Dressing for a conference requires thought and care as to the impact that you will make, comfort, practicality and events.
Do your homework before deciding what clothing to wear to your next conference. What events will there be? How many days do you need to pack for? What day-wear would be best? What evening wear? Do you have a change of both outfits in case someone spills something on you?
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Will there be a cocktail party? A sit-down supper or luncheon? Who are you going to be talking to there? What’s the objective of your networking? In other words, should I go for the white linen? The low-cut dress? Or the high-powered business suit? Loafers or high heels, or both? What will the weather be like?
The do’s of dressing for a conference:
Smart, but comfortable clothing and shoes. If you want people to take you seriously, then dress the part. But there’s no need to try to ‘outflash’ everyone else with a Gucci business suit.
Clothes you can sit down in.
Men – yes, do sport a tie if it’s high-power formal or ‘strictly business’. An open-neck button down shirt under a light, or linen, jacket will do for networking or less formal affairs.
If your conference has a specific theme and a certain dress code has been requested, stick to it or else you will stand out in the crowd.
If there is a theme - stick to it
The don’ts of dressing for a conference:
Unless it’s on the beach – don’t wear ultra-casual clothes and footwear such as flip-flops.
Unless it’s 35 Degrees out there, avoid open-toed shoes too. (Men – don’t even think about sandals – even it is blazing hot!)
Knee-length boots or other ‘haute-couture’ items that will make you look overdressed, over-eager, and out of place at best.
Shorts. Never. Neither men nor women. Not unless there’s a mud-wrestling event.
Don’t wear items that crease (linen pants and dresses, and pure cottons).
Don’t wear sheer blouses (unless you will be wearing a jacket), or pants that show too much, standing or sitting.
Don’t bare more skin than others would be comfortable with.
Naturally, many of these guidelines for dressing for a conference or a meeting apply more to women. It’s just the way it is. It’s because women have more choice when it comes to what to wear – to any event. Not just conferences.
Never wear slip slops to a Conference unless its part of the theme