What to Wear to Give a Presentation, Keynote, or Host a Launch

Book Launch

You've pretty much figured out how to dress for work. Finally. You've got a style that's part you and part your profession and a decent number of ensembles you feel good in. Professional. 

But then a special work event comes along and you're thrown into a tailspin. I mean, yeah, you can do the expected thing--give the keynote, sell the product, meet the clients--but, um, what to wear. 

And you know I'm going to say a scarf. And I am. I make scarves. I sell those scarves. I wear those scarves. I am going to tell you to wear a scarf, but first a few tips I've learned from doing numerous book launches, panel discussions, and even a few TV appearances:

1. Start with the shoes. Always start with the shoes. You've got to build from the ground up because if you don't feel 100% confident, stable, and fierce in those shoes, it won't matter what else you're wearing. 

If you haven't already, you must seek out your power shoes or boots--footwear in which you both look great and feel great. My power shoe in winter is a low heel shorty boot. I can wear them with tights and a skirt or I can wear them with slacks. In summer my power shoe is some super soft black leather sandals with a low heel. The leather is like butter, and when I put them on, I'm instantly a little bit cooler and smarter. Or at least I think so.

2. Now, your clothing choices have been nicely limited to items that go with the power shoes. Good. Like the shoes, these speaking-in-public clothes must be totally comfortable and worry free--no gaping, no pulling, no riding up. After establishing maximum comfort, my outfit choice tends to be monochromatic and classically cut. Simple, elegant clothes that don't distract the listeners and that can work as a canvas for....

3. One accessory that expresses who you are and gives a pop of color, panache, and and visual interest. May I suggest a scarf

 

essional. 

But then a special work event comes along and you're thrown into a tailspin. I mean, yeah, you can do the expected thing--give the keynote, sell the product, meet the clients--but, um, what to wear. 

And you know I'm going to say a scarf. And I am. I make scarves. I sell those scarves. I wear those scarves. I am going to tell you to wear a scarf, but first a few tips I've learned from doing numerous book launches, panel discussions, and a few TV appearances:

1. Start with the shoes. You've got to build from the ground up because if you don't feel 100 percent confident, stable, and badass in those shoes, it won't matter what else you're wearing. If you haven't already, you must find your power shoes or boots in which you both look great and feel great. My power shoe in winter is a low heel shorty boot. I can wear them with tights and a skirt or I can wear them with slacks. In summer my power shoe is some super soft black leather sandals with a low heel. The leather is like butter, and when I put them on, I'm instantly a little bit cooler and smarter.

2. Now, your clothing choices have been nicely limited to things that go with the power shoes. Good. The second most important thing about the clothes is that your clothes for this event must be 100 percent comfortable and worry free-no gaping, no pulling, no riding up. After establishing maximum comfort, my outfit choice tends to be monochromatic and classically cut. Simple, elegant clothes that don't distract the listeners and that can work as a canvas for....

3. One accessory that expresses who you are and gives a pop of color, panache, and and visual interest. May I suggest a scarf? 

Shop scarves now.

Pictured about: Me (left) and Author Sarah Townsend at Third Place books for the Seattle launch of her powerful memoir, Setting the Wire. 


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