What to wear when networking

If you've read my previous posts, you know that I got into blogging after my lifestyle changed and I had to do a major wardrobe overhaul.  Before I had my son, I worked for a large multinational corporation in Silicon Valley and had weekly date nights with my husband.  Fast forward three years later, and I stay at home with my son and usually wear casual wear during the week, and lounge wear on the weekends.  Recently, I've been doing a lot of networking and I've had to step up my style, without adding too many more pieces to my wardrobe.

What to wear at a casual networking event

Networking is something you should never stop doing.  Even if you've found your dream job, you never know what will open up for you in the future, so keep going to events and keep meeting up with people for coffee and cocktails as often as possible.  Even more so, you always want to make a great impression whether it's the first or tenth time you've met up with someone.  And who knows, the person you're networking with might be your future colleague,  manager, or better yet, maybe even a great friend, so dress the part!

Not all outfit situations are the same for networking.  Maybe you're attending a conference, meeting someone for coffee or drinks, a mixer, or maybe even your kid's birthday party.  Either way, you'll want to think about where you're going and bump up your usual attire.  In my photos here, I'm dressed for an after work casual happy hour mixer, or perhaps even a semi-casual conference.  Either way, I can take off my blazer and carry it on my arm if I'm overdressed.  Baby boomers may do this differently than Gen Xers or Millennials in this situation, but ultimately, don't overdress unless you're going to an event where everyone is expected to dress for an interview, such as a job fair where you'll have multiple mini interviews.  

If I were going to meet up with a connected friend for coffee or drinks, more than likely I would wear the same outfit, but switch the blazer for a cardigan.  If I was wanting to network with someone who will be attending the same party or barbecue, I just think of the setting.  For example, if I'm going to a child's birthday party, but I'm wanting to chat with one of the parents in the same industry, I could wear the same outfit, but with flats and a cardigan. Same situation for a barbecue.  If I were attending an adult birthday party, I could wear the same outfit, but lose the blazer and the scarf, and add a necklace and a cardigan.

Overall, just use common sense and keep it classy my friends!  Don't show cleavage and don't try to look like a nun (unless you are a nun).  Try not to overthink it and just remember, relax and be yourself, because you're gonna look great!

Alright everyone, please leave your comments because I would love to read your feedback. Also, are you on Instagram?  You can follow me over there because that's where I post most of my style pictures.  Hope to see you there! 

Ciao, Shelbi