Suitable Meetings

By William Kendy

There is a little bit of teenager left in all of us, at least when it comes to how we dress and wanting to fit in. Trouble is, nowadays all the rules have changed. If you show up at a meeting dressed in khakis and a sport shirt and everyone else is in dark suits and red ties, how are you going to feel? And what are they going to think?

According to Sherry Maysonave, president of Empowerment Enterprises and author of the book Casual Power, salespeople should dress according to the client and the climate of the meeting, without sacrificing their own professionalism and personal power.

She goes on to say that many companies with “casual” dress codes require employees who are involved meeting with customers to keep more formal clothing at work. In fact, many companies are constructing male and female dressing rooms in their offices to make clothing changes easier.

“This is new and it’s never happened in professional dress before,” notes Maysonave. “For example, many law firms today have a casual dress policy. Unless they have an appearance in court or they’re meeting with a client where they feel they need to dress up, they wear dress-down clothing.”

“People are keeping extra clothes at work and actually changing between meetings so that they are appropriately attired,” says Maysonave. “That’s why companies are constructing changing rooms, especially for employees working in cubicles. When a person works in a cubicle environment, changing clothes can get a little dicey.”

When it comes to dressing for meetings, Maysonave feels it’s important to keep in mind that you never know who is going to be at the meeting you attend.

“With a lot of companies biting the dust, keep in mind that when you attend that meeting, there may be someone in that room that you may end up working for,” says Maysonave. “It’s important not to go dressed down so far that you don’t present yourself in a professional manner.”