Trade Show Attire

What to Wear to an Expo? Guide to Trade Show Attire

What to Wear to a Trade Show

Exhibiting at a trade show is a great way to represent your organization and generate sales. However, representing your organization is not limited to sales pitches, brochures, flyers, business cards, branding materials, and product displays; it is also about how you represent yourself!

According to Miuccia Prada, an Italian billionaire fashion designer, 

“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world.”

And it applies to your trade show attire, too.

So, if you are wondering what to wear to a trade show, worry no more! We have created a comprehensive list of trade show attire you can use when you are confused about what to wear to an expo.

Go through the list and pick the one that matches the most with your circumstances!

What to Wear to a Trade Show?

Trade shows and expos are an amazing way to represent your organization and expand your professional network, and your appearance plays an important role in how well you can succeed. It can make or break the deal for you.

Go through these three types of clothing you can wear at an expo and choose the one that most suits your style! 

1. Business Formal Attire

Formal business attire in the context of trade show clothing is a dress code characterized by tailored suits, traditional colors, and refined accessories that are commonly worn in formal work settings and upscale events. 

It’s recommended to wear formal business attire when your trade show is accompanied by evening events or award ceremonies. Here’s what men and women can choose when going for formal business attire. 

What Should Men Wear to a Trade Show as a Business Formal Attire?

Men to Wear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Tailored suits in classic colors 
  • Light-colored shirts with subtle patterns or solid colors
  • Traditional ties
  • Leather shoes
  • Minimal accessories
  • Pocket square
  • Black oxfords or wingtips
  • Optional: French cuff shirt with cufflinks
  • Optional: Leather briefcase

What Should Women Wear to a Trade Show as a Business Formal Attire?

What Should Women Wear to a Trade Show as a Business Formal Attire?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Traditional business-friendly dress, skirt, or pants
  • Matching jacket (¾ length or short sleeve, depending on the season)
  • Collared blouses, dressy tops, or traditional necklines 
  • Wear light makeup, including nude lipstick and eyeliner
  • Dress your hair properly, matching with your attire 
  • Closed-toe pumps in neutral colors
  • Subtle jewelry and accessories (necklaces, earrings, bracelets)
  • Overall, neutral or classic color choices for your looks

2. Business Professional Attire

Business professional attire at trade shows is all about a traditional yet flexible approach, offering more leeway than its formal counterpart. It balances professionalism and comfort, making it a versatile choice for various industries.

Professional attire is more popular at trade shows, focusing on networking and polished presentations. 

What Should Men Wear to a Trade Show as a Business Professional Attire?

What Should Men Wear to a Trade Show as a Business Professional Attire?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Blazers with dress trousers or chinos
  • Dress shirt, collared polo shirt, or button-down Oxford shirt
  • Neckties (optional)
  • Leather shoes, loafers, or lace-ups 
  • Complementing accessories
  • Consider layering with a vest or cardigan for versatility

What Should Women Wear to a Trade Show as a Business Professional Attire?

What Should Women Wear to a Trade Show as a Business Professional Attire?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Traditional dresses, full suits, or blazers paired with skirts or pants
  • Blouses, sweaters, and sleeveless tops
  • Apply light makeup like nude lipstick and eyeliner
  • Dress your hair according to the outfit 
  • Classic colored pumps or stylish flats
  • Minimal and not-too-flashy accessories
  • Professional but stylish choices in colors and patterns
  • Layering is advisable for versatility and comfort in varying temperatures

3. Business Casual Attire

Business casual attire at trade shows strikes a balance between professionalism and comfort, making it the most commonly worn outfit on the trade show floor.

While casual attire allows for a more relaxed dress code than formal or professional business attire, it doesn't permit overly casual clothing like jeans, sneakers, or T-shirts. This dress code is highly recommended for both staff and attendees during the hustle and bustle of trade show events.

What Should Men Wear to a Trade Show as a Business Casual Attire?

What Should Men Wear to a Trade Show as a Business Casual Attire?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Polo shirts, collared shirts, dress shirts, casual button-downs or sensible sweaters
  • Chinos, khakis, corduroy pants, or dress pants
  • Loafers, dress shoes, or stylish sneakers
  • Trousers that match your dress and are not too tight 
  • Belts that complement the outfit
  • Casual accessories

What Should Women Wear to a Trade Show as a Business Casual Attire?

What Should Women Wear to a Trade Show as a Business Casual Attire?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Blouses paired with dress pants, skirts, or khakis
  • Casual dresses or jumpsuits
  • Wear light makeup matching your attire 
  • Have a hairstyle that goes with your outfit
  • Flats, stylish sneakers, or low-heeled shoes
  • Accessorize subtly with scarves or statement jewelry
  • Incorporate a mix of professional and casual elements

Trade Show Attire Do’s and Don’ts

As you now know, there are multiple options for what to wear at a trade show; here are some common do’s and don’ts that you should follow to polish your clothing even further. 

Trade Show Attire Do’s

Trade Show Attire Do's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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While attending or exhibiting at a trade show, consider following these tips: 

The Balance Between Corporate and Cozy

When preparing for a trade show, finding the right balance between a corporate and cozy appearance is essential. For men, consider options like collared shirts, sweaters, and dress shoes, while women can opt for blouses, dresses, or skirts paired with comfortable yet stylish footwear.

Be in Tune With Your Team 

Another thing to consider is creating a cohesive look with your team. It plays a crucial role in the unified and professional appearance of the team. You can coordinate outfits with your team based on a selected color theme for each day to enhance team identity without appearing too intentional.

Consider Location and Timing 

Other than the balanced dressing and tuning with your team, it is also important to keep in mind the location and setting of the trade show when selecting your outfit. Choose your outfits based on the weather and venue to stay comfortable throughout the day. 

⇒ Add Your Personal Touch 

While following these tips, you should also incorporate your personal touch into your trade show attire. Experiment with pops of color, unique accessories, or variations in hairstyle to convey authenticity while still representing your company.

Consider Your Industry 

Lastly, select your trade show attire based on your industry’s overall feel and vibe. Avoid overdressing if you are attending a relatively casual trade show. However, if you are attending a high-end trade show, opt for formal business attire to match the standards. 

Trade Show Attire Don'ts 

Trade Show Attire Don'ts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Same as do’s of trade show attire, there are some things that you should avoid while attending an expo. Consider these don'ts of trade show attire to avoid uncomfortable situations. 

Don't wear Overly Tight clothes 

Wearing overly tight clothes at the trade show may send the wrong messages to the other participants. Ensure your attire is well-fitted, professional, and not too revealing or casual. 

Don't go messy 

Secondly, ensure you are not looking messy at a trade show. Maintaining a neat and spotless appearance with well-pressed clothes, polished shoes, and attention to grooming helps you represent your sophisticated and professional image.

Avoid excessive perfume 

Lastly, avoid wearing excessive perfumes at a trade show, as it can be distracting for others. However, you can wear moderate perfume to smell pleasant throughout. 

Ace Your Game of What to Wear to an Expo! 

So now you have a comprehensive list and guide on what to wear to your next trade show, plan that well in advance to avoid last-moment struggles. 

Carefully consider all the points discussed above in the post and decide accordingly, as you will be the face that represents your organization at the trade show booth.

Besides your attire, the booth design also matters to a great extent, and thus, we would recommend you take guidance from
Pure Exhibits. We provide end-to-end booth rental services which cover everything from design selection to building, assembling, shipping, and dismantlement of your booth at the trade show. You can check our past clients as shown in our portfolio.

Plus, you can always contact our team at info@purexhibits.com or +1 800-379-8451 to discuss your booth rental requirements.

FAQs

1. What do people wear to a trade show?

People exhibiting and attending trade shows typically wear business casual or business professional attire, which includes tailored pants or skirts, collared shirts or blouses, blazers, and closed-toe shoes. The specific dress code may vary based on the industry and the event's formality, so it's advisable to check any guidelines provided by the trade show organizers.

2. Can you wear sneakers at a trade show?

Yes, you can wear sneakers if you are comfortable with them and they match your professional attire. You can also wear formal footwear, such as loafers, dress shoes, or flats, to maintain a polished and professional appearance.  

3. How do you stand out at a trade show?

There are many ways to stand out at a trade show, but one of the prominent ways is to wear branded attire that increases the visibility of your organization.

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