What To Wear Podcast
Hmm what should I wear today for this video? What should I wear for a pitch? I have to give lots of thoughts about what I’m going to wear every time I appear on camera, today I’m dressed in smart casual not too casual not too smart so hopefully I’m accessible to you and when it comes to pitches I also need to think about what I’m going to wear.
Confidence and Pitching
There is a saying the most beautiful you can thing you can wear is confidence and if you feel confidence wearing a t-shirt good on you but if you wear a t-shirt and you pitch into financial services the likelihood is this is not a good thing we should as a rule try and reflect our audience in what we’re wearing if they wear t-shirts when we pitch we should wear t-shirts, if they wear suits we should wear suits. Now we can violate this rule and wear absolutely anything we want if it’s congruent and works as part of our pitch.
For example I saw an individual pitching a medical device therefore he wore a medical gown and a medical hat, completely incongruent with the normal pitch but it worked because it was seen as a prop and part of his pitch that means yes if you are pitching underwear you could pitch in your underwear and no I am not about to switch to a clip of me in my boxer shorts. We can wear whatever we like if it is congruent and part of our pitch.
Couple more points, when I go to pitch I typically wear a white shirt, white shirts look smart and crisp, white, think virgin, think new, think natural, when you go to a French restaurant you have a lovely thick tablecloth which is nearly always white, this is a formal dining that’s what it says about you if you’re wearing a white shirt.
Now you can get into a little bit of trouble if you wear something really formal and you meet a lot of people that are not dressed formally but it’s okay you can dress down but you can’t dress up. I once gave a pitch into a premium German motor manufacturer it was only me and I walked into the room and there were male engineers they all wore small shirts with the arms cut off here and open neck. As soon as I got in there I took off my jacket I removed my tie and I rolled up my sleeves so I started to mirror that audience, I could do that because I could dress down but had I gone in there with the t-shirts and they were all wearing suits I’d have been screwed because I could not dress up.
Final point to think about when you go to pitch no matter what it is that you choose to wear make sure it is tailored by which I mean it fits you I was recently at a talk and a man stood up to give a minute talk in the tightest fitting shirt I’ve ever seen, every single contour of his body was outlined and it was pretty unfortunate for him because he did not have an aesthetically pleasing body to look at, some way far from it in fact. It’s a really good idea if you’re wearing a tshirt if you’re wearing a shirt, if you’re wearing a suit whatever it is you’re wearing make sure it fits you and if it doesn’t fit you, it’s too loose, too tight, go to see a tailor it doesn’t mean you need to go and get a tailored suit all it means is you need to go and get it fitted so the arms, are correct, collars are correct. A lot of men that I’ve seen have pitched and they’ve got shirts which don’t quite meet around the middle because they are in actual fact too large nowadays so the shirt does not fit them properly in other words the chest fits them but the neck doesn’t. So they have a tie but it’s not done all the way up because the collar will not cross over and will not match. In that situation that individual needs to go to a tailor and get a tailor made shirt.
In conclusion what should you wear when you go to pitch? You should wear something which you feel confident in but that’s not the only rule, you can wear things which are completely peculiar and deviate from the normal kind of thing you’d wear in a pitch if it supports your pitch. Make sure that whatever you’re wearing is well tailored and it fits you and finally it’s better to dress up so you can dress down than the other way round.