Category Archives: Business

5 Rules For What To Wear For Your Business Presentation

Did you know that an audience sizes you up in 90 seconds? People immediately form opinions on how you speak, act, and look. In fact, 55 percent of a first impression is based on appearance. ¬†You don’t need to be a fashion plate, but it’s vital to have a respectable image. Here are five dress guidelines to help you ace your next presentation.

1. Decide on business formal or business casual dress.

You have two dress code options for making a presentation. To identify the appropriate choice, try to describe your industry in one word. Here are some examples:

  • Accounting – Accurate = Business Formal
  • Advertising – Creative = Business Casual
  • Banking – Conservative = Business Formal
  • Healthcare – Efficient = Business Formal
  • Retail – Innovative = Business Casual

womens.pngWomen – Business Formal

Ladies, to convey professionalism, wear a suit in a neutral color, such as navy, brown, or black. Aim for your skirt to be knee or calf length. Complement your suit with a collared blouse or dress shirt. For hosiery, wear nylons in either black or neutral shades. Footwear should be closed-toe shoes, such as pumps. Formal attire shies away from chunky jewelry, but a pair of small earrings is appropriate.

TIP – A light blouse beneath a dark suit creates brightness near your face.

Women – Business Casual

Casual clothing suits a line of work that’s less conservative. It features a dress or skirt at knee-length or below. Coordinate it with a blouse or sweater and tailored blazer. Dress slacks are another suitable option.

Business casual allows for more colors, provided they aren’t loud. You should still go light on jewelry, limiting it to a necklace and small earrings. Shoes should be closed-toed, with heels less than 2 inches.

TIP – If you’re petite, a bright color makes you more visible to a large audience. A scarf with a touch of red draws the attention of listeners to your face.

mens-busineswear.jpgMen – Business Formal

Wear a dark-colored suit in black, navy, or gray. A three-piece suit is especially impressive! Match your suit color with a crisp dress shirt and tie. Cuff links are an option, and a silk or linen pocket handkerchief adds class. Dress shoes complete your professional appearance.

Men – Business Casual

Pair a dress shirt with slacks in a dark or muted color. A sport coat or cardigan adds polish. A tie is optional. Complete your smart look with dress shoes or loafers. If you’re addressing a creative audience, you can jazz up your apparel with a colorful tie that’s not too wild.

TIP – Camouflage a belly beneath a loose-fitting, buttoned jacket. A roomy fit makes you appear 10 pounds thinner. Just avoid a baggy look.

Here’s more detailed information on what to wear for business formal and casual dress.

2. Be well-groomed.

A neat appearance sends a professional message. Your audience is more likely to take you seriously if you look sharp versus disheveled. An organized image helps you appear trustworthy, crucial if you’re trying to draw customers. When you’re attentive to appearance, clients think you’ll likewise handle their interests with care.

  • Hair – If your tresses are less than stylish, obtain a haircut. Men, make sure your facial hair is trimmed.
  • Make-Up – Women, eye shadow and liner highlight your eyes, making them more expressive. Natural-looking face make-up helps to render a healthy glow.
  • Shoes – Since footwear is often at eye-level, polish your shoes. Ensure that heels aren’t worn down.

3. Eliminate dressing distractions.

You want the audience focused on your presentation, not your attire. If people only remember the funky glasses you wore, your talk will be pointless. Here’s how to keep your appearance from being disturbing.

  • Clothing – On a non-carpeted surface, avoid heels that will produce clicking or squeaky sounds when you walk. Men, remove items from your pockets that can jangle and make noise.
  • Accessories – If you wear glasses, make sure the lenses have anti-reflective coating, so light doesn’t bounce off them. Also, keep your eyewear clean. Ladies, leave home dangling earrings and clinking bracelets. Wear rings that are small versus chunky. Regarding perfume and cologne, omit them on the day of your talk, since certain fragrances can make people ill.
  • Comfort – Apparel that’s too tight will make you fidgety, so a good fit is key. Assemble an outfit a few days before your speaking engagement. Then try it on, and make sure you can move freely. Being at ease in your clothing will help you feel confident.

TIP – Before your meeting, visit the conference room or ask the company for decor details. Then, make sure your outfit doesn’t clash with the background.

4. Exhibit the finer points of business attire.


If you’re not wearing a tie, make sure your shirt is buttoned all the way to your collar. For a speaking engagement, an open collar looks sloppy. If wearing a tie, choose one with a simple print and a color that doesn’t shout. It should match the color scheme of your shirt and suit. Form the tie knot into a symmetrical triangle. The classiest shirt colors are pale blue, white, and off-white. Skip thick stripes and checks.

Avoid wearing white socks. Make sure hosiery is long enough, so your skin isn’t visible when seated. Match a belt to your shoes in a formal design with a sleek buckle.


If wearing a skirt, choose a style that’s fitted but not clingy or flowing. A pencil skirt is ideal, so long as you’re comfortable. For a blouse, long sleeves look more professional than short. Use a natural color on nails versus trying to match them to your outfit. Limit your ring count to one per hand. Cover tattoos with make-up or clothing.

5. Avoid appearance disasters.

Houston Chronicle advises that less than nine percent of US businesses require formal attire. Still, to make sure you’re conforming to a company’s dress code, contact the Human Resources Department in advance.

If your presentation precedes or follows a meal, bring a spare outfit in case of spillage and soiling. Will you be traveling in cramped quarters before your talk? If so, bring a change of clothing to avoid wrinkles. Ladies, have an extra pair of hose on hand to replace stockings that get snagged.

Have you ever had spinach stuck in your teeth when you’re scheduled to speak? Ladies, have you ever been held captive by a skirt with static cling? Perhaps you’ve trailed toilet paper from your shoes. To avoid these embarrassments, thoroughly assess your appearance beforehand.

Look at yourself in a mirror and ask someone to view you from the back. Check your teeth for food particles and your nose for debris. Men, keep your shirttails tucked into your pants. Women, make sure your slip doesn’t show beneath a hemline. Everything should be smoothly in place before making your entrance.

Here you can acquire tips from Entrepreneur on how to look impeccable.


For a profitable presentation:

1. Decide on business formal or business casual dress.
2. Be well-groomed.
3. Eliminate dressing distractions.
4. Exhibit the finer points of business attire.
5. Avoid appearance disasters.

Follow these guidelines, and you may earn a standing ovation!