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Friday, April 2, 2010

Business Trip in Phoenix

This is Phoenix, shown in a picture shamelessly swiped off the visitor's bureau website.
Next Thursday (at the crack of dawn, my flight departs at 6:05!) I'm heading to Phoenix to represent my region at the Clinical Care Options HIV symposium. I'm thrilled to go because HIV is one of my primary areas of interest and has a large impact in our area. Plus when I get back I'll be giving presentations throughout the region to transmit new information to other pharmacists, and I do so love public speaking (seriously, I do).
The problem is that I keep changing my mind about what to pack. Even though it is a weekend conference, I want to keep my appearance professional. But I also need to stay comfortable and be prepared for two extremes:
1. Freezing cold convention rooms.
2. Super hot and sunny weather (temps predicted to be mid 80's throughout).
So...I need your help packing!
Things to keep in mind: I arrive Thursday at 8:30 am and have nothing to do all day until a dinner at 6. And of course I can't check in until 3. So Thursday's outfit should probably be able to go from travel to some sort of all-day activity (I was planning on actually doing something in Phoenix but I decided it might be wise just to work on the CE I'm writing at the hotel coffee shop) to dinner with colleagues.
I don't expect to do much walking.
And Sunday is just a travel day.

My wardrobe has some good basic pieces:
- skinny black or khaki pants*
- black or gray dress pants
- black or brown blazers; short sleeved gray blazer
- gray sheath dress
- black or gray pencil skirts
- a plethora of button-downs, but I'm afraid of them wrinkling
- several long or short sleeved nice Ts that I usually dress up with statement jewelry or a scarf; most are bright colors (teal, royal, yellow, turquoise) but I have black and white as well.
- A few camisoles and pull over sweaters of the nicer variety
- A dressy white cardigan
- Comfortable back heels, black or copper flats
So if you feel like playing mix-n-match in my closet, I would be forever grateful for some guidance here!

*I had these amazing Banana Republic cigarette leg pants in black and olive and always bemoaned the fact that the style was no longer made. Then I found a khaki pair on Ebay and they arrived yesterday - HEAVEN! I love it when I find a discontinued style I adore! I feel so Audrey Hepburn!


  1. My game plan is usually.... layers & things that don't wrinkle. I hate button down shirts for that reason and rarely wear them. I'm a fan of camisoles & cardigans, maybe a fun scarf that will help with the cold convention room issue.

    I would pick items that go with either all black or all brown, cuts down on shoes and I find forces you to actually pack mix & match outfits. I usually bring a couple fun tops that are more low key wiht a cardigan but then at night I can wear them on their own and look a bit more dressy.

    That is awesome about the pants! It is so hard to find pants that I LOVE.

  2. Okay, I would wear the khaki cigarette pants with black flats, a white tee and a statement piece on Thursday. It's cute, non-wrinkly, and can go to dinner in it. Plus, you will be walking in airports, so flats will be comfy for that.
    For the Conference days (Fri.-Sat., right?) I'd go with the grey pants or the khaki skinny pants you already have, and pair them with colorful tees and/or button downs (I do pack button downs for business trips and just iron them in the hotel the night before- wrinkling isn't an issue unless you fly in them) and carry the black blazer in case you get cold. Blazers are, apparently, really stylish this year. I think the key is to make sure there is enough difference between your pants and blazer so that they don't look like a suit. (although I confess, I tend to look like a real estate agent whenever I try to wear blazers. They are cute on other ppl though!) I think you could wear this with either heels or flats.
    On Sunday, I'd wear a T-shirt, jeans, black flats and the black blazer (b/c for some reason looking at least a little polished in the airport makes me feel good about myself.) And by bringing jeans, you'd have them as an option in case you find that casual outings are going on.

  3. Wear the cigarette pants, flats and throw a cardigan over a top for the plane/working on stuff. I vote the grey dress with a blazer for the presentation with heels, and then throw flats in your bag to go to dinner later. I had way more ideas last night but haven't been able to comment until now. Your wardrobe sounds great!