What to wear to ... conferences?

Yay! It's time for my first conference as an MD! I have business cards all printed up (fancy) and my schedule is all highlighted and ready to go!

But what does one wear to a conference? There is one "fancy" event - a gala, on one night, and there is also a resident's event on the other evening (which is going to be kinda funny because there is only one training program and we know each other!) - I have my "fancy" event planned out.

I'm more concerned about the rest of the events. I am not doing any presentations, but I could be meeting potential supervisors and/or employers and/or colleagues.

Business casual? My usual workwear? No jeans except for going out for dinner with friends?

Thanks, wise ones :D

PS: I will also introduce my new watch! :) - Totally love it!

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  • bj1111 replied 5 years ago

    i would dress as you would for work, since you are so stylish. especially at the beginning of the week. the dress code gets a bit more relaxed toward the end of the week.

  • replied 5 years ago

    ditto what bj1111 said. you always look so nice, perfect for potential employers and colleagues. ps it's nice to see a doc with clothing style. my last 3 wore dockers and a golf shirt

  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 5 years ago

    Love the new watch.

    I have attended quite a few large conventions but finance not medicine. It is usually business attire. I wouldn't wear a suit but would also not wear jeans or khakis. Dress pants or a skirt with a nice shirt and a jacket in case it is cold in the facility.

    Have fun.

  • lyn* replied 5 years ago

    Thanks a ton! I can finally bring out my new blazers!!! I can't wait - they don't fit under a white coat!

  • Gaylene replied 5 years ago

    I'd agree with business attire for most professional conferences, but I'd also throw in a business casual option just in case some of the sessions are less formal. Professional conferences can be tricky--some are quite business-like while others can be quite casual. Being stylish is good, but it's also not a bad idea to go with the flow sometimes, either.

  • Krista replied 5 years ago

    What Gaylene said! Have fun at the conference :)

  • Beth Ann replied 5 years ago

    LOVE that watch! I'm getting ready to ask YLFers for help in choosing the first watch I've purchased in more than 10 years. You're at the top of my consultant list!

    Sounds like you have some MD's who've chimed in with good advice.

  • lyn* replied 5 years ago

    I love Fossil watches - I only have one; i have purchased many though, mostly as gifts - and everyone loves them!

    I'd check out a Fossil store if you have one near you - they are opening one next month only 5 min from my house and next door to where I work! SO DANGEROUS.

  • Thistle replied 5 years ago

    Gorgeous watch! So, I have been to a handful of conferences, some Finance and some software. The software ones everyone was in jeans. Everyone. The Finance ones I went to varied. Some people were in jeans, some one step below a suit. I think a lot of it depended on how casual their office was.

  • Diana replied 5 years ago

    Hmm, I think it's probably a good bet that medical conferences are more well-dressed than scientific ones! So I'm not sure I can really give you good advice, but I'd say maybe your regular dresses plus a blazer or two? If it turns out to be more casual you can lose the blazer. Blazer/jacket/cardi is a good idea anyway because it always seems to be freezing at these things.

    Here is what I wore to a scientific conference (in DC, at a nice hotel). I was definitely one of the more dressy people there. It was summer and very hot. In cooler weather I'd probably go for trousers or skinny black pants, or skirts w/tights. And boots or booties. At scientific conferences you could definitely wear jeans too... maybe not ripped up ones but plain dark ones would be perfectly appropriate. I'm guessing your conferences are dressier - so maybe take my capsule and bump everything up a notch. So real blazer instead of knit blazer, for example. Or dressier shoes instead of the funky gladiators.


    I feel like when meeting scientists/academics, you don't want to look too "business" because that's kind of seen as anti-academic, you know? But I don't think there is this bias in medicine?

  • lyn* replied 5 years ago

    There are some pharma people there and they usually do the business suit thing. I am slightly scared of them and the way they want me to use their drugs and push things at me.

    I can't wait for my blazers to come out of hiding!

  • Makrame replied 5 years ago

    Maybe it depends on a particular field/conference/geographic location but I noticed that MDs at conferences I go to generally tend to wear suits/blazers or fairly dressy business casual. The first time I went to one of these conferences (at a resort hotel) I was surprised by the number of people wearing jackets/blazers.

  • Rambling Ann replied 5 years ago

    Layers. Conference venues are notoriously bad at climate control. Either the A/C will freeze an ice cube or is non-existent. And shoes that will Let you stand comfortably and shmooze.

    Good for you for being skeptical of big pharma. I wish my previous 2 docs hadn't drunk their Kool-aid. Your patients will appreciate your fresh approach.

  • Rambling Ann replied 5 years ago

    If you can, bring your own nifty badge holder so you don't have to use the sponsor-logo badge lariat. If not this time, eventually. Even a long necklace with a safety pin is cooler than any string around the neck they will issue you for free.

  • lyn* replied 5 years ago

    Thanks, Ann - that's such a good idea! I have a Star Trek one I usually bright with me :)

  • harmonica replied 5 years ago

    I saw your other post and know you're sorted out :-) Just wanted to pop by and say "what an cool watch!" I really like the simple numbers and the brown leather strap.

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