Match: Now you may want to call me a traditionalist but I do not think that wearing a suit jacket that is a different colour of your suit trousers looks at all formal. Ok, so some people may be able to carry it off in certain situations but it looks more sporty than business-like and the number of men I have seen wearing colours that just don’t tone is countless. Stay safe and go with a full suit. I’m no man but take it from a lady that a full suit definitely looks much more presentable.

Fiona

Following a University degree and a drastic career move, Fiona Warren-Bassett soon found herself rapidly moving forward in the events and PR world. Enjoying the change of direction, Fiona went on to further her Event Management experience, spending 6 years working for a renowned cruise line company. Having travelled extensively and been actively involved in many events and weddings, Fiona has since returned to land and has successfully launched her freelance writing and PR career.

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