What To Wear To A Blogging Conference

This post on what to wear to Blissdom was so popular last year, and I have already seen people linking to it on Twitter this year, that I decided to rewrite it to apply to all blogging conferences.

This is also a good time to tell you that I’ve been asked to be the Fashion Community Leader at Blissdom this year! My job is to help fellow attendees feel welcome and part of the community so I figured this is a good place to start!

It’s the age-old question: WHAT DO I WEAR?

I think the better question is: What makes you feel comfortable and confident? Because THOSE are the outfits you want to bring. The last thing you want to do is go out shopping and buy a bunch of stuff that isn’t really you, because you think it’s what you’re “supposed” to wear. This is definitely a time to shop your closet.

When packing for a blogging event or conference, I go straight to my closet and pick out the outfits that I love the most — the ones I feel good in and that are comfortable enough to wear all day. I don’t usually buy a lot of new things because I find that you don’t really know what feels good on until you wear it a few times, so I prefer to go for the tried and true.

You should wear what you are comfortable in, but do put some effort into your wardrobe choices. As we all know, first impressions matter, and word of warning: there will be cameras ev-er-y-where. Be prepared to be photographed from all angles at all times.

During the day, you will see a little bit of everything. There will be ladies in dresses and heels, but you will also see plenty of jeans. You will most likely find me in jeans and a sweater. I know, shocker!

I’ve been searching my Blissdom 10 Flickr stream for photos to show you, but I have a habit of taking close ups which doesn’t leave a lot of room for the outfit. This picture of the fabulous Robin Dance is the best I can do.

See?  Flattering sweater, jeans, cute shoes (they were cute, as I recall; sorry I didn’t get them in the picture) and you’re good to go.

It’s really up to you — what are YOU most comfortable in? Go with your instincts.

If you feel like your wardrobe is a bit stale, consider adding some inexpensive accessories to pop your outfits. After all, the only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist leaving that in there.  Steel Magnolias is my favorite movie to quote.

So anyway, pick up a cuff bracelet or some bangles at Target or Forever 21. Or get yourself a long necklace or an eye-catching scarf to throw on with your favorite sweater. And of course a pair of sassy shoes is always a hit.  Just remember to break them in before you wear them all day at a conference.

For the evening, you will probably want to glam it up a bit, but you’ll still see a little bit of everything. This year, there are snazzy events both Wednesday and Thursday nights. These are the nights to bring out the dressy jeans or a slinky dress.

Wednesday evening is the Kick-Off Party in the Delta. We will have the middle area under the biodome for a private party. This is the night to go all out, if you’re looking for a reason to go all out.

Last year at the Kick-Off Party, I wore my favorite (that would be my only) dress and my rockin’ platform sandals, which I ended up carrying by my pinky finger after about an hour because the Opryland Hotel? It is H-U-U-U-G-E.

Thursday night is Total Bliss at The District. We will have our run of three restaurants, each with a different vibe — loud, not-so-loud, and chill. So you can totally decide where you’ll feel most comfortable, or you can party hop and experience all three! This is more of a dressy-jeans-with-heels-and-a-sassy-top kind of event, but you’ll see dresses and you’ll probably see casual jeans and tees too.

Friday night is Girls’ Night In — this is the night to get comfy. Bring your cutest pajamas or your coziest sweat pants and hang out in one of two rooms reserved just for us — one for karaoke and dancing and the other with a movie for those who want to chill. And this year there will be pizza so bring your appetites too!

One of my fondest memories of Blissdom 2009 is hanging out in the lobby in my sweats, chatting with whomever was around.  That’s the night I met Jen from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, and she’s a good friend to this day.  I think we closed the place down that night.  It was like 3am when I stumbled upstairs to bed.  (I stumbled because I was exhausted, not because we were imbibing, just for the record.)

Here are a few more random pieces of fashion advice:

Wear layers. Layers are good because often the conference rooms are cold. You want to be able to throw on a sweater if you’re cold or take it off if it’s warm.

Bring comfortable shoes. Cause did I mention? The Opryland is HUGE. You will be doing A LOT of walking, trust me. MILES. So if you buy new shoes, make sure to break them in at home before putting them in your suitcase.  You will thank me for this bit of advice on January 29th.

Make a plan. Don’t throw stuff in your suitcase willy-nilly and expect to figure it out when you get there. You’re going to want to get up and go without taking a lot of time figuring out what to wear each morning, and besides, you tend to pack unnecessary odds and ends when you pack that way. So my advice is to think through each element — pants or skirt, top, undergarments, shoes, accessories — and pack complete outfits.

I saw someone suggest on Twitter to pack outfits in the same color scheme so you can mix and match and you won’t need as many different accessories.  I thought that was a brilliant idea, as I’m one to pack 39 different pairs of shoes because I need a different color for each outfit.

Pack options.  Options are good, which is why I am flying Southwest — no overweight baggage charges.  WOO!  It’s important to make a plan, but be flexible.  Once you get there and see what others are wearing, you may change your mind, so having an extra outfit or two is a good idea.

As cliché as it sounds, the most important thing is to be yourself and have fun! Remember, a confident woman is a beautiful woman.

If you have any questions, I’ll be glad to answer them in the comments.

Did you write about fashion this week?  Feel free to link up below. Remember to please link directly to your fashion post, not the front page of your blog. Irrelevant posts will be deleted.

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  1. says

    This is so helpful. Thanks. I am going to Bloggy Boot Camp in Boston in May and was already wondering – WHAT do I wear?! Meeting all these other bloggers IRL, looking cute for pictures, being comfortable, – ack, the pressure!!!

  2. says

    This is FABULOUS! I’m a newbie and while I totally plan on being comfortable, I want to be a little stylish. Unfortunately, cute shoes and my feet don’t mix, but I’ll do my best. :)

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience with us!

  3. says

    This will be my first Blissdom and I’m really excited! Thanks for sharing some insider tips about all the walking/events/etc. I really hope I get to meet you there! Being from TN, the Opryland Hotel was somewhere we always went as a family for special occasions but I’ve never been for a conference….I feel so grown up! Yay for bloggers and yay for Blissdom! xoxo

  4. Sarah says

    I look forward to your fashion friday posts. One thing…it looks like the font has changed on this blog and I’m finding it very difficult to read (20/20 vision, or so I’m told). Sorry, I like the old font much better, easier on the eyes!

  5. says

    Steel Magnolias is one of my favorite movies to quote too. He can’t decide whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt. Anyway, I do think that the purple dress you wore looks magnificent on you. I can’t wait to see this year’s pictures of you.

  6. says

    Thanks Jo-Lynne! This was exactly what I needed, I’ll have to add this post to my DOs & DONTs post. I love my heels but I will definitely be taking a pair of purse flats. Looking forward to the fashion tribe!

  7. says

    thanks so much for this! really helpful tips here. I’m so nervous already but this helps take a bit of the pressure off. Even I can pull of fun accessories and tops w/ jeans. LOL!

    I’m a newbie, really anxious, and appreciate all the advice. Thanks!

    erin @ the mother load

  8. Neely says

    This is my first year going to Blissdom and this is VERY helpful! Im such an overpacker!! I am also flying Southwest haha

  9. says

    Oh my gosh. While you’re post was very helpful – I am now VERY VERY SCARED.

    I guess I just thought, “I blog about coupons. I’ll take some classes to become a better blogger. I will wear some jeans and t-shirts and a hoodie. Done.”

    Now I find out there are slinky dresses involved? Oh lordie – I need to go to Target NOW!

  10. says

    We are very similar when it comes to fashion. Jeans, a sweater, and cute shoes is pretty much my signature outfit. And I also have only 1 dress…which I don’t love. Yours, however, is fabulous. I like that dark eggplant color!

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