Book Expo America Survival Guide pt. 3

Welcome back! I see you just can’t get enough of me and my super handy tips for preparing for #BEA15! Good! Clearly I can’t get enough either! Today, I’m gonna talk about that time honored tradition: Packing for a convention. Now, I’m not going to tell you what to pack, I think you are all smart enough to know to pack your toothbrush and undies, but I will be walking you through a few specific pieces that go a long way in a travel wardrobe and are still BEA chic.


Now, it so happens that I have Denver Comic Con right before BEA, they are literally back to back for me, and best believe the packing for each one will be very different. The dress code at DCC is pretty much ripped jeans and super hero t-shirts. BEA is what I like to call “professional comfort” meaning nice, but not stiff. Now, dudes, let’s face it, this is going to be of very little help to you. Sorry, but I have zero experience dressing as a professional male, so you are on your own. But judging by the way my husband packs, you can literally grab 8 random hangers out of your closet, fold them over and toss them in your suitcase with some hair gel and deodorant and call it good.

So screw you, buddy. I hate you and your easy style and your effortless grooming.

But for us ladies, deciding what to pack/wear can be a challenge. You need to find a balance of conserving space (you need room for all that stuff you are going to be bringing home!), looking good, and keeping it as low maintenance as possible. So here are 5 things I suggest you bring as part (if not ALL) of your BEA wardrobe:

1) The three most comfortable pairs of pants, nice jeans (no tears or stains), or maxi skirts you own and a gallon freezer bag. Why Maxi skirts? Because it’s cold as frozen hell in the Javits and nothing is quite as unsightly as goosebumpy legs. Why only 3 pairs if you’re going to be there for longer than 3 days? Contrary to popular belief, pants, jeans especially, don’t have to be washed after every wear. Simply fold them up, put them in a gallon ziplock bag, and stick them in the freezer for a few hours. It kills all the bacteria and odors. Unless you’ve managed to spill something on them, you will be just fine. As a matter of fact, this method of ‘cleaning’ your jeans is recommended by the Levi’s corp for keeping your trousers looking like new.

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2) One top for every day you are attending. My suggestions for tops include flowing blouses, solid color tank tops, and dressy t-shirts. I suggest solid colors and keeping patterns/designs in the print to a minimum. The lighting in the Javits can be unforgiving and that red shirt with the silver metal swirls might come out in photographs looking like you have boob sparkles. Trust me on this, I’ve seen it. I’ve lived it.


3) A printed scarf. Make sure the color palette goes with everything you pack and you’ll always have a cozy, stylish accessory.


4) A light jacket or sweater that matches EVERY single top. This is another reason I recommend solid color shirts. That way, one slick black jacket or cool grey sweater works with everything. You probably won’t need it outside the Javits, but it’s nice to have indoors and if you go out after dark. Plus it’s a piece that can take a simple outfit and dress it up or down, as the occasion dictates.


5) Comfortable shoes. I’ve tossed up a few outfit examples here, and they all have shoes that should be banned outside of Paris fashion week. Or at very least, know that if you can’t walk in them for 8-10 hours straight, they will be a bad idea. Some comfortable ballet flats, clean tennis shoes, or my personal favorite, a snappy pair of Chuck Taylors are a much better way to go. Whatever shoes you pick, pack ONE pair that go with everything. I always pack my Chuck T’s, then travel in flip flops. That way if something happens and I’m desperate for space on the way home, I can toss the flip flops and wear the tennnies, giving me a little more space and I’m only out like $5.


* A few more tips.

-Roll your clothes instead of folding to save space.

-Add a dryer sheet to your suitcase to keep your clothes from smelling like jet fuel after the flight.

-Pack jewelry inside rolled clothes to keep them from tangling or getting dumped in the suitcase during transport.


**I don’t suggest traveling in a skirt. I can tell you from experience it can lead to some awkward situations. Last year my maxi skirt got stuck in the escalator at Dallas airport and I had to be rescued my a kind elderly man who grabbed my hem and yanked right before I hit the landing step. I could have died. Of embarrassment that is. It was every horror movie I’ve ever seen flashing before my eyes, for realsies.

And with that, good luck and happy packing!


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