How to Plan an Outfit for Networking


Today I’m going to guide you through 6 steps to help you plan your next outfit for a networking event.

The key to showing up to a networking event with confidence and poise is planning your outfit ahead. 

Say what???

Yep, plan your outfit ahead. 

I know – you have better things to do than think about your clothing *roll eyes* more than a moment before you HAVE to. Even the thought of thinking about it ahead, does your head in.

Been there, done that. 

(Personal Side note: Now, because of the work I did in setting up a wardrobe that works and making myself think about it, I am able to go back to my old ways and not plan ahead. How? Because I’ve DONE the work and my wardrobe is READY.)

Planning Your Outfit Ahead:

  • Eases anxiety
  • Helps you look and feel great!
  • Better alignment between you and your brand
  • Makes you more efficient – wins you back time when it matters
  • Leads to conscientious shopping
  • Wins you more leads and referrals for your business

Here are the 6 Steps to Planning your next Networking Outfit – W.O.M.B.A.S:

  1. Weather
  2. Outcome
  3. Main Hero
  4. Build
  5. Accessories
  6. Shoes

(for our next live workshop, check out our upcoming ONLINE EVENT HERE)

TASK: Bring to mind your next event and let’s get started planning!

  1. WEATHER: Take the weather into account. Body temperature affects your comfort and confidence. Take an alternative outer layer with you, and a spare pair of shoes just in case the weather changes. Be happy with your inner layer if you have a blazer on and you know you’ll need to take it off at some point.
  2. OUTCOME: Ask yourself a) “What MESSAGE do I want to send to those in the room with me?” and b) “What response do I want my fellow networkers to have as a result of my presence?” Be specific with your answers, then ensure the overall feel of your outfit links back to these in some way.
  3. MAIN HERO PIECE: Select the FOCUS of your outfit. What is ONE piece you know you want to wear? This will be the highlight, the feature to build around with the rest of your outfit.
  4. BUILD: Choose clothes that accent the item and help it to stand out. Avoid completely matching items to your Main Hero Piece because this competes for attention. Try contrast in colour, detail or texture. Or perhaps something more plain and neutral will work better with a striking blazer.
  5. ACCESSORIES: Adding accessories can really make your outfit look finished and put together. Try one interesting item if you are someone who doesn’t normally wear accessories. Add a scarf, cuff links, a watch or earrings. These can make a plain outfit become more creative. (Remember that your bag is also considered an accessory – the difference is that it only becomes part of your outfit while you are wearing it.)
  6. SHOES: A great outfit can seem odd when your shoes are inappropriate. Match them to the occasion and your outfit, and the weather if possible. Think of comfort if you are going to be on your feet for a long time. 

And a “hat” to top it off… well no not really (read on to understand):

HAT: To finish, ask yourself “What HAT am I wearing?” – and I don’t mean a literal hat (although you are welcome to wear one!) That is, what ROLE are you putting forward? Check your outfit in the mirror and make sure the correct “hat” is the one you are putting forward strongest.

Common MISTAKE: Making another role MORE prominent than the professional one, such as mumsy rather than professional Bookkeeper, or teenage hooligan rather than Life Coach.


Generally it is important that you look professional and mature when networking. Usually this means dressing up a little more than you might normally, so you look more polished and you stand out. 

It takes a bit of structured thought to plan ahead and do it well. Try the “WOMBAS” method. I know that’s a bit random, but I’m a bit random, so oh well!

Article by Rachel Hook

Founder, Trainer, Stylist at Virtuous Style

BUILD YOUR STYLING CONFIDENCE by attending our next LIVE WORKSHOP, where you will access Rachel’s expertise in an interactive setting

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