I’ve always been a stylist that goes against the grain. I don’t really care much for “fashion,” believe it or not. Instead, I care about “style” and how it transforms us as CEOs, entrepreneurs and everyday professionals.
The truth about style is that our wardrobe speaks for us. This is something we can strategically plan out by creating a message in our look, but there is another side to it too: how others read that message.
When styling my clients I always begin by asking, “How do you want others to perceive you?” Knowing how you want to be perceived is the key to attracting like-minded people.
Armed with that knowledge, you can tailor your looks to send very specific messages to more targeted people and networking situations. Our wardrobe becomes our best networking tool and one that we can use again and again each time we step out the door.
Let’s break down four of the top networking wardrobe strategies to consider. Not only will this help you hone in on your personal style, it will also help you make amazing and lasting connections.
1. Know Your Audience
We’ve all been taught that the first thing you need to do when building a business is to identify your target market. This tactic is no different when comes to putting an outfit together for your next networking event.
Know your audience. Do your research ahead of time. For example, if you’re walking into a room of investors, ask yourself what THEY would want to see in you.
Another example: If you’re going to a more laid back tech mixer, don’t show up in your sharpest power suit. This is a simple tip but so important! If you don’t know your audience, people will be less inclined to be drawn to you.
You might stand out in flip flops at a power meeting… but you’d be standing out for all the wrong reasons.
2. Make a Statement
In my soon to be published book “The Twelve Steps of Style,” I address the idea of the “power piece.” This is a must for every wardrobe. It’s that singular item you own that makes you feel amazing – so amazing that your positivity radiates beyond your wardrobe attracting people around you.
This can be anything from an eye-catching statement necklace, to a bold colored handbag, or a red pair of heels or even the perfect shift dress that fits you like nothing else. It’s these items that can really make a splash at a networking event.
The reason for this is that when you feel confident in what you’re wearing, people take note. That confidence carries over into your stance, your voice and your conversation about yourself and your business. Confidence sells and your power piece will lead the way!
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