Conference Packing List

I just got back from 6 DAYS of conferencing–definitely my longest conference to date. So, if you’re in need of business packing that can last you all week, here’s my packing list!

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What I packed:

-2 blazers (tan, black)

-2 dresses (black, grey)

-2 shirts (black, plaid)

-Dress pants, pencil skirt

-Flats

-Heeled boots

-For layering: tights, gloves/hat/scarf, jacket

-For relaxing: leggings, oversized sweater (can be flipped to look like a more professional cardigan), sneakers (I actually wish I had packed a few more relaxed items–even if I was in the hotel for only a couple hours, there was no way I was staying in a pencil skirt so I used my leggings more than anticipated)

As you can see, I stuck to warm neutrals, black, and pops of red. Sticking to a color palette means that everything goes together and can be worn twice.

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Have a plan: I know that taking flatlays is a blogger level of extra, but I really recommend planning out outfits ahead of time. Knowing what I was pairing with what every day took one thing off my mind while I was job marketing and giving talks.

Test out comfy items ahead of time: My conference MVP this time was absolutely my Frye “Regina” flats. It has taken me YEARS to find comfortable pointed toe flats and I finally did this summer. I wish I had never wasted my money before on conference items that “might” work–if it only feels so-so in the store, there’s no way it’s going to make it to hour 12 on your feet!

Also, LAYERS. So necessary for winter conferences.

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I also had a couple ~~guest bloggers~~, aka my conference buddies who I followed around and snapped pics of to show some different perspectives on conference dressing. Here’s what they had to say:

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Mackensie: My blazer is Madewell and my mint pants are Kut from Kloth (similar). My necklace is from Nasty Gal (similar, $28)–a statement necklace makes conference outfits more fun, I think (also, metallics, like these lace up flats). The tan pencil skirt my mom bought me over 5 years ago as an investment in business clothes (similar). She was so right…I tend to stick with Kut from Kloth for jeans. I go to TJMaxx for shoes and other business wear.

Good advice I got from a prof at this conference was “you don’t have to wait to have tenure to be yourself,” I’ve actually been trying to be ‘less professional’ because that’s often code for ‘white, middle class, heterosexual,’ and I’m definitely only middle class lolol. My number one goal is to be comfortable, both in terms of movement and with being myself. And letting my hair being as curly as I want 🙂

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Megan: I was looking for something that would be easy to wear, and make me feel professional but still fun. My style is pretty lowkey (comp-ing…) but I really enjoy dressing up and conferences provide that. My white shirt is thrifted, and my black pencil skirt is from H&M, and my boots are Old Navy. Old Navy has some really great stuff going on–skinny dress pants, sweaters galore, and they’re always doing Madewell-esque things for half the price. My tan cardigan is also Old Navy, and my olive dress is thrifted.

That’s a wrap for us. Megan and I are currently sitting on the couch watching Law and Order SVU to recover from all the conferencing. I’m ready to get back to dissertating and stop socializing 24 hours a day 🙂 Hope you had a good weekend.

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