Last week I was in Dallas attending a conference for bloggers held by rewardStyle, also known as #rStheCon. Besides attending classes to learn to create better content and besides meeting with different brands, there were also parties every night, including a black tie optional event on the last night. Needless to say I did some shopping!
Today I’m showing my outfits from the conference as well as reviewing some of the pieces I tried. Honestly, I struggled a bit while shopping for this event. I always feel a little out of place around a bunch of style bloggers, so I often had to quiet those voices of insecurity in my head and come out just wanting to “do you”–or me, rather. 🙂 In the end, I did just that! Overall I’m really happy with my purchases, with how little/much I spent, and most importantly I had fun with it!
While today is just focused on outfits, if you’re interested in hearing things like how my experience was or what I learned, let me know and I’d be happy to share. Some of you may have seen on Instastories some of my honest feelings about being there. 😉
For sizing reference, I’m 5’6″ with a shorter torso and normally size 6/8 or S/M. I’m size 8.5 to 9 in shoes.
DAY 1: TRAVEL
TRAVEL. This picture is old, but I repeated this outfit for my flight, except I used my cognac tote and brought my grey moto jacket. I typically travel in jeans + striped tee + utility jacket + sneakers, but this time I was heading straight to lunch with my dear friend Caitlin from Greater than Rubies. Caitlin was not attending rStheCon, but she lives really close to Dallas and picked me up from the airport.
The top is very soft and comfy, so it’s great for travel. I wore my favorite pair of skinny jeans, OF COURSE. (See my review for them HEREand make sure to size down!) These cheap-o flats from Old Navy did the trick walking through the airport. Because my flight was at 6:30a, I woke up at 4:40a and didn’t have time to curl my hair. I did my makeup in the airport!
Shop for the Look: Top: Nordstrom (exact–wearing S) Jeans: Old Navy (exact–wearing 4) Shoes: Old Navy (exact–wearing 9) Necklace: J.Crew Factory (exact)
This is Caitlin. If you don’t already follow her and you want some wardrobe advice, check her out at Greater Than Rubies. She’s got an enormous heart and loves to coach people in style. So of course, I LOVE HER.
EVENING #1: POOL PARTY
I arrived at the hotel mid-afternoon, and while there was a reception going on I was too nervous–and tired–to go by myself. Later that evening there was a pool party, but as I’ve said on IG and FB, it was the fancy kind where no one swims. Haha! 😛
FLORAL DRESS (found in all sizes!)– wearing M
I wanted to wear a floral maxi dress and found one for $36 on Amazon that I felt I could also wear on dressier casual days in San Diego. It’s sold out on Amazon, but I found it on Etsy for roughly the same price HERE! It’s really stretchy and comfy, and I wore size M. I also love it in cream HERE, and would have gotten it were it available in my size on Amazon at the time. (Didn’t know it was on Etsy until writing this post!)
This dress is also breastfeeding-friendly for any mamas out there!
I think THIS floral maxi dress would have been GORGEOUS as well, though pretty darn pricey! THIS one is similar to mine but a more dressy version.
NUDE HEELS– size 9
I’d wanted this style of shoe for a very, very long time because they’re sleek, elongate your leg, but most importantly they’re a great shoe when you don’t know what other shoe to wear! This pair was $32 and I felt fairly comfortable standing in them for over 3 hours straight. Find them HERE. I wore them with the AirPufs insoles for extra padding (and I hear you guys loud and clear that AirPufs have not worked for many of you–ackkkk I’m SO, so sorry)! They still work great for me! =/
During the day there are learning sessions and meetings with brands. You can dress however you want, so I opted for dressy casual. I went with one of my favorite outfits so that I felt as comfortable as I could while still feeling stylish. If you’ve been around the blog at all, you know this outfit is totally ME! 😀
These are some of the ladies I really enjoyed hanging out with. They were down to earth and easy to get to know. From L to R: More Pieces of Me, (me), Grace & Beauty, One Little Momma, Cute and Little. Kilee from One Little Momma was my roommate and I’m sooooo grateful we got to room together. I wouldn’t have made it through the conference without her!
My top and jeans are old favorites that I’ve reviewed many times. For reviews and sizing info on them, head to my new Must Haves page HERE!
Shop for the Look: Top: J.Crew Factory (exact–size 8) Jeans: Old Navy (exact–wearing 4) Shoes: Nine West via Zappos Necklace: H&M (similar, similar)
EVENING #2: COCKTAIL PARTY (and Tex Mex! :P)
I had a few options to choose from: a) a fun, bright pink LOFT dress that I’ve had for a few years, b) a really pretty white lace dress (HERE), or c) this black lace dress. I also reallyyyyyy wanted THIS floral dress from ModCloth (can you tell I was shopping there for dresses too? haha) but it was entirely sold out. :*(
I originally bought this dress in case I couldn’t find anything for the black tie optional party, and I didn’t have a good LBD in my closet yet. It’s Tommy Hilfiger and I found it on Macy’s sale rack for $42, so I scooped it up just in case! I figured even if I didn’t wear it at this conference, I’d finally have a good LBD!
It’s fully lined and has a classic shape. The detail and texture all around provides more interest and amps up its sophistication. Though I’m typically size 6/8, I sized down to a 4 and it fit perfectly! I can’t find it for as low as $42 since it was on clearance, but I did find it for roughly 30% off HERE. Very similar dresses in the same brand are also HERE and HERE. There’s another similar dress from ModCloth that’s under $50 right HERE!
When I saw these at H&M I knew I HAD to have them. They’d be the perfect pairing to my LBD, and they were only $25! Oh, plus they have a pretty low heel so they’re easy to walk in. Truth be told, I bought them in all 3 colors (red, black, and grayish-purple). For whatever reason, I didn’t already have classic black or red open toe heels in my closet, and the grey was too cute to pass up! See them all HERE.
While this lace dress is gorgeous, for several reasons I didn’t wear it. First, it was pretty expensive and I wasn’t sure how much I’d wear to justify the cost, especially when I now had a perfectly good black lace dress that I knew I was keeping regardless of this conference–and for a fraction of the cost. Secondly, most importantly, as pretty as the white one is, it didn’t *quite* feel fully me. Expensive + not super duper feeling “me” in it = return!
That said, it’s a gorgeous dress so I wanted to show it to you. It’s very flexible and easy to wear, making it quite comfortable while still looking sophisticated and expensive. It is fully lined as well. It is pretty forgiving in the hip area. Super cute! It’s also Tommy Hilfiger and again, I fit size 4.
Had I worn my pink dress, I would not have been twinning with Kilee! Look at her edgy twist on a black lace dress!
Here I am with my roommate Kilee (far right) and Erin (yellow shoes) and Becca (next to me) from Living in Yellow. We left the cocktail party early to get Tex Mex. Yup, we dashed out in our fancy dresses to Tex Mex, haha! These girls became my conference #squad. It would not have been half as enjoyable for me without the three of them around! Fun fact: I followed Erin’s blog 6 years ago roughly when we both started blogging. Fun fact #2: She bought one of my shirts in a closet resale way back when. Fun fact #3: Erin and Kilee had met before at other blogging things. Fun fact #4: All these ladies are truly wonderful!
DAY 3: MORE CLASSES + BRAND MEETINGS
FLORAL COLD SHOULDER – size M
I’ve been both interested in and super hesitant about the cold shoulder trend. I think it’s cute and it’s more practical than the off the shoulder trend since you can wear it with a regular bra and don’t have to constantly adjust your straps. But you know me. I tend to be slower to jump on trends. I didn’t want to spent a lot of money trying this trend, so luckily I found this adorable top for $13 at TJMaxx! Unfortunately it was the only one available and it’s not online.
My thoughts on the cold shoulder: I ended up really, really liking it. Dare I say loving it? I never had to adjust my sleeves, so it felt like a normal top except with a little more air flow haha. It looks trendy and on the girlier end. In my everyday life I might feel too dressed up and too trendy around here, but for an event with a bunch of stylish women, it was fun to wear. I would, however, wear it for a date or GNO of course!
I found some very similar cold shoulder tops HERE and HERE.
I wore leather earrings from Nickel & Suede through out the conference. My roommate Kilee owns the shop with her husband, but in 100% honesty I wasn’t just wearing these because I was rooming with her! She sent these to me a long, long time ago, and because I couldn’t wear a statement necklace with this neckline I brought these earrings instead. Since they’re made of leather, they’re REALLY lightweight. That means you can have huge statement earrings while not hurting your ears. They’re so comfortable in that regard! They come in a million colors, and starting today they’re running 15% off site wide with code THANKSMOM!
Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (exact in M–15% off code THANKSMOM)
EVENING #3: BLACK TIE OPTIONAL PARTY
I debated whether or not to wear a long dress or that short black lace dress from earlier for this black tie optional party. In the end I decided to have fun with it, because WHY NOT? (That is, IF I could find a dress at a decent price.) There aren’t many opps in my life to go for it like this!
I searched ASOS, Macy’s, TJMaxx, and similar places for a formal gown at a decent price. I landed on this beautiful, vibrant green dress from Lulu’s, and it was only $64! It’s basically backless, with just two criss-cross straps. I wanted to wear my hair up, but it was actually super cold during the event, albeit being in Texas, so I left my hair down to keep me warm haha!
Thankfully the straps are adjustable to help give a better fit. Size small fit me decently, but I didn’t have as much coverage across the front, namely by my shoulders and neckline. It looked better in M. The waistband has some elastic, so it’s a bit forgiving. The skirt is fully lined, which helped keep me warmer. I’m 5’6″ and with 3 inch heels and adjusting the dress straps as high as I could, I did not need to hem this. This dress comes in a million colors and can be found HERE! In the widget below I also linked to a few more similar ones with different silhouettes, and which can be worn more casually.
I wanted to deck out this whole dress gold accessories, so that included gold heels. If you couldn’t tell, I’m a huge fan of this silhouette shoe. These were the highest heel out of all the shoes I showed, and therefore they were the least comfortable. I don’t know if it’s because I’d spent the last 2 days in heels or if it was because of this particular shoe, but my feet were hurting! Nonetheless, that did NOT stop me from getting down on the dance floor! Find the shoes HERE!
I scooped up this glittery clutch from Amazon (HERE). It’s very cheap, so I was worried about glitter falling everywhere, but reviews said it wasn’t bad. I’m happy to confirm the glitter trail was minimal. It is somewhat stiff and not excellent quality, but given how inexpensive it is and how infrequently I’ll use it, I wasn’t looking for something amazing. It fit my phone, ID, lotion, and a few other things.
Because the dress was backless, I used these Nippies Skin covers for the first time ever. I have to say, they were pretty darn awesome! I didn’t think ONCE about whether or not I was covered. They stayed on securely through the entire night, even through an hour of dancing. They’re rather expensive, but when you need them, you need them! And they’re reusable! Find them HERE.
Overall I tried to live by the motto “you do you.” Like I said, I had to battle some insecurities prior to the conference, but after the first day I really didn’t care much about what I was wearing. Anyone who was going to be my friend would like me for me! I felt comfortable and just had fun getting dressed, looking cute, and being with new friends who were having fun doing the same.