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What to Wear to a Networking Event

Networking events are great ways to build connections, expand your professional network (maybe even expand your personal relationships), and land new opportunities. What you wear can be overlooked, but a polished first impression is everything.

Some considerations when styling for your networking event include:

Time of day: Evening events are often more formal than daytime ones. 

Venue setting: You can adjust your outfit for an indoor or outdoor setting.

The industry: Some industries have different norms than others which can impact how you dress regardless of time of day and setting.

Do's & Don'ts


  1. Research the dress code because event organizers often clarify on the website.
  2. Wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be doing a lot of standing and a lot of mingling.
  3. Keep jewelry to a minimum and avoid anything that is too distracting or flashy.


  1. Wear revealing clothing. Avoid pieces that are low-cut, too short, or incredibly form fitting.
  2. Go too loud with colors and patterns. Be yourself and embrace your style but don’t take away from professionalism.
  3. Go too casual. You’re at a networking event, not the beach. Even if the attire is casual, always remain professional.

Men’s Attire


For our C-suite and VPs, a well-fitting, dark-colored suit (navy or charcoal grey) is the perfect way to go. Pair this with a white or light-colored dress shirt that fits well and a classic tie in a complementary color or pattern (think solids or subtle stripes). Don’t forget the polished details: leather dress shoes (oxfords or derbys in black or brown), knee-high dark socks, and a leather belt that matches your shoes. 

Keep accessories to a tie clip and a watch, but you can also add a touch of personality with a folded pocket square that complements your tie and suit. 


If your networking event calls for more casual attire, opt for well-fitting chinos in khaki or neutral tones, or dark-wash jeans that are clean and ironed. These pair well with a button-down shirt in a solid color or subtle pattern, or a dressier pique cotton polo. A blazer in navy or grey can add a touch of formality and is easily removed if needed. 

Loafers, casual dress shoes, or clean sneakers are your best shoe options. Accessories should be minimal with a watch and a simple belt.

Women’s Attire


Women going to a formal networking event may consider a classic cocktail dress, skirt suit, or dress pants with a statement top. A statement top can be a dressy blouse or something light or neutral that complements your suit. Jewelry rides a fine line between minimal and elegant, so think pearls, earrings, or a statement necklace. A small clutch and closed-toe heels round out this fit nicely.


For a more casual event, women may opt for dress pants, a skirt, or dark-wash jeans paired with a blouse, sweater, or blazer (if you want a bit more formal look). Choose closed-toe shoes like flats, pumps, or loafers, and accessorize minimally with a watch and a bag for a polished but comfortable outfit.

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