So, the BlogHer conference is just a few weeks away and I'm trying to get ready. I've never been to a blogging conference before and I have no idea what to expect. I'm spending a lot of money to attend and I want to get my money's worth, so I've been reading everything I can find about helpful tips and tricks. One of the topics that pops up endlessly is "What the fuck should I wear?" There is a lot of angst out there about fashion and the need for 3-4 ensembles a day, cocktail attire for night, 16 different handbags and 24 pairs of shoes, not to mention the various hairstyles and head gear to go with all of these outfits. Most people suggest packing each outfit and the accessories in ZipLoc bags and labeling them. Are you fucking kidding me with this? The Hubs is too cheap to pay to check a suitcase. Everything I'm bringing must fit in a carry on!
Originally, I ignored a lot of the lists of what to pack, what to wear, and/or how to dress for the XYZ party, because I felt like I'm Jen. I am who I am. You get what you get. I'm not a fashion blogger. I'm a humor blogger. I'm cargo pants, Crocs and Coach (my 3 C's of fashion). I don't do cocktail dresses or up dos. I could give a rat's ass if there are 15 hot ways to tie a scarf around my head this summer.
But then I read a compelling argument written by a BlogHer veteran. She explained that one of the reasons most of us are attending BlogHer is because we'd like to network with bigger websites and sponsors and we'd like them to take us seriously and help us grow our blogs and in order to do so, we need to at least try and look the part. She's not advocating formal wear, but she did suggest business casual, or at the least a clean shirt. I realized, Son of a bitch! How can anyone take me seriously in Crocs and cargo pants?
This is how I found myself at Macy's this weekend with my mother and my children shopping for clothes that I hope convey to people that I'm a funny, sarcastic, witty, hard working, casual yet put together, carefree but detail-oriented blogger who can be trusted with their brand. Fuck me, this is never going to work.
|Hi. Do you like my new dress? It can be dressed up |
or dressed down. It says I'm fun and flirty and only a bit
socially awkward. Call me!
My mother is a fashion plate. She wears multiple layers and matchy, funky jewelry and shoes that complete her ensembles. (She probably tied scarves around her head the first time that was in style.) She's not a name-dropping label whore, though; rather she's a bargain basement clearance rack shopper and she knows how tell me honestly when something does or does not look good. Also, sometimes when we shop together, she pays for stuff, so that's a nice bonus.
It was not an ideal situation, because the Hubs had to work, so I was forced to bring my children along. Adolpha loves to shop and thinks she's got style (actually her look is unique and kind of cool - I could never pull it off as well as she does, though). Gomer hates shopping unless we're at the Lego store.
My mother (and Adolpha) found me several articles of clothing to try on and we all ended up in one dressing room together so I could model everything.
Here's how it went:
Gomer: Mommy, you look beautiful just the way you are. Why do you need new clothes?
Me: Awww....well -
Adolpha: She needs new clothes, because her clothes aren't....nice.
Gomer: Well, I think you're beautiful, Mommy. Can we go to the Lego store now?
Adolpha: That shirt doesn't look good. It's too...pink. (That must have been hard for her to say and it must have been hideous if even she thought it was too pink.)
Mom: That dress makes your boobs look too big and it pulls in the back - not your best look.
Adolpha: That shirt looks so much better, but the black pants makes it blend in. You need white leggings.
Me: Adolpha, I will never, ever, ever wear white leggings.
Adolpha: Why not?
Me: Because white leggings are the least slimming thing I could ever wear and I need clothes that look slimming.
Gomer: That top is very slimming. Can we go to the Lego store?
Mom: I like that dress so much better! What shoes will you wear though? You only have flip flops.
Adolpha: You need shoes with spiky heels.
Me: Won't wear those either.
Adolpha: That skirt is not...slimming....it's fatting.
Gomer: Mommy, I think you always look beautiful. What time does the Lego store close?
Mom: That dress is perfect. That should go in your buy pile.
Me: I don't know...it's kind of trendy. Does it come in solid black?
Adolpha: You have a lot of black in your buy pile.
Me: Yes, black is slimming.
Mom: Try this top - yikes, no, no, no. Take it off. Not good at all.
Gomer: Mommy -
Me: Yes, Gomer, I know. I'm beautiful. We will get to the Lego store, I promise. Just let me finish here.
As we exited the dressing room we ran into an older lady who had been outside the door waiting. "Sorry we took so long," my mom said. "We didn't realize anyone was waiting. Plus, we had a bit of a crowd in there."
The lady replied, "Oh I know. I've been standing here listening and enjoying the show. Kids are the best critics to take shopping."
You better believe it, lady.
In the end I found 2 dresses, 3 shirts and a pair of shoes - all in various shades of black, black and white or gray. If you see me at BlogHer, please tell me how slimming my outfit looks.