In the New York PR world, being fashionable and dressing appropriately needn’t be mutually exclusive. In my experience you should treat your work wardrobe like a PR campaign: first, know your “target audience!” Do you work for a very corporate company that demands formal dress or a funky downtown firm that appreciates the fashion-forward? Get to know the “feel” of the place, as well as any policies that affect dress: how do flip-flops fare on summer days? Can casual Friday mean jeans or just a more dress-down look?
Below are a few tips that I like to follow when getting ready for work in the PR world.
If you’re questioning it, don’t wear it
Is this skull and crossbones tie appropriate? Is my dress too short? If you might be thinking yes, then don’t even bother. Some things you own can be “too interesting” for work or for your client. Remember if it’s too big, too tight, or too shiny, it might just be TOO much.
Dress me up, Dress me down
Just as every office is different, every client is different. In PR, one day you are meeting with buttoned up banker types requiring the requisite navy blue suit and the next day it’s the arty entrepreneur just screaming for the vintage Miu-Miu you got at the Brooklyn Flea! Do some advance reconnaissance and scope out your client’s style. You don’t have to mimic it, but get in a comfort zone that will help put you more at ease at an in-person meeting.
Be True to Your Cool
Just because you’re wearing a suit and a tie for a client meeting doesn’t mean you have to look like the average “suit”. Striped socks or pocket squares are a great way to add pop to the basics. I love to add an interesting piece of jewelry or something else that helps define my style. It’s good to bring a little “you” to your outfit. When you’re comfortable with your style, you will project confidence, and the best PR person is a confident one.
What are some of your tips to dress for success?