Thursday, June 16, 2011

Korea Conference Wear

This post is on dress code, which is kind of an odd topic, but since it's my blog I can write as I choose - so here you go. As my dad says, it's good to be king.

During the conference I helped organize in Korea, the team wears a "uniform" of sorts. It's not an entire outift uniform, just some identifying piece of clothing. This is common practice every year, and the goal is to make it easier for the conference attendees to recognize the staffers, so they can ask questions, request help, or of course compliment us on the awesome job we're doing. :) 

Last year, we had blue ties for the men, and blue scarves for the women. But to be honest, the quality of the ties wasn't all that good, and the bright baby blue color was a bit loud (and so, looked a bit cheap). This year, we wanted to up the quality of the uniform.

So we had really nice ties designed, out of high-quality material, and with a subtle conference logo stiched in. I helped design them, and I was quite pleased with how they turned out. (As a side note - four engineers, sitting around a conference table, trying to converge on an aesthetically pleasing tie design? Hilarious.)

So the ties were no problem, but the issue was this - the minimum order of women's scarves was 150. And we only had five girls going. So, we girls could either a) wear a tie too, b) find a scarf in a similar color, or c) wear nothing. Well, not nothing, but no uniform at least...

I happen to think women in ties can look really professional - the woman in question just has to have the confidence to pull it off. (As another side note, I just googled for images of women in ties to find a picture to illustrate that point, and apparently a lot of men have women-in-suit fantasies. Definitely a NSFW search, who'd have guessed? Teach me to blog at work...)

Never having lacked in confidence (ahem, for better or worse), I opted to wear the tie. With, might I mention, all buttons buttoned on my shirt. Sheesh.

I had to get one of the guys to tie it for me the first day, though, because I didn't actually know how to tie a tie. I wore a suit, as shown above, and it didn't stand out too much.

The second day I chose a pencil skirt and no jacket, so the tie was more obvious. Still, nobody really did a double-take, so I think it still looked professional. I also learned how difficult it is to get a tie to hit right at the proper length at your waistband - you have to guess ahead of time, because you use up a lot of tie fabric while making the knot. I guess guys have a lot of practice at this, but for me it's a bit tricky.

Now, all the other girls on the team opted for the "no uniform" option. While I understand why they didn't want to wear a tie (have to have a collared shirt, it's an odd fashion statement, etc.), come on now, I think that's cheating!

Because hardly any of the conference attendees realized the other four girls were part of the hosting team - they had no identifier, and the rest of the guys and me all had the same ties. So none of the attendees asked the other women any questions, or bothered them about water bottles, or asked about getting a new nametag, or any other host-type questions. No fair! :)

Figure: Obligatory MySpace shot, dedicated to my sister who is the queen of  self-posing

In the end, nobody cared that I was wearing a tie, and in fact I got several compliments. What do you think - would you have gone for a scarf?


  1. You look good with a tie :)


  2. The tie works for you. And, as you are an "outlier", anything else would have been contradictory.

  3. I actually wear bow ties regularly. My biggest challenge is simply finding women's button down shirts that actually button all the way to the collar so that I can wear a tie in the first place.

  4. Really like the tie tucked in look, as well as that red goes really well with the navy. Who woulda thunk.

  5. Your tie is pretty good given that you've not had a great deal of practice. I wore one for four years and I figure that it's really just another skill that you learn once and that's it.

  6. nemam komentara ,super ,samo napred,svaka kombinacija je odlicna,a i lepom licu sve lepo stoji

  7. Hi, what is your name? You look absolutely amazing wearing a tie...:)