Do’s and don’ts for backyard networking

When was the last time you were at a BBQ, wedding or outdoor party and someone asked you how business is going? Or what business you`re in? Summer events can be networking goldmines. Casual conversation can easily evolve into a mutually beneficial business exchange.

We invited Dani Slaugh, Personal Stylist and Image Consultant to talk about the do's and don'ts of backyard networking.  She says, "Get your calm, cool, and collected image right and you`ll be the solution to their problems. Get it wrong, and the conversation ends after talk about the weather. Check out my list of dos and don`ts for summertime networking success."

WHAT TO AVOID
1. Thin knits that leave nothing to the imagination. It may cover your body, but if the fabric is thin or tight, the contour of any bulge or what you're wearing under your clothes with distract from serious conversation.
2. Tanks for men. Sorry guys, hairy armpits should be reserved for the basketball court. And ladies, visible bra straps are taking attention away from your face and what you are saying.
3. Body odor. It's tempting to rush to an engagement after working out, or sweating in the hot sun. But believe me, that person you would like to have an engaging conversation with does not want to "smell your victory".
4. T-shirts with images of a face. (Animal or human.) Your friend may have trouble deciding which face to focus on.
5. Dated pedicure with chipped polish and dry/cracked heals.
Attention to detail in your appearance shows that you will be attentive in your professional life as well.

WHAT TO ADOPT
1. Fabrics with texture. Linens and crinkle style fabrics are my favorite. Light weight, relaxed, cool and smart. With these fabrics, the focus tends to be less on the body curves and more on the clothing silhouette and the person in them.
2. Light-weight layers work wonders to disguise figure variations while providing an extra level of "street cred".
3. Design details near the face in the form of a collar, necklace, scarf, etc.
4. Natural looking make-up. Too much make-up and you're completely overdone and out of place, but not enough and you risk looking washed-out. My quick summer go-to regimen includes brows shaped and lightly lined, mascara, blush and a neutral lipstick.
5. Socks should be minimal/unnoticeable, if worn at all. It's warm! You don't need heavy socks. Show off those ankles. If that makes you uneasy, use a disinfectant spray with your shoes or wear no-show socks.
It is possible to have both a relaxing summer and make progress professionally by taking advantage of your social opportunities with a calm, cool and collected image. Happy backyard networking!

You can find more from Dani at: stylebydani.com.

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