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How to Dress for Meetings – The Casual Meeting

By Martin Montagio, Montagio Custom Tailoring. Published 14 Jan 2014

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Section: Dressing for the Occasion

Do not make the same mistake as your friends and colleagues. A meeting is a meeting, sure. However, each meeting serves a different purpose. Thus, attending a casual meeting with an outfit that is more at home in a formal meeting, could be a blunder. Learn how you should dress in a manner that makes you stand out from the crowd.

Mostly, the feelings men seek to convey in casual meetings is one of approachability, openness and a sense of relaxation. Of all the types of meetings, this one is the most likely to turn into a sales or a buy meeting.

Example of casual meetings include a round of drinks with colleagues and clients after work, a company pool party or picnic, a round of golf with the boss and weekend birthday parties for the kids.

Such meetings seek to build relationships and bonds through shared experiences. They can also be the most dangerous and difficult to prepare for, especially since the overwhelming mood remains one of relaxation.

Even if you’re told that the meeting will be one where one can relax, have no illusions that a casual meeting is still a business meeting. During this meeting, negotiations will be taking place eventually ending up as business deals. Your boss, for example, will not become a peer at the casual meeting. Hence, don’t succumb to the urge to relax.

Tread carefully in these situations and dress in a relaxed manner. However, ensure that you still maintain an air of professionalism. Many promising careers have been nipped in the bud because a man failed to keep an adequate hold of himself in these casual meetings.

Tailor made men’s suits could be a good choice for casual meetings. However, you could even go for a few different options. In hot weather, consider wearing clean shorts (a couple of inches above the knee), a collared lightweight cotton shirt and sandals. For winters, opt for a sweater or tweed sports jacket with grey flannel trousers.

Truly casual meetings are those where you’re in the company of good friends. If any colleagues are going to be around, dress conservatively – you can’t go wrong with that choice.

Original idea for article from Antonio Centeno, author of the internet's most actionable men's style guide. We recommend a read!