Every time another blogging conference comes around, there’s a rush of messages from bloggers who are new to the conference circuit who want to know what to wear to the conference. Now, if you’re going to the Type-A Parent conference in Alexandria, Virginia next week, let me assure you that it’s very come-as-you-are. You don’t have to worry about digging out your designer duds and uncomfortable heels, unless you happen to be a fashion blogger who is known for getting dolled up all the time. You’ll see plenty of people wearing either business casual or even jeans and t-shirts. So I wanted to take a moment to share what I will be wearing to the 2017 Type-A Parent Conference next week. Heads up: here be affiliate links.
My Travel Shirt
First of all, here’s what I will be wearing while I travel from airport to airport to get to and from the conference. As you may or may not know, I’ve been becoming progressively disabled over the past couple of years, so travel has been decidedly difficult for me in recent times. So I made myself a t-shirt using Zazzle, something I knew I could wear to make traversing the airport just a little bit easier. I don’t look sick, so people assume I’m a perfectly healthy adult, and it’s hard to get the proper accommodations from gate agents if they think you’re just trying to get on the plane with preferential treatment. How do you like this t-shirt? (For the record, buy a size up, especially if you’re well-endowed in the chest area. The model in the picture has much smaller breasts than I do, so it makes the text a bit awkward to read when I wear it.)
I will be pairing this t-shirt with a pair of Pajama Jeans, which are the only jeans that I wear anymore. What I like about Pajama Jeans is that they are stretchy and soft, and they don’t feel it all constricting to me. So they’re really great for someone with my chronic pain issues, and they’re easier to pull on and off, which can be helpful when I’m having issues with fatigue or when my IBS happens to be flaring up. But we won’t get too much into that, because that’s just gross. (Beware of knock-offs, though. While some get good reviews, most of the knock-offs on Amazon get reviewed poorly because they are made shoddily, don’t fit right, etc.)
And check out this wonderful fashion accessory, my four-footed cane, which I actually picked up at a Rite Aid in Philadelphia when I was there for the Democratic National Convention in 2016, because I was scatterbrained and had forgotten to bring my other cane from home. And I didn’t realize this until we were more than halfway to Philly. You may not think of a cane as “what I’m wearing” material, but when you happen to be chronically ill, you take your fashion accessories where you can get them. My cane is kind of a sparkly dark blue, with the ultra stylish comfort foam grip, and the practical four-footed bottom that allows it to stand freely so I don’t have to worry about leaning it up against something when I’m sitting down.
Hanes is one of the conference sponsors, and my family is made up of Hanes fanatics. I only wear Hanes Dry socks, although they’re called something different now, because they’re the only socks that are properly cushioned and keep my nasty, sweaty feet dry. My underwear is also Hanes, with the ComfortSoft waistband – because they are the most comfortable panties I have found in a long time. We discovered this by accident when, late one night, I discovered that I had forgotten to do laundry and was completely out of underwear, so my husband ran to Walmart to buy me some new underwear. He found me the softest underwear I had owned to date, so that became my new favorite underwear. I highly recommend it for anyone who has trouble with the elastic in other brands of underwear, because I have serious issues with chafing when it comes to the type of elastic for the leg holes of other brands. Note: Hanes is not paying me to tell you any of this, but if you’re reading, Hanes reps, I’d be happy to work with you! I’ve been buying Hanes underwear and socks for myself, my husband, and my son for years. Oh, and t-shirts. Look in my laundry basket, and you’d see we could do a decent photo shoot for the brand. Let’s chat at the Expo – not necessarily about a photo shoot, LOL. Although one thing I don’t buy from Hanes…
They are all fabric. No underwire, no clasps, no hooks. The last time I needed an x-ray, I didn’t even have to put on a hospital gown because I was wearing yoga pants and had no metal on me anywhere. The proper sizing comes from the elastic and the stretch of the fabric. Either step into it and pull it up to its proper place or pull it on over your head like a shirt. This is very helpful for me, depending on my particular physical needs of the day. Sometimes I can’t do anything that requires reaching my arms over my head, which other times I can’t bear to have anything touch my hips or my waist. In any case, I think I’m beyond the point where I can say I could successfully fasten hooks on a traditional bra on any given day. The only times my Genie Bras have ever been uncomfortable is when it’s been hot outside and I get sweaty. The fabric is very absorbent and does not dry quickly. The original Genie Bra (the one that got me “hooked”) was quite bulky and unattractive, but they’ve released much prettier styles and colors now, and my straps look like I’m wearing a tank top or camisole if they show from under my shirt. Score.
Vionic Shoes with Orthaheel Technology
I first tried out their shoes a few years back when they contacted me about reviewing a pair of their slippers. (I still wear them, though I should probably replace them.) Then I reviewed a pair of their sandals. Now, I’ll only buy Vionic shoes because they’re so comfortable and cute. I have a pair of black sneakers and a pair of pink and orange Mary Janes. The black ones are too hot to wear outdoors in the summer, and the pink and orange ones are much cooler. It looks like they’ve retired the Marina black sneakers I own, but they have so many other styles to choose from.
This is not one of the exact tunics I’m bringing with me, because I haven’t decided which ones I’m packing yet, but aside from a few must-have t-shirts, I prefer to wear tunic-length shirts. Or short dresses that can pass as tunics when paired with leggings. They’re always flattering, and I’ve been consciously choosing those that are soft fabrics without uncomfortable embellishments. My sensory needs have become much stronger over the years, so I stick with a good thing when I find it. Come to think of it, I’ll probably pack the new tunic I got that has POCKETS in it!
I wear two different types of leggings: super comfortable leggings or compression leggings. I only own a pair of compression leggings by accident, when Type-A sponsor Share-A-Sale/Lab 6 Media was giving out faux leather Spanx leggings at the expo last year for those who signed up to be Spanx affiliates. I know they are marketed for their ability to suck in flabby bits so your clothes look smoother – and they do that well! – but if you happen to have a medical need for compression garments, these are far more stylish than anything you’d find in a medical supply store. I wouldn’t wear them on a plane, but if I know I have to be on my feet more often than usual, my Spanx leggings do decrease the swelling in my legs and ankles.
But while the Spanx leggings can occasionally help ease certain abdominal discomforts, most of the time, I need leggings with a comfortable, non-restrictive waistband. I only graduated from yoga pants to leggings about a year and a half ago, so I’m still building my collection. I usually aim for leggings at a price point of about $5, which is not hard to find, and they’re generally made a lot sturdier than their affordability would tend to suggest. I have to pay more attention to making sure I have at least one shirt that will match the particular color and/or design of any given pair of leggings I buy. I have two pairs that I need to find tunics to match with!
What Are You Wearing?
If you had any misgivings about your conference wardrobe, I hope I’ve helped you see that it’s best to dress in whatever manner makes you feel best. The state of my health has forced me to prioritize comfort and function, but thanks to a growing market, I don’t always have to sacrifice style for comfort! What is your conference style?