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What should a woman wear?

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Question: I will be attending a conference next week, and the program says “business casual.” Should I wear a jacket, or just pants and a blouse? -- Anonymous


Definitely wear a jacket along with the pants and silky blouse! Don't forget the high heels and you'll look smart.

I will normally wear slacks, khaki's or a skirt with a blouse. I still sometimes bring a jacket because the rooms are normally cold. I would never wear jeans if they stated business casual, even though I know some people do

I would wear a jacket or sweater, if for no other reason than those conference rooms can be freezing! Also, it's better to overly "business" than overly "casual." Enjoy your conference!

Definitely take a jacket or sweater, it'll be probably be cold, and "business attire" would be defined by your industry...we're are public safety and attire varies from dress slacks to khakis to shorts. Are you looking to make future employment connections? If so, dress for success!

You will definitely need a jacket - conference rooms are notoriously chilly! Business Casual means, in my mind, you do not need to wear a dress but neither should you wear capri pants and a t-shirt or jeans.

Definitely wear a jacket. You will not only make a better impression, but those conference rooms are always freezing! If you get warm, you can always remove the jacket. Never, never wear jeans to a conference, no matter what the dress code - you are a professional! Enjoy!!

Make an impression, dress business smart with a jacket. If you feel over dressed when you get there you can take your jacket off. It's always better to dress more professionally than under dress and feel uncomfortable. Remember, 1st impressions are lasting impressions. Most of all, have fun!

Well one things for sure, it's unanimous that those conference rooms are always cold. I'm not sure what I think about the high heels comment...if that is true, then I must look like a complete idiot all the time.

Anyway, I agree with the more business and less casual. I'd rather feel silly being overly dressed than constantly self-conscious for being under-dressed. Wear what will make you feel poised and confident. Have fun!

What part of the country are you in? In San Diego, business casual is a pair of slacks, a nice shirt/blouse, and perhaps some strappy "business" sandals, or nice flats. But definitely take a sweater/jacket. Just because one lives in the land of perpetual sunshine doesn't mean the conference rooms are warm.

Just "Google" It. Tons of info on the Net.
i.e., http://www.career.vt.edu/JOBSEARC/BusCasual.htm#WOMEN

I would take a pants suit or pants with a coordinating jacket. If the other attendees are a bit more formal then you are fine, and if they are a bit more casual you can take off your jacket. Plus, you never know what the room temperature will be.

I would agree that the definition of "business casual" depends on both your employment field and your geographical location. What's "business casual" in New York would be very different than, say, the Pacific Northwest (where I live). Also, the banking industry is much more formal than other fields, like marketing.

Isn't it confusing? There are so many variations in women's clothing - I think men have it easier (slacks and either a polo shirt or button down shirt)!

You might try calling the company putting on the conference and ask what their definition of business casual is.

[Personally, I'm not a "jacket" person, and wear slacks and either sweaters or blouses to work nearly every day. I have several nice button-down cardigans that I can add to look more polished.]

I recommend wearing a nice pair of slacks or khakis with a button down shirt and jacket or sweater, in case it is cold. High heels are not casual, a nice pair of flats or a low wedgie would be comfortable and still look professional.

So many things to consider! Not only does geography and field of work matter, but I think what type of conference also determines what you wear. If it's a professional conference where you'll be doing some serious networking, I'd say definitely a jacket. However, if it's a learning thing, gaining some new computer skills for instance, then just dress comfortably -- but no jeans!

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