So What Do I Wear?


Taylor Kennedy, NACT President

By Taylor Kennedy, NACT President, Tarleton State University

With PDC just a week away, if you are anything like me, you are probably trying to figure out what combinations of business casual clothing will fit in your small carry-on. But wait… What exactly is business casual? Are we talking starched jeans for men and a cute dress for girls? A suit and tie? Shorts? What kind of shoes? Do I wear jewelry? Ahh! Don’t worry, people! I can help you!

If you have been to a conference before, you know that black tie is not required to attend sessions. You don’t have to worry about stuffing a ball gown into 22 x 14 x 9 inch rolling bag!

The first step in planning your outfits is to locate the schedule of events. For us, Oklahoma State University’s chapter of ACT has provided an online version that you can find here: Next, Pinterest is actually a good source of information! There are tons of infographics that explain what business casual vs. casual is. When I was searching Pinterest, I came across this one linked to Mizzou’s website: It does a pretty good job of explaining the types of clothes you will want to bring to PDC. Now you can dive into your closet to pair some pieces together!

In years past, the welcome reception was definitely a place to dress more “smart casual.” What do I mean by that? It’s very similar to business casual with a nice shirt and khaki pants or a skirt, but you can also wear a nice starched or dark wash pair of jeans for men and jean trousers for girls. Personally, smart casual is my best friend when I know I will be moving around a lot. So Thursday night at 7p, dress either smart or business casual.

For Friday, business casual is acceptable for all of the sessions. At 5:30p, dinner is on your own. I suggest bringing something comfortable! Maybe wear something from your school while you visit the campus, or if you are feeling like it, dress up! Go out as a group dressed nice representing your university and chapter of ACT.

Saturday morning is also another time for business casual. After our etiquette lunch, you will need to go change clothes for our community service activity. This is what the website tells us to wear:

“We will work with tasks such as volunteering at the youth shelter, various projects at the food pantry, moving items to and from storage facilities, cleaning projects, and also staining and sanding wooden benches. Please bring casual clothes and closed-toe shoes you would not mind getting dirty.”

When we get back, we have dinner and entertainment at 5:30p. I suggest dressing smart casual at this event.

It is always helpful to bring an extra change of clothes to conferences. You may have an outfit you decide you don’t like once you get there!

Hopefully you feel a little more prepared to tackle packing up your suitcase!

I can’t wait to see you all in Stillwater next Thursday!



Helpful Tip: Are you having problems fitting all of your clothes in your suitcase? Try rolling them! It frees up more space and it is easier to find things when you are searching for them. Don’t worry; the hotel probably has an iron you can use to smooth out any wrinkles.