Of the dress and grooming basics, general rules apply to both men and women.
Your Clothes Should Fit
Your clothes should be neat and clean. Suits should be cleaned at least a few times a year and depending on wear, possibly every few times they are worn. Your speech is your opportunity to put your absolute best forward. Don’t scrimp on your clothing neatness and cleanliness.
Colors should be limited to three. The rule of three still applies here.
Baggy clothes look like hand me downs.
What if you have a hard time fitting into clothes. Then it is time to get to know a tailor. Even before getting to know a tailor, get to know a trainer. A well fitting suit will make the speaker look wonderfully.
Generally, it is inappropriate to wear a short sleeve shirt when your speaking. Again, think conservative, think class which means long sleeve shirt. There are exceptions for short sleeve shirts such as certain jobs that require them. Likewise, a short sleeve shirt with a tie is not appropriate.
Even if baggy clothes are the rage where ever you are, they are not appropriate for public speakers. As a public speaker, you are a guardian of the words. By nature, public speaking is a conservative profession. It is necessary to dress the part.
Dress length or pants length should be reasonable. Either too long or too short is not good.
Your socks should be dark and match your suit.
Your dress belt should match your shoes. Brown or Black, it should also look good with your suit. It should not be to big or too small. It should accent your dress and not be your dress.
Ties should be in style, tied correctly and of the proper length. Unless you work in a psych hospital, are in law enforcement or otherwise require a fake tie, take the time to learn how to tie one on. Also learn how to tie it the right length. Men and women, neck wear needs to be an accent.
Unless your a pediatric doctor or work for Disney, Warner Brothers, Pixar or some other animation studio, cartoon ties are not appropriate. Although Sponge Bob can get you a long ways in the hospital (with young and old alike), it will cost credibility in the public speaking arena.
Bow ties are a personal preference. Very few can pull them off and look good. Get a second opinion by someone who is not afraid to hurt your feelings if you try this one.
Clean and Polish Your ShoesThis is a simple step you can take to make your appearance shine. They need not be new but they do need to look good.
Leave the sandals at the beach. They have no place in formal dress unless your in a country where this is part of formal attire. Sorry, in the US, it is not.
These are just a few of the dress and grooming basics. This is a huge undertaking and will take time to put together. Please come back. Or, if this is your specialty, please feel free to submit. If you can provide unique copy, we will even provide a link as long as your site is on dress and grooming.