Have you ever been in a social or work situation where you know very few of the other people in the room? It can be nerve wracking at best, terrifying at worst. And what you’re wearing can make a big difference to how confident you feel overcoming those nerves and fear.
So it makes perfect sense that long before the 170 delegates arrive in Sydney for the inaugural Aussie Bloggers Conference, the talk on Twitter and on Aussie Mummy Bloggers has turned to the dreaded “what to wear?” question.
Lucy from Diminishing Lucy hit the nail on the head: “I do not want to stick out like a fancy pants sore thumb, nor do I want to feel underdone and dowdy… and I got a sense last night on Twitter that I am not the only one!”
The group of mostly women bloggers will be descending from all over Australia. The majority will not have met many or any of the other delegates in real life (IRL). And as bloggers, they already have a “brand” out there in cyberspace. Even if it’s a not-for-profit brand, it’s a brand that attracts readers all the same.
Putting my style advice hat on, I’m going to offer the same advice to bloggers attending this conference as I would any delegate attending a conference or a networking event where his or her personal brand is on show to a room filled with “friends they haven’t met yet”.
Firstly, we want to see that brand.
Your work – in this case your blog – is unique. It’s a reflection of your personality so you should mirror that in the clothes that you wear.
Take your personality (or the one you’d like to project in this forum – I’ve got multiple wardrobe personalities so I like to mix it up – I give you permission to do so too!) and aim to fit that within the dress code.
For the Aussie Bloggers Conference we’ll be listening to panel sessions all day, followed by a conference dinner that night.
The day session is a Saturday so smart casual makes a lot of sense – and because I’m a cold fish I always have layers on hand to stop the air con seeping into my bones throughout the day. The stylist in me says err on the smart more than on the casual. Add interest with accessories worn around your face – a coloured scarf, statement necklace or earrings – so that when you’re talking and networking with someone new you give that person a conversation starter to break the ice.
For some weekend daytime conference suggestions, check out this blog post I wrote earlier this week.
The conference dinner is a chance for us change out of our casuals and “dress to impress“. There’s no official dress code but the general consensus is that it’s not often we get to have a night out in the city without kids and partners, so why not have fun with it? If buying something new, the most wise purchase would be a little black dress that travels easily (see jersey options below), can be dressed up for this night and worn casually another time. Make the look your own with accessories. Not a dress girl? Black dress pants and an evening-style top would work just as well. I’m a heels’ girl for functions like this but if you’re “allergic to heels” (this terminology is copyrighted to Mrs Woog) then opt for flats with a bit of bling.
1. Saba Victoria dress $179 – great for smaller busted women
2. Sacha Drake Ultimate Black dress $289 – this is just one of the 20 plus ways you can wear this dress. Genius.
3. Witchery Drape Jersey dress $99 – ideal for larger busts
4. Country Road Antonia clutch $149 – downsize your bag at night and carry the essentials
5. Jane Iredale Limited Edition Graphite Refillable Compact with Swarovski Crystal $45 with PurePressed Base $83 – for touch-ups in style (this is available in April/May for Mother’s Day)
6. Peter Lang Art Deco Swarovski crystal ring $138 – I do love a bit of bling wrapped around my champagne glass
7. Mimco Orbit Eclipse necklace $329 – statement with a capital S
8. Betts Romance heels $89.99 – don’t feel you need to wear black heels with a black dress, a neutral tone will elongate the leg
Now, if you’re thinking these suggested looks are on the conservative side, you’re right. I’ve gone for a middle ground demonstration. If you’re not conservative, then don’t go there. Let your personality out and surprise us.
Whatever you decide to wear, put it on at home and ask yourself:
1. Do I feel comfortable?
2. Do I feel confident?
If you’ve answered yes to both then you’re going to be dressed perfectly for you – in this and any situation you find yourself.
I’d like to take this opportunity (geez that sounds formal) to announce that all my “what to wear?” issues have been solved for me – I’m very grateful for my wonderful Aussie Bloggers Conference sponsors. Drum roll … please.
* Making my bum and legs look good during the day: Not Your Daughter’s Jeans Australia.
* Helping me to look fabulous at night for the conference dinner: Sacha Drake.
* Polishing both my day and night time looks and making me look 10 years younger:
Jane Iredale The Skincare Makeup
If you’ve got a specific question about what to wear to the Aussie Bloggers Conference, email me or leave a comment below. The aim is that everyone feels comfortable and confident and that we all have a bucket load of fun!(*The Fab Friday vlogs will return next week. Mr 5’s been sick all week so my time working has been limited.)