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tl;dr A simple guide to fashion etiquette for your next conference trip.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

The Style Guide for

Conference Clothing by Ryan Zimmerman

Ryan Zimmerman

A

s a kid, I remember sitting at the foot of the bed in my parents’ room, kicking my legs back and forth as they hung off the edge; trying to muster

up some guilt-laden conversation in hopes of keeping my dad from going out of town.

2. Shoes Wearing comfortable footwear is imperative at a conference. The miles you’ll end up walking during the show add

It never took him long to pack. He would typically grab a

up quickly, and the last thing you need are sore feet. Tennis

couple suits, some button up shirts and ties, and that was all

shoes are common as are other “dress” shoes with a cushiony

he really needed. This was his typical attire and all I saw him

sole to aid in the pounding your feet are sure to take on. Flip-

ever pack.

Flops, however, are ill-advised. Not for the comfort aspect,

Now, conferences are full of an eclectic mix of style choic-

but mainly for the “feet are kinda gross” aspect. Not everyone

es- from tees to tank tops and cargos to capris, the clothing

feels this way, but I guarantee you that when you plop down

carbon copy of yesterday is long gone. However, just because

in a chair with a client, they may not be too impressed. They’ll

times have changed, it doesn’t necessarily mean that attend-

try to keep eye contact, but once you move a leg up and cross

ees should ignore certain fashion faux pas or common sense.

it over the other, revealing the pale and hair engulfed bare ap-

Here are a few notes to remember the next time you grab

pendages just a few (no pun intended) “feet” away from their

your lanyard and head out on the show floor:

face, things can go sour quickly. Sandals are for beaches, not for business.

1. Sunglasses Sunglasses are fantastic accessories and have one main

3. Shirts

job, which is to keep sun out of your eyes. They enable the

To button or not to button? That is the question! Actually,

user to perform tasks like driving, skiing and other outdoor ac-

it’s not and it’s rather easy to answer. The answer is “to button”

tivities without being blinded by the brightest object in the sky;

and I’ll do a quick rhyme to remember in case anyone forgets:

the sun. Wearing sunglasses indoors is reserved for costume

“If the hair from your chest is catching my eye, either button

parties, those who just had their eyes dilated or reenacting

your shirt more or put on a tie”. Simple.

any 80s movie scene. That’s really about it. Walking around

Please take these tips into consideration… or don’t… what-

the exhibit hall floor with sunglasses on is a surefire way to get

ever you prefer. After all, I am the guy that had a faux hawk for

noticed, however, for the wrong reason.

two-years too long.

18

Ryan is a thirteen-year internet marketing veteran, focusing on lead generation and business development.

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