INSIGHT: MELISSA LEWIS – What to wear to media events?

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You’ve got a media event tonight – what to wear? Founder & Executive Stylist of Style Confidante, Melissa Lewis, chats about personal image and why it matters more than you think.

For professionals in the media industry, it’s as important as ever to create a positive self-image in order to stand out in what is a highly competitive environment. Talent will only get you so far. You are also constantly being judged by your skills, experience, attitude, body language and visual image. By consciously creating your professional brand, you are showing others your whole package: where you come from, what you are capable of and where you are headed.

Did you know that others will have formed a judgement about your personality, trustworthiness, past-successes, capabilities and compatibility with themselves within the first 3 seconds of meeting you, before you’ve even said a word? Scary huh!?

Did you know that you can take control of how you feel about yourself and how others perceive you, in order to foster professional and personal success? By developing a congruent message between what you’re capable of and how you present and interact with others is key to creating a positive professional brand.

This all sounds great. But HOW, you ask?

By looking polished and making clever wardrobe choices, you can begin to feel more confident. Dressing appropriately for your industry, for your role and for the particular event you are attending, tells others that you mean business.

People stop and pay attention to a woman or man that walks and talks with purpose, because through his or her confidence, s/he asks to be taken seriously.  Whether it’s a launch party, a networking event or a rooftop celebration, being conscious of the crowd, the purpose of the event and your role as an attendee, is crucial to making – and leaving, the right impression. Often we only get one chance to make a first impression. Make sure it’s a good one!


Individuality and Creativity are applauded and encouraged in the media industry. Let your wardrobe choices reflect who YOU are – but always maintain a neat, tidy and polished appearance.


If you are invited to a party as a professional, you need to dress for a party, but with a professional edge. By remembering why you are at an event and who is going to be there, you can tailor your outfit to reflect the way you want to be perceived by that specific crowd.


Never turn up to a media event dressed for a nightclub! Remember that you are still at ‘work’ and your wardrobe choices need to reflect your professional image. Wearing a very short skirt or low top can send the message that you are not as serious about your career as previously perceived. Don’t jeopardize the image you’ve worked so hard to create with tacky and unprofessional wardrobe choices.


When given the dress code ‘business casual’ for an event, men need to make sure that they steer clear of jeans with rips and scruffy shoes. Keep it classic and neat and when ironing your shirt, make sure that no buttons are missing. A light spritz of aftershave gives a final, polished touch.

Our clothing choices demonstrate to others our ambition, confidence and how we value attention to detail in our own appearance and in the quality of work we produce. Our body language and behaviour also speak volumes about who we are and where we’re headed.  Small details like maintaining eye contact during a conversation and giving a steady hand shake make all the difference in telling others who and what we are.

Our presentation – which includes the way that we look and behave at events, should represent the quality of our work and the reputation of the organization which we represent. Media events hold enormous networking opportunities which sometimes begin as a casual encounter or conversation. Indiscriminate good manners and a friendly demeanour, go a long way in opening up conversations and building a positive perception of who you are to the person you are speaking to. Small actions like initiating a hand shake and never crossing your arms during conversation, are subtle ways of telling others that you are open, professional and affable.

Regardless of the amount of alcohol being consumed by your colleagues, it’s never appropriate for a professional to let their hair down too much at a work event. By keeping in mind that you are on show at this event – to potential employers, clients and colleagues, you have the competitive advantage if you can maintain professional composure. While in the moment, a silly face to the camera may seem humorous, that photo may appear anywhere, and outside of the context of the party, continues to tell people about who you are. Unless you are a silly face type of person (i.e.. a comedian!), you are not a silly face type of person.

It’s easy to understand the requirement to behave and dress like a professional within an office setting, but often important connections and key career opportunities begin in a more casual setting. Keeping in mind that a media event is a continuation of your work day, can help you to understand that the same rules apply!

Contact Style Confidante to speak to one of our accredited stylists and discover how to stand out in your career for business success. To get in touch, or find out more – visit our website  or call 0405 440 366



About Author

Amanda Lee
Amanda Lee

Amanda Lee started her career in the media 10 years ago working for various companies including Working Dog, Southern Cross Austereo and NOVA Entertainment. During this time she has been an Announcer, Promotions Manager, Producer, Music Director and Assistant Content Director. Amanda created The Broad Side as a support network for women in media to discuss and share their obstacles and successes in their industry.