It’s been a few years now that my husband Ryan has done art shows. There is rarely a month that we don’t have at least one show to sell at, so I’ve had to dress for all types of weather (even when indoors). I’ve learned the hard way that some outfits, however cute, are impractical for long days of unloading/loading heavy boxes, sitting in the blazing sun, or feeling the wintry draft from the constant flow of people through the door. I’ve honed my skill at finding “comfy cute” outfits, and I thought I’d share my advice if you are looking for the same. It doesn’t even need to be for art shows, you could be looking for something to wear for working/attending conventions, casual fundraising events, long days for sporting events, or maybe a group work activity.
*These are recommendations for casual events, not events that require formal wear or suits. All I can say for those is if you have to wear heels, make sure they are comfortable enough to wear all day!*
Sometimes you’re lucky enough to snag some shade, but usually it’s long, hot days directly in the sun. My number one summer art show accessory is sunscreen…I’ve have some really weird one-sided tan lines when I forget. Otherwise, I try to wear breezy outfits that aren’t made with too thick of a material. Nothing I’m going to constantly tug at or adjust. Also material that has a bit of stretch, since constant activity is easier when your clothes aren’t stiff.
I usually avoid jeans, short skirts or short dresses. I have to bend down a lot and sit in folding chairs, so I’ve found jeans too tight and hot, and breezes difficult with shorter outfits. I’m not a huge shorts person, but they can be comfy when they have some stretch and aren’t too short.
I like maxi dresses that flow free from the waist down (and are hemmed for my height with sandals on), jumpsuits with wide legs, and rompers that also have flowy, wide legs.
I chose colors and materials that hide sweat well, so dark shades or busy patterns work best.
If you are a pants person, but don’t want to be sweltering, stretchy capris are a great compromise.
Also, if the outfit I like is sleeveless, I try and ensure I can still wear a regular bra with it. Nothing sucks more than tugging on a strapless bra when you’re hot and sweaty!
My hair is always up in a bun or curly pony tail, usually adorned with a scarf or headband for a pop of color.
Fall and spring can be tricky times of year to dress for, some days will be sunny and warm, other days will be rainy and cold. I pack a rain coat that is easy to stuff in my bag in case the weather changes, and wear shoes that won’t be super uncomfortable when wet.
I have a few great pairs of ankle boots that are comfortable to wear all day, or I wear cute chucks. I avoid sandals or flats because my feet get cold easy, and it’s more cozy/comfortable wearing socks.
I like wearing my stretchy, high waisted jeans during these times of year, but only if I know the weather will be chilly. If the weather will potentially be unseasoned warm, I might risk it with boot cut jeans (not my skinny ones that are constricting when it’s hot), but usually I’d wear one of my summer outfits if it’s really warm.
Light layers on top is key, since you will feel hot and cold throughout the day, depending on how active you are at that moment. I like slouchy sweaters, or a cute tee and jacket combo.
Usually I still put my hair up in these months, because I still get hot moving around so much. Sometimes though I have my hair down, but pushed back with a headscarf or headband, to keep my hair out of my face.
In the winter I wear my flat riding boots, ankle boots or chucks. With jeans, I pair them with a sweater, or a top with a cardigan. I prefer cute sweater dresses that aren’t too tight, worn with some thick tights. Other stretchy, thicker material dresses with tights works well too. Even though most of Ryan’s winter shows are indoors, the doors are constantly being opened by event goers, or the space is really drafty. For that reason, I have a scarf, gloves and my winter coat handy.
I love wearing berets in the winter (hides dirty/messy hid well), and just curl or braid my hair.