Archives for November 2016


by Traci McBride

As the party season kicks up, and Cleveland is on fire with new hotel and restaurant openings, we have many opportunities to attend some stellar events. These events are perfect for meeting potential clients, employers, friends, dates, and spouses — whatever you’re looking for, and sometimes not what you may have been expecting (in a good way).

Careers and relationships are impacted by our behaviors, positively or negatively, depending on the choices we make. I suggest you show up with the intention of having fun and connecting with others. If this event is sponsored by your company or hosted by a client or business association, err on the side of conservative in both behavior and dress.

I attend networking events on a regular basis, and I continually see many people that just are not comfortable being at these events. Usually from across the room you can recognize those who are not making the most of their time and are giving the wrong impression of who they are. First, let me share the signs of becoming invisible while asking: Do you recognize yourself or your colleagues in this description?



Dressing safely – Many times it is all black, with little to no texture, shine or style. The only item that stands out is the white nametag they gave you at the door.

Wearing poor-fitting clothes – Too big is frumpy and sloppy while too tight is desperate or night-clubish.

Closed body language – Hands in pockets, crossed arms, caved or slumped shoulders, wall leaning, fidgeting, and hand grooming your hair or lint off your clothes. Texting or being on your phone tells others not to approach and is always rude.

Odd facial expressions – Wearing your resting face, deer in the headlight, glaring or frowning.


  1. When you know better, you do better: Read a book, take an online teleseminar or hire a coach on how to overcome whatever is your obstacle.
  2. Only wear what really works: Fit rules. Your clothes do not have to be designer to make you look your best. Fit your body shape, and have your outfit tailored to fit you.
  3. Wear what makes you feel confident: We walk, stand, and talk differently when we are dressed our very best and we feel it. Trust me, others will respond because they will feel it too.
  4. Know and wear your POWER colors: This tip alone will have you standing out for all the right reasons — not only for others to notice you but also for all those social media pictures. All those group pictures posted the next day will have everyone melting into each other with floating heads – except those wearing their power colors. They will stand out, and their connections will notice that.
  5. Dress to your strengths by knowing your body shape: This tip, along with No. 4, will save you an abundance of time, frustration, and money.
  6. Avoid all black all the time. I’ll repeat this that statement until the day I die. All black wardrobe = rut. Be deliberate wearing black. I prove this to my clients over and over again. Wear your power color near your face – always. Men, you can achieve this with your shirts and ties; ladies, with clothing, scarves or jewelry, even lipstick.
  7. Scale your accessories to your frame. Nothing wrong with a flattering statement necklace — it’s when you wear the statement necklace, the statement earrings, the statement bracelet, and statement ring that you’ve gone way too far over the limit.
  8. Mind your P’s and Q’s. Ask more about the other person than sharing about yourself. Ask open-ended neutral questions that are not too personal in nature if you are meeting for the first time. Have a great handshake and give excellent eye contact. Avoid monopolizing one person’s time and have a smooth exit strategy should you get cornered.

It’s human nature to want to be noticed, valued, and respected. When you dress as if you respect yourself, others will give you respect. A little self-awareness goes a long way to practicing the body language and facial expressions that will encourage others to interact and engage with you.

Traci McBride is the wardrobe stylist of TeeMcBee Image Consulting and is a longtime supporter of nonprofit Dress for Success-Cleveland. She encourages readers to subscribe to her timely newsletter, schedule a style strategy call, or request Tee Speaks to infuse your staff or organization with a passionate professional punch of style to elevate and benefit everyone. Visit to connect and be inspired.