Carry On // the perfect bag for every ALT SLC moment


There are a lot of great lists on what to wear to ALTsummit, how to stay warm in the expansive ballrooms and ideas to make the most of those business cards you stressed over. Now that all of that is sorted, oh wait, what oh-so-styling accompaniment will you use to carry all your brilliance around? Here are some suggestions of the perfect bag for each major moment.

1) At sponsor dinners
Something small is all you’ll need. A punch of color + fun tassel? What’s not to love! Perfect size for biz card swapping and stashing, smartphone and a bit o’ cash.

2) In sessions, for the lug-it-all lady
Enough room for everything and everything else you’ll pick up along the way. A memorable shape and details will help others recognize you day-to-day.

3) In sessions, for the minimalist chick
When something digital and a few cards is enough, go with a pretty sleeve in a fabric that says something about your style. For me, being in Portland it’s all about wool and leather.

4) For the green party
No green dress? (insert Barenaked Ladies song reference here) No worries! Bring a green accessory instead of killing yourself in some vintage shop the day before your flight leaves.

5) All around the mini parties
This might sound counter-intuitive, but a thin and lightweight leather tote will be hands-free and perfect for all the swag that you’re likely to find yourself lining up early to snag.

New bags or vintage, one bag or five, your accessories say a lot about your personal style. And, at a place like ALT, can help others remember who you are and recognize you from across the room. See you there!

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This Friday I’m Into…

Black and white (or neutral) for home, clothes, accessories, tabletop – you name it, I love it.
As long as I can remember I’ve been awestruck by wide black and white awning stripes. At age eight I demanded to paint large graphics, or at least stripes on my walls, begging for my parents to approve the bold graphic look. I insisted they belonged in my life.

Now that I no longer need to beg for permission, I look around my house and through my closet and find that this penchant for strong contrast has never really waned. The FLOR squares in my dining room are wide black and white, the chairs are black, the trim is white and the walls are gray. I just can’t quit this.

What is your go-to combo? The one that even though you don’t set out to have it, always follows you home.

Moodboard Sources: umbrella girl; art; sweater; plaid book; necklace; bedroom; skirt; tray.

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This Friday I’m Into…

While running errands, on more than one occasion, I’ve noticed women wearing a completely unpractical number of bracelets, bangles, etc – big ones! For me this enlivened two things: nostalgia and envy.

My grandmother piled on jewelry as if she had no dressing table on which to leave any of it. She was glamorous beyond compare for such a small Iowa town. My clearest memories of her are always in a skirt, strappy-heels and a beautiful flowy silk blouse, her hair pinned up in curls and jewelry adorning every available surface.

I immediately found myself envious of this completely impractical indulgence of glamour and ran home to rifle through my drawers to find some of her old pieces, some of my news ones and dream of what fun beauties await being added to my collection.

The smooth wood, green jewels and silver lattice pieces were all my grandmother’s.

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Rules meant to be broken

Some rules are meant to be broken. Especially as a girl just shy of 5′ 4″ rules can be quite important. Such as never wearing capris, cheating a wide belt up to elongate the leg, and a rule I nearly never break, avoid shoes with an ankle strap or anything that interrupts the leg line from skirt hem to toe… deeply discounted Christian Louboutin heels clearly call for an exception.
The confidence these shoes instill combined with the satisfaction of getting a killer deal will overcome the two or three inches that this darling strap cuts off my leg line.

What’s your favorite rule to break? Did something exciting happen when you did?


Packing for Alt Summit

It’s my first time heading to Alt Summit so I’ve been devouring everyone’s packing list and first-timer tips, like Making It Lovely and Yuppie Love, and don’t forget Design Crush’s packing planner template.
My usual travel-light-or-bust concept is out the window for this style-focused trip. However, I must contain my excitement to two carry-on sized suitcases. One will be checked (thanks Delta medallion status) and the Orla will come with me.

These are just a few things I’ll be tucking into my bag – what am I forgetting? More importantly – what are YOU bringing and can we swap?

business cardsstatement jewelrysuitcaseiPad 2fun heelsday dress

Why are each of these so critical to conference success? I do travel a lot and have figured out through trial and error, mostly painful error, a few things.
1) Cards are still critical. Especially in a design focused sphere. Everyone loves paper, to see the personality expressed through stock, color, size, shape and embellishment choices.
2) Jewelry. It’s far easier to pack 5 necklaces and 2 basics than it is to pack 3 dresses, 2 shirts and so on. A statement necklace or earrings can change the most basic dress or sweater into something special.
3) Light luggage. Regardless of how much volume you think you need, remember you have to lug that damn (excuse) thing around. Not only is this roller from Orla Kiely cute enough to cheer up any flight delay, it’s light as a feather compared to my last roller. Makes a much faster “grunt and shove” into an overhead bin, pleasing everyone with your grace and efficiency.
4) Lighten your tech too. iPad, iPhone, camera, MacAir, plus all the cords… shall I go on? Packing a bluetooth keyboard that connects wirelessly to your smart phone makes long emails (or posts) a breeze and will make you question why you lug that brick of a laptop anywhere at all.
5) Small shoes. Comfy shoes are the key to a good trip – anywhere. I pack patent flats and then a cute pair of heels that compress easily into a big bag. Wedges and platforms are comfy but they add weight to your carry on, and to your day bag, when you’re out racking up experiences.
6) Neutral day dress. Getting dressed with one piece of clothing, rather than five (think: cami, button down, cardi, belt, skirt) lowers stress, no more forgotten pieces and less laundry when you get home. Just drop off all your dresses at the dry cleaner and throw the tights/leggings into a delicates bag. Poof you’re done!

Would welcome other light traveling tips – what have you vowed to never repeat?

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