WTW: The Conference wear tradition (ETA: lots more options)

I joined this forum, it must be three years ago, for help deciding what to wear for a work conference at which I was scheduled to speak.

And I've asked you all for help for every conference speaking engagement I've had since.

So, in keeping with tradition - I'm speaking at my normal fall conference this week.  I have work shirts from the spring conference that I'm not required to wear, but it's somewhat expected that I do (besides that most of my other clothes are still packed from moving).

The conference is three days, but I'm only required to go to two of them, so I may or may not attend the third.  I need at least two solid outfits.  I'm speaking the second day, which means that the first impressions outfit will be different from the speaking outfit.

 I have three possibilities for trousers (light gray, dark gray and black) and two colors of shirts (black and white - but I own two of the black). Here's what I've managed to come up with as possibilities so far.

#1 - black work shirt, dark gray trousers, cognac belt, shoes and jacket.
#2 - same as #1, but with a white work shirt that just seems glaringly bright to me.
#3 - black work shirt with light gray trousers - belt and shoes also black.
#4 - column of black with a white jacket.

New options:

#5 - Narrower black pants with black top (white belt and jacket, black shoes).  I like these better than the black pants in #4, which feel too big to me.  These are also big, but less obviously so, to me.

#6  -Same as #5, without jacket

#7 - Cropped navy trousers, with high-shaft beetle booties, so that I can wear socks.  This looks strange, right?

#8 - Same as #7, but removed the socks and put on the more comfy shoes.  It's summer, maybe I can get away with showing my ankles?  I'm nervous about the frigid A/C, but it's quite warm outside (almost 90F).

#9 - same as #8, removed the white belt.  I'd add a black belt for low contrast.

#10 - same as #9, but with navy ankle pants rolled.

#11 - Navy jeans with black shirt (they're a dressier fabrication than most denim, and would be dressy enough - this is construction industry and Nebraska).

#12 - Navy jeans with white shirt.  I'd add a black belt, or maybe a white one.

#13 - As long as I'm considering bare ankles, why not culottes?  I have a pair of silk long underwear under these, and they were very warm for this try-on.  (Still no guarantee that my ankles wouldn't freeze, but the rest of me wouldn't).

#14 - Culottes with black shirt.

#15 - added the white jacket.  There's no belt loops for me to add a white belt, and I'm not sure the jacket goes by itself.

#16 - totally bare legs and knees.  I think I'd freeze.  And it's not seasonally appropriate to add thermal tights to it, so I doubt this one will happen (besides that the proportions are off, aren't they?)

All of these are dressy enough - that's not a real concern for me.  My real care is to look competent and be comfortable.

What would you suggest?  (Do you see a combo that I'm missing?  I don't think I can get away with a skirt or ankle pants because they keep it 65* in there, and I'll freeze to death).

My current thoughts are to wear #5-6 one day, and either navy trousers, navy ankle pants or culottes the other... I'm not sure.  What do you think now?

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27 Comments

  • Thistle replied 1 year ago

    I like #4 the best followed by #3.  For some reason, I feel the brown jacket is too casual.

  • kellygirl replied 1 year ago

    i think 3 looks more in line with your first impression look. 4 is great but it doesn't look as "work" like to me. I think it's the more untraditional jacket--as opposed to the bomber or a blazer. Just my 2 cents. You look competent and approachable in all of the above!

  • amiable replied 1 year ago

    Oh wait - I just found two more bottoms options that might be better than any of these!  I'll take more pics tomorrow (and hopefully correct my camera focus)

  • Elly replied 1 year ago

    I like 1 and 4-- you could also do the white shirt and jacket together with light grey or black slacks (you could bookend with cognac shoes).

  • Glory replied 1 year ago

    I like 4 and 1 but I think you could wear them all. You look very competent!

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Oh goody. I love this tradition. 

    I will refrain from comment until I see all the options. :) 

  • UtahDesert replied 1 year ago

    I like two and four best. It might be because these are the two with the sharpest dark-light contrast, which I'm always a sucker for. But I think two is a particularly sharp, competent, put together kind of look, and four has the same elements but uses white and dark colors in a less common and therefore cool kind of way.

  • lyn67 replied 1 year ago

    Wow, I like them all, fab fits on pants with the belts and leather jackets, but nr 3 is striking cause the light pants, and changed colorway, which I love:-)),

  • Sterling replied 1 year ago

    You look very competent and comfortable.  

    My favorites are numbers 3 and 4 (in that order).  I do not like number 1.  I can't say I like either number 1 or 2.  It may be the brown "offends" me.  I know it doesn't make sense.  Sigh.  

  • krishnidoux replied 1 year ago

    1 and 4

  • Beth Ann replied 1 year ago

    I'll wait to see your new options --- but I wanted to say that you look very Amelia Earhart in the brown jacket.  And these shirts are far better looking than the ones I remember from a few years ago -- weren't they the ubiquitous polos?

  • Joy replied 1 year ago

    For your first day I like 1 or 3. For your 2nd day and talk I like 4. You look wonderful in everything.

  • amiable replied 1 year ago

    Wow - Thanks for all the input so far!  I'll put together more pics in a few hours - both other pairs of pants are slim (unless they're now way too big), and I'm excited about the possibilities with them.

  • Angie replied 1 year ago

    Another vote for #4. 

  • Sara L. replied 1 year ago

    I also like #4.  Those black pants are very flattering on you.  I like #2 with the white shirt but if it feels too bright and you'll be uncomfortable, I would rule that one out.  I like the mix of neutral shades in #1 as well.

  • amiable replied 1 year ago

    Thanks for your input so far!  I ended up finding two pairs of dressy-enough jeans (black and navy), and then since the weather is so summery today, I tried on some summery options (ankle pants, culottes and even a skirt).  I fear the summer options a bit, because my experience tells me I'll freeze at this show.  But it's so nice outside - I could just step outside now and then, right?  Right?  (haha).

    I still like the two pair of grey wide-leg pants in #1-3.  I prefer the black narrow in #5 to the black bootcut in #4 unless you convince me otherwise.

    What else do you see?

  • texstyle replied 1 year ago

    I like 4 if you need a jacket. I also like the classic look of 12 - simple but effective for the task. Maybe add a navy belt (but not a white belt in my opinion).

  • Word Lily replied 1 year ago

    I still like #1, a lot. I prefer the bootcuts in 4 to the narrow 5, but I'm bootcut to the core, so that might just be me.

    I think you should skip the summery looks based on your gut instinct / history with the event that you'll be too cold. But I also like 15.

  • amiable replied 1 year ago

    Hmmm - two people prefer the bootcuts already.  I'll give them a better chance, I guess :)

  • Astrid replied 1 year ago

    I really like #4! Followed by #9. I prefer the black shirt to the white and I don't like the white belt all that much. I think it looks better if you have one long column of color.

  • Kat replied 1 year ago

    I like 9 for first day (first impression, more casual , but comfortable and competent), then 4 for your speaking day--it has a slightly more "profesional"/presentation vibe to me. I also agree with Astrid that I like the looks with a column of color better, but this may just be my personal preference bleeding over into suggestion for you.

  • missvee replied 1 year ago

    Oh #4 is perfect for your presentation - it's crisp, graphic and professional.
    For the meet and greet you could do something a bit more fun like #6, the column of navy with the white belt.

  • amiable replied 1 year ago

    Okay - for sure then, I'll wear #4 for speaking.

    I won't wear brown, skirt or culottes.  I'm narrowing it down!

  • AviaMariah replied 1 year ago

    I like #4 the best but I also like #12, especially if you feel you should wear a logo shirt one day.

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    I really like #9 and #12 and I also like the favourite, #4. 

    You look so amazing -- just comparing these to the first photos from the conference!! 

  • amiable replied 1 year ago

    Thanks Suz!  What a different PPL makes, right (and fit too)?!   I'm sure that losing a bit of weight helps, but it's really mostly the clothes.

  • amiable replied 1 year ago

    Ahh Suz - you made me look.  These pants, from my first time posting three years ago, are the same ones in #4!  I let down the hem (and now they're almost too long for the shoes I plan to wear).  

    I so need to do a What-I-Wore to the last few conferences retrospective :)

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