Often times, clothing can define who you are but can it define your work? I’d argue that what you wear to a meeting is just as important as the material you cover. How you ask? Well, research has shown that first impressions are made in the first seven to fifteen seconds of a meeting. That first impression will dictate how the meeting will proceed and will ultimately form the basis of the overall presentation. So, whether you are the presenter or the receiver, it is important to transmit a good image to set the tone for the meeting.
Have you ever heard the expression, “the battle is won before it is fought?” It basically means that the one who prepares better and understands the opponent better will win the battle. It is the prep work that sets the opponents apart. Same applies in business and your wardrobe.
Dressing well will affect the way people perceive you and will boost your overall confidence levels. And as your confidence levels go up, so do your presentation skills. There is some psychology to all of this, but unfortunately I’m not an expert in that field. I just know that when I wear a well fitted suit to a meeting, I have a greater sense of confidence and portray a more powerful image. The bottom line is that your wardrobe should enable you to be the best version of yourself, not hinder or limit your performance.
Each business environment is different, but there are three universal colors every man should consider - Navy, Charcoal Gray, and Gray. Each of those colors would be a safe bet for the board room or formal meeting. I would limit the amount of pattern to your suits, as they can detract from a presentation. When in doubt, stick with solids or choose a suit with subtle pattern.
Today I am wearing a classic Navy with a camel colored collar tab. I have paired it with a white pin stripe shirt and purple tie to add some color to the overall look. I am ready, are you?