Q. I'm attending my first-ever writers conference at the end of January, and am feeling a little lost about what to wear. From what I've heard, most of the people do business casual or dressier casual attire, and a suit would be a definite no-no. I usually feel more comfortable in a dress, but since the conference happens to be during winter in NYC, that might not be the best of ideas. There will be a lot of standing/walking around, so heels won't really be practical either. I'll be pitching my new book idea to some literary agents and I want to look professional, yet creative. There will be a lot of potential authors there, so I'd like to stand out (in a good way). I'm also very petite so I don't want to look like I'm playing dress up in my Mom's business clothes!
A. I love when you can infuse a bit of creativity into a work look. Since you feel most comfortable in a dress, wear one! We New Yorkers wear them all winter long - just add some opaque tights and a pair of boots and you'll be fine. To add a creative touch to your dress, try pairing it with a sleek leather jacket. Another option is to pair skinny black pants with a belted jacket and booties. Add a stylish accessory like some great jewelry or an animal print belt or scarf, and a chic tote.
Though I understand the need to wear comfortable (and perhaps flat) shoes if you'll be on your feet for hours, your best bet is to look for a stylish pump or shoe with a mid-size heel - this will help you to stand out a bit more since you're so petite (sometimes we have to suffer a bit for fashion!) Find a shoe that you'll be comfortable enough in that still offers a little bit of height and will add style to your look.
Below are some looks for inspiration: