Conference What (Not) To Wear!

Today’s post is the beginning of a two-parter. Watch for part two from Megan on Friday! The two of us sat together at the RITA awards at RWA (and probably drove our neighbors crazy with the whispering–sorry, neighbors!). We sat behind the giant screen in the middle of the room, and had a fabulous time watching the parade of fashions go by. Here are a few tips we came up with to remember when packing for conference:

A little leopard print can be great! Shoes are always good…

Scarves are good (just ask Emma Hamilton! But you can leave the leopard head at home)


But it can be easy to go a little overboard…
All-white can be fresh, summery, and youthful! A good choice in the steamy cities of RWA


But too much can say “Demented Bride”!
Nice walking shorts with cute shoes–Yes!
Sloppy cut-offs–maybe not. And be sure you can sit in your skirt!!!

Dress-over-jeans–Yes or No?

In a room of 3000 women, a nice pair of shoes will get you noticed faster than anything! (Just be sure you can walk in them…)





Abigail Adams knew the power of nice shoes
So did Martha Washington!
Make sure your clothes fit…
Bring shawls for air-conditioned workshop rooms
Most of all, be comfortable and have fun!!!

What are some of your favorite “do’s” for conference?

About Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Writer (as Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, Amanda Carmack), history geek, yoga enthusiast, pet owner!
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16 Responses to Conference What (Not) To Wear!

  1. You both look so pretty in pink! I hope to be in Nashville next year, but I’ll be wearing flats.It will be my first conference, and I will be so nervous I’ll probably have trouble walking in those!

  2. Diane Gaston says:

    comfortable shoes are a must, except at the awards ceremony!

    I’d say, strive for “business casual” or “business wear” for the conference.

    Or cute sundresses like Amanda’s! I think she had a different cute one for every occasion!

  3. Totally agree on the flats thing! I only wear heels in the evenings–ballet flats and sandals are a must for day. ๐Ÿ™‚ (I just found a pair of cute sequined flats this weekend–they’ll probably make an appearance at RWA next year)

    Diane, you’re so right you can never go wrong with a suit or nice pair of tailored pants! They look so crisp and professional. But I usually try on a suit for conference, then decide not to buy it as I look ridiculous in them!

  4. Kwana says:

    Oh I really miss the conference clothes talk. That is so much fun. I agree with Diane on comfy shoes. Go for fashion, but your feet must be treated right.

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  6. I wear comfy shoes all the time, so I like ’em high and slutty for conference!

    (Hit send to fast on first post and had to delete it.)

  7. My biggest ‘do’ is to wear clothes that are comfortable for YOU, not what you think you SHOULD wear. Because I would feel all weird if I were wearing more normal clothing. And that would manifest itself in my attitude.

  8. M. says:

    hee! good advice

  9. Jane Austen says:

    I say do cover yourself. There was one conference I went to and I know it was for a younger crowd, but girls had on cut t-shirts that showed their sport bras. Not everyone wants to see all your skin. Plus some of those conference rooms are cold.

  10. “Because I would feel all weird if I were wearing more normal clothing”

    LOL. “Normal” clothing? What is that??? (this is why I wear little dresses and never, ever suits–I feel like I’m dressing up in my mom’s clothes)

    Jane Austen, the rooms ARE very cold at conference! I always pack lots of shawls and cardigans, layering is good. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Elena Greene says:

    Love this post, Ammanda! (Swoon over those blue Sex & the City shoes)

    I agree with Megan. I don’t think romance writers are expected to look like bankers. We don’t have to all look the same, thank goodness! Although I would guess that over-the-top eccentric works best if you’re already a bestselling author.

  12. Sarah says:

    Those shoes are gorgeous! I don’t usually comment, but those shoes are to do for! Thanks for sharing the pictures of them.

  13. Great pic of the two of you, wonderful dresses. The first high point of the conference for me was Megan approving of my jacket for the Beaumonde Soiree.

  14. LOL Elena! I wouldn’t mind seeing more eccentricity at conference–keeps things interesting ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. azteclady says:

    Footwear: shoes that won’t come apart when you are hurrying across the huge ballroom where the signing will start in a few minutes… :sigh:

    Failing that, spare footwear somewhere handy (say, inside that wonderfully humongous tote)

    From then on I wore sneakers, and was very glad I went for comfort over looks, as it seemed I was on my feet something like 20 hours of every 24!

    I’m very sad I missed meeting any of your Riskies at RWA :pout:

    Oh well *counting pennies* maybe in Nashville…

  16. andrea pickens says:

    Fun post, Amanda. But you should have included a photo of your Soiree shoes. Talk about style!

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