I know y’all have been waiting for me to post my thoughts on the Disney Social Media Moms Conference – and it’s coming, I swear! It’s just that I normally need some time to collect my thoughts and present them in a way that will be relevant and interesting to you. It was QUITE the epic conference, though, and I’ll be back later this week with all the good stuff!
However, in the meantime, I know how much you love my Frugal Fashion Recaps (check out my BlogHer’12: Frugal Fashion Recap here) – also known as “What to Wear to a Professional Conference” – and so I thought it was only right to post another installment.
Last year, I was able to wear an entirely new wardrobe, consisting of four faboosh outfits, for under $200. This year, I wasn’t exactly counting pennies, but was nonetheless able to assemble a wide variety of outfits that allowed me to feel confident and pretty. Of course, the Disney Social Media Moms Conference posed an additional challenge; my wardrobe had to include conference day pieces, night ensembles, and even Disney Park outfits – ones that could keep me somewhat comfortable in the 35°C weather, that is.
And so here it is… a timeline of my outfits, the costs, and how I rocked them!
The very first conference event was on Thursday night – a Welcome Reception at Epcot. As mentioned in my I Have Nothing To Wear post, I decided to recycle an outfit from BlogHer’12 – a striped maxi dress from Banana Republic Factory Store. There I am posing with Stephanie (@SassyModernMom) and Tenille (@FeistyFrugal) – it was crazy dark at the venue (hence the grainy photo), so thankfully we all chose bright pieces!
The dress cost $49.72 (after discounts) – last year – which means, of course, there was no additional expense to my fashion budget for Disney Social Media Moms. I received exactly eight (8) compliments (hubby was counting!) so I’m officially declaring this do-over a fashion win.
Of course, it was the next day – Conference Day One – that I was really stressing about. Not only did I want to look appropriately professional for the conference, but there was also a Red Carpet Family Dinner at Disney’s Hollywood Studios which I just knew I wanted to dress to impress for. However, I also had no idea if I’d have a chance to change in between, so I had to opt for an outfit which would literally take me from “office” to “outing”.
(Not so easy when balancing highly air conditioned conference rooms and non-existent air conditioning at outdoor venues!)
In the end, I decided to go for a tried and true maxi dress – the easiest way to be fun and flirty and always dressed accordingly for the occasion. Of course, one of my first stops was once again the Banana Republic Factory Store. As soon as I laid eyes on this gorgeous maxi dress, I knew I had to have it!
With an abstract floral print and a figure-flattering empire waist, the dress was originally $110 – on sale for 40% off. Thankfully, I read In Touch every week – and always remember to save their GAP Factory Store and Banana Republic Factory Store coupons. Hence, I was able to receive an additional 20% off, making the dress only $52.80 after discounts. Have you been paying attention? That’s almost the same amount I spent on my maxi dress last year. Therefore, the sweet spot for Banana Republic Factory Store dresses is about $50 CAD – be sure not to purchase them at a higher price, because you just know there will be another sale around the corner.
I teamed it up with my prized Michael Kors Devon handbag and a pair of gladiator sandals from ALDO I’m so happy I held on to, even though conventional wisdom was telling me to toss them last year. It only took a few more seasons for the style to return, and now we’re in gladiator heaven with all the brands once again coming on board.
Since I already own the handbag and sandals, total cost for the outfit was $52.80! (Er… technically I should also factor in the new convertible bra I purchased, but let’s forget about that.)
The next day was Conference Day Two – also known as the Coronation of Merida, the soon-to-be newest Disney Princess. Since the entire ceremony was outdoors (the celebration took place on the steps of Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom), I opted for comfy casual. To tell the truth, I had two outfits in mind; one for the family breakfast and coronation, and the second for time spent inside the park. Let’s chat about the first ensemble for now.
I actually had all of the clothes on hand, although, you could call the Old Navy sleeveless blouse a Disney Social Media Moms purchase, as I picked it up shortly after the invitations were distributed and certainly considered adding it to my rotation. Thanks to a very predictable 30% off sale, I scored the blouse (in one of my very favourite colours, peacock blue) for just $18.86.
The denim capris were actually once bell-bottomed jeans that would never see the light of day as… well, bell-bottomed jeans… so my mom did some handwork to cut, sew and cuff them. My Coach shoes were actually purchased back in 2006 – I kid you not – but for some reason, they made their way to the back of my closet after only having worn them once or twice. Hence, I had a pair of designer running shoes in immaculate condition! Of course I had to bring them along.
So the entire outfit only set me back $18.86 this year – I’m starting to see it’s actually a very good idea to shop your own closet first!
No sooner than the ceremony had adjourned, however, I ripped off the blouse and stuffed it in my bag. Yes, it was airy, and cool, and I certainly could have worn it for my day at Magic Kingdom. However, why wear a forgettable blue blouse when you can wear a muscle shirt that declares: “Don’t Be Such a Mermaid”? OBVIOUSLY if there’s one place I could rock such a tee, it would be at Ariel’s home!
I found the tee at H&M two days before our trip for just $14.95. Of course I couldn’t resist! I even purchased one for fellow Social Media Mom Tenille from Feisty, Frugal and Fabulous – because it is totally up her alley as well. We managed to snap a picture of us together in matching tees before we conquered the Magic Kingdom with our families.
I was a little afraid the t-shirt would fall apart in the wash, but I’m happy to report that it held up very well. And, even though the top came affixed with a label stating its colour may rub off on lighter fabrics, I didn’t experience that at all, and washing with a regular dark load was absolutely fine.
Now after spending a hot, theme-ride filled day at the Disney Park, I was more than ready to spend a few hours in an air conditioned movie theatre. So, when offered the chance to attend an advanced screening of Monsters University, you know we jumped at it! I promised to not give away the plot, but I can tell you this: it was marvelous! Yes, we will be seeing it again on opening day in Toronto – we loved it THAT much.
Immediately following the advanced screening was a Family Dinner at Fantasia Gardens, Disney’s famed Miniature Golf Course. Since I didn’t think that arriving in a muscle tee was appropro, I did make a point to change before Monsters University. I wish I could share the details of an awesome new outfit I purchased, but the truth is, I decided to take a cue from the very first day and recycle an outfit. It’s cheaper, it’s less stressful, and if you’ve got it, why not flaunt it (more than once, that is). So, I resurrected another outfit I wore to BlogHer’12 – this time, a simple satin-feel top from Express and my favourite GAP skinny jeans.
(I have no pictures from the event on Saturday night – I’m wondering if subconsciously, I don’t take pictures when I’m wearing a recycled outfit? Ha! Anyhoo, you’re looking at a picture from last year, but the outfit is the same – minus the Lorax, of course.)
The outfit proved to be perfect; a heavy, 5-minute rain came thundering down while we were having dinner (under a dry canopy, of course!) and it effectively cooled off the lingering humidity. I could actually breathe more easily just moments after the rain ceased! After dinner, I was able to comfortably spend the rest of the evening at Epcot – where we had detoured so I could finally experience a Dole Whip – a pineapple-flavored soft-serve frozen dessert available only at Disney World and Disneyland. My verdict? Two thumbs way up – it was so, so good – a must try for sure.
Alas, it’s now time to discuss my last outfit of the conference. But before I launch into a description, I need to add a disclaimer: I HATE SKINNY MIRRORS.
And I am absolutely certain that Marshall’s has them. Because every time I try something on at Marshall’s, I have delusions of grandeur, thinking I look like a supermodel. Why else would a thick-hipped girl buy horizontal stripes? Yes, I said horizontal stripes. For reasons unknown, I thought I looked pretty fabulous when I tried on this colourful Calvin Klein dress at Marshall’s. A bonus: it was marked down from $120.00 to just $59.00! So I threw caution to the wind and packed it in my suitcase for the special Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday morning. Only problem? It didn’t look quite so fabulous in the hotel mirror. Ugh – damn you skinny mirrors!
So the image you see on the left is me modelling the dress, but fair warning: I am sucking in my tummy something fierce to make sure the horizontal stripes don’t veer off course in the mid-region. The dress is also about an inch too long – effectively solved by throwing it in the dryer after washing when I returned home.
I paired up the dress with the LONDON handbag from Nella Bella. You’ll remember this blog post where I touted how awesome and versatile it is. Truly, it was my companion for many outfits during the entire press trip.
And there you have it – a frugal fashion recap for the Disney Social Media Moms Conference. Since I was very conservative this time around and incorporated pieces I already owned, the total expenditure was just under $150.00. I think that’s pretty amazing, considering I pulled together nine (9) outfits! (Not pictured: Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday park/travelling outfits.)
I’ll be back in a few days with a conference wrap-up. In the meantime, enjoy the short week!