Who’s imaging your conference attire?
I’m often asked, “What should I wear to a conference?” And I always answer, “Clothes that reflect you, your style, your personality.”
As Marc Jacobs says, “Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them.” And that person, is you.
I remember one of the conferences we staged in Europe. It evolved into one of the most emotive events we have produced. Men and women dressed in the sharpest of business suits, men in casual jeans, the smartest of jackets and hats. Women with flowers in their hair. The ambience was electrifying.
Similarly, I have been the delegate at many conferences where everyone has been attired almost identically. The ambience has been less exciting – a feeling that people are being curtailed by uniformity, perhaps conforming to match the dress codes that appear on so many conference itineraries?
Some of us love simplicity, some of us are flamboyant, some of us are shy, some extroverted. The worst thing is to be dressed in clothes that make us curb our personality because we read about the “conference norm.” Or we dress like someone we want to gain business from because we perceive that they will only buy from “someone like them.”
Perhaps we have the fear of being judged by others on how we look but, should we not be liked for our actions, words and creations?
Conferences should be about freedom – the freedom of knowledge, the freedom of networking, the freedom to be vulnerable and be “our true selves.” Surely this increases our confidence levels?
Basic etiquette should always come into the equation including the respect for the cultural values of the conference host’s country.
Live true to your personal integrity and authenticity – this will guide you.
And remember, as Coco Chanel famously said, “You can be gorgeous at thirty, charming at forty, and irresistible for the rest of your life.”