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Personal Style, TBS Tips and Tricks, The Broke Socialite — October 5, 2010 11:55 am

The Broke Socialite’s Guide Primer To The Perfect Social Networking Meet-Up/Conference Wardrobe

Posted by
Liya Kebede

 LolaHaze featuring Cheap Monday jeans

One of the things that I love about being a social media maven(ha!) blogger is the opportunity to attend some absolutely fabulous meet-ups and conferences.  As social networkers, so much of our time is spent in front of a computer/on a smartphone that even the mere mention of looming events where you must engage with ACTUAL PEOPLE (*clutching my virtual pearls*) can throw you into a sartorial frenzy.  Before you know it, you’re paralyzed by the horror that is: “What am I going to wear?!”  I contend there’s no need for such drama.  I also believe that you shouldn’t spend a small fortune trying to impress people who a) likely do not care OR b) have never seen a stitch of clothing that you already own. Helllllooooooo!!!

Some tips?

  • In true TBS fashion and if you’ve never done it before, this is the perfect opportunity to shop your own closet. There is very little more satisfying than running across a piece that you’ve forgotten about or that would be great married with another recently purchased item. (Insert ‘Happy Dance’ here!).
  • Unless you expect to run into The Queen of England, allow jeans, chinos or leggings to be your foundation.  I’ve not been to the event yet where jeans were inappropriate.  I do, however, recommend that you not wear your rattiest ones.  Remember, you’re likely meeting someone for the first time and, though, there is a semi-mystique about us social networkers….there’s no need to perpetuate the myth by being unkempt. Though most of our engagement is virtual, first impressions still count.
  • Dependent on the season, layers are a great option.  In a full conference environment, there is usually a hotel involved. With icy meeting rooms.  A nicely tailored blazer or jacket is an essential. Whether covering a t-shirt or collared shirt, having a jacket allows a great deal of flexibility.  Sweaters also work.
  • Sometimes a jacket isn’t enough when the hotel has set the thermometer on “Alaska” degrees, so ladies might also consider tossing a pashmina into your bags.
  • Comfortable shoes are a must. Since there will likely be a great deal of walking and standing involved, be mindful of this when choosing a pair.  A nice pair of loafers, ballet flats or your most tolerable heels should work.  Breaking in a new pair of shoes is the last thing you want to do (Remind me to tell you all about the time that I thought it’d be a great idea to prance around in my new Louboutins for two days at a conference…Can you spell O-U-C-H?)
  • Consider a t-shirt that advertises your blog or Twitter address.  I recently sported my The Follow Me Tee to a Tweet-Up and it was instantly a hit! It’s a minimal investment and an immediate icebreaker!
  • If there is a dressier soiree on the agenda, you can never go wrong with a jersey dress (all of us ladies should have one in our closets).  My favorite one is wrap-style and black. I can dress it up with funky accessories from my jewelry collection, tights and boots for the evening having easily come from wearing it earlier in the day with a sweater and pearl earrings.
  • Don’t get trapped in the “multiple change” vortex. Unless you’re going to the Emmys, there really isn’t a need. With most airlines charging for multiple bags, you should really strive to bring everything in a carry-on should there be travel involved.
  • A larger tote or messenger bag is essential, as well.

This Friday through Sunday, I’ll be attending Blogalicious in Miami and have settled on the weekend’s wardrobe. Like a good blogger, I’m taking my own advice.  Versus obsessing about what I’ll wear, I’d rather enjoy the excitement associated with FINALLY meeting some of my favorite bloggers.  After all, I’m their biggest fan.

What do you typically wear to social networking events?

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