Home 5 Blog 5 Next Level Networking Outfits for 2024, What to Wear to a Conference and More

Next Level Networking Outfits for 2024, What to Wear to a Conference and More

You asked and we delivered. Last week, one of my clients reached out to me and brought the subject of networking front and center. With industries in hiring mode, it’s a great time to think about how to network the right way, which entails something people often forget… Visual impact. Expanding your professional circle might mean meeting colleagues for coffee, joining up for a meal, going to conferences and more. Research shows that most people make a first impression of a person within 7 seconds (credit: ScienceofPeople). This makes how you visually show up for meetings imperative to your success – your visual impact directly guides the first representation of who you are to those you meet. That’s why I’ve made a simple list of do’s and don’ts to follow for your next networking meetup or event. Read on for a wardrobe stylist’s favorite networking outfit ideas for 2024 as well as a curated shopping list of pieces to wear at your next meeting or work conference.

Achieve your highest potential with Personal Stylist Los Angeles Meg Gallagher’s Styling Services! Meg will build you a wardrobe filled with confidence-boosting outfits expertly styled to emanate your personality, profession and flatter your body type.

networking outfit ideas

The Do’s and Don’ts of Networking

DON’T think no one will notice – Someone will ALWAYS notice. Putting your best effort into how you show up to your meeting or event is worth it.

DO get your colors done. Color is a powerful way to bring balance and personality into your wardrobe. Use ColorGuru to know which seasonal palette you fall under. Their package essential includes a comprehensive list of the colors that flatter you best, and which colors you should avoid. Adding the makeup card to your package guarantees a life-changing cheatsheet palette of colors that will look the most youthful and radiant against your skin. (10 Percent off your ColorGuru order, use my code: MEGGALLAGHER10)

DON’T forgo wearing a bra, or wear underwear that shows the bra or panty line. I can’t believe we have to say it, but it’s true. Keep your silhouette properly supported with a well-fitting bra, and make sure you possess a well rounded undergarment collection that gives you the right shapes and coverage for a no-show wardrobe.

DO pay attention to your grooming. Touch up the roots of colored hair. Make sure your skin tone appears even. Keep your nails clean and prevent nail polish from chipping. Use a lint roller to snatch up any pet hair on your clothing.

DON’T ruin your outfit with pieces that are worn out. Your coat, shoes and handbag are the pieces others see first when you walk through the door. Pay close attention to cracks, scuffs or bends in your shoes and handbags. Do not wear a coat that has any snags or is damaged from wear.

DO keep an elevated piece in your car like a structured jacket or heeled shoe if you’re going to a meeting or conference straight from a casual work or errand day.

DO skip athleisure unless your networking involves trails or studio.

DO be comfortable. Being alert and present starts with an outfit that is non-distracting to it’s wearer. Make sure your sleeves and pants lengths are hemmed. Make sure your outfit both fits your body and brings you confidence, so that you feel like the best version of yourself. Remember… it’s not about perfection – it’s about presence and projection.

DON’T forget to factor in weather and climate. If you’re networking in a different city, pay attention to the climate and do your research on the city’s social nuances when packing your outfits.

Meeting Up For Just A Coffee

The king of casual networking (and perhaps the most common format) calls for a mix of comfortable and elevated pieces. For shoes, think cool boots, trending ballet flats, fashion forward sneakers or loafers. Blazers with denim, dresses with fashion sneakers and blouses with denim are great examples of how to mix casual and elevated.

Networking Outfits at Lunch

Networking at lunch allows room for elevated casual looks that show off your personality through textures, trend, accessories and silhouette. While not a hard rule, try stepping away from fashion sneaker looks in favor of business-friendly shoes like boots, flats and loafers. Try elevating denim with a dark wash, cream or black. Opt for personality details in dresses, blouses, outerwear, fashion bags and accessories!

What to Wear to A Conference in 2024

There are two major factors to consider in a perfect conference outfit.
1. This is an all-day look: Think bigger bag, shoes with a walkable element, and pieces you can stand or sit in for long amounts of time.
2. This look should be memorable. Unlike a one-on-one coffee or meal, you’ll be making impressions on an entire room. Your visual impact should focus on a powerful, pulled together look that emulates your craft and field. Utilize color, silhouette and great accessories for a stand-out look to keep you on the radar.

What to Wear while Networking with Cocktails or Dinner

This is a great opportunity to break out pieces in leather, lace, fur trim or high-shine details to add a chic going-out statement to a business-friendly look. For a shoe, try heeled boots, slingbacks or trending satin kitten heels. Think of outfits like a fabulous dress paired with a blazer and boots; or a blazer, trousers and satin camisole paired with slingbacks.

Networking over a Hike or Studio Session

The most important key to networking over a physical activity like hiking or yoga is avoiding dressing sloppy or too sexy. The goal is to create a pulled together look that allows you to perform the activity without compromising a professional image. Make sure your sneakers are clean and unscuffed, your tops and bottoms are not too short or revealing, and that your outfit looks like an outfit. Consider co-ord sets, workout dresses and flattering colored pieces that won’t leave you wearing all black. Bringing a structured shirt jacket or anti-wrinkle blazer to throw on pre and post-workout is an easy way to upgrade your workout outfit.

Shop Networking Key Pieces Below:

A collection of stylist recommended pieces to keep your wardrobe ready for networking events and meetups.

SW Sleek Bow Flat Slingback
SW Palmer Sleek Loafer
Wally Plum Suede Boots (Available in Multiple Colors)
Margaux Demi Flats (Available in Multiple Colors)
Sam Edelman Essential Slingback (Available in Multiple Colors)
Veja X Reformation Venturi Sneakers
Drop Waist Deeda Dress
Varley Maeve Short-Sleeve Ribbed Knit Midi Dress
Off-White Belladonna Dress
Sleeveless Satin Slip Dress
Maje Print Dress
Floral Kendall Work Dress
Jenni Kayne Cooper Cardigan
Betty Striped Cardigan
BA&SH Gaspard Cardigan (Available in Multiple Colors)
Dale Cropped Jacket
Mira Boxy Blazer
Winston Blazer
TENCEL Anti-Wrinkle Blazer
Reiss Essential Red Power Blazer
Maxi Pencil Skirt
Essential Work Trousers
Split Hem Trousers
Animal Dot Madalena Midi Skirt
The Whitney Skirt in Sharkskin
Vince Pleated Skirt
Hike/Studio Networking Varley Mentone Half Zip
Hike/Studio Networking Varley Relaxed Pant
Hike/Studio Networking Fulton Cropped Knit
Hike/Studio Networking SPANX Long Skort
Twist Top
Enza Costa Ruched Top
Cape Blouse (Available in Multiple Colors)
Bubble Sleeve Patterned Blouse
Nele Rosewood Blouse
Rosine Blouse
Syble Sweater
Karina Front Tie Top
Flor Embellished Striped Cotton Shirt
Maeve Popover Top