What do you wear at the show?

Les George

Admin - Founding Member
Ok, my bud Nick Wheeler brought this up a little in the badge thread, and I immediately busted in on him about, cuz well, that's just the kinda guy I am... cool 1

He, being the upstanding on line citizen that he is, was not rattled by my foolishness and in the response I am quoting below, gave a little insight to what he thinks about dressing for the show.

Okay, before I get painted as the classroom snob here... I just wanna say I was kidding around (a little).

I do have three very high end suits that I wear when standing behind my table. I feel it's part of the way I want to project myself, and part of dealing with the level of knife I'm trying to sell.

I'm just not gonna wear a T or cap with a suit, and thought a nice, professional badge would look good... especially like at Blade when it could be put below the show badge.
If you have ever been to a knife show, you know there are all levels of "dressed up" represented. cool 1 on both sides of the table.

So here is the question that I wanted to talk about without cluttering up the other thread....

You have just worked __ weeks / months getting ready for "the big show" you're packing your bag to go and you have to decide what to wear.

What's if going to be and WHY?:)
 

Jeff Pearce

KNIFE MAKER
Wranglers a button down shirt. and a pair of boots. that is what i always wear. so why change for a knife show...i think they are there for the knives not my clothes.
 

NickWheeler

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the heads up Les :)

I just wanna make it clear that I don't think everybody (or even anybody) should wear a suit at the shows... I just like to. :)

There are guys making knives at a lot higher caliber than I do, that show up in shorts and a T-shirt.... And I don't think it affects anything at all.

It's just part of how I wanna project myself and present my knives. I work really hard to make them ultra crisp and clean, and I think me being in a suit is just another detail of that.

If I had a cool logo like Les George, I'd probably just have that printed on a T-shirt and cap.

BTW- If you have a bald head, you have to dress well to draw the ladies' attention away from all the shine and glare. :chasing cat: :D

Also, since I normally live in dirty Carhartts, and burned up T-shirts in the shop... I actually like being dressed up as a change of pace. :)
 

NickWheeler

Well-Known Member
Doh... one more thing. If you are a table holder at a show like the ABS Expo, you are REQUIRED to wear a suit coat.

Of course some guys wear a Tshirt and wranglers with their sport coat... but that's just not how I rizz-oll. :)
 

RAGUEL3

Well-Known Member
Les, depends on WHERE im attending the show,.. overseas, cold climes,Deep South US, etc.
And at the Dinner, Thumper & I dress up a bit(Of course shes the stunner,not me)
For Atlanta, I tend to go with comfort , as I hit every single table over the 3 days.
Everything from decent clothes on Friday, to shorts and a T on Sunday.
Now for the extreme custom shows, I wear a better level, just because the entire room is doing so.

I see everything from buckskins,to overalls, to Ferragamos and Fioravanti styled during the BladeShow in ATL.
Whatever makes you feel good,wear it.
 
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Andy Garrett

Active Member
If I'm in a position to receive money, I like to dress up. To my mind, people will more readily hand over the asking price of whatever it is without attempting to 'bargain' if you are dressed better than they are. It makes asking for a lower price an 'embarrassing' prospect. This is why sales professionals of big ticket items wear suits.

If I am the buyer, it's just the opposite--I dress down. This creates the belief in the seller's mind that he/she may have to 'make me a special deal' to make it affordable for me.

Of course... I may be a complete idiot.
 

Chuck Gedraitis Knives

Well-Known Member
" It's not who you are but how you dress" - Van Halen.

I tend to wear a button down dress shirt, some nice jeans and comfortable shoes, especially on Friday, the opening day. After that sometimes a nice t-shirt or more button downs.

At blade I once saw a customer walking around barefoot! It teaches you not to judge a book by it's cover because he was purchasing a $25,000 knife set form Virgil England for his 10yr old daughter.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Professional. That means a lot of things to different people. For me its a button down shirt, new jeans, and my boots. For the higher end shows, I generally wear a sport coat too. The most important item of clothing that I put on is my Silverbelly hat. A few years ago my hat was stolen at the Atlanta airport on the way into the Blade show....I had people walking right by my table, and could hear them saying.. "Where's Ed Caffrey?" People look for that hat, and if they don't see it, they assume its not me. There's a certain image that develops in people's minds about specific names.

People have come to expect my hat, just as they have come to expect that Nick will be in a suit. I admire Nick for the way he dresses at the shows. He always looks comfortable and at ease in his suit, and the most important aspect.....he looks professional.

I also have to mention that it bothers me when I go to a show and see makers/table holders there, in clothes that I would not go to the grocery store in. I've had several conversations with makers who could not figure out why they were not selling anything....looking at them, it appeared they had just walked out of a Hobo camp. A few of them that I respect, I actually told that I would not buy a knife from somebody who looked like them either.
 

Les George

Admin - Founding Member
Thanks for being a good sport Nick! I know that could have been read a few different ways, but you took it like I meant it, it seems. :)

Jerry Fisk put out a little booklet some many years ago about knifemaking. I have it around here somewhere, but one of the things I remember from reading it the first time like 15 years ago, was about dressing the part.

He said something to the effect of, if you want to sell upscale hunting knives to outdoorsmen you need to look like you just stepped out of the LL Bean catalog. If you want to sell "high art" knives you should wear a suit or all black*.

There is a lot of truth to that and for dressing in a clean, professional manor. It shows attention to detail. Maybe its just a show, but if you can't or don't want to find a shirt that you have never changed your car's oil in to where to a big show, what else will you be inclined to short change?

Perception is, often enough, reality.

*all black being the steriotipical artist uniform ;)

p.s. If I am your example of how to interact with people, you are in a bad way... I'm just sayin....
 

Les Voorhies

Badge Boss Admin Dog Catcher
I wear whatever I'm comfortable in, that's usually blue jeans or cargo pants and a t-shirt.

I have this thing about suits, I cannot stand them (wearing them that is), I don't care how well fit a collar is, I feel like I'm being choked when I button up that top button and put on a tie. Comfort is the key for me.
 

mcahron

Well-Known Member
I dress up in a designer shirt,slacks,matching shoes.I do it so people wont think Im a burned out hippy because I wear a beard and have hair nearly to my arse.
 

Paul Mathews

Well-Known Member
There is a lot of truth to that and for dressing in a clean, professional manor. It shows attention to detail. Maybe its just a show, but if you can't or don't want to find a shirt that you have never changed your car's oil in to where to a big show, what else will you be inclined to short change?

Perception is, often enough, reality.
I think that's true for just about every endeavor.
 
R

rocksalt

Guest
IMHO

Chaque au son gout

Loosely translated.............Each to his own, or ............Each to his taste.
It is a common phrase used in France and other French speaking parts of the world. It means "be yourself."

I wear a coat and tie behind a table when I'm trying to sell knives that range from $300 to $1,500. Why? Becuase that's me. People expect it and it looks natural on me to be wearing a nice coat and tie.

I'd look like a fool dressed in black. Actually, I'd probably look like a big bowling ball or short weather balloon. Not a good look for me!

Many of the posts I have made here include this advice. Be yourself. Be comfortable in your own skin, and whatever covers it.

I've met a few pigs wearing lipstick...................they weren't comfortable and I sure as heck would never buy anything from them!

Whatever you do, don't be like everybody else. Look in the mirror, and then be you.................

-Tim
 

NickWheeler

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys :)

Ed is a prime example of projecting yourself well at a show. And I'm not just saying that because he said nice things about me here. I've been saying it since the first week-end I met him at the Eugene, OR, show about 9 years ago.

If you want to see someone who carries themselves with confidence and professionalism, yet is VERY welcoming and easy to talk to.... just hang out at Ed's table for awhile.

I hope it was clear that mostly, I wear a suit just because I like to. There are guys like Tom Mayo.... who is 1,000 times better known than me at ANY show, sells out in 3 miliseconds, and it a hugely respected maker.... has always been wearing shorts and a T-shirt whenever I see him. People would probably think Tom had lost it if they saw him in a suit.

I think this is a great topic Les! :cool: :)
 

Bruce Bump

Forum Owner-Moderator
I just wear clean jeans and my best shirt. Somebody once asked me why I dont have a cowboy hat and boots like all the other mastersmiths. I just dont fit that look. I did however buy a couple sport jackets and like them but they get too hot to wear at a show.
 

Bill Coye

Knife Maker
Off subject but...

I learned a very valuable lesson this weekend at the Tulsa show:

You just don't buy the knife, you buy the maker. It's a package deal.

I saw guys that apparently could care less about selling anything, let alone what they wore and sat the entire weekend.

I also saw guys that were on their feet and politely engaged folks as they walked by.

Do you have one of your own knives on your belt or in your pocket? Some did, some didn't. I used my my own beater I carry every day to describe what I was doing before (a whoppin' three months ago) and what had been done to improve on the design, finish, sheath, etc.

A guy stands there looking at three or four knives: pick it up, put it down, ask a question, ask the same question a different way, walks away, comes back. Then hands you one of your knives and pulls out his wallet, that's when the whole game changes. I felt a strong responsibility to look the man in the eye, re-introduce myself and firmly shake his hand. You don't just buy the knife, you buy the maker. It was a great experience.


BC

 

NickWheeler

Well-Known Member
Couldn't be said better Bill! Quite an epiphany, isn't it??? :) cool 1


Congrats on your new experiences!!! 2thumbs
 

Rusty McDonald

KNIFE MAKER
I just wear clean jeans and my best shirt. Somebody once asked me why I dont have a cowboy hat and boots like all the other mastersmiths. I just dont fit that look. I did however buy a couple sport jackets and like them but they get too hot to wear at a show.
I'm no master smith but before I started this journey into the world of knives my family and I were heavily into showing our Horses, my daughter and wife still do a bit. I have had a hat and boots on for most of my life and refuse to trade them in for a suit. So I wear pressed jeans a good pressed shirt and my boots and hat.
Rusty
 

Tod Lowe

Well-Known Member
Off subject but...

I learned a very valuable lesson this weekend at the Tulsa show:

You just don't buy the knife, you buy the maker. It's a package deal.

I saw guys that apparently could care less about selling anything, let alone what they wore and sat the entire weekend.

I also saw guys that were on their feet and politely engaged folks as they walked by.

Do you have one of your own knives on your belt or in your pocket? Some did, some didn't. I used my my own beater I carry every day to describe what I was doing before (a whoppin' three months ago) and what had been done to improve on the design, finish, sheath, etc.

A guy stands there looking at three or four knives: pick it up, put it down, ask a question, ask the same question a different way, walks away, comes back. Then hands you one of your knives and pulls out his wallet, that's when the whole game changes. I felt a strong responsibility to look the man in the eye, re-introduce myself and firmly shake his hand. You don't just buy the knife, you buy the maker. It was a great experience.


BC

Thats one sexy mutha.....I would by a knife off this guy any day!:D
(If I had any money):(
 
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