Jan 3, 2016
Medical Student
I'm attending an ophthalmology (subspecialty) conference for the first time soon and have a question about conference attire.

Surgical subspecialty meetings I have been to in the past were strictly suits only. I read on other forums that IM conferences are slightly more relaxed, tending towards oxfords, slacks and coats. Scientific meetings are a free for all (including a bare-footed man with a ukelele I once saw at one).

Where do ophthalmology conferences lie on this spectrum?

Are skirt suits with opaque tights (vs pant suits) acceptable? Is there a culture around height of heels?

There's also a black tie optional gala. I am assuming that a floor-length dress with short sleeves will be acceptable? I'm hoping that a pastel color won't be too ostentatious despite a general professional culture that covets everything dark and black in general?

Sorry for the slightly obsessive questions. I just want to make sure I'm not caught up missing something I need in a completely new city! Thanks for your thoughts.


yzarc gniog ylwolS
10+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2005
Resident [Any Field]
Ok mostly I think there's never such a thing as being overdressed for a large conference. Skirt suits in my opinion are a bit more formal than pants suit, but seems like both are very professional.

What I sometimes do is call the person coordinating the conference and ask them what people wear. That helps me decide.

In terms of black tie optional gala you can't go wrong with a cocktail dress. Pastels as we approach Fall seems kind of out there...

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