What to Wear for a Meeting with Your Boss

Whether it’s a casual status update or an annual review, figuring out what to wear for a meeting with your boss can be stressful, and what you wear largely depends on office dress code and individual dynamics.

An important thing to remember

In an era of low key and relaxed work environments, friendly bosses have become more common, but it’s important to remember that even if you’re close and friendly with one another, your boss is in fact your boss, and what you wear to a meeting with them should be reflective of that. Regardless of how close you are, your boss is not your friend, and is an authority figure. Dress appropriately and don’t fully let your guard down.

You may be friendly and have a great relationship, but it’s possible to take that relationship too far and get too comfortable which could appear as if you’re not trying hard or that you’re becoming lazy with your appearance.

Take your appearance up a notch

When you’re deciding what to wear for a meeting with your boss, a good rule of thumb is to think about what you would normally wear to the office and dress up slightly from there. For instance, if you typically wear colored denim and a blouse or button down shirt, think about adding on a blazer or a tie for men. Similarly, for women, if you often wear flats and jersey dresses, perhaps opt for a dress with a little more structure and pair it with a higher heel.

The goal is to highlight that you are taking the meeting seriously, and this is reflected in your physical appearance as well. This is why dressing more formal than you normally would on a daily basis is important; it reflects your effort.

Follow the third piece rule

I talk about the third piece rule a lot, and this is the perfect place to put it into action. A jacket automatically pulls an outfit together and makes it feel more formal. If you’re trying to keep your business casual attire professional, wearing a jacket will always help. This doesn’t have to be a blazer, but adding a third piece such as a jacket, belt, tie, necklace, vest, etc. makes the outfit more formal.

Make sure you’re wrinkle free

Wrinkled clothing appears unprofessional. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t like to iron, (I don’t like it either) get yourself a little steamer. Coming in wrinkle-free clothing is an easy way to ensure that you don’t look like you rolled out of bed, and that you have put hard work and preparation in for your meeting.


When you’re getting ready and deciding what to wear for a meeting with your boss, pick an outfit that is professional, reflective of your work ethic, and wrinkle free. Take things up a step from your daily wardrobe and add a third piece to ensure that you look polished and are ready to go!

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