Last week, we began a little girl talk on what to wear to the BAM Conference in Nashville…or really, just any blogging conference. Some of you wanted to continue this discussion on Facebook and through email. I can tell it is important to you how you present yourself to brands and peers. You want to feel confident and accomplished.
A short review….this event calls for business casual. Clothing pieces which project professionalism with comfort. Also, BAM is on the cusp of a seasonal change, so Nashville may be cold, but remember, hotel conference rooms are traditionally a little chilly any way. The great news here is clothing can still be winter styles, but also you could begin to transition into spring. Both would be appropriate.
Please remember, any specifics I recommend, and any inspiration looks may be shopped for any body type or budget. You can take pictures and put similar styles together at KOHLS, Marshalls, or Saks Fifth Avenue…whatever you choose. This is the purpose of the BAM Pinterest Board…to give ideas and inspiration for completed looks. You will see styles for several body types. You will see the power of jackets and cardigans to take jeans, trousers, or pencil skirts to professional levels. You will see how to pop color. You will how to complete looks with purposeful accessories. You will see vision for styling one pair of pants for three different purposes. You should not look at the board and think…oh, I cannot afford that style…again you can find the style at different retailers within your budget. Now, during January sales and clearances, is a great time to shop and save.
If you love dresses and skirts, of course, wear them. However, for those of us traveling and for a short 72-hour event (at the most), here are my recommendations for comfort and panache:
- Pants – You should have a great pair of pants which fit well and you feel confident wearing. These can be a neutral color (brown, black, gray or white) and could even be dark denim. On the board, you will see many of the shorter, thin legged styles… very chic and trendy… and I believe fit any body type. If you are a curvy lady, go to Lane Bryant and try some on before you discount them. They look sharp. You can take these pants through any event the entire weekend and just change tops or jackets. Now, to the Friday cocktail party I will probably wear leggings and a different pant for Saturday. One pant trend to avoid completely, are the current styles of distressed denim. I have seen many midlife ladies wearing these…and, honestly, ripped jeans are NEVER a good idea. The dressing room mirror is your friend. Think…what does this fit and style say about me?
- Jackets and Cardigans – Perfect for a professional look on Saturday…even with dark, trouser denim. This would be a good time to introduce a spring color of topper. Jackets with great seaming are just the most flattering garment. If you are petite or curvy, select a jacket which hits at the top of the thigh. Taller ladies might go for the longer length, or duster for the Saturday events.
- Tops – A white, collared blouse is always a great professional piece to pair with jackets and cardigans. If you go with a print, keep it small and not too loud. Do not wear a message T shirt…really for the same reason as the ripped jeans. When we try to look younger, sometimes we actually look older. A collared shirt or v-neck blouse will elongate your overall look.
- Shoes – For any conference, I recommend flat shoes…flat pointed toe, ballet flat, brogue, and in some cases a fashionable sneaker might work (not an athletic shoe). When you are walking between meetings and attending events, heels can get hard on the feet. The pointed toe flat will also elongate your look.
- Accessories – Chic, simple, not too large, and purposeful are the key messages for accessories. Look in the mirror at your three styles for the weekend with everything on. Do not bring outfits you did not plan from head to toe before a long mirror. You want people looking at your face when speaking with you and not at a loud accessory or garment selection. You also might lay out your looks on the bed and see how they will work together sharing a few pieces.
I will pack two pair of pants; a pair of jeans; four tops; and perhaps two jackets with a winter coat or trench in case it is needed. I will probably pack two pair of shoes. Business casual demands a more classic, streamlined style instead of a bohemian style. I will be focusing on neutrals more so than prints. But, I also reserve the right to change this as we get closer to March.
Also, remember to bring a stack of your business cards in a fun card holder. I found a beautiful leather one at Ross. I will keep feeding ideas to the Pinterest Board up until conference time and I would love to speak personally to any of you as we did last week.
Any thoughts you would like to add? Please do…and I will see you next week in The Joy Boutique. Keep Smiling!