Director 101: What to Wear at Your First Board Meeting

Style tips for new board members.

When I was preparing for my first ‘proper’ board meeting, I was freaking out over what to wear. I actually had no idea.

I took lead from what I use as a general rule of thumb when I’m attending a ‘work thing’ where I’m not sure what to wear. And that is “it’s always better to be over-dressed, than under-dressed”.

It’s always best to make your first impression your best impression, so take the time to consider what you will wear to your first board meeting. Some things to think about:

· Is the organisation conservative?

· Is the board conservative?

· Is the room going to be hot or cold?

· Will there be any guests at the meeting?

· What impression are you trying to make (think about what comes to mind when you think about what an accountant generally wears vs. what a marketer generally wears)?

· What is your personal brand?

· Will you be going to the meeting straight from work?

I would encourage you to ask your Chair, or other directors, for directions on the dress code of the board. Then try and incorporate your own personal style into the dress code (a room full of sameness does not do well for diversity of thoughts).

To help save you some anguish, I’ve put together some board attire inspiration as a guide on what to wear at your first board or committee meeting. Click on an image below to scroll through the gallery.



These outfits are a mix of formal and informal options. Every company board has different style standards; usually it’s one of the “unspoken rules” of the board culture. I would encourage you to dress a little more conservative and sophisticated for your first few meetings until you get the hang of what the standard is for your board. Find your style groove and you will feel comfortable and capable in the boardroom.

For more boardroom style inspiration, check out my Pinterest ‘Board Attire’ board.

Has this post helped you prepare for your first board or committee meeting?

newsletter for new and aspiring company directors

November 22, 2016

2 responses on "Director 101: What to Wear at Your First Board Meeting"

  1. Where do I purchase that navy blue u-neck dress?

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Get on Board delivers education and development courses that are open to individuals from all professional backgrounds and all types of industries (public, private, NFP, sporting organisations and clubs, etc.). Get on Board focuses on aspiring directors – those people looking to join a board in the near future – and on new directors – those who are currently in their first to fifth year of sitting on a board. Everything that we do is geared towards developing the corporate governance skills, and the business, strategic and financial acumen of new and aspiring company directors.


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