It doesn’t take a fashion expert to know that some things don’t belong at trade shows. Here are a few examples of what not to wear at trade shows and other business events:
- Too much or too little. There is nothing worse than freezing or sweating at a networking event. Dress in comfortable layers that you can easily add or remove as needed, such as a suit jacket over a dress shirt.
- Clothing without a pocket or two. Pockets are always handy for business cards, pens, breath mints, etc.
- New shoes. While new shoes may look nice, nothing looks worse than missing out on important introductions because you can’t stand to be on your feet. Trade shows usually involve long hours and lots of standing and walking. Stay in the game by picking a shoe that’s made for walking, or watch the competition walk all over you.
- Cologne. Fragrances should be alluring, not overpowering. If you are within talking distance and can smell someone’s perfume or cologne, it is too strong.
- Clothes which are too tight, too short, too revealing. No matter whether your pants are popping a button because they shrunk in your closet or are snug by choice, clothing that is too tight is not only unprofessional but distracting.
- Gaudy jewelry. You want to be remembered for your personality or impressive product knowledge, not your giant jangling earrings or over-jeweled hands.