Packing for an Academic Conference

Hopefully you won’t find this to be too off topic…  I’m leaving for my very first academic conference on Saturday! And like many of you, I’ve put a bit of thought into what I want to wear.  Inspired by AcademicChic, as well as my own experience at education conferences and other professional events, here is my plan.

Unlike my current home in Minnesota (where we just got another snow storm), has promised me a sunny high 60s to mid 70s week.  I am thrilled.  While there, I will be presenting twice, listening to lectures, touring New Orleans, attending a fancy-ish dinner, meeting old friends for coffee, watching a softball game in a local park, and hopefully, running with my M.A. program marathon buddy.

I really don’t enjoy checking luggage and in general try to mix and match when traveling as much as possible, so here is what I’m packing for a week-long trip:PackingList

  1. 1 pair of jeans (similar)
  2. 1 pair of cigarette pants that are as comfortable as leggings (same)
  3. 1 pair of charcoal grey dress pants (same)
  4. 1 black blazer (similar)
  5. 1 dress (similar)
  6. 1 sleeveless blouse (similar)
  7. 1 long-sleeved white blouse (similar)
  8. 1 striped t-shirt (same)
  9. 1 burgundy sweatshirt (same)
  10. 1 lemon yellow cardigan (similar)
  11. 1 pair of moccasins (same)
  12. 1 pair of black wedges (similar)
  13. 1 white scarf (similar)

For the plane ride there in the evening, I’m planning to wear my cigarette pants, burgundy sweatshirt, moccasins, and scarf.  All of those pieces are comfortable for the plane ride and the scarf can double as a blanket, if need be.

The first day I’ll be going to breakfast with a friend, running, and attending a softball game, so I’ll need to be comfortable and ready to walk.  I’m planning on wearing my jeans, striped shirt, yellow cardigan, and moccasins.

The second day is my first academic presentation ever and I’m feeling a bit nervous.  Hopefully my green dress, black blazer, and wedges will give me extra confidence.

The third day I will be sitting in sessions, but still want to look professional.  I’m planning to wear my grey dress pants, white blouse, and will bring my yellow cardigan in case I get cold.  I also have a colorful necklace to wear to make things more interesting.

The fourth day I will again be attending sessions all day and can be a bit more casual.  I want to wear something colorful and fun, so I’m planning to recycle my yellow cardigan and black cigarette pants, and wear it with my blue blouse and black wedges.  That night I have a more formal dinner event, so I’ll recycle my green dress and wedges and add a sparkly black belt and fun earrings.

The fifth day is my second academic presentation ever, so I’ll be dressing up again.  I plan to wear my grey dress pants, and recycle my blue blouse, black blazer, and black wedges.

On the final I will get up early and head to the airport after a whirlwind week.  I may recycle my entire plane outfit (don’t fix what isn’t broken), or, if I get bored, I may wear my jeans, white blouse, and moccasins.  But we’ll see…

A second cardigan may sneak into my bag… but that will most likely be all I bring!  What do you pack for conferences?  How long do you have to be gone before you’ll check a bag?  Any tips or tricks?


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