8 marvellous tips & tricks on dressing for a business conference

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I'm twitching with excitement as I count down the days until I fly my cute self from Sydney to Chicago for Ramit Sethi’s business conference, Forefront for online entrepreneurs. And I’ve been getting messages from a few of my business besties about what the heck they should wear.

Like rocket science, or Barbie’s last name, dressing for a work conference isn't something you ever really learn in life.

Figuring out what to wear can be confusing/exhausting/frustrating/infuriating, and can either set you up for a wildly successful time of snuggling up to Marie Forleo and Brené Brown and being showered with million dollar contracts, or… not.

So figure it out now, why don’t you?

These 8 easy-peasy tips will turn dressing for your next work conference into an unbelievably fun time! Because sometimes, that's all a lady needs…

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1. The one clever thing you can do to make sure your work conference outfits are a smashing success.

Ask yourself this one very important question – What are you trying to communicate through your clothes?

This is a fabulous little way to test whether your outfit is a good or not. It gets you thinking about whether you're clothes are talking truthfully about who you are and what your goals are. {Or if they're being a bit bitchy.}

So, what word are you trying to communicate?

Have a play in your imagination with a few different words like smart, inviting, memorable, energetic, powerful, chic, fun, welcoming or interesting.

And make sure this one little go-to word is super-specific so that it can get your style to work hard at nailing your goals.

So… what’s your word peanut?

Got it?

Now – show that word who’s boss!

2. The magic of outfit planning.

Plan, plan, plan! Please – put some thought into your conference clothes!

It’s the secret to feeling organised, comfortable and in control.

Figure out the number of outfits you’re going to need over the entire time of the conference.

How many day outfits? How many evening outfits? What about cocktail parties? Workouts? Or those little in-between times?

If you can figure this out before hand, it means that while you're getting ready you can focus entirely on how to make the most of the event itself – who you'd like to meet, the speakers you'd like to hear, and everything you'd like to learn. {And that is w-a-a-a-a-y more sensible than getting into some chaotic closet kerfuffle. Yes?}

3. It's time to consider where and when.

When thinking about what you’re going to wear to your conference, you also need to consider which days of the week the conference is being held.

Is it during the week? Or over the weekend?

If it’s during the week, you might dress more like you would dress for work. But for a weekend conference, you might want to go a touch more casual.

Next, you must consider the location.

A work conference by the beach will be way more relaxed than one in a fancy city venue.

And what about the temperature?

Although you’ll probably be spending the majority of the conference inside, for times when you’re not, the outside temperature is something you should probably {definitely} consider.

4. But how do I deal with all the crazy indoor temperatures?

Conferences and climate control are the worst possible friends!

Conferences can be freezing, conferences can be sweltering, and some conferences can be a wonky mixture of both.

Temperature control can be dreadful!

And look, honestly – no matter how incredible a conference may be, if I come dressed for the wrong temperature I can't stop myself from thinking about how I want to go home to the luxury of my highly obedient air-conditioning and watch Friends to see if Ross and Rachel finally get together.

So how the heck do I deal with this you ask?

The magic is in the layers onion-girl.

So pretty-please – have plenty of them. Be ready to peel off and put back on whenever you need to.

And a wrap can be the best piece of all! You can wear it draped around your shoulders, around your neck as a scarf, or over your legs if they get chilly. {You can also use it to wipe the icing sugar from around your mouth due to excess cupcake eating in between sessions.}

You're welcome.

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5. Oui! Your comfort matters, Mademoiselle!

Please dress for comfort little lambs!

This is SO important.

These days are often l-o-o-o-o-o-n-g affairs with lots of sitting and standing. And if you have to worry about throbbing feet and clothes that pull, pinch, scratch and suffocate… No, no, no. It’s not a good idea.

At all.

So, worry first about feeling good, and then you can worry about looking good. {Which you will. I mean look at that smile!}

And pretty-please pack clothes that fit! Yes, darling-heart – breathing and moving at a conference must be your top priority. And unless you're a professional 4 inch high-heel wearer, it’s here I must gently {yet aggressively} encourage you to wear flats and save the heels for night time.

6. Some trickery & tippery for finding the right balance between casual and corporate.

For most work conferences, it’s all about finding  just the right mix of casual and corporate.

To get this balance, I like to use one structured piece in my outfit to anchor my entire look.

So, if you’re wearing a structured jacket, you could wear it over a flowy dress, or a soft blouse and pants. Or, if you’re wearing structured pants, you could tone them down with a sweater or a high quality t-shirt. And if you’re wearing a straight structured skirt, you could soften it with a silky button-down.

One structured piece with one or more softer pieces, and you have a casual-corporate match made-in-heaven.

{And the chance that you’ll be mistaken for Gwyneth will be much higher.}

7. One fun & foolproof way to show off your personality.

Just dress remarkably. K?

Oh, stop it! I can hear you muttering about how you think I’m behaving like some fashion warden who’s bullying you into wearing some out-of-this-world, outrageously gorgeous, completely WOW! outfit to every single conference you go to for the rest of your life.

Well… not true.

When I use the word ‘remarkable’, what I mean is: Worthy of remarking upon.

All you need is ONE piece that is worthy of remark.

It could be something with a touch of sparkle, or a pop of colour, or a flash of leopard-print, or you could simply drape yourself in a full length fur coat. {I jest!}

But seriously, use this as an opportunity to throw a flashlight on your personality and the remarkable work that you do.

Go get yourself noticed!

Work conferences are an amazing opportunity for you to make connections, meet new people, deepen friendships… so go and show people the very best of who you are and what you do.

And if you want more tipery and trickery, you can read a truly wonderful post I wrote about dressing remarkably right HERE!

PS. Some shockingly chic red lipstick helps too. Style cat. Meow!

8. Throw compliments around like confetti!

Celebrate beauty. Encourage creativity. Throw compliments around like confetti.

It’s the perfect ice-breaker at a conference, and it’ll make everyone feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Promise. Do it.

You have no idea how many women I’ve met and built lovely relationships with simply because I gushed in admiration over their delightfully sparkly shoes.

See? See the difference it makes?

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NOW… I know that's a lot to think about! So to save you even MORE time, I've put together some conference-inspired outfit ideas to get the ball rolling {which you can totally tweak to suit your industry}.

So, click the link above to see 8 practically-perfect outfit formulas for you to try.

AND WAIT! Before you walk out the door – grab your lippie and write a love note to yourself on the mirror for putting all this flippin’ effort in. Something like: “Holy cow, you look amazing!”

There… Didn't I tell you getting dressed for a conference would be fun? 

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Waking Up In Paris | Clarissa Grace | Personal Style Online | Online Fashion Stylist | Confidence Coach | Mom Boss | Fashion For Working Moms & Mompreneurs

Author: Clarissa Grace

As image stylist and founder of Waking Up In Paris, Clarissa Grace teaches mum entrepreneurs to embrace their bodies, believe in their beauty and transform themselves through the power of personal style. She is professionally trained in fashion design, costume design, and haute couture through The Paris American Academy, and has created hundreds of couture wedding gowns for brides under her self named label. Clarissa has been splashed on the pages of Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Woman's Day, chatted on Channel 7 and Nine, and dressed some of Australia's most dazzling stars such as Isabel Lucas, Kate Ritchie, Jodi Gordon and Ricki-Lee Coulter.

 
Waking Up In Paris | Clarissa Grace | Personal Style Online | Online Fashion Stylist | Confidence Coach | Mom Boss | Fashion For Working Moms & Mompreneurs

Hello, M'dear!

I'm Clarissa Grace & I adore you already! I teach mum entrepreneurs to embrace their body, believe in their beauty & transform themselves through the power of personal style. 

Waking Up In Paris | Clarissa Grace | Personal Style Online | Online Fashion Stylist | Mom Boss | Fashion For Working Moms & Mompreneurs
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