Style Guide for the Conference Junkie Mom
My name is Angele and I am a conference junkie. And a MOM of 3
Your body changes after kids; it’s different. Not better, not worse – just… Different.
That being said I still like to look good when I leave the comfort of my home office pj’s. I have to take into account the wider hips, the permanent belly-smile-with-old-man-belly-flap that’s right at my bikini line, and ‘The Ladies’. Practical pieces are a must – specially in footwear – and all things undergarment must still find a way to be sexy AND comfortable.
I refuse to look matronly, but I’m not 20 anymore if you get my drift.
My style has evolved over the years, but I’ve always packed light; Unless I’m going to BlogHer, Blogger Bash, Type-A Parent, or other conference where there’s a guarantee I’ll need extra space to bring back swag. In those cases, I bring an empty suitcase with me 😉
So what does one bring to a conference?
I’ve put together my Top 20 List of things that end up in my bags while traveling to a conference. Ready?
Style Guide for the Conference Junkie Mom Top 20 Must-Haves
1. Find pieces that flatter your body in fabrics that breathe.
This jumper from Reitman’s (or Smart Set, if you’re in the US) is really cute and looks great on. I was surprised at how well it fit until I realized it came in Petite! On my 5’2″ frame this was absolutely perfect.
2. An over-sized t-shirt can be dressed up or down.
Pair with shorts and flip flops to go shopping or with leggings and cute flats for an afternoon of breakout sessions.
3. It won’t be all business, all the time.
4. Session rooms and outdoor parties can get chilly.
Come prepared with cardigan or scarf that will match your outfit.
5. Your (not so little) little black dress.
A great dress in a wrinkle-free fabric will serve you well. Easy to roll up into your suitcase and pairs great with a cardigan or a pashmina.
6. Don’t forget you can still be fun and flirty!
This ‘cold shoulder’ top by Michael Kors looks fantastic on and pairs well with jeans or leggings.
7. Jeans! The best, most comfortable pair you own.
Cause lets face it you won’t have time to wear all 36 pairs. Just bring one (OK 2 – if you insist) that make your ass look fantastic and allows you to breathe.
8. The makeup bag. The small, pared-down version of your makeup bag.
Add a great lip stain – I love the Smashbox longwear lip lacquer – and some light gloss and you’re all set to look fresh and natural.
9. Fantabulous sunglasses.
I’m bringing the DVF glasses I won in the BlogHer’12 Eyeconic challenge. I do wish they would bring this promo back – It was a lot of fun and I absolutely LOVE those glasses.
10. A bright Pasmina.
Fits in your bag and very versatile. Conference rooms get chilly with the A/C, and sometimes you just need that extra little bit of coverage.
11. Stand out from the crowd with a great badge holder that doubles as awesome jewelry.
It’s not like you can go anywhere without your badge… may as well look good while at it, right? I found this one on Ebay. The seller graciously switched out the ring for a lobster clasp which will easily hook onto my badge. Her creations are amazing and fun – check out her pinterest board!
12. Cute flats, like these Jeffrey Campbell ‘At Hashtag’ shoes I got from Revolve Clothing.
An easy way to add a punch of wow to your outfit without breaking your back.
13. A well-fitted, right-sized, convertible bra.
My favorite is the Wacoal Red Carpet Strapless Underwire Bra. It holds’em up and doesn’t go anywhere – and I can choose to put the straps on if I want. Bonus: it comes in my size, 36H. I always feel confident the ladies will stay where they need to, and I don’t have to deal with straps digging into my shoulders.
14. Underpants that go the distance.
Remember the belly perma-smile I mentioned before? Well these ‘boy’ shorts from La Vie en Rose are perfect. They look great on, and the panty covers the entire old-man-flap so I don’t end up with weird bits poking through the sides. No one needs bikini muffin-sides. Trust me. It doesn’t hurt that your ass will look fantastic in these :).
15. Simple jewelry that will make you feel fabulous.
This coral enamel bangle bracelet from Fossil looks great on, and I love how the enamel feels against my skin.
16. An alternative to shoes for parties and the expo hall.
I hate wearing shoes, and sometime around day 1.5 my feet start to really swell up. I relieve them by wearing Slippys Original socks around the hotel and conference area. They are super cute, and no one is really looking at your feet.
Travel tip: These are great to change into once you get on the plane. Just slip your shoes into your carry-on and enjoy!
17. Waist nippers and such.
I’m not a fan of spanx-type shapewear. On my round-ish tummy all that smoothing just makes me look like I have a nice, tight, pregnant belly. Instead I prefer waist nippers like the Maidenform Easy Up and the Maidenform Flexees Waist Nipper. These really ‘suck you in’ in the tummy area and stay put all day. Great for any form fitting outfit, but also when you’re feeling all bloated and hormonal.
18. Feminine Wipes & Panty Liners.
Keep your lady-bits fresh all day. You’ve had a few kids so the chance you can laugh without tears coming down your legs are slim to none. Need I say more? Oh, and neither will help you not piss your pants but at least you’ll stay dry and smell nice.
19. Breath Spray
There will be food. Lots of food. Foods of all kinds. Come prepared with breath spray and spare your neighbors.
20. YOU, in all your awesome glory
Cause really, that’s all the matters right? Let us get to know the awesome that is you – be it quirky, weird, different, whatever. We’re all a bunch of coo-coos anyways, so you’ll fit right in 😉
What are your must-have items? Any tips you want to share?