Dressing like Samantha: What professional MUN delegates need to know

Model United Nations is supposed to be a simulation of the esteemed organization, but in one area, delegates often fall short: conference attire!

Delegates need to dress like diplomats. Now, in bold: delegates need to dress like diplomats. Guys have it easy….slacks, dress shirts, jackets and ties.  THAT’S IT.  The odd set of tennis shoes or missing tie crop up from time to time, but whether male delegates are blessed or cursed for these limited options, that’s a debate I’ll stay out of.

Female delegates face greater challenges, more options, and infinitely more opportunities to get it wrong. So my advice is to take your cues from female UN diplomats in the UN Security Council. Enter Samantha Power…


Ms Power is the United State’s UN representative. She is known for modest dress and stylish bags. You’ll see her wearing sleeveless dresses too, but never when she is at the podium, and pretty much not in the Security Council Chamber. Her female cohorts don’t either.


security council



Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of women in the Security Council, as you can see from the photo on the left. but those that are there dress like they belong there…they dress like diplomats.

Security Council Meeting








Even Angelia Jolie dresses like a diplomat when she addresses the United Nations! This iconic beauty takes her UN work seriously, and her dress speaks volumes about what’s important.  It’s about content and substance, not a trial run for the Academy Awards.




Emma Watson has recently become involved in gender equality issues for the United Nations. Check out her outfit! Her dress falls fashionably below her knees. She even wears a cool lapel pin! If she wasn’t so busy being Hermoine in her youth, she would have made an awesome MUN delegate!


(Montevideo) On her first country visit as UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador, acclaimed British actor Emma Watson today visited Uruguay's Parliament where she met with Parliamentarians. She also met women’s rights activists, who submitted signatures calling for an extension of the national quota law and gender parity in the electoral lists of political parties. The event is the culmination of a high-profile “Do your bit for the quota” campaign, which was launched in July.  Photo: UN Women/Marco Grob

My point is this.  In simulating the United Nations, we need to play the part, and that means dress as well.  You can look georgeous, stunning, beautiful, and powerful without going bare shouldered, skinny slacked, plunging neckline, short skirted…..Samantha doesn’t do it; neither does Emma Watson or Angelina Jolie. And they look stunning! If they can, so can you.

For THIMUN Qatar’s full dress code, please click here.