I function under the clear delusion that I might, at events like these conferences, actually run into someone I know. There are about 13,000 people packed like sardines into the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, agreeably migrating from room to room like thirsty, badge-wearing wildebeests looking for the River of Knowledge from which to imbibe. You are an anonymous, faceless member of the herd.
Which is why I shouldn’t have worried this morning when I cracked open my suitcase, packed under duress and sleep deprivation, to discover all I had brought were jeans. The dress code, printed clearly on the registration packet, says “business casual”, hence the panic.
I used to work for a real human doctor. I know what business casual means:
Something like this, right?
Business casual means, well, not quite a business suit but not quite casual. So, slacks and a blouse, maybe. I was very concerned that my jeans-wearing self would be laughed out of the show by all the khaki-wearing, tailored blouse favoring medical professionals aghast at my blatant disregard for our esteemed profession. ” Get OUT!” they would shout disapprovingly, “And STAY OUY until you can show some respect with a nice ironed pair of chinos!”
Clearly my sleep deprivation clouded my mind more than I was really aware of, because, duh, this is a veterinary conference we’re talking about. We veterinarians, as we have discussed on many previous occasions, are generally not the most stalwart of fashionistas. This is a group of people who have dedicated their life to getting animal effluvia all over them. So jeans ARE business wear. Formal wear means you add your cowboy hat.
I entertained myself during the long escalator line by doing some statistical sampling of my co-attendees. In my 50 person random selection, 80% of them were wearing, you guessed it, jeans. The younger grads who still had money to spend on themselves were wearing fancy jeans. I saw one lady in an expensive looking suit but she was a lost attendee from a photography convention in the next building.
So I fit right in. Really the only way I could have screwed this up would have been to show up in flip flops and a tube top. Or, apparently, a suit. If you do that, it means you’re a company rep, you’re going to try and sell something and no one wants to talk to you.
Dressing up is a pain anyway. Nylons are the work of the devil. I love that I belong to a profession where denim is fancy pants. Viva la levis!
I’ll feel like society has gotten sufficiently casual when I’m not expected to wear a bra or shoes for any social functions. I think it’s time to move to the beach.
I am a pediatric physical therapist….. so I would fit right in… 🙂
Lisa W says
Love it! Hope you have a great time and learn lots!
I fear I would have been on the opposite side of the scenario and would have only packed uberly formal stuff. I tend to overdress (meaning floofy dresses, skirts, trousers, nice blouse, etc. Endlessly fascinating to my fellow college students who can barely muster the energy to throw on a clean pair of sweats) though I’m getting better at the jeans and a t-shirt thing… as long as I have a cardigan to throw over it all. I blame my mother who sent me on a camping trip as a child with pressed shorts, blouses, and a dress “just in case you go anywhere.”
All true! Especially the part about eyeing suit-wearing types with suspicion. 😉
My jeans wardrobe ranges from the dressy to the ratty. I just need to decide how formal the occasion is to decide which to choose.
Well, I haven’t worked (or been) anywhere that required me to wear a suit in many years… which is a very good thing since my lovely cat, Henry, shredded my one and only suit at the back of my closet… Huh. Guess he thought jeans were a great option too 🙂
Do vet job-seekers wear suits? At my conferences it would run the gamut from jeans and denim jumpers to Ann Taylor’s finest, but if you’re a job-seeker, you’d be better off in a suit.
as a recent vet job seeker, I never wore a suit to an interview. Most of them are “working’ interviews where you are expected to jump right in and pitch in helping with the day. Some potential employers will even ask you to do a spay or neuter to test your surgical skills. So I always dress comfortable but presentable, and I always bring scrubs, just in case. 🙂
Heather M. says
Sorry I missed you! I was working the trade show booth Monday-Wednesday and one of those days I was wearing JEANS while working! (Oh and additionaly- Vegas is surely the place where anything goes.)