Appearance, as we all know and refuse to admit, matters quite a lot. We are all consciously or unconsciously judging people based on how they look. This is a flaw of human character which some people are able to overcome. Others, not quite.
What you wear and how you dress up communicates to us at a subliminal level. The patterns, the colors, the texture of the fabric, the quality of the fabric and even your physical appearance matter a lot. It is not fair but that is just how the society is. Thankfully, there is more awareness today about how your height, skin color or weight need not matter when it comes to deciding on your abilities.
Yet, these prejudices and biases are deeply ingrained in our minds. When you go to the next tech conference wearing a t-shirt because that’s what all the techies do, you might probably be right. It is always more democratic to wear something accessible and comfortable, instead of stuffing ourselves in suits, especially, if we live in a warm climate or if it is summer.
However, wearing a suit to a conference has been proven to gain more acceptances among other CEOs and possible clients. If you are trying to bag a few deals, you probably need to wear that well-stitched suit and carry a good briefcase. Here are some reasons why:
1. Suits make you look serious
If you are running a tech company or a web design agency, you need to make sure that you look serious. As we mentioned earlier, humans always judge things and people based on appearances. A website that looks great receives more clicks than a website that looks shabby.
Similarly, a well-dressed CEO commands more respect and sends out a vibe of seriousness than a CEO who wears sneakers and frayed t-shirts. You can do that but you need to have the luxury of being Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerburg. Until you are one among those top 10-20 CEOs, conventional wisdom suggests wearing a suit or even just a tie and a neatly-pressed shirt will help you command respect.
2. Well-stitched suits convey a sense of stability
Suits are designed to provide an illusion of you have a better frame. It gives the impression of you having broader shoulders and smaller waists. It hides unwanted flab and makes you look all tucked-up & trim. It makes you look stable and not in a condition of disarray. When you look stable, there are chances that at some unconscious level, people around you think that you are stable; and when people believe in your stability, they will take you more seriously than they would take someone who does not look all that stable.
3. Suits have a positive social connotation
From a very long time, it is deeply ingrained in our minds that we go to work wearing suits. We go to marriages, funerals and dinners wearing suits. They have a positive social connotation, except for funerals, of course. Somewhere along the way, people began to see suits as a sign of being a salesperson, in a negative way. However, everyone can tell the difference between a well-stitched and bespoke suit & an off-the-rack suit.
A bespoke suit has a positive connotation when you are at a conference where you probably will meet a lot of judgmental and prejudiced people who judge you based on what you are wearing. If you want more people to share their business cards, play safe and wear a suit.
4. Suits are comfortable
It is a misconception that suits are uncomfortable and that they can’t be worn in warmer climates. In warmer climates, you could opt to wear a blazer, which again gives an air of formality, even if it is not as formal as a suit. Moreover, all the extra pockets help you to keep the business cards in, without having to waste time; and once you get used to the various pockets and spaces that a suit jacket provides, you will find it to be an indispensible part of your wardrobe. Certainly, suits are sometimes not uncomfortable. It just needs a little bit of “getting-used-to”.
You might think no one really notices what you are wearing at a tech conference. You might also believe that most software programmers, developers and CEOs of technology companies have a relaxed dress code; and they do. As long as you are at your office, it is really quite all right to wear what you want. However, if you are at a conference and are looking for opportunities to network with possible growth of business, you need to present yourself well; and wearing a suit will always help you to look your best.