In less than a week’s time I will be flying to Chicago for 9 days for the biannual AICI (Association of Image Consultants International) Conference. BUT that then brings up the question of what to wear to a conference (especially one full of image consultants!!) Apart from participating at Conference, whilst I’m away I will also be going to meetings, sightseeing and attending a gala!

I spent a fun couple of hours over the weekend trying on various combinations of clothes to create a variety of outfits. I have managed to cull a big pile down to a more manageable selection but I will probably still tweak this group further over the coming days.

Staying true to my simple wardrobe concept I don’t want to be that woman paying excess luggage fees at the airport. Therefore, here are my tops tips for creating a varied, practical and stylish conference wardrobe.

5 things to consider when planning what to wear to a conference

  1. Plan!! Think about all the activities and events you will be doing whilst you are away. What is the dress code? What will you wear whilst you are travelling? Will you need dressy evening wear? What is the weather going to be like? You will probably need layers if the event is in an air conditioned hotel – a pashmina or wrap would also be handy!
  2. Base your wardrobe around a few colours. This is much easier if you have had a colour analysis But even if you haven’t, limit your colour palette to a maximum of 5 colours.
  3. Take a neutral coloured jacket to smarten up your outfits and pack more tops than bottoms. Different tops, blouses &/or knitwear will add variety to your look especially if you keep your trousers and skirts fairly neutral.
  4. A simple, plain dress or two can be very useful as these can be worn formally during the day and then dressed up for any evening events.
  5. Accessorise…. Add style to your conference wardrobe with different necklaces, scarves, bags and shoes. Although I would limit your shoes and take just one large handbag.

The most important thing to consider is how your clothes and accessories mix and match. Anything that makes it into your suitcase will need to work hard to earn its place! Also reject anything that will need a lot of ironing once you arrive!


Here is my conference wardrobe so far….

wear to a conference

And the accessories….

It will be interesting to see what I actually take and what I wore….!!


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