The 5th annual Women in Media conference will be taking place on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th of March at the People’s History Museum. It will be a weekend of workshops, panel discussions and Q&A’s from inspirational women from a huge range of fields, with all proceeds going to Manchester Action on Street Health. It’s a great opportunity to learn from people who have carved a space for themselves in the media industry, and there will also be networking opportunities.
Obviously, what your wearing shouldn’t be your first priority, nor should it be anything to worry about. But, equally, this might be a chance to make vital contacts for your career and perhaps even meet your future employer, if you’re lucky, and what you’re wearing is a great way to make a first impression, especially if you’re interested in a career within a creative industry.
There’s no need to adopt a formal dress code but as Kate Jackson, Head of Speakers and Scheduling for WIM, says, “if you do want to take this opportunity to network, maybe go towards more smart casual.”
Smart casual dressing can be difficult to navigate but it’s likely that you’ve already got the clothes in your wardrobe to create a great smart-casual outfit. For example, any style of jeans, a jumper/shirt, a blazer and boots is a simple but effective formula.
It’s also worth thinking about how you might stand out, though, in order to be remembered by anyone you might network with. Co-chair Anja Samy told me that last year, one girl wore a bright co-ordinating suit so she stood out. A suit, paired with trainers and a t-shirt to optimize comfort and make the look less formal, is a great option for an event like this. If you’re not comfortable with bright colours, stick to neutrals, or a check, but opt for a coordinating set.
If you prefer something a little less formal, a midi dress/skirt with ankle boots (and tights because the Manchester weather is unforgiving to say the least) is a fail-safe outfit. This is also the perfect time of year to invest in midi dresses, with spring around the corner, and prairie dresses are everywhere right now if you’re looking for something trend-forward.
The most important thing to remember when you’re getting dressed for the conference is to wear something that you feel comfortable and confident in. Co-chair of the conference, Bec Oakes, says to wear “something that represents you as an individual (the media is a creative industry after all) and makes you feel like your best self – it’ll make you feel a hell of a lot more confident when you’re networking with our incredible lineup of speakers.”
And remember, clothes may be a great way to make a first impression but it’s your personality that will carry you further, so don’t step too far out of your sartorial comfort zone in a way that might be of any detriment to your self-confidence or who you are as a person.