What I wore to my winter work conference

I love a good work conference packing list, and it seems like you guys do, too, so here are all of my conference outfits from my recent trip! Academic conference dress codes can be hard to decode so I like to hang out at the sweet spot of comfortable and polished. The power of good clothes is important for me when I’m dealing with conference jitters (especially because at academic conferences you are often presenting, eek!). So, here’s what I wore, plus a list of extras that I always make sure to pack in my bag.

Day 1: Travel

I wore my 2 bulkiest items–a peacoat and waterproof boots–on the plane. Plus, my beloved Brass ponte pants (get $25 off Brass using code REBECCA25, if you’re so inclined). My other favorite packing trick is to wear a button up on its own for one day and then layer it under a sweater another day, which prolongs the life of both items before they need washing.

Oh, and a word on sweat? I recently got this amazing undershirt and it was the conference champion. It blocked all sweat stains and kept my clothes cleaner! I’m going back for multiples.

Day 2: Presenting

Like I said, this year I put on the suit. I am often totally freezing in conference centers, plus having an extra blazer helped with winter layering. I decided to pair it with a turtleneck for a slightly more relaxed look. Having a super soft layer under my suit was so great and I really felt comfortable and unrestricted throughout my presentations (I gesture a lot, ok?).

My suit is old J. Crew and my turtleneck is thrifted but reminds me of this Tradlands one.

Day 3: Mingling

Much like Demi Lovato in Sorry Not Sorry, this outfit made me feel like a 10, which was so needed after the job market last year. It was nice to be able to dress more like myself, network like myself, and present like myself–no more job market games! So, all burgundy it was.

I found this J. Crew Tippi sweater on Poshmark. There are so so many on there I don’t think I’ll ever buy one new. And my pants are the more recent edition of my favorite Gap skinny dress pants.

If I could only pick one item to really, really pay attention to when conference packing it would be shoes! I brought my two most comfortable pairs: these Pikolinos boots and these Frye flats.

And now, for all the “extras” not included in my clothing packing list–here’s the extra stuff that I bring to every conference:

  • Bandaids, because blisters are the worst
  • Dayquil, because if I get sick walking to the nearest CVS is the worst
  • Tums and Immodium and Advil because my body hates me during conferences
  • Cliff bars or something similar for when the nearest restaurant is $25 an entree
  • Business cards (your most forgotten item according to Instagram stories! same here.)
  • Cellphone charger (in my bag during the day because inevitably someone’s phone dies)
  • A to-go mug for coffee in the morning and water in the afternoon

What else would you add to the list?

5 thoughts on “What I wore to my winter work conference”

    1. I got a medium and I think they’re pretty form fitting–I am usually a 4/6 in tops. I like to size up when buying on Poshmark too in case previous owners accidentally shrunk anything! 🙂


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