Look of the Week: Flexible Wardrobe

Last weekend was an amazing experience. I flew to Dallas for my first Reward Style influencer conference. I had no idea what to expect but should have anticipated that my wardrobe would be pretty important. I’ve NEVER packed less strategically for any trip and this was awkward.

This is what I wore to travel in. It was comfy and felt stylish. I bought the jacket in Sweden 2 years ago and can’t link to anything that looks close…sorry.

arriving at the #rsthecon wearing linen and French Kande


Reward Style fashion outfits
perfect tank top | wrap sweater | linen pants | 

The temperatures were sweltering our first evening as we gathered for the opening pool party. I chose linen to stay cool. Here I am with Susan Blakey and Deborah Boland.

There were 200 top fashion bloggers at this event and they were all dressed to the nines. I wish I’d captured photo’s of these gals because some of them were truly world-class looking. Besides the clothes, there were more hair extensions, false eyelashes, and stilettos than I’ve seen in a long time.

Jennifer Connolly and Susan Blakey

I roomed with one of my favorite bloggers, Susan from une femme d’un certain age. If you don’t read her blog, I assume you live under a rock so I will encourage you to check her out here. Susan is down to earth, hilarious and very chic…she even offered to lend me clothes when my malfunctions began:) That’s a real pal!

having a flexible wardrobe

For the cocktail party on our second night, my wardrobe malfunction hit critical mass! I didn’t bring a cocktail dress and had neglected to pack enough tops so I wore white pants, a silk Kimono and…wait for it…my new PJ top from Soma’s Cool Nights collection. The fabric was silky, it was black, clean and no one could tell it wasn’t a regular top. I tossed a statement necklace over it, added extra lipstick and plastered on a smile.

relaxing wearing Ann Taylor at the Reward Style Conference

The following day had classes then a mid-day barbecue. An easy top, white pants, and flats were perfect for this. By now I’d begun rotating pieces in different ways and hoping not to spill on my clothes:)

goofing around at the Reward Style Conference

By the final evening, I was wearing this jacket for the 3rd time and ready to see the last of it. I switched out my pants and shoes for our early dinner but knew this would never work for the black-tie wrap-up party so headed back to our room to pack and catch up on some internet.

jennifer Connolly and Susan Blakey

I now realize that the addition of several extra black garments would have made all the difference in my wardrobe versatility. This was the first trip in many years where I didn’t bring several pairs of Eileen Fisher pants and I sorely felt their absence.

Have you had malfunctions like this and how would you handle it?

Thanks for reading and have a great day.



  1. Katharina says:

    At some point in life . . . a clothing mishap/packing oopsie/weather change/event attire miscalculation happen to any and all of us. Thanks for being real with your experiences. You still looked great, have a fun story to tell and are relatable to so many women. Your next trip and packing should be a new and fun adventure. 🙂 Your smile was always the perfect fit.

    I have learned from my own mishaps that a black tank, black longish skirt, black slacks and a flowy black jacket or wrap can take you almost anywhere. Safe, but sure and comfy. A few fine, dainty or bold and fun accessories and you are good to go.

    1. I totally agree, Katharina. Black may be safe and predictable but it is also easy to travel with and makes packing a breeze.

  2. Mary Crowe says:

    Do you ever conduct seminars on style or lifestyle improvements.

  3. When I read your reference to “wardrobe malfunction” I had to find out more. I could certainly relate to your not thinking you were suitably attired; however, no one would have ever known had you not been confident enough to share. Your smile dresses up any repeated outfit or item. Besides, you have given us the perfect way to pack sensibly for a trip and how to adapt for any occasion with an air of confidence and elegance. Thanks for being you! And yes, Dallas does have its own sense of style that the rest of us find difficult to match.

    1. Thanks so much, Libby! Luckily my PJs were brand new because I was rooming with another blogger:) A smile dresses up many things, even it has a false front tooth! It’s been a tough month for me but I’m smiling through it.

  4. I love everything about this post! You have more confidence then you will ever know! You made me smile!!!

    1. Thanks Barna! Glad I made you smile:)

  5. I love your Swedish jacket! So comfortable looking and versatile.

    Thanks for being real and sharing your experience with us, complete with the “malfunction” and how you handled it. Wearing your pj top was brilliant! I’d have to buy classier pjs before I could pull off something like that! I’m glad you had a great time in spite of your packing woes.

    1. Thanks, Elaine, I love that jacket too. It holds such great memories of a wonderful adventure with my husband too. Being real can be scary for a blogger, but I love how my readers accept me:)

  6. Now that’s so smart to wear your pajama top—because really, what is the difference??
    That necklace is the perfect focal point anyways!!

    1. They were brand new, never worn before and it just looked like a V-neck top:)

  7. Suzanne W. Sanders says:

    Hi, Jennifer, and so sorry that the temps in Big D were already ‘hot’ although your definition of ‘sweltering’ and that of us Texans’ view of ‘sweltering’: might be different. I have lived in Austin for most of my life, but did teach in Dallas in the 1970’s and I was unprepared for what I would call my Fashion inadequacies….Those Dallas girls just did ‘dress up’ and that includes fur or fake fur, even in our very short winters. Austin is casual and laid back, but when I visit my friends in Dallas: I must remember that I am going to look “out on the town’ level of Cosmopolitan…..Perhaps it’s because the huge Apparel Mart is located in Dallas, that fashion takes a dressier upswing there, and they seem to complicate it with heels like I can never wear again, lash extensions, Uber fashion statements, and much more sophistication than would ever be called for in Austin (or, even Houston, for that matter) . The Dallas ladies just simply ‘dress up’ more, and you got a taste of that, I can see. You had a very good attitude about what might have sent those with less confidence than you, ‘in to a Tizzy’….You did a bit of borrowing, cleverly used a PJ top, and looked gorgeous in the photos, so no worried for you…..Bring your husband with you, and come back to Texas in late fall, winter, or spring, but also visit Fort Worth, next door to Dallas where you are in for some real treats in the Arts and Museum District in Fort Worth….All that Cultural mecca stuff is paired with “Cowtown” real Texana, with oilmen dining downtown in tuxedos with their Tony Lama designer cowboy boots…..The Kimbell Museum in F.W. is absolutely world-class, as is the Bass Performing Arts Center in downtown FW….OK, I will certainly give a plus for Austin, too, with our live music scene, but so glad you enjoyed your Texas adventure. Come back soon!

    1. You’ve got this all nailed, Suzanne!! Add the fact that these were very successful fashion bloggers are you’ve got dressy on steroids. Austin sounds amazing. I will have to get there. Maybe we’ll pack up our RV for a trip. I am flying to Houston in the morning so will get another taste of Texas 🙂

  8. I think it’s endearing that you thought you had a wardrobe malfunction!
    At 63 I have yet to travel without regretting what I’ve packed and not packed. Why is it I think I have to dress differently when I travel than I what I would actually wear at home?
    Anyway, you look great and kudos for being so creative with your outfits.

    1. This felt like a misfire to me, but to my credit, I had no idea what to expect. I think if I’d checked a bag, I would have been able to bring much more and would have had more options.

    2. Katharina says:

      I agree on feeling we need to pack different when traveling than at home. It does seem that women in different parts of the country and world do wear different styles and sometimes we feel like no matter what we brought it somehow still say “not from here”. But isn’t that wonderful too? Embracing each woman and their worlds, their fashions. We learn, grow and share and take the creativity back with us.

      1. That’s what I love about it too!! Inspiration!

  9. It seems that you handles your wardrobe “malfunction” with aplomb. I never seems to pack the “right” things, no matter how much though I put into it:(

    1. Thanks, Lori. I’ve learned a lot from this trip that I thought I already knew!

  10. Lynn Feist says:

    I love that you wore a PJ top to a cocktail party!! As I was following some of the event on Instastories and saw what women were wearing I wondered to myself if it would be hard to just be myself in a situation like that and not be daunted by all the fashion. You looked lovely and I wouldn’t have had any idea you had wardrobe malfunctions 🙂 Thanks for this blog and all the work that goes into it. I’ve been following for a few weeks but this is the first time I’ve commented. I’m 66 and really like your style!

    1. I’m so happy to hear from you, Lynn! I enjoyed seeing and being inspired by the other ladies’ outfits. It was obvious how much effort went into their looks. This blog is very rewarding for me, and yes, lots of work.:)

  11. Barbara Daley says:

    You are awesome! And you looked great! I would have been crying in my room. Nice going, inspiring for sure

    1. Thanks, Barbara! Happy to inspire xox

  12. Love seeing my two favorite (and only ones I follow) bloggers side by side! You both look marvelous!

    1. I’ve enjoyed seeing you all together. I follow you, Wardrobe Oxygen, UneFemme, Cindy Spivey, and Jolynne Shane. I think I saw you all together in various photos. So fun. I appreciate all your work on the blog

      Good job on handling all the Fashion Competition.

      1. Thanks Lori! They are all great gals.

  13. Atonia Walpole says:

    That’s what I love about you! You keep it real. I can relate to your wardrobe malfunctions. You looked fab in your pj top.

    1. There’s no point in not keeping it real here. We all share the same issues so why not learn and help each other? XX

  14. Looks like you had a blast despite the wardrobe “malfunctions.” Although you did leave us (or at least me) very curious as to what the “malfunction” was.

    1. It was fun, Sue. I didn’t bring enough clothes, accessories or the correct clothes. Wearing my PJ top to a cocktail party felt like a malfunction to me:)

  15. I’m sorry you were uncomfortable but most people are totally preoccupied with what you might think of them vs what they think of you. So I doubt they paid attention to repeat pieces or outfits. I thought you looked great and I particularly liked your cocktail “dress.”

    1. Thanks, Vildy. That cocktail “dress” served me very well:)

  16. patty valentic says:

    Going to a fashion blogger event must be fun but stressful. One can’t help comparing oneself to others. As I said to Susan on une femme this robs you of joy. You looked amazing in your jacket, cute in your floral. I think you are darling. It doesn’t feel good to feel less than. I have been to events where I doubted myself too. I have memories of women who had spent money on fantastic pieces and ware the heck out of them. They always looked great. patval

    1. Thank you, Patty:) I’m glad I was able to laugh about it. Life’s too short to compare ourselves to others, I just wish I’d been able to have more fun with my fashion.

  17. Well, I think you handled your wardrobe “malfunctions” very well, Jennifer! Not in one of the photos do I see anything wrong… It sounds like you had a great time, which matters in the end I think.

    I’ve made the mistake of not bringing dressy enough clothes, and I now always pack some sort of a little black dress. Often the dress is actually somewhat casual and can work for casual looks but can also be dressed up with shoes and accessories.

    Have a great week!

    1. You’re right, Andrea and a LBD is going into the suitcase for my trip to Houston tomorrow! I also didn’t bring many accessories which I always find the great game changer. xox

  18. Well I have wardrobe malfunctions all the time, but I think you look amazing. Looks like so much fun with the other bloggers.

    1. It was a lot of fun, regardless of the Pj top:)

  19. Paula Moreshead says:

    I think you looked lovely in spite of the “malfaunctions”, and I can only imagine being surrounded by that level of fashionistas! I find it challenging when travelling to decide ahead of time exactly what the right thing will be for different occasions or changing weather.

    1. Thanks, Paula xx. This is the first time I’ve ever been so unprepared and I was flummoxed. Very unlike me who thinks out these things in advance.

  20. Oh my goodness! How exciting! You look lovely in your pictures! I would say you fit in beautifully! What kinds of things did they have classes/breakouts on? Did they talk about upcoming fashion for fall?

    1. Thanks, Amy. The classes were mostly about the technical side of blogging and ways to improve our website to work more efficiently.

  21. Jennifer, sometimes we have to get resourceful when traveling. I think your pajama top worked out just fine, and I have to give you props for staying cool and unflappable!

    1. You’re the best Susan and always looked amazing! xx

  22. Jaymie Ashcraft says:

    What a fun expierience!!

  23. Jennifer,

    Your cocktail outfit looks adorable. By the way, who is the lady standing beside you with the grey dress on, that’s look great on her also. Does she blog also, which I am assuming yes?

    Keep up the great blogging.

    1. Thanks, Dianne:) That’s Beth in gray. She writes the wonderful blog, Style at a Certain Age!

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