What to Wear to BlogHer '09 (And Why to Stop Worrying About it Already)

BlogHer Original Post

BlogHer's 2009 conference is in less than six weeks, which means we're entering a phase that totally stresses me out; I like to call it the what-the-hell-do-I-wear? phase. In the past week, I've started stumbling across the first of what will be far too many posts written by women who are convinced that they need to purchase an entirely new wardrobe in order to fit in at BlogHer.

Let's get one thing clear: You do not need to buy new clothes for this event. Nor should you feel any pressure to look some particular way when you show up in Chicago. 

There are no rules about what to wear to BlogHer; I can promise you that if you're making the trip to Chicago in July, you will see absolutely everything, from suits to shorts, at the conference. BlogHer is all about inclusion, which means that no matter what you have on, your voice matters, and you will be welcomed into the conversation.

At least a third of you think I'm lying through my teeth right now, don't you? I'm not, but let's talk about strategies for BlogHer -- or, if you're not attending BlogHer this year, for any time you're meeting people from the Internet who know you through your words rather than through your closet.

Alexa at Flotsam is asking a couple of fairly standard questions: "What does one wear at BlogHer? Does one change in the evenings? Change into what, exactly?"

Let's start with what to wear during the day: Wear what you're comfortable in. If you're a jeans-and-tee kind of girl, don't buy yourself a bunch of dresses -- wear jeans and a tee. BlogHer -- or any meetup with Internet peeps -- is about being yourself, not dressing up as someone else.

Of course, there are caveats: If you're coming to BlogHer to look for work, think about how to present your most professional self; pair your tee with dark wash, mid-rise jeans, for example, rather than that low-rise pair with the hole in the ass.

If you're coming to BlogHer to get away from your everyday life, think about bringing those pieces that you wish you could wear everyday but that just don't work for you -- the sweater you don't want the kids touching or the dress that is just not quite appropriate for the office. 

More caveats: Road test everything before you pack your suitcase -- does that blouse really work with those pants, or is it too long/short? Better to know now than when it's the only thing you have to wear for the entire day. If you're going to buy new things to wear to BlogHer (or on any trip, really) wear them once before you hit the road. New clothes are so appealing, but you want to know that things are comfortable and functional before you're stuck in them all day with no other option.

Also! Pack comfortable shoes for day. I don't even have to say that, do I?

Back to Alexa's questions: "Does one change in the evenings? Change into what, exactly?" Okay, here's where I confess: This list of parties? Makes me a little nervous. Because suddenly I feel like I'm in tenth grade again and don't have a date to the prom, which shouldn't matter because the prom is for juniors and seniors but everyone in my class is going, except me, which probably means I'm a total loser.

Do not pretend you don't know what I'm talking about.

What do you wear at night at BlogHer? Again, wear what's comfortable. Don't feel like you have to bring a cocktail dress just because there are parties that start during the cocktail hour, but if you're an LBD kind of girl, pack it. Wear what will make you comfortable, physically and psychologically.

What will I be wearing? The same thing I wear every day, honestly -- dresses and skirts, and maybe a pair of cropped pants. I'm bringing cardigans because I'm always cold and flats because heels are too hard to walk fast in.

Kaiser Mommy at Room 704 is planning her conference packing; go see what she's looking at wearing.  Ciaran at Social Luxe Lounge is also planning; I want the orange print dress she's coveting.

Do you have packing tips for BlogHer, or questions about what to put in your suitcase? Let's hear them!

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