[IMGCAP(1)]I recently returned from the Association for Accounting Marketing’s Annual Summit, which this year was in tandem with the AICPA Practitioners Symposium, AICPA Tech+ Conference at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The trip was great, and a wonderful opportunity to convene with other accounting marketing professionals, helpful industry vendors, thought leaders and CPAs.

Every year there is an awards gala to celebrate the work of accounting marketers, and this year was exceptionally stylish as the photos from the Association for Accounting Marketing’s Facebook account demonstrate!

Awards events, black tie fundraisers or dinners are just a few of the special occasions that call for a dressier outfit. It’s nice to change out of the usual work wear attire and get “dolled up,” and it’s also a great opportunity to stand out and represent yourself and your firm or business in a positive way.

In fact, the photos that are taken at special events, especially if there is a professional photographer or “step-and-repeat”, are great to post on your firm’s Facebook page, or use to show employee experience, corporate culture, and involvement in events and community activities.

Whether it is an event your firm sponsors, or an event you were invited to, making the best of your time dressed-up and using those great photos is a nice way to represent your employees and your business.

Here are a few useful tips to consider when dressing for a work-related black tie or special event. Feel free to suggest some of your own in the comments section of this post, or on the Accounting Today Facebook page!


•    Dress accordingly for the event (black tie, holiday party, theme event, awards dinner, etc.) but keep things professional as you’re still working and representing your firm or business. If you are unsure of what to wear or what may be suitable, ask the event coordinator or the person who invited you for a little help or guidance.

•    For a business dinner, consider that your usual office wear is often completely appropriate. Take note of the venue and make sure there is not a dress code in place, and that whatever you choose, you will feel comfortable and fit in with other attendees and diners.

•    Shy away from anything provocative, or there’s a good chance you may not be taken seriously and could feel uncomfortable in a business setting. I always suggest trying on your full outfit beforehand, to make sure you can move, sit, walk and possibly even dance without any “wardrobe malfunctions.”

•    Consider reaching out for advice from others if you are unsure of the dress code or what to wear to a special event. Vogue has a forum that readers utilize to get ideas and trade advice. Here’s an example from several years ago of a user who posted on the forum to get some help for an upcoming work black-tie event. You can also try crowd sourcing and gaining ideas from cool websites like Pose. I LOVE this site and often see many of my Facebook friends using it to trade ideas and style inspiration. There is also a Smartphone app which is pretty cool, so you can use it on the go!

    I also wanted to take this post in another direction and post a few items today on men’s style. Recently on LinkedIn, which I utilize often as a helpful resource, I found a group that was pretty interesting for men. The group “Real Men Real Style - Wardrobe Building for the Professional Man” has got some amazing and unique discussions about men’s style in the workplace, and it’s been cool to follow the conversations about what men are dealing with in a corporate setting in terms of dress codes and what to wear.

    In addition, some other cool men’s style related sites and blogs that I would recommend you check out include:










    In upcoming posts this summer and fall I’ll dive in more to men’s style in the workplace, but for the time being, check out some of these awesome sites listed above for some inspiration and ideas to integrate into your professional look.

    Emily Alexandria Burns is a State University of New York Fashion Institute of Technology graduate and started her career in New York City working for companies including Giorgio Armani Le Collezioni, Christian Dior and Jones Apparel Group. She is now e-marketing communications specialist for Freed Maxick & Battaglia CPAs in Buffalo, N.Y., and recently named the Association for Accounting Marketing's 2011 "Rookie of the Year." Follow her on Twitter @FreedMaxickPR or email her at emily.burns@freedmaxick.com.