Full recap of the Texas Style Council Conference

While packing for my weekend at the Texas Style Council Conference, I tried to imagine what I'd see. After studying the schedule, I knew they're be a swap. I was excited to pack a vintage frock for Saturday night's dance. I made sure to charge my iPad to live-tweet during the panels. And I was prepared to meet, and hopefully mingle with, women who have inspired me through my development as a blogger. Bloggers such as Kendi of Kendi Everyday, Jentine of My Edit, Indiana of Adored Austin, Jessie of The Concrete Catwalk, and Jen of Jen Loves Kev were scheduled to be there, and I nervously anticipated taking pics of these fantastically stylish and inspirational bloggers from a polite distance. I settled on four extremely carefully chosen outfits, zipped up my suitcase, and set my alarm for early Friday morning.

After a long drive (made much easier by an epic playlist constructed by Erin - psych music and The Black Keys) we made it into Austin. We quickly unpacked, changed, organized our items for the swap, and hailed a cab to
The Texas Style Council headquarters, housed at 2nd & Colorado (201 W. 2nd Street) in downtown Austin. The Swap was organized by Swap.com and The Swapaholics, headed by Amy from Punky Style and my soulmate Melissa from Stealfinder. Market Publique shipped a huge box of vintage goodies to seed the swap with (some of which I was able to walk away with - squee!), and about a billion people contributed items to exchange.

Items organized for the swap

Checking out the goods. (Photo courtesy of Punky Style.)

Annnnd...they're off. It was hectic. And I loved every single minute of it.

(More photos can be seen on Swap.com's Flickr pool.)

There are two strategies when participating in a swap. The first is to wade patiently and carefully (well, as carefully as one can when prodded by 5290614 people scrambling to grab items) through things, only picking out items in your size and style. But the pros go another route - they grab whatever they can that looks the least bit intriguing, haul their pile into a corner of the room, pick out what they want, and return unwanted items to the tables. Which is exactly what I did (thanks to Suze for the awesome advice!) I walked away with a blue polka-dot dress, a vintage blazer from Market Publique, a gorgeous military jacket contributed by Indiana, a sequined tank, a cropped paisley velvet blazer, a maxi dress, and a really great long-sleeved polka dot mini dress from H&M (which, sadly, doesn't fit...anyone interested? It's a small size 4.)

Energized by the swap, I joined a group of bloggers (including Kendie and Brian, Jentine, Erin, Suze, Punky, and Kyla of Blue Collar Catwalk who might be making me new business cards!) at a rooftop bar for drinks. Then, accompanied by the creator of TIKKR Watch (who generously gifted each blogger with a watch with a white band - it's super cool!) to a Chinese restaurant. To sing karaoke. Seriously. Don't judge. I would post video, but I don't want to embarrass anyone. And by anyone I mean me.

On Saturday we woke up a bit late, and Erin, Suze and I met Tina of T Minus T Plus, Chastity of The Curvy Girl's Guide to Style, and Julie of Rosy + Tart for brunch at The Cheesecake Factory. I had the pleasure of meeting Tina and Chastity before, and they continued to impress me with their style and sweetness. As in, they were super sweet. Their clothes were sweet too. I am so happy these girls live in Dallas so I can hang with them more. Julie lives nearby in Fort Worth, and I'm looking forward to getting to know her better too. (P.S She makes the greatest road trip playlists. They're EPIC.)

Erin and Suze

Chastity and Tina

After brunch we headed back to TxSCC headquarters in downtown Austin for a bit of shopping. And outfit photos.

Thrifted J Crew blouse; Old Navy skirt; Old Navy belt; We Love Colors tights; Urban Outfitters 6x6 booties, Erin's bag; random Forever 21 bracelets

Erin, Kyla and I took a pushcab up to South Congress for continued shopping. It was super fun. Passing over the bridge we saw some kayaks which I mistakenly called canoes and was mocked for the remainder of the weekend. Forgive me, I'm from NYC...the only boat I'm familiar with is the Staten Island Ferry.

South Congress was amaze-balls. It seemed to be mecca for every hipster hobo nerd within a 3000 mile radius. There were slim boys in skinny skinny jeans, girls in cut-offs and horn-rimmed glasses, pierced hippie-types, women in vintage, men in vintage, and random dreadlocked guys playing the bongos. Everyone seems to be tattooed, which meant I fit in just fine.

Why yes, rasta-boy, I would LOVE a friendship bracelet!

We ate delicious Mexican food at Guero's Taco Bar, shopped in a few boutiques, and went searching for vintage at Uncommon Objects, a massive antique emporium with the most amazing themed booths. I was in heaven. There was everything from vintage musical instruments, old glass jars, and Mexican crafts, to vintage clothing, cowboy boots, and turquoise jewelry. Erin walked out with the most stunning handmade turquoise and silver ring. It was to die.

After shopping we headed back down to downtown to get ready for the TxSCC dance, located at the Bo Concept showroom. Erin and I changed into our party clothes in a parking garage. Because we're classy like that.

Vintage thrifted party dress; Gap crossbody bag; Gap Outlet tights; Stuart Weitzman wedges; Forever 21 bracelets; TIKKR watch


Then it was on to the party. The dance featured shops from 81 Poppies, Archives Vintage, The Spice Rack (where I bought a gorgeous vintage white sequined sparkly jacket!), and Clyde's Rebirth, among others. Nathan Russell Photography was also there taking hilarious photos of everyone. 

My new friends! Amy of Stylish Year, Kendie of Kendie Everyday; Jentine of My Edit, Suze, and Melissa of  The Swapaholics

Julie, Erin,Tina and I.

The next morning we returned to Bo Concept, where we mingled over breakfast tacos provided by Cantina Austin and morning cocktails  (uh, day drinking? Yes please!) from Plain Ivey Jane

With the adorable Katy, who attended the conference for inspiration to create her own blog!

Thrifted Club Monaco silk shirt; thrifted vintage maxi skirt; thrifted vintage belt; Forever 21 hoops

 Once brunch ended we made our way to Ballet Austin for a day of panels from some of the biggest fashion bloggers in the industry. I live-tweeted the entire conference, so if you're looking for expanded information regarding what was covered check out my twitter feed at @DressCourage with the hashtag #TxSCC. I also wrote an article on Authenticity in Blogging that will soon be featured on the Texas Style Council Conference website; my friend Pam covered the Going Pro panel on her blog Over 50 Feeling 40 - be sure to check it out.

The biggest treat was attending a break-out session on basic photography by Kendi and Brian. I learned so much about taking great photos, including the following:
  • When photographing indoors, place yourself near a window to maximize light.
  • If using a tripod, shoot from wait level to elongate your body. 
  • The best photo composition is based on the rule of thirds. Your optimal placement is at intersecting points, not in center of viewfinder.

I also got a chance to meet and talk to Jennine from IFB and The Coveted. IFB has done so much to advance my blogging, and it was a true honor to meet her.

Here's a few shots from the panels:

Kyla, Katy, and Jennine were so informative (and stylish!)

Some famous people: Dave Brown, Etsy's Social Media Specialist; Susan Gregg Koler, Modcloth co-founder and CCO; and Kendi (we all know her - duh)

Once the panels wrapped up, Erin, super-stylish Reiko from God's Favorite Shoes, the epically cool Laurel of Trophy Boutique and my new friend Heather from Inner Cupcake went to Casino El Camino for burgers. I ate a burger the size of my head. No joke. It was unreal. Then we headed to Aces Lounge for a fashion show sponsored by Etsy. I was blown away by the incredible and unique things small designers are creating. I wish I'd gotten pics, but I'm an old and was kind of worn out by that point. 

The next morning we woke up, scarfed down some breakfast, did a little blogging, and drove home. It was a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I am so grateful to Gretchen and Indiana for organizing the Style Council Conference. Can't wait until next year!

(On our way home, we passed this spaceship house somewhere outside Waco...which kinda ended the weekend on the perfect note.)

Take me to your leader...or back to Austin.


  1. Squeee! Love your recap! By the way, totally interested in the size 4 H&M dress. :)

    Wish I could have been there!

  2. Great recap! I liked hearing the pointers from the photography session since I did not attend that one! Also, thanks for the plug for what I reported on my site! You are so cute and looked great in every outfit!

  3. great job! it was a great weekend~

  4. Ha! I'm a size 4! Great re-cap and sounds like you had an amazing weekend!

  5. What a weekend... I still feel tired. But that may be b/c it took me 3 flights to get home today...
    It was great to meet you! We're a little like thrift sisters now, right? :)

  6. Oh.my.god. I'm going to drive to Texas and steal that vintage dress from out of your closet while you are sleeping. See you in about 10 hours.

  7. That looks like it was so much fun and very informative. I'm a tiny bit jealous!

  8. I particularlly enjoyed seeing you in dressier outfits and may I just say you rock the strapless party dress! The maxi skirt and silk shirt combo was equally stunning.

  9. Girl, you are so on top of it! :) Great recap.

  10. Thanks so much for the compliments! It took me ALL DAY to write this recap, and I'm so happy y'all appreciated it. I'm considering doing giveways of vintage soon (thought not this dress...I'm going to be buried in it, I swear). Is that something you'd be interested in?

    Christy, I have a pot of coffee on waiting for you :)

  11. My soulmate! Awesome, awesome recap of a awesome, awesome weekend. Cannot wait to cross-post/guest blog with you and, natch, come swap & swill & karaoke with you and Erin again in Dallas soon. <3

  12. It looks like everyone had a blast! I really wish I could have attended. Oh well, there is always next year.

  13. That was an EPIC EPIC recap. A++.

    That hamburger. I'm still talking about it. No lie.

  14. This post made me ill to my stomach. Not only did it make me really miss Central Texas (where I lived before moving to AK), but I am so eager to attend the style conference next year. SOOOO EAGER! This post was full of excitement. AHHHH!


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