Networking – not all about business suits


You know that networking is important to your business, but are you put off by the business suits?


Networking is crucial to my business.  As a life coach it really helps when my potential clients see the ‘real’ me.  I have strong values about openness and honesty and I hope that this comes across when I meet people.

When I first started out in business, I have to admit to being more than a little put off by the thought of networking.  I had images of walking into rooms full of business suits, and yes some of the networking meetings can be like that, but I’ve found that those suits are about creating the right first impression, the people underneath are, well simply just people.

Yes, the jury is still out on whether or not you need to wear a suit at networking events to make the right first impression, however I know a number of people who chose not to simply because they feel more comfortable and confident in casual dress.  There’s no right or wrong.

And who could deny Mark Zuckerberg to be a business success, yet most often seen looking casual.


My choice, I’m a coach, a caring, listening, nurturing profession.  I choose to wear something smart to network but that will rarely be a business suit.  I choose colours that complement me.  And I make sure that whatever I leave the house in, I feel confident in.

If you need help feeling confident in networking situations or simply advice on how to get the best out of networking, then why not visit Reflections Website.



What’s your view on what to wear when networking?  Please feel free to comment here.  I’d love to hear your views.




4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Image Confident-Catherine Reese
    Jul 22, 2012 @ 19:43:28

    Hi Carolyn.
    Great post and you are so correct about people needing to wear the right clothes to networking.
    I am a qualified Image Consultant and when I work with business clients I look at who their audience will be and what message they want to deliver. Then looking at the values of their company and their own personality I show them how the right clothes will make the best 1st impressions, stand out from their competitors and be remembered for the right reasons.
    There are many people I meet that hate suits, and rightly so for the business they are in. It amazes me how many people when questioned want to be seen as approachable and warm, yet will wear boring black suits – having the opposite effect. Please feel free to give me a call if I can provide any further support 🙂
    Warm wishes Catherine xx (


  2. Dan
    Jul 23, 2012 @ 09:39:06

    I went to a conference in Southend last week. Didn’t read the bit about ‘business attire’ and went in smart casual.

    Oh dear, but why was it smart casual when in such a lovely spot by the sea? Surely you should be at a PD day by the sea to relax, as you listen. I’ve had that before and think traditional ideas on this are often not practical, just stuffy.

    Image might turn some away, but it’s the person under that facade that counts to me. Are they reliable, honest and above all friendly? If you can just be yourself, neatly dressed, friendly, then suit or not, I don’t care. Good blog.


  3. Carolyn Trafford
    Jul 23, 2012 @ 09:45:04

    I think this is a debate that will continue for some considerable time – but how Fab to just feel comfortable as you are Dan. I wonder how many more people would feel comfortable attending a networking meeting if everyone else was in Jeans ….. hmmmm food for thought.


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