New experiences can be daunting. For me, I attended my first dietetic conference this year. In order to feel as comfortable as possible with future colleagues, bosses, and internship directors I wanted to be able to focus on interacting with them, NOT tugging on clothing. I feel my best when I love my outfit and although we dislike it, people do tend to judge the book by the cover. So what do you wear to a professional conference? Most of the time, professional conferences have a business casual wardrobe code and are day long functions. You want something that is comfortable to walk in, won't wrinkle, can adjust temperatures if the air conditioning is blasting, and most importantly an outfit that makes you feel great.
- Day 1:
The first day of my conference had the largest number of people present and included a 'meet and greet' session. Since this is the first time you're going to be introducing yourself, or catching up with colleagues, make day one your statement outfit.
- A pencil skirt is a great basic you should have in your closet no matter what crazy fad is 'in' at the moment. Even though you think harem pants are 'in' right now, a conference is just not the place for them. Stop. No hammer time.
- Eye catching color in the way of a comfortable shirt doesn't take up much suitcase space!
- Foldable cardigans will keep the chill off in cold conference rooms but can be easily stowed in tote bags.
- Large bags with comfortable straps are the most crucial thing to bring. At dietetic conferences, there are many free samples, handouts, plus you need room for a water bottle, cell phone to tweet tips, and other necessities.
- Foldable flats to keep in the tote bag will give your feet relief if you're not a high heel kind of girl.
- A clutch with essentials will make it easy to head out to dinner minus the hulking tote bag.
The second, or even third, day of a conference is more relaxed than the first and you'll probably be feeling a little tired. I sure needed a nap!
- An eye catching necklace is a great conversation starter and an easy outfit center.
- Silk scarves are your cardigan today! They also add interest to your tote bag but tie the outfit together.
- Tailored pants and a button up are things you probably already have in your closet. They can be interchanged with other clothes you've packed for your trip to and from the conference, or for a quick shopping trip.
What is your go to outfit for a conference? -Carlene