Last year, I took the advice of a friend and started attending blogging conferences to increase my visibility with brands and connect with other influencers. My first conference was Mom 2.0 Summit (held that year in Orlando) and it was incredible! I learned a ton, met so many amazing bloggers, and got to have face time with several brands that I'm a fan of. I'm going to admit that I was super nervous beforehand though. I'm really, really fat – no, not curvy or plus-sized. I'm F A T and I was super insecure about how I was going to handle being surrounded by so many thin, lovely attendees. Are you nervous about that to? Don't let it stop you from this amazing experience! Here's my tips for a fat chick* attending Mom 2.0 Summit:
*I'm fully aware that there are politer, nicer ways to refer to my size. I don't care. I'm a fat chick and that's just the way it is.
First, make peace with the fact that you're a big girl in a social media world and that means you you're going to be surrounded by impossibly thin, gorgeous woman with seemingly perfect lives. HOWEVER, there are also lots of larger ladies there SO DON'T BE WORRIED ABOUT STICKING OUT. Also, most of those modelesque fellow conference goers are incredibly nice and supportive and could give two shits about your size. Sure, if you're like me, you'll probably still struggle with your confidence and worry about how you look but, hand on heart, it's just not that big of a deal.
Plan ahead for travel so that there are no embarrassing surprises (if you're inclined to get embarrassed or feel anxious). Get a seat belt extender (if you need one for the plane), bring any medications or supplements you may use (so you're not having to rush to a drugstore and buy them), check out your hotel online to see what the bed/toilet/stair situation is if those are a concern for you. Also, just go ahead and invest in a TSA Pre-Check (it's only $85 for 5 years!) so you're not struggling to remove shoes and jackets at security. And, while you're at it, go ahead and snag some quality luggage, too. I love the spinner kind with four wheels that turn 360 degrees – they are SO easy to pull and navigate so I don't arrive at my gate a sweaty mess from dragging a cheap two-wheeler through the terminal.
It can be overwhelming to think about what to pack for Mom 2.0 Summit so here's some outfit ideas and tips:
The key is to plan on wearing layers and stick to a few neutrals + a couple of pops of color and/or patterns. The conference is generally held in warm locations but the rooms themselves can be chilly so… layers. I also like layers because, as we all know, clothes for bigger people take up a lot of space in your luggage. Layering allows me to bring a few core pieces and then layer them differently to create new looks (with less clothing). I liked wearing a pencil skirt or fitted jeans with a loose tank top and a cardigan or a blazer.
Also, BRING COMFORTABLE SHOES. This is not the time to try out new stilettos if you've never worn them before. I brought one pair of cute ankle boots plus a pair of flip flops last time and did just fine. This time, I'm bringing flip flops, these cute flats, and these comfy as hell boots.
Also, while the bulk of the conference will be business comfortable/casual, there are a few dress-up parties. Most are simple lawn or poolside fetes so a pretty sundress like this or this stylish wrap dress would work. However, the last night is the Iris Awards and after party and it. is. fancy. So, plan to bust out your black tie, sequined, shiny outfit. I love this sequined dress (up to a size 3X and under $20!) and this is the skirt I wore last year (and got lots of compliments on).
A few brand who make solid plus-size options for this conference are: eShakti, Target's A New Day, and Cents of Style. Or, you can just hit up my girl Tiffany – a stylist for Stitch Fix, who I met at Mom 2.0 last year! I loved her confidence and style so much that, after finding out she was a Stitch Fix stylist, signed on, and have been really happy with her picks for me.
And last but not least, HAVE FUN. Mom 2.0 Summit is a professional conference but there's a lot of laughter, silliness, and fun to be had so relax and have a good time. Bring cute outfits, do your hair, and get ready to smile. Do whatever makes you happy. Just have fun and enjoy having this experience!