Tuesday, April 25, 2017

rewardStyle Conference Schedule + What I Wore

As the days started getting freakishly close to the rewardStyle conference, I started to panic because I had no idea what the schedule was going to be like which would ultimately dictate what I was going to pack. I knew the conference was Thursday to Saturday, but was Thursday really just a travel day, or did I actually have to plan to fly in Wednesday evening? In addition, I have a high school friend I wanted to visit with in Dallas while I was there, but didn't know if I could sneak away for lunch, or just plan to meet after the conference on Sunday before I flew out. We had received an email with all of the night time events, and I knew there were classes involved, but there were no time slots associated with the events. I know you're probably overdosing on all the #rStheCon recaps, but I thought it would be helpful to understand how the days flowed in case you're like me and missed the memo that there was a website dedicated for the conference attendees that included the hourly schedule. Oops! If you missed Monday's post about what I learned at the conference, you can refer back to it here. Otherwise, let's get started on the outfits and agenda!

rewardStyle Conference Schedule

Day 1 - Thursday: 

travel day, registration 1pm-3pm, cocktail party by the pool 5pm-7pm

I ended up packing tops and bottoms to create 7 outfits, plus I had 4 dresses, and 5 pairs of shoes. Seems pretty excessive for a 3-day conference, but I knew I would be wearing at least 2 outfits per day thanks to the cocktail parties. I also knew my airport outfit would be something + jeans. I picked this top because of the no-wrinkle factor.

I was by myself the bulk of the morning and afternoon. I landed in Dallas at 10:30am, got to the hotel around 11am and luckily was able to get a room immediately. I freshened up, got some lunch, picked up my media kits I had printed at a local Fed Ex print store, then made it back to the hotel by 1pm for registration check-in. I didn't have time to get a mani pedi before I left St. Louis, so I went ahead and scheduled one at the hotel spa for 2pm. That took a good two hours, which segued perfectly into getting ready for the Tulum-themed pool party.

Necklace: Necklace: Kendra Scott "Aiden" | Dress: Bailey 44 (c/o Amazon) | Bag: Gucci (option) | Sandals: bp "Luminate"

The pool party was "Tulum" inspired, and I missed that when I was packing. Nothing I brought felt especially Mexico-ish, and I knew I wanted to wear a dress. I ended up wearing this lace number I scored at a ridiculously cheap price. Probably fancier than I would have liked, but I still felt good and comfortable in it. And I love that this filigree jewelry from Kendra Scott can go just as easily with my destroyed denim as it does with a lace dress.

We only stayed at the party for 45 minutes or so because it was really hot, crowded (and especially precarious around the pool), and difficult to talk because...loud. It was definitely picturesque though, and the watermelon margarita I drank was very refreshing! A group of us then walked (the wrong direction at first) to Ocean Prime for dinner!

Day 2 - Friday: 

breakfast 8am-9am, general session 9am-12pm, lunch with Banana Republic + Shake Shack 12pm-2pm, classroom sessions 2pm-5pm, Bumble cocktail party 6pm-8pm

Admittedly, sleep won over breakfast on Friday morning. I had every intention of waking up early to work out, but woke up at 8am and had to scramble to get ready. I figured the meeting rooms would be cold, so I opted for pants. This outfit is a bit more casual, but I thought that would be ok considering lunch was at Shake Shack. I was bummed that I missed breakfast but also had to laugh because they were acai bowls and I think I'm the only blogger that has never had an acai bowl in my life and I am honestly not even sure how to say it. (Insert monkey-covering-face emoji here)

Necklace: Kendra Scott "Milla" | Top: American Eagle | Bottoms: American Eagle | Wedges: Sam Edelman "Willow"

I was worried that this top was going to be extra annoying and keep riding up onto my shoulders, but it stayed put pretty well throughout the day, even with me constantly picking up my bags and walking around. And my fake-fancy-side-do is always a foolproof way to quickly style my dirty hair but in a way that still makes me feel like I tried a bit.

Necklace: Kendra Scott "Emelina" | Dress: ASTRBag: Gucci (option) | Sandals: bp "Luminate"

I was afraid to bring this dress because I thought I would see it everywhere. And I did see it everywhere, but luckily in other colors (rust, blue, and black) and not in white. At least not at the same time as I was wearing this myself! I couldn't not bring it though because it really is such a pretty dress and makes me feel good! It worked well for the Bumble cocktail party.

There were light bites at the cocktail party, but definitely not enough to fill you up. We had reservations at a local Mexican restaurant (Meso Maya) at 7:15pm and we all decided to change into comfier clothes before we left to eat. I was going to stay in my dress just because I was too lazy to go up two elevators back to my room! Ha! In the end though, I'm glad I changed to this. My feet needed a break from heels anyway.

Day 3 - Saturday: 

breakfast 8am-9am, brand meetings 10:15am-10:45am, classroom session 11am-12pm lunch with Topshop 12pm-2pm, brand meetings 3:15pm-3:45pm, finale party 8pm-11pm

Boy was I not prepared for the weather on Saturday!! I mentioned that the pool party was so super hot, well Saturday the weather was quite the opposite. It was cloudy, windy, and in the 50's. Perfect for lunch on the patio, right? Especially when you're only wearing one sleeve! And a sheer one at that! I saved this top for Saturday though since I had my brand meeting with Express that morning. (Somehow I got lucky and was set up to meet with Express - we didn't get the choice!) I brought zero outerwear with me, so I just had to deal with the cold!!

Top: Express | Bag: Gucci (option) | Bottoms: American Eagle | Heels: Valentino Rockstuds

(Action shot of me making a Boomerang in the Express booth)

After my brand meetings in the morning, I went over to the networking hall where all the brands had their booths set up. Naturally my first stop was Express, and they let me peruse through their upcoming releases! I was happy to see a few recent purchases of mine in that batch! The backdrop to their photo booth was too good!

And this is what I would look like if I were old and 90 and grey. Actually, this is present day and not a flattering photo at that, but I had to share it anyway. One of the rewardStyle photographers took this of me getting a top down snap of my place setting. Yes, I'm wearing a blanket. The party planner folks had the brilliant idea of buying dozens of blankets so that there were no fashion bloggers freezing Jack Dawson style at lunch. #illneverletgo (Did we get that reference?) The blankets were thoughtful though black pants + a new fuzzy blanket do not mix well with each other. I have definitely made better outfit choices in my life!

Top: Express | Bag: Chanel (option) | Jeans: American Eagle | Heels: Valentino Rockstuds

I had a pretty decent break after lunch, so I had no shame in heading back to my room for a nap. I knew it was going to be a long night and I was already suffering from sleep deprivation thanks to a busy first half of the week. When I woke up, I decided I needed TWO sleeves to finish out the afternoon, so I switched into this outfit for my second batch of brand meetings. I also went back to the networking hall after to visit with the remainder of the booths since I only spoke with Express before lunch. (The Express girls noticed I changed into a second top of theirs, so extra brownie points for me, too!)

Everything was done around 4pm and I decided I just wanted to stay in for dinner because I didn't have the energy to get myself dolled up so quickly for a 5pm or 6pm dinner then go straight from dinner to the party. I am obsessed with Shake Shack, so I walked back over there for the second time that weekend! How often is my hotel connected to a Shake Shack, right? YOLO! haha

Dress: Bailey 44 (c/o Amazon) | Bag: Chanel (option) | Heels: SJP "Fawn" (similar)

And then there was the finale party. I was worried I wouldn't feel fancy enough in this dress, but in the end, I felt completely appropriate. There was such a huge range of outfits there in terms of dressiness, that I fell somewhere in the middle, and that is definitely ok by me! Plus, it was so dark by the time everyone got settled, that I'm not sure anyone knew what anyone was wearing anyway!!! Again, I was FREEZING all night thanks to being on a rooftop patio. Luckily the party moved downstairs and indoors so I was able to warm up a little, but they could have used a few extra places to sit because my feet were killing by hour 3. I swear standing in place in heels is one million times worse than walking or even dancing.

Left to right: Cyndi (Grace & Beauty) | Jo-Lynne (Jo-Lynne Shane) | Lindsey (The Mother Chic)

Before I finish with my coming home outfit, I wanted to take a minute to recognize these three ladies! Jo-Lynne was the only person I "knew" was going to be at this conference so I had been coordinating with her a bit beforehand. She and Cyndi are basically BFFs and Jo-Lynne knew Lindsey already since they're both Philly bloggers. Despite being somewhat of the outsider, they welcomed me with open arms, and I am very thankful for that! They are also very inspiring with their own little corners of the internet (and crazy successful at that!) Anyway - I just wanted to acknowledge how awesome they all were and how much I appreciated their company.

Day 4 - Sunday: 

brunch with a friend 11am, travel home 3pm

And last but not least is my travel day back home. I went to brunch with my friend and his wife and their newborn baby boy at a restaurant called Ten Bells Tavern. We got there around 11:30am and I had to laugh because the server told us that Texas law prohibits them from putting in an adult beverage order until AFTER they've rang in an order for food. And it has to be a full meal, not just a side of bacon! What if I already ate breakfast at home? Doesn't matter, still can't order liquor before noon unless I'm ordering a meal first. I lived in Texas forever, but I always forget how quirky their liquor laws are!

Necklace: Kendra Scott "Kathy" | Top: Charming Charlie (c/o) | Bottoms: American Eagle | Wedges: Sam Edelman "Willow"

I went once again with an off the shoulder top. I will definitely say that this one did not stay put as well as my American Eagle one. I was tugging at this one all day, which was a little bit annoying, though the color is too good so I can't not wear it again. These wedges proved to be the workhorse of the entire trip! I really love them and recommend them if you're in need for a neutral wedge for the summer! (I sized up a half size because they run just a touch narrow.)

Ok, so now I promise I am finally done talking about the conference. I always tend to split my travel posts up into what I did and what I wore, so it only felt natural to do the same for this trip, especially since there was so much to talk about! Thanks for following along on this journey with me! It's been so much fun and it means a lot that you guys support me!!

MelShay, and Sheaffer for What's up Wednesday


  1. Such a great recap and you packed so well.


  2. All of your outfits were soooooo cute for this tip! And I appreciate the comment about which OTS tops stay down or not. I'm new to that style and not quite sure what to expect, so good to know that they vary. Once again, you've done the best job of behind-the-scenes reporting!
    Gina || On the Daily Express

  3. I just discovered your blog because both Cyndi and Jo-Lynne mentioned you on theirs, and I love it! You have great style and a wonderful sense of humor! I also enjoyed reading about the conference through your eyes. Looking forward to your future posts!

  4. Loved all your looks and especially that one shoulder express polka dot top! So pretty!

  5. I can't stress enough how much I loved watching you at the event through your snaps! And you looked so amazing too! I noticed many of the bloggers there looked identical so I loved seeing you and a few other brunette lol :)

  6. I would love to go to a conference but I'd be so scared I wouldn't know anyone! Packing would be a hard thing too but you nailed it! Love your outfits!