I am thrilled that we're not a stuffy, "nothing but suits" group of people, but at the same time, there would be some comfort in knowing exactly what is expected! Clothing at Annual Conference tends to range from hawaian shirts and khakis to three piece suits, and nearly everything in between- and that's just the men! So, the thing that I realized is that when there are no rules (written or unwritten) about what one should wear, the pressure actually intensifies.
Why? Because then what you wear is not merely your adaptation of the "uniform" but is, in fact, a bold statement, and for me, fashion might be the trickiest form of non-verbal communication.
Does a suit say "I respect the importance of what we're doing here" or "I take myself far too seriously" or perhaps, "I'm scared and I hope this suit will distract you from noticing I'm clueless"
If I go for a more trendy, casual professional look, does it denote that I am "young and energetic" or does it say that I'm "not quite grown up yet"
Then there is the element of being a woman, and the attempt to embrace femininity and my natural shape, without being overly sexy or inappropriate.
I know that anumma has hosted some discussion on the issue over at his blog
and there is a blog I frequent devoted to nothing but clergy fashion and appearances, http://beautytipsforministers.com
I'm curious how others, whether you are clergy or not, handle wardrobe decisions in settings where there are no set "rules."