5 Tips for Dressing for a Work Conference

Almost every year, I enjoy the opportunity to attend an industry-specific conference for work. I’ve been going to a conference pretty much once or twice a year for about 19 years now… which is A LOT of air conditioned classrooms!

When I attended my conference in Boston last month, I realized that I’ve done a pretty good job at paring my packing list down to JUST what was needed. So, I thought I’d put together a mini list with some suggestions in case you also attend a work conference. Or have to travel for work. Or need to travel and look nice. It really could have a variety of uses!

Tip 1: When in doubt, dress a little nicer than you would for a normal workday.

At a conference, you are meeting a lot of new people and making a ton of ‘first impressions’ throughout the event. Put a little extra effort into your look and step it up a notch. For some people, that may be adding a blazer to their outfit. For others, a professional dress or top and pants is totally fine. Just think, if I were to be called up on stage in front of everyone else… would I feel comfortable and confident in this outfit?

Tip 2: Jersey doesn’t wrinkle!

On short work trips (less than 1 week), I like to just take a carryon bag and my laptop bag. So, I try to keep my clothing down to the bare minimum. This also means that it is all squished into just one tiny suitcase, so sticking with wrinkle-free or wrinkle-resistant fabrics is super important! I love jersey dresses because they always look fantastic and they don’t wrinkle at all… even if squished into a suitcase.

Tip 3: Stick with a color scheme for your trip.

For my trip in June, I went with patterned dresses and red flats {My Favorite Flats: Let’s Talk About Rothy’s: Are they Worth the Money?} Each dress had elbow or ¾ sleeves to keep me a little warmer in over air conditioned rooms and the shoes were super comfortable and provided a cute pop of red for each outfit. If your event is a little more formal, you could always throw in a black blazer to go with each of your looks.

Here are my super classy ‘perching on the side of the tub’ outfit photos from my June conference:

Tip 4: Don’t forget a scarf.

I’ve mentioned the AC a couple times for good reason, conference centers are notorious for their freezing temperatures. I always pack an oversized – yet super thin – scarf that I can drape over my shoulders if the room gets too chilly. I’ve even used it as a pajama topper in my room for a little extra comfort. Basically, it’s like a grown up security blanket!

Tip 5: Bring a bag.

I tend to accumulate a bunch of stuff at a conference – typically my purse stuff, my personal cell phone, my work cell phone, a notebook, conference handouts, various business cards, etc. I find it really helpful to have a cute collapsible tote bag to carry around with me to each classroom. That way, I’m not juggling a bunch of little things and I also have a place to stash my scarf when I’m not wearing it.

Just for funsies, I put together a gallery of some super cute jersey dresses:

Let me know if you like the gallery option! Also, do you have any tips for conference packing/dressing?


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One thought on “5 Tips for Dressing for a Work Conference”

  1. Thanks, what cute dresses! It is good to have a list to follow, I always bring too much. Like you, I like to coordinate things.I bring at least two outfits that mix and match. Jewelry can help change up an outfit, as well.

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