Conference attire 101
November 9, 2005 11:15 AM   Subscribe

Help me figure out what I should wear to this conference next week in Boston. It's my first conference ever and I don't want to look over/under dressed. Also, any MeFites attending (this is right up your alley)?

The above link is mainily for clues/ context. I work for a jeans and t-shirt company, and for some reason I feel ridiculous when I have to wear anything nicer. Should I dress to impress, or just go wearing what makes me feel comfortable? Specific suggestions are much apprieciated. My email is in my profile for those who want to meet up in Boston for the conference.
posted by |n$eCur3 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
All the conferences I've been to have been technical in nature, and people wore clothes ranging from shorts and t-shirts to khakis and corporate polos, but very few ties outside of some of the keynote speakers. It looks like your conference will have a range of participants, but at least some of them will be from the techie side and may not be inclined to dress up. I'd say go with what you're comfortable with.

You might want to dress up a bit if you're making a presentation. That's usually the time that I pull out the khakis and corporate polo shirts. And since your business is jeans and t-shirts, it makes sense to stick with those.
posted by flipper at 11:29 AM on November 9, 2005

Casual dressup. Avoid the jeans and tee shirt, but a suit is way overkill. Slacks, buttondown shirt, tie optional. A lightweight dress jacket may be nice. your profile fails to mention gender, if it is female just go with e equivalent. you want to look decent and feel comfortable.
posted by edgeways at 11:30 AM on November 9, 2005

Response by poster: Edgeways, male it is.
posted by |n$eCur3 at 11:35 AM on November 9, 2005

Since the conference has the word architecture in it you will need some kind of strange eyeglasses.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:00 PM on November 9, 2005

I agree with edgeways.

I would probably skip the tie. Go with nice khakis and a long sleeve buttondown shirt, tucked in with a nice belt, and a decent pair of shoes.

Here is an example, although a non-crazy plaid would work very well, even better than this monochrome look
posted by Puppy D at 1:24 PM on November 9, 2005

I'll be there. Third conference in three weeks, actually. I'll be one of the folks in khakis, an oxford, and a blazer, but I think the above advice is good: you'll see a range, and shouldn't feel too restricted as to what you can wear.

I would just keep in mind that you'll be at the Harvard Law School for this, and the Harvard Faculty Club the evening before. HLS tends to be conservative in dress, and the Faculty Club (while probably relaxing their dress code that evening) is usually a suit-and-tie place.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 1:54 PM on November 9, 2005

I think that you'll feel plenty comfortable in jeans + tshirts. Maybe you want to rock a cool tshirt, or at least a clean one, for this, but I don't think you'll feel out of place or that people will be whispering about you. The conference speakers seem evenly split between academics and industry consultants. The consultants will be more dressed up than the academics (IME). I bet you'll see lots of jackets / blazers with no ties.

I'm an academic, and on the younger side, so I'd go in:

"Good jeans" (no holes, basically) and a button down on the evening session. I might rock a jacket.

Same good jeans and either casual button-down or even t-shirt / decently cool polo.

I *wish* I were going, btw. Sounds like it's right up my alley.
posted by zpousman at 5:21 PM on November 9, 2005

The Harvard faculty club is pretty fancy, as is the law school. I would wear a jacket of some kind.
posted by josh at 6:03 PM on November 9, 2005

I suppose a consideration might be: if you are going to network and make a good impression dress nicer, if you are just going to be a faceless member of the crowd then the jeans and tee shirt. For myself, and this may not apply to you, I'd want to look good even if there where no plans beyond attending, you never know what opportunities may arise, and while you may well be acceptable in the casual causal attire you'll have a slight edge in the unexpected department if you spruce up just a touch.

Have fun
posted by edgeways at 6:36 PM on November 9, 2005

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