…at BlogHer! I’m leaving on Thursday and will be gone for three nights. And I’m not at all kidding when I tell you that I LOVE packing for any trip – so packing for three days in NYC is more fun (for me) than you can imagine.
Okay – so I’m not going to give you a blow by blow of the outfits I’m bringing – but here’s an assortment of items that will be in my suitcase.
Of course, there will be more – but really not that much. I try to keep my bag as small as possible. And I prefer to have a plan for what I’m wearing each day so I don’t waste time on wardrobe angst in my hotel room. In fact, a couple of years ago, I wrote about some thoughts on this. After re-reading them, I think they still apply, so I’m posting them again.
Since I have done the “conference thing” for years and I have a little insight into that, I was trying to think of any tips I have that I haven’t seen mentioned elsewhere. Here are a few:
1. Some people will tell you to wear great shoes and others will tell you to wear comfortable shoes – but I’m telling you now that it’s all about “the devil you know.” Maybe all of your comfortable flat shoes look like they belong at the community pool OR maybe you have plenty of comfortable shoes, but you don’t think they’re nice enough. My advice is DON’T go out and buy some Easy Spirit semi-heels expecting them to feel like clouds strapped to your feet after a day of walking the exhibit hall floor. They won’t. I’ve done that and paid for it in very painful blisters. I suggest picking some of the most comfortable shoes that you actually own, and go with them. And they may be heels. In fact I’m going to be wearing a pair of heeled sandals at least one day and two nights simply because they’re really are comfortable and will look good with outfits that I’d like to wear. Will my feet be sore at the end of the day/night? Probably, but I know exactly how sore. AND I know that I won’t get blisters. If you are just casual and that’s it? Own it. Wear whatever makes you feel great and don’t feel intimidated by shiny new stilettos. Just picture the blisters forming on the heels of the women wearing them and have compassion. Know they may be crippled for the second half of the conference. Offer them your seat on Saturday. It’s the kind thing to do.
Also? Open toe or sandals will make a world of difference if you have anything like that.
2. Sticking with the superficial stuff… I also suggest that you pick your most time consuming maintenance issue and have a plan for streamlining it. Do you really want to spend hours of your precious conference time in your room getting ready? I think not. And if that means adding a flat iron to your already bulging suitcase – do it! Spending an hour with the hotel supplied hair drier and your brush will be a huge waste of time you could be spending with friends. Hair is definitely my most time consuming “get ready” activity if I wear it down. So instead of running out for the trim that I really want, I decided to leave it alone and go with the low pony tail for most of the weekend. I can get ready in five to ten minutes (including a shower) with the exception of my hair. My hair is fairly short now, so I part it on the side and pull it into a low pony tail while it’s wet. Takes two seconds, lasts all day, and looks (dare I say it) incredibly chic when paired with pretty much any outfit. And if it’s imperative that you look perfectly coiffed (and you can afford this…) have your hair done professionally. For god’s sake, it’s New York! You have tons of nearby salons at your disposal. Book an appointment and make a mini-event of it. Grab a glass of champagne afterward. Live a little.
Maybe hair isn’t your issue. Talk to someone who is an “expert” in whatever you’re dealing with and have them help you plan some time saving shortcuts.
3. This tip I read somewhere else – but I think it’s just so ridiculously smart, and deserves repeating. Have a plan for what you will be wearing each day and night. I know – again with the superficial… What can I say? I fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to social stuff, but I need to have a plan for the clothes and styling. Either way – this applies to everyone since it will simplify packing and keep your suitcase as small as possible. I can’t remember where I read this…but the person who suggested it even put accessories an plastic bags to attach to the hangers! I doubt I’ll be that organized – but before I zip up my suitcase, I know it will include everything I need for:
-(wearing) Thursday day – travel
-Thursday evening parties
-Friday – conference day
-Friday evening parties
-Saturday – conference day
-Saturday evening parties
-(BONUS: Sunday mid-day travel, one to two back up outfits for day/night in case I spill a Diet Coke down the front of my shirt…it could happen…)
That’s a maximum of 10 outfits; and for me, jeans will be involved in at least five to six of them. I’m not going to be wearing LBDs and Louboutins (I wish!) each day – so I’m definitely coming from a regular girl perspective here…my clothes will be a mix of J. Crew, Anthropologie and Target. And no – I won’t state the ratio on that.
4. MORE SUPERFICIAL! But seriously – this is practical travel advice when it comes to accessories. Put the family heirlooms back in the lock box and wear fashionable fakes for a weekend like this. If you have both diamond anniversary earrings and a pair of cubic zirconia? Bring the CZ. The last thing you want is a ruined day/night that involves lost jewelry and security reports. No one will notice the difference. Try to be as Holly Go-Lightly as possible with what you pack. You don’t want to arrive home in tears over what you lost – you do want to be emotionally filled to the brim with what you gained.
5. Finally, this is non-superficial advice for myself as well as anyone else. Act about ten times more confident than you actually feel. Not cocky or obnoxious…just happy. When in doubt? Smile. BIG. And walk up to people to introduce yourself. If anyone seems less than thrilled to meet you, assume you caught them at a bad time and move on. Seriously – from my personal life experience combined with what I’ve read about this particular conference, you will find plenty of people who WANT to talk to you, who are THRILLED to meet you and who may even become close future friends. But only if you try. Only if you put yourself out there. ONLY if you don’t let the little things get to you and appreciate the wonderful people right next to you at the moment.
I guess that last part wasn’t fashion/styling-related… Oh well – if a smile is the best accessory, then I suppose it applies.
This was pretty text heavy for Wishing True! Sorry about that. I’ll be back next week with more pretty pictures. See you then!