December 12, 2011

Conferencing Wardrobe

Alma Mater Blazer (similar here)
DVF Bilboa (similar here; budget options here or here*)
MBMJ pumps (similar here and here)

The major conference of any specific academic discipline provides an exciting opportunity for scholars to network, present their research, interview, and reconnect. Often, organizers rotate the schedule through a series of desirable locations, allowing attendees to have an added benefit of visiting fantastic cities while they do their jobs. 2011 attendants of the annual meeting of the National Communication Association were especially fortunate that New Orleans was selected as the host location. As I've detailed previously, I deeply and quickly fell in love with this wonderful city during my past visits. I was thrilled to return!

Old Navy Chambray dress (similar here)
Anthro belt
Chloé flats
Spanx tights

The cultural richness of New Orleans provided inspiration for critical discussions as well as fodder for intriguing distractions. I was able to do a bit of research for a military museum exhibits project I have been developing because the National World War II Museum is located conveniently in the Warehouse Arts District.

Exhibits at the WWII Museum

I was there as a presenter, but I also hoped to do some networking. This was the first time I was in attendance as tenure track faculty, so I felt a bit of pressure to up the professorial/professional ante. As a first-time search committee member, I found myself on the other side of the table at NCA's job fair. That was a really interesting experience from which I learned a lot! All of these occasions required a versatile but efficient travel wardrobe. My visit extended from Wednesday through Sunday, with travel from a cold clime to a warm one. And I had no intention of checking a bag (stupid fees!). So I planned my outfits to function with versatility, allowing for easy mixing.

 Same as above

I've never been a skirt suit person. I do own one very pretty, somewhat non-traditional brown tweed skirt suit by Nanette Lepore. But when I put it on I feel like I'm wearing someone else's clothes. I decided to leave the skirt suit for higher stakes professional scenarios. If I was on the job market, perhaps it would have seemed more useful or necessary? Instead I packed separates.

Alma Mater Blazer (similar here)
DVF Bilboa (similar here; budget options here or here*)
MBMJ pumps (similar here and here)

My luggage contained:
1 Blazer (I brought two, wearing one as my "outerwear" while in transit, saving luggage space)
2 Black dresses (both wrinkle resistant, nicely tailored, wool numbers by DVF-- the Shawnessy and the Bilboa for DVF-philes)
2 pairs of shoes (one pair of cute flats, one pair of sensibly low pumps)
1 Day dress (for activities outside of the conference)
2 Pairs of tights (because although it is the deep south, it was still brisk, especially in the mornings and night)

To a Tee Blazer (similar here and here)
J. Crew top
Stuart Weitzman flats

In transit, I wore a casual blouse, a blazer, and matchstick cords with comfy, slightly wide Chloé flats (not pictured... but my in transit shoes need to be a bit large because I always feel so swollen after a day of plane travel).

Although my suitcase was stuffed, causing me to pass on a beautiful See by Chloé coat from United Apparel Liquidators in the French Quarter, I was pleased with the items I brought. Sure, I was bored to death by my options at the end of the trip, but I think it was smart to prioritize conference-friendly clothing over my usual: vibrant statement prints.

*Don't discount ebay when hunting for DVF on a budget. I paid around the cost of the budget options a few years back when I bought my Shawnessy and Bilboa on the resale market. Watch for knockoffs because this brand does have counterfeiters. The helpful women at Fashionism can always offer assistance with authentication questions.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

Love the suit.  Very professional and classic.  Looks beautiful on you.


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