When you meet with a potential customer for the first time, they have already formed an opinion of you before you even say a word. The way you dress creates a first impression that will be very difficult to change. For this initial meeting, it is best to dress in business casual. You don’t have to wear a suit and tie, but you don’t want to show up in worn jeans and a t-shirt. What you are aiming for is a professional image that lets the client know you are serious about your business and care enough to make an impression on them.
Dressing neatly, with your hair combed and clean will go a long way. If your hair is long, put it back so it isn’t covering your face and making you appear messy. In addition, men need to make sure you have recently shaved and trimmed any facial hair so it looks neat. Women, a little makeup is fine but you don’t want to look like you are ready for a night on the town. Keep any perfume or after shave to a bare minimum, if you wear any at all. Remember that some people are extra sensitive to odors. Once hired, you will have a better idea of the kind of dress expected for the actual gig.
Event and Music Type
You will want to base your dress on both the type of event you are playing first. Once that is determined, think about the music requested and use that as a guide by thinking of what the average listener of that genre considers appropriate. If neither gives you a definite clue, you can’t go wrong by asking what dress will be worn during the event. Clients will appreciate the consideration.
For a wedding reception, you will want to wear a classier style. Keep your colors neutral and your hair neat. Your goal is to blend in with the guests without drawing any attention to yourself. A graduation party or a party thrown by teens or college kids will enable you to pull out the jeans and t-shirts. Again, you don’t want to go too casual. Make sure the jeans are nice-looking and the t-shirt isn’t worn and faded. You want to maintain some semblance of professionalism. For this younger crowd, hair can be worn down if you like, but make sure it is not messy.
The music requested can give you a clue as to what dress is appropriate. A couple seeking older tunes or instrumentals is going to expect a style that is more dressy. If rock music is the choice, you can dress down more. If country happens to be the customer’s fancy, jeans and a neat flannel shirt wouldn’t be out of place. As with the initial meeting, you can never go wrong with business casual.
Remember, the whole idea is to blend in so that the attention is on the music and the guests. Don’t wear anything too flashy or outrageous. Keep your hair neat and out of the way and don’t overdo the perfume or cologne. You need to be comfortable in order to concentrate on what you are doing, but that is possible while still looking neat and professional.