We all show up to work looking our fashionable best. And I might add, we all look pretty good doing it.
However working in the same place, within similar same industries. This can sometimes make it challenging when we are selling a product to people outside of the Impact Hub Vienna bubble.
We all know it and there is research to back it up – a first impression is made within seconds. Before either of you have a chance to exchange hello’s, someone has made a critical evaluation of you and placed you in a category – colleague, student, investment opportunity, etc. So how do you make the best first impression possible within those first few seconds? The answer is simple: your appearance.
As I am not from Austria and do not know the norms with respect to dress codes, it is safe to say that my experience in this field is limited. So I sat down one afternoon for a coffee with Hanna Schatovitch, founder of Hanna in the House in 2016. Hanna offers style and career coaching. She believes that when it comes to dressing for success, your style is your business card. All I wanted to talk about last Thursday was style and Hanna helped me out.
Investor, legal, and financial meetings can be pretty overwhelming. So we wanted to help you out with a bit of advice for when you are standing in front of your wardrobe and have no idea what to wear to that investor meeting. Spoiler alert: you don’t necessarily have to wear the suit that is in the back of your wardrobe in order to wow your audience. As Hanna likes to say there is a great style for every personality, every budget and type of individual. There is also a formal style for every personality, within every industry.
Tip #1: Always be yourself
Now this one may seem obvious, but the trick here is to be yourself, but a bit more dressed up. This could be as simple as changing a pair of shoes or throwing a blazer on top of your outfit. Feeling comfortable in your own skin is important, but so is feeling comfortable with a little bit of formality.
Tip #2: Be Comfortable
Hanna says that this means knowing what looks good on you and what feels good to you. This means knowing and understanding your proportions, body type, and the colours that look good on you. For Hanna this is of utmost importance because if you do not feel good in what you are wearing then you will not be confident and your audience with notice. You might not be comfortable in a formal black suit, so wear dress slacks (or a skirt) and a blazer in colours in which you feel comfortable and confident.
Tip #3: Know your audience
There are certain wardrobe expectations within every business environment, and the more traditional the sector, the more formal and traditional their unwritten dress code. This might mean that everyone shows up for work everyday in a suit and tie (the ladies are probably exempt from the tie requirement). If you have a meeting with a person from a traditional business sector, like banking, insurance, law, or finance, the way in which they and their colleagues dress will influence their expectations for your appearance. This means that you might have to dress a little more formally than you do everyday.
The main takeaway is to feel confident in your clothes. Confidence is sexy and the likely hood of you scoring that job/investor/project pitch will go up significantly if your confidence shines. Ditch the dusty black suit from the back of your wardrobe and wear something that suits your personality and needs best. Sometimes all it takes are small and simple changes to impress at your next big meeting or event.