The Anti- What Not to WearThis blog was originally scheduled for this past Tuesday (July 15), but had to be postponed.
Business cards, publicity folder, notes for agent/editor pitch…
These are all necessary items for any successful writer’s conference. But there’s one major thing not included on that list. And it’s a big one.
Your attire. Your wardrobe. Your threads.
Any worries about whether or not your closet has what it takes will be wiped away once you step inside the San Francisco Marriot for the RWA National Conference and take a glance at the variety of clothing styles.
Traditional business suit. Come on in and join the group.
Dress casual slacks, capris or skirt with a nice blouse. Welcome!
Trendy, hip haute couture. Entrévous.
Sweaty exercise clothes. Let me show you to the hotel gym, you never know who might be trudging away on the treadmill next to you, rocking to their I-pod.
Saturday evening’s Awards Ceremony will bring you much of the same. Casual church dresses intermixed with cocktail dresses sashaying by beaded, floor-length evening gowns.
Are you getting the gist of things? In a nutshell, dress to your comfort. Knowing that you will be mingling with a group of professional, creativity-driven, business-minded, fun-loving people.
I’ll warn you, most hotels and restaurants tend to be chilly. Better to have us cool, then sweating in our nice duds. I usually bring a sweater if I’m only wearing a blouse. If I’m sporting a jacket for the day, I make sure to have a shirt I’d feel comfortable wearing alone, in the event I find myself growing warm and decide to take off my jacket.
I don’t normally carry a purse around all day. I’ll pack one or two small ones for evening events, or in case I’m able to sneak away from the hotel to take in the San Francisco sights. But during the day, I utilize the welcome bag RWA provides upon registration/check-in. I do bring a small bag (makeup-bag size or a plain zip-lock) to carry a few personal items. Okay, so I’m a girly girl. I need my lip gloss or powder to freshen up during the day. I’ll drop in some minty gum as well to avoid embarrassing bad breath. You’ll probably also find a cereal bar or some nuts, something to perk up my stamina if I feel like I’m starting to fade mid-afternoon.
And then, we get to the biggies.
If you’re a Sex and the City fan, you know how important shoes are to a woman’s psyche. Well, some women anyway. And here’s the thing, sometimes I agree.
I search far and wide (okay, maybe only the stores at my local mall, I’m not that much of a shoe fiend, nor do my budget and time allow me to be, but that’s another story) for shoes that are comfortable, yet stylish. You will be on your feet a good portion of the day. Walking to presentations, waiting in line for the elevator, a special event or a signing, lugging your free books back up to your room, etc. I guarantee your feet will be sore by the end of the day, whether you’re in flats or heels. Once more, the idea is to dress to your comfort level. If you can hack the trendy Manolos, go for it! (And if you’re wearing Manolos, come find me so I can drool, okay?) If Lifestride pumps are more up your alley, I hear ya sister! If comfy flats match your outfit and make your feet send up a squeal of thanks, put those babies on!
Have you caught my drift yet?
At National you’ll find people wearing all sorts of different styles. Granted, very few will be in shorts and T-shirt (unless you’re at the gym or just coming in from touring the city). In general, the consensus is whatever you’re comfortable wearing when talking with your peers, professionals and those you admire within the publishing industry.
So, you’ve probably got just over a week before you leave for San Francisco. If you’re like me, you’ve started setting stuff aside little by little, adding to the pile as something new comes to mind. Or maybe you’re a last minute packer, confident tossing everything into the suitcase on your way out the door. Yikes, that makes me nervous just to type it. :-) Either way, I hope I’ve given you some reassurance that you don’t need to run out and buy a new wardrobe. Sorry, you can’t blame that new dress on me. But if you bought one, I’m sure you deserved it.
If you still have some questions, or want to add a thought or two, please chime in. The clock is ticking. Soon we’ll be walking through the Marriot doors, ready to soak in the best the romance industry has to offer!