Friday, June 29, 2007

You're taking how many suitcases?

Last year about this time, I was seriously freaking out about what I was going to wear to RWA Nationals. I remember writing a frantic email to Serena Robar (Braced2Bite, Fangs4Freaks, Dating4Demons), I think she probably thought I was going to have a stroke. But she wrote back and gave me some very good tips on dressing for conference. I've been so busy this year that I haven't had much time to stress about it. Here are some of my tips.

Obviously you want to look nice, duh. But that doesn't necessarily mean wearing a really fancy dress and uncomfortable shoes. If you are a person who likes to wear pencil skirts, hose, and five-inch heels, go for it. You're going to look smoking, but if I tried to pull that off I'd probably look like a streetwalker. So you need to find a balance between looking good and being comfortable. If you are uncomfortable in your outfit sitting in a workshop, just imagine how uncomfortable you'll be in it when you have your agent or editor appt. A nice jacket and pair of slacks is a good choice for just about anyone.

A suit is a good choice because you can dress it up or down. For an agent appt, you can layer a silk blouse underneath with some classic jewelry. For a night on the town you can switch out the pants for jeans, stick a T-shirt underneath the jacket, and go with more funky accessories and shoes. Parties, parties, parties. You are going to be going to tons of them. Casual dresses, nice sweaters and skirts, and pantsuits are what I saw most last year. Just wear something that will be comfortable to mingle in but that still looks professional.

Everyone really goes all out for the Rita and Golden Heart Award Ceremony. Think the prom for romance writers and you don't even have to worry about having a date because you'll have about 2000 of them! You'll have a blast so bring something that you'll sparkle in!

Don't forget your flip-flops and swimsuit. You'll want some downtime in the pool with your new friends. I'd throw a pair of tennis shoes in too. You never know when you might have time to go shopping!!!

A word to the wise. Everybody wants to smell like a princess but take a moment and imagine if all two thousand plus convention-goers all wore perfume. That's LOTS of perfume. These days a lot of people are very sensitive to lotions, perfumes, and body sprays. Don't take the chance of ruining someone else's time because you go a little overboard with the scents.

If this hasn't helped and you still just don't have a clue what to bring then just throw some clean underwear in a bag and put on your cowboy hat because we're going to Texas, Baby!!!!!

What I'm reading....The Time Traveler's Wife...what? It's really long.



All that matters is what's long as your outside is wearing the tiara!

REVENGE OF THE HOMECOMING QUEEN, July 3,2007, Berkley Jam Books



bethany said...

The Time Traveler's Wife is one of my all time favorite books, I love it!

alexgirl said...

Hey Steph!
Thanks for the tips. Not like I've ever been to a conference, or anything! I just don't know if I could ever wear a pants suit. I just don't think I'm enough of a grown up. But the swimsuit & the flippidy flops are tres cute!
OMG, can you believe our books are coming out so soon? I have been trying to do publicity, but I'm way too much of a chicken to actually "get out there" and drum up interest.
But, I AM having a giveaway contest on my blog. Hope you'll stop by!

Shannon McKelden said...

Isn't Time Traveler's Wife wonderful?? I really didn't think I'd like it, but my daughter made me read it and I'm soooo glad I did. Love it!

As for the perfume at conference, I think they actually ask that no one where scents. The reason is that lots of people are allergic!

Just FYI! Wish I was going to Dallas this year!


Dona Sarkar-Mishra said...

Great tips! The one I hear over and over again is a classic suit really is the best tihng to bring. You can team the skirt or pants with any top and the jacket dresses up any jeans-tee outfit. I also love to bring some really funky jewelry and cool shoes.

And I always get my hair blown out the morning I plan to leave so at least I don't have to deal with it for about 2-3 days after.

Tera Lynn Childs said...

Ooh, good tip on the blow-out, Dona. Excellent overall tips, Steph (although, like alexgirl, I don't think I could ever wear a suit).

I took an online class through AuthorMBA (fab, by the way) where I had to define an "image brand" for myself. Mine is: Classic chic and fashionably fun. Just having that definition for how I want to look makes it soooo much easier to pick and choose what to bring. You will be amazed by how little I'm packing!

(FYI, last year I seriously overpacked, but I had been traveling for a month so I had an excuse.)


Anonymous said...

Wasn't sure if you've seen it, but there's a nice review of your book coming out on

It looks promising and I can't wait to get it!

stephhale said...

I did see that review & was so excited! Thanks for the heads up, I can't wait to see what you think!

Marley Gibson said...

Awesome post, Steph!! Sorry I won't see you guys in Dallas. Hope you have a great trip and enjoy the conference. Raise a glass for me!

Marley = )

Heather Davis said...

Really good tips, Steph!

I hate packing, so it's always nice to get a run down like this before I have to face that chore. Luckily, I have my stylist Dona Sarkar to help me accessorize.



alexgirl said...

Bought your book at Borders today!! Congrats on the pub. Can't wait to read it.