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Packing for Youth & Government Conference: Tips

By: Tyler Beacham

As the remaining weeks until conference tick down, it’s time to start thinking about what to pack (and what to leave behind) for conference. To avoid early morning scrambling and stress at conference, here’s an overview of the updated dress code, with a few of my personal recommendations.
As you make the change from bedroom Zoom calls to the Raleigh Convention Center, you’ll also be switching from “business-on-the-top, pajama bottoms-on-the-bottom” wear to a dress code most participants have never experienced. So - what do these dress codes really mean and how can you pack most efficiently?
The terms “business casual” and “business formal” can seem daunting and could be easily confused. As a catch-all, most of the attire to be worn at conference is moderately conservative, so I would stray away from low-cut necklines, cut-outs, and short dresses and shirts while packing for YAG. The YMCA also recommends staying away from clothing that is excessively tight or excessively loose. Business formal can be compared most similarly to your “Sunday Best”. For men, I recommend a collared shirt, pants, and a jacket. While ties aren’t required, they are popular at conference. (I will leave the bow tie or tie debate up to you). For women, dresses, pants, and blouses are all acceptable. Blazers help to formalize your outfit, which I would recommend, but they are by no means required. While business casual and business formal largely blur together in my head, the biggest takeaway is that business formal usually includes a jacket or blazer, while business casual does not. 
It’s also important to remember your gala outfits as you begin making your packing list. Gala attire should be semi-formal, but to keep in theme with the conference dress code thus far, make sure your hemlines and garment lengths best reflect your delegation and represent you in the best way possible. Most of all, make sure you pick out outfits that reflect your own style and taste. I cannot wait to see everyone in a few short weeks!