The blogosphere is a-twitter (see what I did there?) with advice about what to wear to BlogHer ’12, which is now only a week away. My philosophy is that of comfort over fashion. I wore heels the first night of BlogHer ’10, and my feet made me suffer for the rest of the conference for it. Two years later, I feel about 20 years older, and my physical needs have taken priority in much of my wardrobe. So I thought I would share my list of practical (and inexpensive) things I’ll be wearing at the BlogHer ’12 conference next week. For the record, none of this is sponsored. The recent purchases were thanks to some newly discovered gift cards I had tucked away and the fine people at Visa, who will be charging me interest on these things for a while.
These are the shoes I will be wearing during the day at BlogHer. These sneakers are made by Dr. Scholl’s, and I picked them up for $10 on clearance at Walmart. They are cushioned inside, and the rounded soles allow for a gentle rocking motion every time my foot hits the ground. I wore these to our Relay For Life event in June, and they saved my feet from being in pain the next day. They’ll be perfect for getting around the conference and elsewhere in NYC.
2. Cute Mary Janes
I don’t want to necessarily wear my sneakers to some of the evening parties, so I’m also bringing these cute Mary Janes with me. Made by White Stag and also picked up at Walmart on clearance ($7!), they also have cushioned insoles to prevent my poor feet from suffering. But they aren’t cut out for all-day wear.
3. Hanes Dry Socks
Oh man, now we’re getting serious. My feet sweat. A lot. And hot, sweaty feet get sore faster than cooler, dryer feet. I found these Hanes Dry socks before the Relay For Life, and I’m systematically removing almost all of my other socks from my wardrobe by periodically replacing six pairs whenever I pick up a new pack of these Hanes Dry socks. It’s a little sad for me, because I love colorful socks with cute designs on them, but there’s such a noticeable difference in how much my feet hurt when I wear these socks versus wearing other socks… It’s just a concession I have to make. I don’t know if it’s the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or just getting older, but at least these come in both black and white for some variety.
I had to replace the jeans I’ve been wearing for years when it became apparent I may never make size 8 happen again. My disappointment with this realization was not necessarily related to my size – size 10 is still looking pretty good – but related to the fact that I didn’t want to have to spend the money to buy all new clothes. Then we were killing some time in Boscov’s one day, and I found these French Cut jeans on a “doorbuster” sale marked down from $50 to $10. I bought two pairs of them. I would have bought more, but that’s all they had in my size. My husband says they make my butt look good, so that works for me. (No pic because they’re in the wash.)
5. Khaki Pants
I love these more than my jeans. You can’t see them because they are in the dirty laundry right now. They are the most comfortable non-yoga pants I own, and I got them for $17 on Best Price Friday at JCPenney. I’ll probably wear them for the train ride to and from NYC, because they were comfy enough for the airline trip to Type-A. (Although the metal studs set off the alarm at the airport security checkpoint.)
6. Cotton Floral Shirt (Business Casual)
Another Best Price Friday deal from JCPenney, this St. John’s Bay shirt looks pretty decent with a pair of khakis. I think I paid $7 or $8 for it. I almost didn’t buy it because it wouldn’t be out of place for someone 20 years older than me to wear it, but I think it looks okay on me. We’ll see what the unofficial BlogHer ’12 Pinterest board has to say on the matter when all is said and done.
7. Dressy Floral Shirt with Fancy Neck
My clothes are usually fairly simple. I think that’s why I decided I needed to have this shirt when it was, you guessed it, a Best Price Friday deal at JCPenney. I only paid $10 for it, and I really like the way I photograph wearing it. I ended up buying a lot of purple that day, when I didn’t own anything purple before. I guess I needed some color?
8. My Favorite Shirt Ever
I had some time to kill one day when I was trying to stave off a full-blown panic attack, so I went to Marshall’s to browse their clearance racks. I was about to give up and leave because the “medium” racks were filled with things I wouldn’t wear if someone paid me to, but then my eyes fell on this beautiful shirt among the “large” clothes. A tunic top in gorgeous blue…I ran to the dressing room to see how it looked, since it wasn’t exactly my size. Except it looked good on me. No, it looked great on me. I don’t normally spend $15 for a shirt on clearance, but this one was worth it. I wish I had like 10 of them in different colors. I’d never need to wear another shirt again.
9. The Maxi Dress
Can I start by saying the term “maxi dress” is ridiculous? Okay, good. Now that we’ve got that out of the way. I got this Nicole Miller dress for $17 on clearance. That’s the oversimplified version, but it sounds better than the full story. I got this Nicole by Nicole Miller for $17 at JCPenney with the rest of my Best Price Friday finds. It’s a size 12, not a size 10, so it’s a little bigger than it needs to be, but I love it. It’s currently the only dress I own that isn’t too short or too tight. Oh, and I can sit on the floral with my legs crossed while wearing this dress. I know, because I did it at one of the Type-A parties.
10. Handmade Necklaces
I realized I needed some accessories, but I didn’t have a lot of money to spend. So I figured I’d head to my Wouldn’t I Look Cute board on Pinterest and find some things I’d pinned from Etsy. Jackpot. These two necklaces were purchased from grandbigdog on Etsy. The “Gypsy Blues” beaded necklace looks like something a retail store would charge $20+ for. I’ll get to how much I paid in a minute…
11. Handmade Bracelets
These bracelets were from the same Etsy seller as the necklaces. The wrap bracelet is absolutely fascinating, as the magnetic beads keep the whole thing together once I wrap it around my wrist. So how much did I pay for these two necklaces and four bracelets? $19.50. And that includes shipping. I strongly encourage people to shop Etsy and support small biz crafters. It’s not only good karma for buying from indie shops, it’s good for your wallet!
12. Cat-Eye Sunglasses
I scored these babies at Target for $12. And since then, I have gotten so many compliments on them! I wear my sunglasses more than most people because my eyes became hypersensitive to sunlight after my LASIK vision correction surgery back in 2004. I have to wear them on rainy and overcast days when driving with my wipers and headlights on because the ambient light hurts my eyes. I’d finally killed the Solar Eyes sunglasses I’d gotten to review back in 2009 when one of the arms fell off a few months back, and while these aren’t as comfortable, they sure are cute!
13. A Smile
I have the same smile in almost every picture taken of me at conferences over the last four years. The only exceptions are my “clearly I’ve had alcohol tonight” smiles and the photos where I thought I was posing cleverly with a cardboard cutout of some celebrity, but really I should know that my facial expressions look nothing in reality like I think they do in my head. (I blame Asperger’s for that.) Do you have an “OMG, it’s a camera” smile, too?
I hope this post helped all of the BlogHer newbies feel slightly less anxious about their non-designer wardrobes. Just trying to keep it real.
Tags: clothes, conferences