From the minute you walk into a conference, people will start judging you. Looking good and professional from the start is a great way to get people to take notice in a positive way. Western Business Attire (WBA) is the dress code used throughout Model UN conferences within the confines of the Western Hemisphere. This strict dress code ensures a professional environment and makes sure everyone looks good. Western Business Attire can be vague and sometimes confusing, but this guide will break it down into all of its components.
Starting from the top, your hair is something that will always be noticed. Make sure your hair is nicely put together, to ensure you look clean and professional. Skip the hats and other accessories for a professional and mature look.
Shirt and Tie
For your shirt, a long-sleeved button-up is the way to go. This will make sure that you’re comfortable and professional for the day. Black or white is fine, but color can add an extra pop to your outfit, bonus points if you can find a way to incorporate your nation’s colors. Next up is your tie; a tie is always an absolute must that brings your look together. Always wear a tie that has a color scheme that matches your shirt. I recommend wearing a tie bar or pin to keep your tie in place all day. A suit jacket or blazer is a good and encouraged addition to your outfit. A good place to start is by finding a jacket and pants that match.
Regular dress slacks are the best option for this aspect of WBA. Stick to darker colors like black, grey, and navy blue. Avoid lighter colors to make sure you don’t look unprofessional. Khaki pants, in particular, can get dirty easily, and messy clothes demonstrate a lack of effort or general care for committee and conference overall. Always tuck your shirt in and top it off with a belt that matches your shoes.
Comfort and style is the ultimate goal when looking for a MUN outfit, and shoes are no exception. Choosing good shoes is important as you will be on your feet quite a bit throughout the day. While they are very comfortable, sneakers are never an option in a professional atmosphere. Your shoes should be the same color as your belt so that your look is cohesive and coordinated. Black socks are perfectly fine, but if you’re daring, a pair of socks that match your shirt can add a new level to your look.
As is often preached by Model UN veterans, confidence is the most important aspect of your performance as a delegate: the way you view yourself plays a massive role in how others view you. Therefore, at the end of the day, what really matters is that you feel good about what you’re wearing. Professionalism and general cleanliness are table stakes, as Western Business Attire is strictly mandatory at all Model UN conferences in the Western Hemisphere; however, adding whatever flare gives you an edge in committee is completely up to you. Whether you wear fun socks, rock a boldly patterned tie, or play around with different interesting lapel pins each day of the conference, the smaller nuances of your outfit ensemble are brilliant ways to differentiate yourself from other delegates, spark up a conversation, bolster your own self image, and add subtle indications of your attention to detail (a skill that is undoubtedly critical in Model UN).
Related article: What Your MUN Outfit Says About You
Related article: It’s Time We Embrace Western Business Attire