I’m back from the most magical week in the Big Apple and I’m so excited to share all of my outfits and NYFW schedule with you all but first, I thought I’d answer some of your most asked questions regarding this iconic week. Read on for my NYFW Q & A!
Before I begin, I just have to chat about my outfit. This was one of my faves and I could honestly wear it everyday! This Shopyte dress has the cutest collar detail and I just adore the color! It’s the perfect pink, actually 😉 It’s definitely something I would wear on a normal day but for fashion week, I decided to elevate it a bit by adding this incredible floral headband! It’s honestly the most gorgeous piece of wearable art I’ve ever seen. Each flower is so beautifully designed with the most intricate details – I love it so much! Merve Bayindir has a ton of really beautiful hat designs as well! Very Kate Middleton… and ironically, both brands are based out of the United Kingdom. For the remainder of my outfit, I mimicked the florals with one of my favorite handbags and added a simple, comfortable heel to finish it off. What do you think?
NYFW Q & A
Having just finished up my fourth season, I’ve become a bit of a fashion week veteran haha 😉 In my NYFW Q & A, I’ll be answering some of my most frequently asked questions:
How do I get invited?
Sadly, you can’t buy “tickets” for NYFW and the shows are reserved for press only 🙁 However, if you are a blogger or in a similar field, there are a few ways you can get invited: you will either just receive invites or you will need to reach out directly and pitch yourself. While these are the main two, there are a few more ways as well but I’ll save that for a different post 🙂
How do I start planning?
Often times, invitations are last minute… as in 1-2 weeks beforehand or sometimes just hours before the show! For this reason, I recommend booking your flight and hotel accommodations well in advance if there’s ANY chance of you attending a show/event/etc. However, you can’t do it too far in advance because you’ll want to refer to the official NYFW schedule to get an idea of which dates the shows will be scheduled. It’s usually around the same time bi-annually so you could probably estimate the timeline, however, I always wait until the official schedule comes out (maybe 6-8 weeks before) to book anything so I can schedule accordingly. You also don’t want to book too late because a.) flights become more expensive and if you’re from a rural area like I am, they can completely sell out and b.) your affordable hotel/AirBNB options become very slim.
How long should I stay?
I think it depends on your personal preference. Some people are fine with two days while others prefer staying the full week. In the past, I’ve typically stayed 4-5 days but this season, I stayed for a week. The main difference I noticed is that I wasn’t rushing around as much since I didn’t have to cram a million shows, events, meetings and showroom visits into a small amount of time. Staying longer also gave me much more time to explore the city, eat actual food (lol!), meet up with blogger friends and relax in between appointments whereas when I stay for a shorter amount of time I usually end up running from one thing to another resulting in skipped meals and no time for myself. Also, if you’re coming from the west coast or further, I’d try not to plan anything right when you get there. I ALWAYS miss events due to airplane problems or late arrivals and honestly, it’s much easier to adjust to the time difference. I didn’t have any issues with it previously but this time, I was definitely thankful that I didn’t “hit the ground running” as soon as I landed.
What is the best area to stay in?
To be honest, the shows are allll over the city! I’ve stayed in Midtown, Murray Hill, Chelsea and Tribeca and have loved them all for different reasons. Midtown was great for a “real” NYC experience since you can easily get to Times Square, Central Park and lots of other landmarks. Murray Hill was much more quiet and quaint. In Chelsea, we stayed right across from the Chelsea Market which was nice food-wise and it was also near Chelsea Piers, where a lot of shows are held. This time, we stayed in Tribeca which was really nice since it was literally right next to Spring Studios (another show venue).
How do I get around the city?
Prior to this season, I took Ubers and cabs but trust me when I say that they really add up! This time, I conquered my fear riding the subway and I’m happy to report that I didn’t get lost! It’s much cheaper BUT if you’re in a rush, I’d probably go with an Uber or a cab. If you’re close enough to the show venues, you could just walk. NYC is surprisingly very walkable!
What should I expect for my first NYFW?
A lot of craziness haha! But really, everything is SO fast-paced and you’ll be running around a ton!
I naively thought that I would be able to change my outfits multiple times a day. Reality check: Unless you are staying right near the venue, you won’t have time to change. You just won’t. Sometimes shows start late. Sometimes traffic takes forever. Sometimes you’ll find that you simply over-booked yourself. These are lessons we all learn 🙂 IF you have a packed schedule and insist on changing into a different outfit, I would bring it along in a tote but to be honest, you really don’t need to change multiple times a day. I think that most first-timers think they need to go above and beyond in the style department but really, one outfit per day is perfectly suitable. The only time I might change is for a night show but you could also make it work by adding in some sparkly accessories. And of course, you are welcome to change as many times as you’d like but I’m just putting that out there so you know what to expect 😉
Outfits in General
For some reason, new attendees feel the need to blow thousands on new clothing JUST for fashion week. Please don’t think that you have to go in debt trying to impress people. I promise that you can still be your fashionable self 😉 If you want to buy new things, that’s totally fine too! What I usually do is visualize what types of outfits I want to wear. From there, I’ll scour my closet for some hidden gems, reach out to some of my favorite brands for specific gifted or loaned items and then shop for the missing pieces if necessary (usually accessories of some sort).
Another thing I see some bloggers do is wear crazy things that are totally off brand for them (it would be like me wearing neon sportswear or a bike shorts and dad shoes combo…. such a funny thought lol!). I mean, fashion week is definitely the time to go CRAZY with fashion and wear the most outrageous things you can think of! However, I feel like it should still reflect your authentic, personal style. Personally, I still dress in the same aesthetic but I just elevate it a bit (example: the headband above) and I appreciate when others do this as well. NYFW is a mecca of fashion inspiration and although I love seeing and appreciate other people’s styles, it doesn’t mean that I have to implement it in order to be “somebody” or to get photographed. Don’t feel like you have to be someone you’re not. Being yourself is the best thing you can do! <3
Shows and Seating
If you’re pitching, you may get a lot of “no’s” at first and trust me when I say that I completely know that sinking feeling. Just remember that “no” does not mean “no” forever. It just means “not right now” and there are plenty of reasons as to why you may get that answer and it usually has nothing to do with you. If it’s a brand that you really love, just keep trying for the future 🙂
Regarding seating: don’t feel bad AT ALL if you don’t get front row or if you don’t even get seated. Many times if you’re standing, you can actually snag a seat once they start filling empty seats (sometimes you can even get front row!). Most importantly, if you get into a show, just be thankful for the opportunity and be grateful that you’re able to be there.
In a perfect world, I would shoot each outfit on the day that I wear it. The reality (at least for me) was that I didn’t have any time to do so! In the past, I’ve missed out on outfit photos just because there simply wasn’t enough time to take them or it was too hard to coordinate a shoot with other bloggers due to differing schedules. This year, I set aside some time in the morning to go to Central Park with a photographer. We knocked out six outfits in a couple of hours and I felt much more at ease knowing that I didn’t have to worry about getting photos for the rest of my trip and could instead focus on more important things.
I should also note the incredible difficulty it takes to shoot in a big city like New York. For those of you that live there, I commend you for getting picture perfect shots every time! Imagine this… little Lizzie hauling around a bright purple suitcase throughout Central Park. It was packed to the brim with clothing, shoes, accessories, you name it… just spilling out… much too big for the tiny bathroom. After my first outfit change, I knew I had to do something so scandalous… change in public. Four more times. In broad daylight. Luckily, I had a cami with me so I didn’t flash anyone and after years of changing in the car, I can honestly say that I’ve mastered switching between dresses seamlessly. Yes, I got a lot of strange looks. Yes, someone walked up to me with a confused face and told me that they saw me in another outfit earlier. Yes I changed on the famed Bow Bridge while being serenaded by music as a group of tourists walked by. But it was all worth it for peace of mind 🙂
Meeting Other Bloggers
This is both exciting and disappointing in a sense. I genuinely love connecting with people and when I meet one of my blogger friends in real life, it’s the best feeling! It feels like you’ve known each other forever and you just click. Some people are very genuine and are EXACTLY how you envisioned them to be from their blog, instagram, youtube, whatever. They are authentic and it makes you like and respect them even more.
And on the other side of the spectrum are people that are not at all how you thought they would be (even if you think you “knew” them). When you follow someone for a long time and feel like you connect, it’s extremely disappointing to find that it’s all an “act” when you meet them in real life. NYFW feels a bit like high school in a way. Some people are fixated on what you’re wearing, who you’re hanging out with, which shows/events you got invited to, whether or not you got front row, etc. Sometimes it can feel like a game – constant comparison and competition. Communication can be very surface level, which is hard for someone like me because I thrive on meaningful conversations and getting to know a person for who they are.
In general, I do find that most people are very warm, genuine and open to getting to know you. Don’t let a few bad seeds ruin your time. People like that are usually very insecure, jealous or just flat out mean girls and the way they treat you has much more to do with them than it does with you.
- Snacks (I usually bring nuts, granola and jerky with me)
- Bandaids (for your feet haha!)
- A portable phone charger
- A printout of your schedule
- Business cards
Do you prefer going in February or September?
I like both as they are good for different reasons! September is much bigger. You’ll likely be invited to more shows and events and the weather is much nicer but it’s hard to set meetings because everyone is so busy. February is much better for meetings and getting into bigger shows but the weather is very cold and due to that, there are hardly any events.
Favorite things about NYFW
- Connecting with my brand contacts
- Meeting blogger friends in real life
- Going backstage and seeing the magic of a runway show come to life
- Seeing all the gorgeous designs on the runway
- Meeting the designers (more on this next week!)
- Exploring the city
- Central Park
- Finding amazing food
- Gaining inspiration from everywhere you look
- The immediate sense of motivation you leave with
Least favorite things about NYFW
- Can be hard on your self esteem
- It’s stressful in so many ways lol!
- LOTS of planning and preparation
- Disappointing encounters with other bloggers
- Traffic (although I can live with it now)
Do I need to go to fashion week to be successful?
Absolutely not! You can live your life without ever stepping foot in NYC for fashion week and still have a successful career. Honestly, I think it comes down to why you think you should go in the first place. I think this is a mistake that many first-timers make. They think that they have to go because they see everyone else doing it or because they think it’s the “right” thing to do so they try to pack their schedule as much as possible. And while this is perfectly fine for a beginner, I think that as you go, you should have a specific reason as to why you’re attending other than just to be there and be seen. Preparing for NYFW is a TON of work so I think it’s wise to make it well worth your time. For me, I love connecting with my brand contacts and other bloggers in person and as an aspiring designer, I truly enjoy the shows and backstage experiences. It’s very much a business trip rather than a party trip for me. It just comes down to what it means to you and why it’s important for you to attend.
The most important thing?
HAVE FUN! And get ready for a lot of pinch me moments 🙂
Hope you loved my NYFW Q & A!
Do you have any other questions about NYFW (as a blogger or non-blogger)?
Let me know in a comment!