01-09-2017, 05:42 PM
Hi Y'all, I thought I might share some advice I have when it comes to shopping for clothes for WJMC- especially if you are on a budget. If any of the othe Youth Advisory Board members have any other ideas or tips that I may have forgotten, feel free to piggyback!
Becuase the conference itself was so expensive, I tried to keep my clothing budget to a minimum. I did most of my shopping at thrift stores prior to the conference. On Wednesday's all of Salvation Army's clothing is 50% off, so that's where I got most of my stuff. I started shopping about 4 months before the conference, because I knew I wouldn't be able to find everything in one trip. So if you go back continuously, you'll be able to slowly build up your wardrobe. And then about two weeks before the conference I went to Target and got a few things (like a fitted blazer) that I wasn't able to find. Because of this I was able to buy about 7 business professional outfits for about $75.
The other thing I splurged on though was comfortable shoes. I can not stress enough how important this is. You are going to be walking a ton, pretty much every day, so WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES. If you buy new ones, you may want to try walking around in them for a couple of days (full time) to make sure they are really as comfortable as you need them to be. I would also recommend bringing band aids, in case you get blisters.
When you are shopping, keep in mind it's going to be hot and humid. I'm from Texas and I was still sweating. I don't know how the poor guys who wore suits all week did it. I bought a pencil skirt and wore dresses most of the week. Dress classy while also trying not to make yourself have heatstroke.
The other biggest tip I can give to you early on is try to read a few of the books on the suggested reading list! You don't have to read all of them by any means, but they're all super interesting. Not to mention they're a great conversation starter once you get to the conference. I was able to buy 17 of the 19 books on last year's suggested reading list for under $105 at Half Price Books Marketplace- and that included shipping too. If you have Amazon Prime, I think you could get them for even cheaper. The shipping is what gets ya most of the time.
Once it gets closer to the date of the conference I'll share more tips on what to pack and bring with you, but I thought some of this information would be helpful now if you wanted to start preparing early. I cannot express how excited I am for you that you are attending this conference. For me, itt was life changing in more ways than one. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. Have a fantastic day!
Youth Advisory Board
RE: Wardrobe Shopping
01-09-2017, 07:09 PM
Hey, guys! Just wanted to add to Abby's great post. I think one of the best things you can do to prepare for the conference is reading up on the conference's speakers. Abby already recommended using the reading list, but make sure to focus especially on material that is written by or pertains to the conference speakers. Last year, we had Terry Anderson speak, and I felt that reading his book 'Den of Lions' made listening to his speech and Q&A really more relevant since I already had an understanding of his life and career. You will have the chance to ask questions at the end of some speaker's talks, so you will want to know relevant information beyond what they've discussed. As you probably already know, the best journalist is the one who does that background research. But really, the background reading just makes the experience better.
Also, make sure to get a sturdy handbag or backpack to hold all of your pens and papers. You will get a WJMC bag, but it's always best to be prepared. As for shoes, I think Abby got it right. That's probably the most important thing for girls: you need comfortable shoes. You can definitely bring high heel shoes for the gala, but make sure to bring flats. Also, pay attention to the weather. If you are not from around DC, you might not know what to expect in terms of weather and the type of clothing to pack. DC is slightly colder than Virginia (where I am from), but it is still pretty bad during the summer. Be prepared for walking around the capital with very little shade by bringing a water bottle and some sunscreen. But then again, you might want to plan ahead for rain as DC has thunderstorms during the summer. Buying an umbrella, nice rain jacket, and khakis are probably the best ways to prepare for rain (or for girls, panty hose works as well).
Definitely shop the sales because this might be out of your price range. Since WJMC sends out a recommended packing list, you can plan well in advance for what you want to buy. I would recommend buying things during big clothing sales during January and May.
RE: Wardrobe Shopping
01-21-2017, 01:23 PM
Hi, everyone! Thought I would add some extra tips to Abby and Sam's wonderful posts! I'd like to consider myself a top-notch packer, and WJMC 2016 was my chance to show off all of my wonderful packing skills. I began preparing for the conference about a month in advance, I started by raiding my drawers and closets to see what I already had before going out and buying something that I did not need. That took about a week (the reason I began a month in advance), after weeding through everything that I already had the fun finally began!
I did not want to make buy a lot of expensive things so I did most of my shopping at one our local consignment shops. While shopping I would keep in mind the things that I already owned and try to find single pieces that would go with the top or skirt that I had. Another thing I considered while shopping was the schedule, I have a very strategic way of packing and made sure I had a specific outfit for each day of the conference. Now of course I do not recommend that everyone get crazy like me, but it did help with the craziness of getting ready every morning.
Another thing I recommend is not only dressing cute, but dressing comfortable. I cannot say that enough, everyday is jam packed with activities you will not have the opportunity to run to the room and change. I PROMISE. I vividly remember coming home on the last day of WJMC with blisters galore, all because I tried to be cute instead of comfortable. Nonetheless, still dress in whatever will make you comfortable while also feeling very confident and business like. I made sure to have two outfits for each day, just in case something did not fit right or I wanted to change things up that day.
There will be more packing tips to come as time gets closer.
Good luck and happy packing!!!
Youth Advisory Board