Winter has made it’s nasty debut in many parts of the country already! Like it or not, the cold will be staying in different parts of the United States for the foreseeable future. So… if you have a conference, workshop, or meeting planned in a cold-weather climate, what do you plan on wearing? Are you prepared to pack for temperatures when they dip below freezing?
Let’s face it. If it was up to most of us, we’d show up in a cozy hoodie, with some nice stretchy yoga pants. But alas, even in cold weather, first impressions still matter! Especially at an event where you’re meeting new people face-to-face who are industry professionals for the first time! You want to grab some attention and by dressing sharp, no matter the weather, you want to come across as someone who can evaluate the room quickly and confidently, and provide value to the next couple of days!
So what are you going to do, ladies?!
1. The Hotel/Resort Setting
Generally, you are going to find these types of environments climate controlled. At least you hope so! For the most part, long sleeves and a jacket will usually get you through the day. You might want to make sure the jacket is lighter, though, as indoor temps tend to get raised a little too high in some conference areas and before you know it, you’ll be getting your sweat on!
Are you going to be moving between different buildings at a larger resort and will be spending a decent amount of time outside shuttling between venues? If you’re holding your next event in Vegas in January, it will be a lot different outside than it will be in NYC, so make sure you take those outdoor temperatures into account!
2. Flight Style
Need to bulk up on the items in your carry-on because you’re taking sweaters and heavier clothing to accommodate for the chilly temps? Think about saving some space in your carry-on by wearing an outfit that would otherwise take a lot of space up in your carry-on. It will also serve as a double-whammy, when you’re looking super fly when you step off of the plane! You never know who might be there to meet you at the airport or who you’ll see as you’re checking into your hotel!
3. Ladies… Wear Sleeves!
Nice clothes do have sleeves and when it’s cold out, you should wear them! Especially at a business event! Skip the sleeveless look with camis and pick something that will be more weather appropriate. Wearing a smart short-sleeved shirt with an elegant cardigan over it is timeless and classic. And if for some reason the conference room gets warm, it’s easy to take that cardie off without worrying about showing too much skin. It’s a win-win!
4. Don’t Forget the Footwear!
Do you really want to bring those super-cute strappy heels you have when you’re going to be slushing around the snow on the sidewalk when you’re heading out for a dinner event? Ummm… probably not. You want to look smart, and let’s face it. If you’re the woman who is walking 20 feet behind everyone because you’re trying to avoid a snow drift, you’re going to get left in the dust.
So find some functional small heels that may work better for a business event in cold weather. Better yet, some flats! Even more stellar? Some flat fashion boots! Just think! With some footwear that will be friendly with the cold temps, you won’t have to worry about suffering that slipped disc after landing on the ground from the ice you slipped on, and your toes won’t have to worry about being exposed to frostbite. Genius!
5. Bring a Proper Coat
You’re a lady, for goodness sake! A classic trench never goes out of style and the parka that you have in your closet is just not going to cut it. Or opt for a neutral-colored wool coat that is 3/4 length or longer to easily layer over a blazer or longer cardigan. You know best if you’re going to need a coat on a regular basis. If you’re going to be sticking to the hotel/resort where your event is at 100% of the time, you might be able to get away with not needing to bring one. It would definitely save on space when traveling! But there is generally events that will take place that will lead you out of the temperature-controlled interior confines. So make sure you have something that will keep you warm, while looking great!
And don’t forget to pack some hats, scarves and gloves. But keep the excessive detail or embellishments at home to wear on the weekends. Keep these items professional and monochrome to go with your coat.
6. Black Trousers
Ummm… a total hot ticket fashion item! These will be a lot more manageable in cold weather than any kind of dress or skirt, yet can still be totally professional and relevant! And you can pretty much wear them with anything! A nice black or charcoal pair of trousers are going to be able to be styled multiple ways, which means you’ll have less to pack for your 2 or 3 day event. And the big upside? It will keep you nice and warm!
7. Pop with Color
When all else fails, remember to dress in layers and pay attention to fabric and color choices. Red is FANTASTIC during the Christmas and winter season and looks absolutely amazing when paired with some black trousers and a great trench coat! Or, accent with red. Wear a red scarf, or some red jewelry. Make a little part of the dull winter season pop with some fantastic color!
You’re going to do great in the cold weather and your style is going to soar! But.. just like you, I’ll continue to wonder for the next few months…”Is it summer yet?!"