How to Look the Part – Your Way!

This is a guest post by Susan Mowder.  She is the owner of The STYLE Principle, a wardrobe-styling firm based in Chicago, IL. You can find and follow her on her The Style Principle website. 

The Secret to Networking Success…Looking the Part

Networking events provide great opportunities to meet potential clients, business associates, employers, mentors, and competitors.  However, due to busy schedules, your window of opportunity is often limited. Looking the part gives you an initial advantage.


How to dress for success

Image courtesy of Ambro /

Within the first few seconds of meeting someone—especially in a business setting—others are subconsciously asking themself if you look the part.  If you do—they confidently move forward, anticipating that your words and actions will reinforce their positive first impression.  If you don’t--they tend to question your credibility and look for the incongruities in what you say.  The more experienced you are, the more others expect you to look the part.  As well, the more you look the part, the more experienced others will assume you are.


How to Look the Part – Your Way!


1) Define It

What do you want to “say” before you speak a word?  

As a representative of your business, you are expected to personify the core values of your company to any, and all, that you meet.  Start by making a list of words that describe how you want to be perceived.

2) Interpret It 

What does ____________________ look like?  

Interpret what your descriptor words look like via clothing.  For example, someone who is approachable is more apt to wear a soft sweater versus a stiff, buttoned up jacket.  If the goal is to look authoritative, go with a structured jacket. 

What does ____________________ look like on YOU?

Keep in mind, it is often not the clothing item, but how you wear it.  

3) Assemble It 

What’s in your wardrobe?

Acquire a core wardrobe of business and casual pieces that “say” what you want to “say.”  Remember, networking is not limited to just business settings, but often occurs at the gym, your book club, or a kid’s school function.


Networking can provide many opportunities -- looking the part, gives you the advantage!


Question:  What suggestions do you have to look the part?  

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