What Is the Appropriate Attire to Wear to a Business Meeting?

Formal or casual, you want to dress to impress.

Photo: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Taking a trip to the boardroom soon? Share your style with your peers, while still dressing tastefully for a meeting. Since you definitely don't want to attract the wrong kind of attention here, you need to dress right to sucessfully look like the professional diva you are.

Formal Meeting

Before sifting through your closet or hitting the mall for some new threads, consider how formal this business meeting is. Are you meeting with top execs or with a laid-back creative team? For a formal meeting, play it safe. Try a blouse paired with a well-fitting pencil skirt or clean slacks that look cool and professional. You can wear your skirt or pants with a classic cardigan, no matter what season. Choose colors that aren’t too distracting, like black, navy, gray and nude, but steer clear of "boring" with a few accessories. Just don't go overboard with extravagant accessories, drawing too much attention away from the meeting.

Casual Meeting

Khakis or looser, linen-type pants are good choices for a casual meeting, and in some instances, jeans are OK too. A button-down shirt, sweater or polo works well with khakis or jeans. For a classic, stylish approach with your choice of denim bottoms, complete your ensemble with a chic blazer. It will tie everything together with a look that says,” I’m fun and trendy but know how to get work done too!" If it's a bit warmer outside, khaki-type capri or crop pants may work well for a more casual meeting. Consider capris/crop pants made from more dressy material. This type of pants will go perfectly with a short-sleeve or three-quarter-length sweater or blouse.

Dresses

Need to get out the door fast? Throw on a lovely wrap dress, paired with a cardigan or tweed blazer. A wrap dress can even stand alone with pretty pumps. Other than wrap dresses, sleek black dresses with a businesslike feel will work well. Throw on a belt with a black dress and you are good to go for either a formal meeting or a casual meeting.

Shoes

As for shoes, simple flats work well, as do pumps. But if you choose to sport pumps on the day of your big meeting, be sure that they are not too tall. Five-inch stilettos may not attract your client in the way that you hope. Keep in mind that open-toe shoes may be a bit too fun for the office, so keep your pretty painted toes undercover until the meeting is over. Closed-toe wedges can also be worn with your slacks, jeans or khakis for a completed business meeting look.

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