At the start of this month I released the first part in my ‘Style Well Travelled' series which was arranged in collaboration with British brand Reiss. There’s been many supporters of the post so far, which I’m very grateful for, with many people highlighting the different ways of perceiving Reiss clothing. I think Reiss must have been placed into some sort of “only open for tailoring” brand, when really they have much more to offer than just mid-market shirting and suits. While I also used to see them this way, they’ve certainly impressed me with a viable offering of knitwear and outerwear - and I’m a sucker for a good jumper. Joe Harper is also, having helped me photograph the three part series, so kudos goes to him for providing us with some grr-eat visuals.
As part of the ‘Style Well Travelled’ theme, I wanted to target a specific part of the day where people need to consider what they’re wearing. For this part of the series, I’m hoping to tackle the business meeting. I remember in my finance days the suit was always a requirement, with only the tie being optional. I guess working in the fashion industry means practically anything goes, with the bare minimum required is that you’re clean, though I’d like to think that’s the standard for pretty much any ordeal. Despite this (and not necessarily including first time client meetings) I don’t think the suit is essential to making a smart impression, which is something I hope to highlight with Reiss’ knitwear and my now-staple Mac (the coat, not the computer).
The key things I like to consider when approaching a business meeting are:
- How well do I know the individual? Is it a potential client, an acquaintance or just general networking?
- Is it a day time or an evening meeting? Coffee or dinner?
- What field is the meeting? Finance, fashion, etc…
These essentially make the backbone of how you want to prepare. It might sound a bit anal to be thinking about the situation in such depth, but first impressions do tend to last, and appearance is one of the first things they may judge you upon. So let’s say you’re meeting a potential client for dinner somewhere in West London, it does make a lot of sense to pull out the two-piece suit and shirt combination. But if it’s lunch or a coffee, you could probably get away with say a two-piece suit and a white t-shirt. If it’s just someone you could potentially do some work alongside, then you could throw on a nice smart jumper and trousers and be on your way. It would be wise to take into consideration the circumstances, and don’t feel restricted that “business” implies a pristine suit & tie combination, especially if it’s something you’re not comfortable in.
Back on to topic with Reiss, the coat has become a solid, summer staple. Aside from being lightweight, the fabric has a somewhat stiff element to it, meaning it tends to fall off you rather than cling to you too tightly. The waterproof element is always handy living in London, because as we’ve experienced this Easter weekend, you never know when the rain is going to spontaneously drown you. And if it does end up getting a bit too warm, it folds nice and neatly within your bag, albeit slightly crumpled.
Me and Joe might have gone a bit overboard with the images, so apologies for the constant scrolling. Hope you enjoyed some business tips, as I know there’s a few readers from my old world who fire real life questions now and then, and not just ones that revolve around what colour trousers to wear in summer 2014… But anyway - stay tuned for part 3, which will cover the transition between dressing in the office to dressing in the pub. Happy Easter!
- Mr. Boy