Men: How to Pick the Right Presentation Attire

While client meetings and presentations will largely be focused on what you have to say, this does not mean you shouldn’t look the part. It’s important to have a clean and polished look so that decision makers take you seriously. Dressing to impress, knowing your audience, and avoiding distracting attire are sure-fire ways to pull off a successful presentation. Here are a few tips to keep in mind on how to choose the best presentation attire.

Dress for the occasion

Two well-dressed men preparing for a presentation

Two well-dressed men preparing for a presentation | iStock.com

What you wear to your presentation depends mostly on context. If you’re sharing numbers of a recent marketing campaign at work, then dress in your regular workwear but add a few formal touches such as a nice fitting blazer, tailored trousers instead of jeans, or nicer shoes that are perfectly polished. Meeting with investors at their office? Dress more conservatively by wearing a tailored suit in traditional colors such as black, gray, or blue. Add some easy accessories like a patterned pocket square, a nice watch, a neutral tie, or black double monks to showcase your personality.

Know your audience

Smiling man in a suit

Smiling man in a suit | iStock.com

If you’re presenting to clients or at another company, find out how they usually dress and go a step above that. If they dress in business formal attire, then wear an impeccably tailored suit made in high-quality fabrics. Bring a briefcase to keep your presentation materials organized, and don’t forget to get your dress shoes polished. You should also show up well-groomed. Get a haircut, cut your nails, and shave or trim your beard. Presenting at a creative business? Before putting together an outfit, research how people dress in that industry. If it’s usually a very relaxed environment, opt for a more casual look. Wear dark washed jeans with a T-shirt and blue blazer. Accessorize with a striped tie, brown brogues, and a gold watch.

Pay attention to the details

Man in a suit

Man in a suit | iStock.com

Once you know what you’re going to wear, pay attention to the little details — the things that you might forget on a regular workday. Here are few things to keep in mind before leaving the house for your presentation:

  • Check your shirt and jacket for stains, loose threads, and possible missing buttons.
  • Try on the trousers you’re wearing that day. They should fit you properly, and the hem should be secured. Put on your dress shoes, and make sure that the pant legs reach the top of your shoes.
  • Shoes should be in good condition and polished.
  • Cut your hair, and shave or trim your facial hair.
  • Keep your files organized in a clean but professional bag or briefcase.
  • Take a spare outfit. Stock an extra dress shirt or tie in your car just in case something happens before your presentation.