If you caught my most recent Stitch Fix post, you saw some of the items my stylist sent to help me put together a capsule wardrobe for my summer business trip to an educational conference in Florida. Being invited to the conference was a very big deal for me, career-wise, and I wanted to look my best. I'd decided to build my wardrobe around neutrals, navy, and teal so I could mix and match. Today, I wanted to share what I really ended up wearing on the trip - in the form of terrible selfies taken in hotel mirrors. Y'all, that's how much I love you and think about you even when I am on a fake vacation with my bosses.
We flew to Orlando on a discount airline that specializes in flights to Orlando and which requires passengers to pay a fee for carry-ons in addition to checked luggage, so I packed extremely light. I've had the same Vera Bradley duffel bag for years, and it's gotten me through lots of weekend trips and a destination wedding in St. Lucia. However, I've decided after this trip that I need to invest in something with wheels for trips that will require significant time in large airports. My laptop bag was a brand new treat to myself for this trip (and because I've been teaching for 9 years without a decent grown-lady tote bag) - it's a Samsonite Ultima 2 from Ebags.com. I liked that it had a double zipper on the top and perfectly met our airline's requirements for a personal item. On the plane, it held my laptop, several notebooks, a pencil case, my Kindle, a scarf, and everything that would normally be in my purse.
I packed two Mossimo Vee t-shirts from Target for the trip - they are my absolute favorite tee for their thickness, wide range of colors and prints, and comfy but not too deep v neck. For the plane, I paired one with rolled Old Navy boyfriend skinny jeans, my Yoga Surprise mala, and Bare Traps sandals.
Unfortunately, this outfit never actually made it onto an airplane. Our flight was cancelled due to a mechanical error and we had to spend the night in Greensboro. If you suspect that our budget airline put us up in a budget hotel, you are 100% correct. The good thing is we got our own rooms and none of us got food poisoning from the hotel restaurant. I'm smiling in this picture because I was delirious by the time we finally got to the hotel, and because my hair looked surprisingly awesome after being in a bun all day.
Since we were going to miss the first day of the conference, our representatives within the organization hosting arranged to meet with our group in the evening. This was my attempt at meeting appropriate, yet still comfy for a plane - a Stitch Fix blouse, gray ponte pants, and my sandals. Please note that my hair will be all downhill from here once exposed to Florida humidity.
After arriving safely in Florida and getting everything squared away with the conference, it was time for a night out. I switched out my pants for black shorts. These are actually Pearl Izumi bicycling shorts from Athleta with the inner liner removed - they work great as dressy shorts thanks to their longer length, they pack really small, and they don't wrinkle. Cyclists know what's up.
Excited to finally get to experience the conference, I wore my new 41Hawthorn dress from Stitch Fix. I was so tired after that first full day of conference-ing that I thought this picture was straight.
I usually wash things before wearing, but this time I hadn't even taken the tags off. After I got home, I was very thankful that I followed the washing instructions and hand washed this dress, because the color bled very badly even after repeated rinses and washing with Woolite. I'm going to add a similar disclaimer to my original post. The dress still looks great, but should probably be hand-washed forever, in a porcelain sink (my plastic bathtub has a nice blue stain now).
Another evening outing outfit, this time with my other Mossimo tee, flat Bare Traps sandals, and a humidity-induced side ponytail. We explored International Drive, particularly the cute I-Drive 360 shopping center which is right underneath the giant Orlando Eye Ferris wheel.
I saved my dressiest look for the last day of the conference since there was a reception that evening. Many of the teachers at the conference dressed much less formally during the day than our group from Virginia did - I even saw folks in jeans and t-shirts, and felt a little silly for stressing so much about what to wear. I felt really comfortable and professional in this sleeveless shirt dress from Target and my handmade statement necklace.
In addition to the clothes shown here, I also packed two cardigans for the trip - tan and coral, which came in very handy in cold conference rooms. I didn't get to rock my scarf in the Florida heat, but it did come in very handy on the plane. I could have gotten several more outfits by mixing and matching these pieces, so overall I was really happy with the little capsule wardrobe I put together for my work trip. What pieces would you add?
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