Happy Thursday, friends! I’m preparing to head to Chicago for a conference next week, so my brain is currently consumed with packing and preparing for my presentations. I thought it might be fun to see what I’m bringing and get some inspiration for inexpensive work clothes. Since I don’t report to an office every day, I am not a fan of spending a lot of money on my work wardrobe. Here’s what’s going in my bag and my tips for easier packing!
First, I always try to stick with a theme and for this conference, the theme is neutrals. Black, white, tan, and navy are no-fail options, especially for work attire. How cute is this black scalloped dress? Would you believe me if I told you it was only $9?! It’s true! But, it runs small, so size up.
Second, I try to pack clothes that are wrinkle resistant and therefore avoid cotton. I also tend to sweat a lot, especially when I’m presenting, and darker colors as well as non-cotton blends help disguise that (#keepingitreal). These dresses are a little older, so I’m linking some similar options.
Third, I try to stick to dresses because they take up less space in my suitcase than a skirt and a top, or pants and a top. That means I have more room to bring home shopping scores!
Fourth, the shoes! Whenever I rely on only one pair for an entire conference, my feet revolt and I hate them by the second day. So, I try to mix up my options. For this conference I’ll be walking a lot between my hotel and the conference location, so I need shoes that are comfortable but still stylish. These Old Navy flats definitely check both boxes, but won’t work with all of these outfits. So I’m also bringing a classic wedge and these Target shoes that I recently picked up for less than $30!
My last tip is to plan out your jewelry and accessories ahead of time. It sounds simple, but usually when you’re packing last minute you tend to just throw a bunch of necklaces and bracelets into a bag and figure it out when you arrive. Instead, plan it out with each look, like I did here. I’m actually avoiding bracelets because I’ll be doing some typing and don’t want to distract anyone. And knowing which bag I’m going to be using during the day is such a lifesaver since my travel bag always ends up being a black hole for random crap and I don’t want to be dealing with that when I need to be working. You can read my review of this Kate Spade laptop bag here.
I’m also bringing a cardigan (duh), a regular purse for when I’m not “conferencing,” a pair of jeans, and a few shirts.
What are your conference must-haves? Tell me in the comments!