Sorry, no retro food discussion, but there is a picture of a retro dress.
The Internet is abuzz with discussion of what to wear at BlogHer. It alway has been that way. In fact, it is the topic of one of my very first blog posts. The talk hit a fever pitch yesterday with the news that some guy named Tim Gunn will be there. Also, Carson from Queer Eye will be there. This troubled some people who think that Being taken seriously means not being concerned about appearance.
Ok, here is the deal…you can see exactly what I will wear at BlogHer: (yes, feel free to give lots of hearts to my styleboard and play at Kaboodle…not because you love me or anything but because it is one of my most favorite places online.–totally unsponsored love of Kaboodle)
Sort of…you see, I usually end up wearing swag shirts…and usually a coffee spill or two. The two shirts pictured–my current favorite shirt from Threadless….not a swag shirt and the brand new Retro-Food shirt I made up at Zazzle when I created this year’s business cards. (I really might end up wearing my Saving Grace shirt from last year’s BlogHer. It has held up well to my wear and tear.) The dress from AudreyGrace won’t look quite like that one but close. The laptop bag will actually be swag from the 07 BlogHer conference and quite simply the most perfect laptop bag I have ever owned.
I am serious about my blog. But, BlogHer for me is…casual. I am a casual person. I work from home. I own a couple of business outfits that I will pull out should I speak at a different sort of conference or get called to travel to my day job. I could wear those.
I won’t. This is a blogging conference. I get to be who I am on my blog…ME. The person who blogs here is not a person who wears a power suit. It isn’t a dressy woman. It isn’t a woman who packs multiple pairs of shoes to go on vacation. It is who you will see on the style board. It is who you will see at BlogHer.
But, this will be my fourth BlogHer conference. I know what to expect. I know that people will wear clothes from all ends of the spectrum. From super business like…to super casual. No conference I have ever been to has had quite the array of fashion choices as BlogHer…including other large women’s conferences I have attended.
The first year I went, I was nervous about what to wear, but I had found what I thought were the perfect pair of shoes, so I was confident I could pull anything off. I didn’t wear most of what I packed. I did wear the perfect shoes…which WERE perfect except for the fact that I hadn’t actually ever worn them except to try them on and didn’t realize that 18 hours in them would kill.
The second year, I decided to dress for the cocktail parties because it would be fun. (The clothes were fun. The blisters from shoes I didn’t wear often-NOT FUN-meeting someone who noticed my bleeding ankle and offered me a band-aid-priceless. My son would also say the way I rocked the one dress was priceless.)
Last year, I didn’t dress for cocktail parties. I wore comfortable shoes and clothes.
This year, I will be wearing a dress on Friday night…on account of the Community Keynote. It is a dress I have daydreamed off and on about since getting this blog and attending this conference with this blog as my primary blog. I probably wouldn’t have gotten it this year except for the keynote…but believe me…we have been looking for THE Retro-Food dress for years.
Back to the being taken seriously. My son has sweated far more over what to wear to BlogHer this year than anyone else. He wants to project the right geek image. My partner will dig out a couple of pairs of pants and some clean shirts and throw them in the suitcase. She will probably wear her Blogher Chucks. The daughter going has a cocktail dress she thinks she wants to wear to the parties. (yes, my 13 yo daughter owns cocktail dresses. Don’t ask.)
My ex-husband has been known to carefully consider what image he will project before he opens his mouth with his clothing choices for conferences, seminars, etc. No, he doesn’t talk about it online (that I know of), but I know he thinks about it and talks about it (or at least earlier in his career talked about it) with his co-workers, mentors, and family. I know a common lament of new professors, male and female, is that there is no class in how to dress for success as young professors in grad school.
So, BlogHer Conference Attendees talk about it online with their “co-workers” (because that indeed is what other BlogHers are in a way), mentors, and family. They also may not attend many conferences or a totally different type of conference. They might need to know the practical details (Wear COMFORTABLE SHOES and that beautiful shirt that looks great on you but has the buttons that don’t stay buttoned and bug you–SKIP IT). They may want to project a certain image regarding their blog and don’t know quite how to approach combining their personal appearance with their blog’s topic, look, and feel. So, they ask. They fret. They show off. They share their knowledge.
Does that mean one sponsor booth with a “Booth Babe” is causing a step back in a woman’s right to be recognized online and taken seriously? Nope. It means that BlogHer is diverse and full of beautiful women (and every single one of them is beautiful) at varying places in their evolution as bloggers and conference attendees. It means a Tide/Bounce Booth Babe (Tim Gunn) looks and acts very different than a Nintendo Booth Babe or the traditional Microsoft Booth Babe at other conferences.