Because Shopping Is Serious Business, and the Car Show Is a Serious Mall
Everyone knows you should dress for shopping, and shopping at a car show is no different.
I recently attended the Detroit Auto Show (which runs until Jan 26, 2014), and this week I’m headed to Washington, D.C. for the auto show (which ends February 2, 2014). What I like most about these shows is that in a sea of men—some in jeans, some in suits, all in pants—you really stand out in a skirt and boots. A bright coat helps. A nice perfume throws them off their game. Killer shoes, not comfy shoes, remind everyone that you mean business.
Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, always stands out in a sea of men. Known for great shoes and good with scarves, she recently appeared on stage at a charity gala for the opening of the Detroit Auto Show with her handbag tucked under her arm.
Remember Who You Are, Don’t Try To Be Who You Are Not
Unlike many attendees at the auto shows, I don’t have grease under my nails (unless you count Kiehl’s Creme de Corps), I don’t ‘wrench,’ and I don’t speak car lingo. I have an AAA membership, I work with auto dealers I trust and at the car show, I ask for explanations in plain English. Just like I do everywhere else I shop.
What To Wear: Some Tips and Advice
So, what does a girl wear to a car show? First, make sure you can spend more than a few hours in your shoes; convention center floors are carpet covered concrete, and seeing everything you want to see can take a while, maybe all day. But notice I didn’t say comfy shoes. Save those for the amusement park. I went with boots (being winter) with a chunky heel. In warm weather I go with pumps—again, chunky heel, because those are always comfortable.
Then, make sure you’ll be comfortable in your outfit. Convention center ceilings are high and the space can be cold, so a sweater is key, even in warm weather because air conditioning is sure to be blasting! Check your coat at the coat check because you don’t want to lug it around all day, and if plan to wear it all day, choose a lighter weight coat so you’re not sweating like a linebacker. Ew.
Go for color. You’ll stand out against the palate of black, white, silver and red that dominate most car shows (this is still the case, sadly, but we are trying to change that!). But go for smart, well styled color, not vomit-rainbow or silly-girl colors.
Look smart. Choose outfits that convey your intelligence, not your babe-ness. Leave those to the babes in boots and bustiers standing next to the hot rods (a diminishing element, thankfully!). Go with smart, elegant, fashionable, and leave trendy, clingy and sexy at home.
Stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle, pack a good lip gloss and before hand, use a good moisturizer; huge convention centers are always dry.
After combing my closet and making wish-list collages on Polyvore, here are my real and dream outfits, and YES, shoes I would wear, and will wear, at the car show.