What’s Not Me

A few nights ago I was mentally preparing a packing list for an upcoming trip to Las Vegas with my friends J. and B.

We’re going there to run two races over the course of the weekend: a 5k on Saturday night and a half-marathon on Sunday night.

Running clothes, check. I’m not sure what the temps will be (desert nights can get cold, after all), but I’ve got plenty of options already in my drawer.

But it’s the other part of Vegas – the nightlife – that always leaves me confused.

These same friends and I were already in Vegas over Memorial Day weekend, and in the end I felt like I’d packed all wrong.

For going out to dinner the first night, I packed a jumpsuit. From Old Navy. It did not look right at all, especially because I paired it with a weird striped coat.


Image Via Old Navy

For brunching, walking around and shopping the next day, I ended up wearing a pink 3/4 sleeve top from Stitch Fix and an old black skirt from the Gap. It was serviceable, but not exactly cool.

At the pool, I felt self-conscious in my Athleta tankini. The striped sleeveless dress I brought as a cover-up also seemed wrong.

By the second night, I ditched my plans to wear a bright Lilly Pulitzer dress in favor of a black top with black pants. This was the only outfit that felt like me, and I had a great time that night without tugging at anything or worrying about the top half of my jumpsuit falling into a toilet bowl.

A recent post on a blog I love, Unfancy, shared thoughts about packing and dressing in Las Vegas. Here’s a direct quote from the blog:


It screams sparkles, stilettos, and body-con dresses.

But I’m not really a sparkles, stilettos, or body-con dress kind of girl.

So what to do?

Rather than feeling the need to invest in a ton of fancy clothes, I took it as a challenge to do Vegas in an Unfancy way — to bring my style to Vegas, instead of the other way around.

(Read the whole post here).

Up until that point, I’d been thinking it would look cool to wear a motorcycle jacket, specifically this one:


Image via Madewell

Even though I think motorcycle jackets can be styled up or down and across many age ranges, I finally admitted that they’re just not me. $498 saved.

Other things I realized that are Just Not Me:

  • Almost every vest I’ve ever seen
  • Linen anything, but especially pants
  • Jean jackets
  • White shoes
  • Boy shorts (swimsuit version)
  • Baseball hats
  • Over-the-knee boots
  • Heavy earrings
  • Ankle bracelets (Ick)
  • Toe rings (see above re: Ick)
  • Sparkly flip-flops
  • Chinos
  • Overalls
  • Most capri pants, especially wide-leg ones

I haven’t made my final packing list, but doing Vegas my way feels so much better than forcing a look that’s Not Me, just because it seems like What People Would Wear in Vegas.

But deep down (ok, superficially) I still want to look cool and not like I’m trying too hard, or dressing either too old or too young (both sins). I think the key here is to keep it simple, non-peacock for sure, but also in tested things that I know I will feel good wearing.

And the terrific news is that if I miss the mark with what I pack, there’s a lot of great shopping to be had in Vegas.




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