What to Wear to Alt Summit 2013

By Gabrielle. First & last images by Justin Hackworth. All other images by Ben Blair for Design Mom.

A year ago, at the request of readers, I posted a little guide to what I wore to Alt Summit. Based on the comments, you seemed to enjoy it, and it ended up being a really good thing for me, too. I used those photos as head shots and avatar images all year long! And I like having a record of what my wardrobe was like at that moment in time. So this year, I’m doing the same post with the hope that it will again serve me well — and that hopefully you’ll like it, too.

But I have to say, I have had this on the calendar for a week and couldn’t quite get brave enough to hit publish. If you’ve been reading Design Mom for even a short while, you know that I take and share dozens of photos each week, but normally don’t post many photos of myself — and certainly not 20+ images at the same time! Thank you for indulging me.

Let’s start with the Ms. Peacock outfit.

I wore this for the Clue Party on Thursday night of the conference. I made my hat in the hotel room a few minutes before the party started! Earlier that week, I picked up 2 peacock feather wreaths and a roll of black tulle at Michaels. My intention was to fashion them into some sort of peacock fascinator, but I ended up running out of time! So I simply put the two wreaths back-to-back with the tulle between them and hot glued it all together. (Yes. I did pack my hot glue gun with me across ocean. That should not surprise any of you.)

The tulle in the center of the wreaths kept my head from going all the way through, and I also glued in tulle that draped over my eyes to add some drama. But seriously, I don’t think I needed any additional drama. I was already wearing 2 wreaths on my head!

My hat was so big that I couldn’t bring it home with me, so I gave it to my sister Sara. (Hopefully it will make it into her legendary costume stash.)

Dress from COS — I love the satin detail on the back. I bought it last spring during my Paris shopping trip with Jordan. Peacock tights I’ve had forever. The necklace I found at a shoe store — doesn’t it look peacock-y? And the silver heels are from Naf Naf.

The next outfit is what I wore on Thursday during the day. You’ve seen me in it if you read my Chris Anderson post. I adore this dress! The boxy fit. The zipper pockets. The color. The neckline. The whole thing makes me happy.

Dress from COS, picked up last spring at the same time as the grey peacock dress. Black tights from the grocery store. Black booties are the same ones I wore last year. The silk polka-dot scarf I found on ebay; it’s by Ralph Lauren. The cuff is the same one I wore last year — a gift from Mara.

This outfit is probably my very favorite! I wore this on Saturday during the Design Camps and it’s so comfy it might as well be pajamas. It’s the only jumpsuit I own, and I wish I had 10 of them. I bought this last summer and have worn it probably a hundred times since then. It’s made of polyester and is easy to clean, plus never needs ironing. It always looks good! And if I add or subtract layers, I can wear it all year long. I asked Ben Blair to take some shots focusing on the neckline of the jumpsuit because I think it’s so flattering!

Jumpsuit from Benetton. Cardigan from H&M. Gold flats are the same I wore last year. If you haven’t noticed yet, I shopped my closet for most everything this year! One of the only new additions was the peacock hat. : ) Speaking of the gold flats, they are sadly worn out and I can’t seem to find any I like quite as much. If you spot any fabulous replacements, please let me know!

Outfit #4 I wore while I traveled. Comfy. Warm. Easy to wear in cold Paris and cold Salt Lake City.

Sweater from Banana Republic — I bought it last fall from their new shop on the Champs Elysees. Bright blue jeans and sequin hat from H&M. I’ve had both for over a year. The black booties are newish. From Bocage.

Next up is the outfit I wore on Friday during the day. You’ll see more of it when I write up my post about Stefan Sagmeister (coming soon!). In these images, I don’t think I look particularly striking in this outfit, but I sure felt confident in this get up at the conference! It was a power outfit!!

Black skirt I bought the weekend we moved to Colorado — it was from Macys. The turtleneck is from H&M. I bought it last month — only 5 euros! Black tights are my grocery store pair. The red shoes are the same ones as last year. The necklaces are from Ethiopia.

Outfit #6 is what I wore on Tuesday before the conference started, when I was running errands around Salt Lake City. This outfit has the most pieces and layers and is the most flexible. A good winter-time ensemble.

Dress is by Tamar Daniels — she sent it to me last year. It’s an amazing travel dress. You can crumble it into ball and it still looks great. Alas! I heard Tamar’s line has shut down. Denim jacket is from The Gap. I’ve had it for years. The tights are another grocery store pair. The boots are the same as last year. And my favorite part is the scarf — handknit by my sister Rachel from the softest wool!

Outfit #7 is another that is not looking very flattering to me in these pictures, but I feel great in it in person. Hah!  I wore this on Wednesday of the conference during registration.

Gold jeans, brown turtleneck (5 euros!), and silk shirt all from H&M. The necklace is a cross from Ethiopia — a gift from a friend there. The shoes I’ve had for years.

Lastly, not pictured is the dress I wore to the Friday Night Mini-Parties. It’s actually the black zipper dress I showed you last year! (I meant it when I said I mostly shopped my closet this year.) I don’t have pictures of it from this year, but this is the coat I wore over it. Cute, right? The coat is from Naf Naf.

And that’s it!

What do you think? Is there a look you like best? How did I do at Alt Summit 2013?

P.S. — I’m aware that this post, and last year’s post are obnoxiously named. You don’t need direction on what to wear to Alt Summit — you are perfectly capable of getting dressed all by yourself! And though there are “what to wear” classes and guides, they are mostly for fun, because there is no dress code at the conference. I’m just being cheeky. : )

102 thoughts on “What to Wear to Alt Summit 2013”

  1. Oh boy…that jump suit is so classic and flattering on you. Perfection! I recently hired a stylist to help me with my wardrobe and I was amazed at how many elements play into creating a flattering outfit…body type, neckline, pocket placement, length, coloring. So much to think about. You, my lady, have most certainly learned or have a natural gift for what styles flatter you. Keep up the good work. But, I have to go back to that body suit…did I mention perfection? I want one now. :)

  2. Ahh…I’m dying to go to Alt Summit! I’ve put it on my goal list for next year. Your outfits are fabulous…and I have to say, I’m pretty partial to your peacock hat. It’s wild and wacky with a bit of Phyllis Diller thrown in for kicks! Love. it.

  3. Gabby you are so cute! and then sassy! and then sophisticated! I love how outfits really can transform a person’s look and how they feel- I got that from the images and words you placed here. that was fun! do it more often. :)

  4. Love all of these! Especially the green dress and your gold pants. Divine. Do you always plan you outfits and accessorries before a longer trip? I need to be more organized too!

  5. Clue is one of my very favorite movies of all time. If there’s any movie I can quote forward and backward, it’s Clue…so I’m sorta dying that you had a Clue party (that’s on my parties to have at Halloween list…this year is the year.) Anyway, you look fab as always.

  6. Gabrielle I have been waiting so long for this post, but you were smart enough to let anyone else finish with their recaps from Alt and shine on your own now :) Let me tell you the waiting time payed off. I really like how your outfits are made of simple monochromatic basic pieces, but with an edgy cut or detail and a hint of color. Spotting you in that crazy hat in all Alt pics was a delight, because I think it does you justice and shows of your funny and sassy part beyond being a great professional. I am the kind of person who would like to have three new outfits delivered at my door right before every trip I make, even if it is for fun, so reading you rarely bought anything for the biggest event of the year makes my want to slap myself and try harder before saying “I don’t have anything cute to wear now”. Thank you for the inspiration :)

  7. I love all your outfits but especially the peacock dress and the all black with red pumps. Your hair looks great, too. The perfect amount of body!

  8. That jumpsuit is KILLER. It shows you like it too, which makes it even better. No wonder you wear it so much. It drapes so lovely and easy. I also adore that green dress. I love the simplicity, with amazing details, that are in all your looks.

  9. my favorite is the blue tights outfit and the gold jeans!!!! you look great in all of them, though. i love when you do posts like this about your personal style.

  10. I love the outfits where you look so classicly european the best! Although, after seeing so many Alt Summit blog posts about outfits, it seems to be a huge fashion competition. I would love to see what you could have done with a few pieces of clothes rather than a wardrobe.

  11. Terrific outfits. I love the second outfit with the black boots. I also think you look cool with outfit number 4 and outfit number 6. But I also love outfit number 7 and the last outfit. I think you look sexy and professionally cool in these outfits. I really love clothes and fashion. You can post more pictures of you with your different fashion and clothes. I love looking at other people wearing clothes like that but when it comes to me, I no longer know how to mix and match my outfits.

  12. Ms. Blair! That red lipstick!! I see no mention of it in your post, but what a fabulous exclamation point it puts on your ensembles!! I’ve been wearing my red since the fall, and now when I leave the house with naked lips my girls ask me why I forgot to put it on (and I never go a day without someone paying the red lips a confidence boosting comment)! Please share!

  13. Hi
    Really love this post and all the outfits. I really need some inspiration on what to wear on a more everyday basis – it would be really great if you could do a ‘what to wear’ post on what you wear normally like you do on your children at the beginning of the school year.

  14. Gabrielle,

    You look just beautiful, and I just want to say that I admire you so much and believe that you are just the nicest, kindest person. What to Wear’s are about the most common thing in the world but you still felt it was important to make that disclaimer at the end, and I just think that is the nicest thing. You are gorgeous and great, and a real role model for me.


  15. You look amazing, would never guess you’ve had 6 kids! What is your secret? All of the outfits are so well put together and look great!

  16. Just had an awesome 20 minutes reading this in an airport! Love your chic style with an element of the unexpected. I’m inspired!

  17. i’m late to this post but I loved it. You look amazing.

    You also look very French, which (with no disrespect) is quite something for an American – I’m British, so I struggle as well. I wondered if you have changed, style-wise, since you’ve lived in France. Your clothes here seem more flamboyant than the French would typically wear but they have a certain something that makes me think of Parisian Grandes Dames!!

    I commit to not wearing sweatpants tomorrow!

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