National Youth Correspondents will be representing their schools and states at the Washington Journalism and Media Conference (WJMC). During the Conference, students will be attending events at venues in Washington, D.C. that warrant professional attire. Correspondents are expected to dress according to the guidelines below. Correspondents who do not meet the dress code standard will be asked to change prior to the day’s activities. Repeated violations of the dress code are considered grounds for dismissal from the program.
Please note that during the Conference most Correspondents are asked to introduce, thank or ask questions of our speakers and distinguished guests. When choosing clothing for the conference in professional attire, ask yourself, “Would I feel comfortable addressing a potential employer in this outfit?” Read the guidelines carefully, and feel free to contact our office with questions.
Professional, conservative attire includes suits, dresses, skirts of medium length, dress slacks/pants and blouses or sweaters. Sleeveless styles will require a sport coat, jacket or sweater. Jackets or sweaters are encouraged as Washington buildings can be cold in the summer from air conditioning. Business shoes include flats and other closed-toe or loafer-style dress shoes. Correspondents are strongly encouraged to wear practical and comfortable shoes, as some days of the conference will include significant walking on the National Mall.
Articles that are NOT appropriate for professional attire include miniskirts, denim, cargo pants, leather, Capri pants, tank or spaghetti straps styles (without a jacket/sweater), polo shirts without a jacket, tops with plunging necklines, leggings, halter tops, athleisure, flip flops and sneakers.
Relaxed professional attire includes dresses/skirts of medium length, khaki/cotton pants, dress slacks, collared shirts, polos, blouses and sweaters. Ties and jackets are not required.
Articles that are NOT appropriate include: miniskirts (anything 3 inches above the knee), denim, leather, cargo pants, shorts, athleisure, sleeveless tank or strapless shirts (unless worn with a jacket/sweater), tops with plunging necklines or backs, halter tops, tshirts, and midriff-baring styles. In addition, closed-toe shoes and dressy sandals are appropriate. Flip-flops, sneakers, mules, and other shoes with no strap around the heel are not permitted for relaxed professional/business casual attire.
Casual attire may be worn on Friday, as well as in the residence halls or during any “down time.” Jeans, shorts, t-shirts, athletic shoes, flip flops, etc., are acceptable as long as they are neat in appearance. Consistent with the Code of Conduct, offensive or inappropriate clothing will not be permitted.
Semi-formal attire is optional for the National Youth Correspondent Gala on Thursday evening. Semi-formal dress includes cocktail dresses, suits and long-sleeved dress shirts and a tie. Jackets are optional for this event. Skirts may NOT be shorter than 3 inches above the knee. Appropriate semi-formal attire should not be too revealing, expose bare midriffs, plunging necklines or backs. Spaghetti straps, as well as tasteful strapless and sleeveless styles are acceptable.
We strongly recommend that you pack at least one day’s worth of clothing and toiletries in a carry-on bag. All students are responsible for carrying their own luggage, so packing light and/or bags with wheels are appropriate (the distance from parking to the doors is sizable). Also, please be sure to check your airline’s rules regarding carry-on bags and fees for checked luggage.
A watch or cell phone with an alarm—the Conference begins early each morning, and students are responsible for waking themselves and being on time!
Money for 1 lunch (approximately $15/day), souvenirs, and extra snacks. Breakfast and dinner are included each day. You are strongly encouraged not to bring large amounts of cash or valuables to the Conference.
Laptop (if you have one) with charger
Your personal necessities. WJMC will not be permitted to distribute, aspirin, over-the-counter pain relievers, cold medicine, or any other medication. We highly recommend you bring your own.
The Conference includes a lot of walking. Please pack band-aids in case you get blisters. You can also pack a pair of comfortable shoes to keep in your bag.
A compact umbrella
Pack with layers in mind. While it can be very hot and humid in D.C. in the summer, many of the Conference venues can be very chilly.