A Fashionista’s Survival Guide to Female Model UN Fashion

by Munahil Sultana on February 8, 2018




Most Model UN conferences follow the traditional rule of Western Business Attire. This is the customary dress for workplaces around the world, usually consisting of a suit or a dress. A suit is a traditional three-piece outfit that consists of a pair of dress pants or a skirt, a matching blazer, and a top. A dress could also follow Western Business Attire, as long as it is professional, and you can play around with different colors and textures to find what you like best.


There are a few key rules to picking out an outfit. If you’re opting for a suit, make sure the blazer is comfortable enough so that you can move your arms around. Blazers are usually an inch past the shoulder and the length of the sleeves should reach your wrist bones when you’re standing straight. If your top or dress is sleeveless, make sure you have a blazer or cardigan in case your conference has strict protocols. It usually is chilly in committee rooms, so having one as a backup is a pretty good choice. If you opt for a dress or skirt, you should be sure that the length is appropriate for a professional environment. As for tops, while traditional button-down shirts are deemed the most appropriate, don’t hesitate to play around with textures! Replace the average cotton shirt with a satin one to see which suits your suit better!

Make sure your clothes fit (both your body and style)! You don’t need to buy designer clothes to rock the committee room, but the fit of your clothes can reveal a lot about you. Don’t be afraid to check out sites like thredup.com for gently used and inexpensive designer clothing. You can often find dupes of these at H&M or Forever 21, so look around! Clothes that fit just right and bring out your natural body shape usually are the best option. Bear in mind that while you are following the traditional Western Business Attire rules, you can still play around with different styles. I personally love to opt for a traditional peplum blazer or bouclé jacket on the first day as it brings a sense of sophistication to my outfit. Play around with different styles of jackets and dresses to see what fits you best.

Look into color theory! Anticipate the events of committee and base your clothing choices off of those feelings. During a traditional four-day conference, delegates are just getting to know one another on the first day and began to form blocs and friendships. Try to go for a sky blue to invoke feelings of safety and trust. This is your first impression, so make it meaningful! 

It's okay to go basic! A basic black dress paired with a cardigan or jacket is a great staple outfit for any conference!

It’s okay to go basic! A basic black dress paired with a cardigan or jacket is a great staple outfit for any conference.

On the second day, when drafts of working papers are getting released, go for an orange dress or a yellow skirt to show feelings of joy, intellect, and optimism. When committee gets stressful and blocs are beginning to merge, wear a red dress or a pair of red heels to show who’s boss. The color red will invoke feelings of power and passion – something we all need from time to time. On the last day, opt for a grass green or lavender top to release tension and to relax the environment.  

Don’t be afraid to be bold! One of my favorite things to do during a conference is to pull out a red lip or a red dress when committee begins to gain speed. In the midst of all of the gray and black suits, a pop of color can be refreshing. Try ditching those black pumps for a pair of red kitten heels and be amazed by the difference it makes. Don’t be afraid to invoke power and take charge of any situation — a red lip can definitely help you along the way.

One of the best parts of dressing up are accessories! Pearls are usually your safest bet, but certain simple necklaces are fit for a conference. While statement necklaces are fun, make sure that they don’t clash with your outfit. Pearls offer a sense of sophistication and professionalism while statement necklaces invoke feelings of confidence and energy. Also, make sure to wear a watch. Time can fly by in a committee room so opting for a smartwatch can be helpful when you need to check messages from your bloc without pulling out your phone.

Be comfortable! Some girls are magically gifted with the ability to wear five-inch pumps all day long. Some of us, however, lack that talent. A few weeks before the conference, look into a pair of stable heels that you know you could wear from the first committee session to the last. If you have never worn pumps before, try them out a few weeks before the conference and wear them around the house with thick, fuzzy socks to loosen them up. If you can walk up the stairs without stumbling, that’s a pretty good indicator you’re ready to pull them out at a conference.

No matter what, always bring a backup! Make sure you pack a comfortable pair of flats as well as an extra outfit just in case you spill anything.

Finally, these tips may not apply to you and that’s perfectly okay! Above all, it’s important to feel comfortable and not let gender roles define what you wear. So have fun at your next conference and be you, no matter what your style is.

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