Work environments and standards have changed pretty dramatically over the past decade. Not all that long ago, suits were worn to the office in most cases, and business casual was reserved for Fridays.
Now, it’s pretty rare to see people in suits at all when they’re working, and with the rise of more people working as self-employed professionals, freelancers, and contractors, the lines of professional dress have become even more blurred.
With the confusion, a lot of men find themselves wondering what to wear in specific work situations. One of the most difficult to navigate can be the client meeting, particularly if it’s outside the office or traditional business hours.
What if you’re someone who works from home and you’re leaving to meet your client in a casual environment? What if you work in an office during the day, but you’re going out for dinner with a client?
It can get tricky, so the following are some standard rules to keep in mind if you’re a man dressing for a client meeting.
Think About Your Company
If you don’t work as a self-employed person but instead work for a company, when you’re dressing for a client meeting even iff it’s outside the office, you should try to keep your company standards in mind. If you and everyone else in your office wear a suit every day, you might want to do the same for a client meeting.
If you work for a company, your client might have a particular perception or image of your employer that you should strive to maintain.
Consider the Type of Meeting
If you’re meeting with a potential client and you want to sell yourself or your business, you might want to go with something less casual and more dressy. When you’re making a first impression, you want it to be one that shows you’re professional, organized, competent and trustworthy.
If you’re meeting a long-time client for drinks or dinner, you can go more with a casual business style.
If you’re meeting a group of investors, you likely want to wear your best suit.
Just try to base your outfit not only on the fact that you’re having a client meeting, but the specific type of meeting it is.
While you always want to look professional for client meetings, this doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, meetings that take place outside the office or outside of traditional work hours can be the perfect place to showcase a bit of your personal style. Think about having a pop of color in the form of a pair of fun socks or a great dress shirt, or maybe carry a stylish leather bag with you.
Client meetings are a good time to let a bit of your personality shine through and leave more of a lasting impression with your appearance, as long as you don’t go overboard.
To sum up, the general rules for men dressing for a client meeting include remaining professional, but also adding unique elements you might not incorporate into your daily workwear.