Also Shannon seems to think I give good fashion advice. :-)
So there you go.
Frankie's Rules for Dressing Conference Savvy!
Rule #1: Nobody actually knows what bussiness casual means. I'm serious. Like you think you might know...but, you can be wrong (said in the voice of Gretchen Weiner from Mean Girls). Really, go ahead and ask around and you'll get a bunch of different answers. There is no law. So forget bussiness casual! We're going to invent our look!
Rule #3: Create Your Brand. We've all learned that the way we present ourselves online, the words we write, the styles of our blogs, the things we say on twitter, etc all go into the brand that we create for ourselves. It's so readers know what to expect when they come visit. Most of us, especially those of us who have been savvy bloggers for quite some time, have this down pat. You're either funny and self deprecating, or serious and informative, speculative and whimsical, no-nonsense tell it like it is...you're you.
Now you have to be you in public! (EEEK!)
That means, creating a look to last you through the weekend, that also compliments your brand. Now this doesn't mean you need a new wardrobe, or to start dressing crazy. It means you need to pick a look and stick with it all weekend. So don't dress vintage on day one and then don a suit the next (unless you're going for the unexpected brand---then good luck!) Basically you want to stay consistent.
Rule #4: Stand out. This is the trickiest rule, because not everyone likes to stand out. But it's a must. You want to get noticed and you want people to remember you. Some people stand out with their personality, or their fabulous hair (cough Erica cough). And some do it with their clothes. But try and pick at least one signature thing that's going to help you stand out and wear it all weekend. It could be bright colors, or pearl necklaces, or tweed jackets, or funky scarfs. But try and have some sort of conversation piece on you.
Rule #5: Be comfortable. If you create the perfect brand and you're wearing the most perfect outfit in the world that helps you stand out and is totally you, but your feet hurt, or your clothes are uncomfortably tight or loose or constricting...then everything you just did goes down the drain. Because A) Being uncomfortable sucks. And B) people tend to know when you're uncomfortable and it makes them feel uncomfortable. And when you make other people uncomfortable, they don't want to be around you. Style over comfort=fail.
Rule #6: Wear Layers. No matter if your conference is in winter or summer, in New York or California, you never ever know what the temperature inside a conference room will be (and you often go from room to room). Some are super hot because of all the body heat. Some are freezing in an attempt to control the body heat. Conferences are fun! Don't suffer through one because of poor clothing choices.
Rule #7: Let People Know Who You Are. Say hi, be friendly, introduce yourself! And...if you want to go the extra mile. Have these handy.
Remember, you're a professional, but you're also an Arteest! (a fancy artist)
So what will I be wearing?
Boots, with a skirt, and a shirt, and maybe another shirt and a cardigan (layers for temp changes) + scarf, + funky jewelry matched with my FNC tote bag full of bussiness cards. :-) And my smile!
Hope that helps! If you're going to be in NY this weekend, make sure you find me and say hi!
In the mean time, what do you like to wear to conferences?