Dress to Impress: A Guide to Conferencing in Style! By Rebecca Heflin

(With an Intro by Char Chaffin!)

Hi All:

With RWA National a whisper away (Okay, ten days away!), I wanted to repost an excellent blog by one of our most dedicated blogging regulars: Rebecca Heflin.

(Pictured: the ever-adorbs Rebecca)

Rebecca always looks put-together at conferences, and it’s because she plans ahead. Oh, and has fab taste in clothes.

In 2014 she posted the following blog, complete with pictures, offering great tips concerning packing for conference success. Her thoughts and advice proved invaluable for many who read the original blog.

So, with Rebecca’s permission, here is her original blog, as she prepared for 2014’s RWA National which took place in San Antonio.

Rebecca Sez:

It’s that time of year again! RWA time! Are you ready for the non-stop action, the workshops, the networking, the pitches? How about your wardrobe? Is it ready to impress? Is it also a comfortable multitasker?

I’ve already begun putting my RWA wardrobe plan together. I know, can you say anal? But it helps me see where I might need to fill in. It also prevents me from over-packing, and with the airlines’ weight restrictions on luggage, I try to pack light. So, what is the plan? Glad you asked!

For the flight out, I picked comfy but smart-looking jeans topped off with a patterned top and a solid cardigan in fuchsia with a pair of slip on ballets to make going through security a breeze. This outfit is comfortable, travel-friendly, and when I arrive, I’ll still look put together.

The weather in San Antonio is going to be hot, hot, hot. And because the workshops are in two different venues, we’ll be walking outdoors a lot. Layering is important. So are comfortable (there’s that word again) shoes.

For workshops, I’ve selected neutral pants and paired them with patterned tops and solid cardigans, or solid tops with patterned cardigans. Mixing the patterns and the solids allows me to keep my accessories to a minimum (less to pack). Again, ballet flats are my go-to shoe. Super comfortable, but stylish.

For the evening, in case I want to kick it up a notch, I’ve added a black top with flowy sleeves and some bling which I can pair with dark wash jeans or the white pants. If I want to amp the look even more, I can add a pair of heels – the same pair I plan to wear to the awards ceremony on Saturday night.

Now, more about layering. I typically freeze in the conference rooms, so in addition to my ever-present cardigan, I pack a neutral-colored pashmina in my totebag. Nothing interferes with my concentration like frostbite. And about those totes. You’ll want one for your digital tablet, laptop, or notepad, and of course, your swag. Make it part of your overall look to maintain that polished image you’re going for.

For the big ceremony, well that’s a surprise! A girl’s gotta have some secrets, ::wink, wink::.

By the way, you don’t have to break the bank to look like you’ve got it going on. Everything you see came from Target, Old Navy, and Ann Taylor Loft. And the dress for the big night – Steinmart.

Looking your best is important. We all know the adage about first impressions, and writing is a profession, just like law or medicine. Dress the part and you’ll be ready when the agent or editor of your dreams asks you to pitch your latest manuscript.

What are your tips for RWA? Do share!

Char again:

This year RWA National’s weather challenges will be very similar to what we all experienced in San Antonio. Humidity, heat, sun. Lather, rinse, repeat. An added challenge: packing a bit extra for comfort-type fun, because HELLO: Disney! Many of us plan on taking advantage of our close proximity to The Happiest Place on Earth. If you plot to run amok through the Magic Kingdom and beyond, make sure you pack some extra stuff. Not to mention sunscreen.

I hope to see everyone next week. And looking very comfy as well as stylish, too.

Orlando, hope you’re ready for us!

Many thanks to Rebecca Heflin for allowing me to bogart her blog. ::smooch::



About charchaffin2011

Writer and Senior Acquiring Editor
This entry was posted in According to Rebecca and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Dress to Impress: A Guide to Conferencing in Style! By Rebecca Heflin

  1. Beth Carter says:

    I’m so glad you reposted this. I brought up the whole clothing dilemma on Facebook yesterday and there were lots of questions from several authors, so this is of great help. Thanks, Rebecca and Char!! Can’t wait to see everyone soon.

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