Wear For Success

What To and What Not To Wear for Success

Picture this. Three prominent architects sit in a semi-circle on stage in front of over 1,000 attendees. One woman, sitting on the far left has her hair draping completely over the right side of her face. Anyone sitting in the center and to left can’t see her face – ever.
Picture this: A young, vibrant and clearly energized woman serves as the emcee of a local event. She opens with uplifting energy in voice and appearance. Unfortunately, the 3 inch stiletto shoes and pencil skirt she wore is keeping her legs locked together, preventing her full expressive self.
Picture this: At a speaking event, I wear a bulky scarf around my neck (yes, your narrator). When you click on the link, you’ll see it right away. Because this presentation is personal and emotional, having the neck and chest open would have been the best choice.

Are these “make it or break it blunders?”  Not at All!


Are these opportunities to be mindful and deliberate?



Do these elements make an impression?

You bet!

In the January, February, and March newsletters, I wanted to focus your attention on presentation and performance elements outside of what you say and  how you say it.  When you present, lead and speak it’s important to consider influential elements like:

  • Preparation: Pre-presentation sequences for readiness
  • Off-site details to attend to before you arrive
  • And now – attire. What you wear matters.
As a speaker or person leading a meeting, you offer the audience a full experience: visually, auditorially, emotionally. Much of this is occurring at the subconscious level for your audience. What you wear and how you move in your clothing speaks volumes about who you are.


1. Who’s My Audience?

Show up in a three piece suit for an Organic Grower’s Convention – someone is going to think you are lost. Arrive with cowgirl boots on, psychedelic leggings and a long dress to a Women in Business meeting and your credibility may falter.

A fine balance between aligning your style with your audience and being your authentic self definitely exists.

It takes thoughtful consideration and decisions. You won’t find me wearing a professional jacket to my Speaker Learning Labs or networking, but invite me to speak at an event and I’ll have a more professional business woman appearance. I’m flexible and adaptable.

2. What can I wear that I feel comfortable and at home in myself?

Not too tight, not too loose: you want the Goldie Locks outfit. You know the one – it’s comfortable, lets you move freely, isn’t going to slip off your shoulder or compete for your attention. Make sure you can walk easily and aren’t impinged by anything you are wearing.


  • Avoid wearing bracelets and low hanging earrings.
  • If you are under stage lights, avoid wearing anything that reflects. The reflection will shine on the walls and into the audience.
  • Check for tags hanging out, lifted flaps on your pants and bra straps peeking out.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • If you are under lights, add extra make-up, especially lipstick.
  • If you perspire a lot when you are speaking, opt for a darker colored shirt and wear a moisture absorbing undershirt.
  • Wearing a jacket? Decide ahead of time – buttoned or unbuttoned. Then leave it alone.
  • Check your zipper. Okay, check it twice!

Most importantly, you want to step on stage,  feel comfortable, free to move and fully engage in delivering the full experience of your powerful message!