Why is it important to know how to dress for an investor meeting? They say that in business, your first impression really counts.
Whilst the most important thing to worry about when it comes to preparing to pitch your startup to potential investors is of course having a polished proposal.
But, the first thing investors will see is how you look.
What you’re wearing to meet Investors says a lot about you as an entrepreneur, how your business sees itself, and ultimately: whether you’re good enough and serious enough for investors to splash their cash on.
So, you should wear a tailored suit and tie, or is it hoodie and bathrobe time?
What you wear to a pitch is an extension of your brand. It sets the tone for the rest of your discussion with VCs and represents your vision for your business.
In this article, we’re going to go step-by-step on how to choose the right dress code to enhance your pitch.
The art of the deal is to tailor your appearance to match your business’s market sector and positioning you want to own in the prospective investors’ minds.
You’ll need to either play to the expectations of investors, or if your business aims to shake up the market, you might want to subvert VCs expectations.
Pick a style
Exactly as you would pick a theme and style for a pitch deck, you’ll need to select a dress style that reflects your business.
For example, if you’re heading up a finance or investment firm, investors would expect smart suits and ties.
There are two main routes you can choose when selecting your dress code: formal and casual.
Formal is our traditional suit and tie affair, whilst casual dress like polos and jeans might be great for a more relaxed tone. Understand how these basics work when figuring out how to dress for your investor meeting.
The Formal Route: Suits, Suits, and More Suits
A formal dress is perfect if you want to show how serious you and your business can be. If you’re a young entrepreneur, wearing expensive suits can help you look older and more experienced.
However, if you’re more seasoned, overdressing in formal attire can lead to a perception of being part of an ‘old-guard’ or ‘out of touch’. It’s a game of balance.
For suits, the fit is extremely important for the tone of your appearance. If you want to appear youthful and trendy, fitted suit types may. These suits are characterized by their narrowness through the waist and chest.
It helps people look sharp, giving a contemporary flair to your appearance. That’s where a modern or tailored suit comes in – depending on which side of the pond you’re from.
These are slightly looser than slim suits, but they still retain a narrowness at the waist. These suits are great for entrepreneurs who want to look forward-thinking and already successful.
Finally, we have the traditional or classic look. These suits sit relaxed at the waist and are a lot roomier. They can be a lot more flattering and comfortable but may be more old-fashioned.
Classic suit trousers are wider with no taper. It is a style that was popular in the 70s and 80s, but in our ultra-modern world, it may make you look outdated.
However, if you want to convey a traditional image – flairs and loose grey jackets may be the way to go.
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