Dressing for Success: What to Wear for a Coffee Meeting?

As mentioned in my last post, I have a “coffee meeting” scheduled next week with a small marketing firm.  I’m really excited about the opportunity.  I’ve begun doing some web research on the company and their clients.  They are located in an emerging section of the city, and (through a friend) I’m contacting someone from the neighborhood to learn more about prospective clients they might reach.

As I was talking to my friend, I casually raised the question of what I might wear to the meeting.  I want to communicate the right message both in what I say and in how I appear.  I have a number of options.

If I go with my experience, I might wear this –

(Pastor Minister Pulpit Black Clergy Robe, NEW sizes 6 to 24 (av.in other colors) | eBay from Annette Williams in Preach the Word)

Actually, my robe is royal blue with vertical velvet borders and I have some very vividly-colored Guatemalan stoles that accentuate the look.  But I don’t think this artistic flair would do enough to off-set the garb.

If I want to pursue the artistic angle, I could go with this –

(Pablo Picasso, by André Villers from TypeArtist:Susan in Art:Picasso)

It would certainly allow for the breeze to keep me cool should we continue to experience the summer heat.  I would have to track down a straw hat, but I’ve got the pajama bottoms covered.  But, I don’t exactly have Pablo’s physique (he was ripped for an old man).

Since this is a “coffee meeting”, I could wear what I see people wearing at the local café –

men’s fashion, casual outfit, beard from  Jean C Antonelli, in Style

The only thing in this look I lack is a pair of Chuck Taylor’s (and I need a new pair of shoes, anyway).  The advantage I see here is that I could save morning prep time by not having to shave (and even sleeping in my clothes).

My gut tells me to go old-school and dress my best.  Something like –

(1930s men’s summer suit for Chase.  Where to buy? from Lisa Clark-Brewer in Fashion Sense)

This would likely cost me the most to procure, but with the revival of “The Great Gatsby”, it may just be an investment worth making.

What do you think I should wear to dress for success?

19 thoughts on “Dressing for Success: What to Wear for a Coffee Meeting?

  1. Since you asked, I would suggest you wear an outfit that looks professional but also is comfortable and “you.” Don’t be someone you’re not, and don’t spend a lot of money either. You want to walk in with confidence. If you’re confident, that’s what the interviewer will remember, not your clothes. Good luck!

  2. I’d go with business casual – a collared shirt and a pair of khakis. Looks comfortable, yet still professional. Most offices have gone to this dress code nowadays.

  3. I go with always dressing to impress for any type of interview. I don’t think that you can overdo it… so, slacks, button-up, tie, jacket. And don’t forget to polish your shoes. It’s those kind of attention to details that people will notice. I know it can seem silly to dress up for an interview at a coffee shop but that’s still what I would do. I’ve been on interviews for jobs before where I knew the office was casual (jeans and t-shirts) but I still showed up to the interview in a suit – it projects confidence and professionalism.

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