Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What to Wear to San Diego Comic Con (SDCC)

This year was my first-ever Comic Con, and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I knew there would be lines for everything, cosplay would be top-notch, and that it would be unlike any other convention experience I have had. Most importantly, I knew it would be absolutely huge. There are really no words for how massive the convention itself is – there are over 130,000 attendees each year, a gigantic expo hall with all the big names in the entertainment industry, and even spill over into other hotels and venues near the convention center. My experience at SDCC was unreal. 

With so much to do and so much walking, I knew that I didn’t want to go in costume this year and add more stress to my experience. I was faced with a dilemma I never really have at other conventions – what do I wear?! Without costumes, the possibility of hotel stops in mid-day, and a huge variety of temperatures, I was unsure what to pack. Now that I’ve been there and experienced it myself, I have put together a little guide for what to wear to the show. Hopefully you can adapt it to your style and needs!

What to Wear to Comic Con
My favorite outfit from the convention!

Adapt for the Weather

First off, the convention is in San Diego, California and is always during the summer. Depending on where you are from, the weather might be dramatically different. For me, a July day in Texas is usually hot, hot, hot, but in San Diego, I was freezing! 60 - 70 degree weather is not my friend. Knowing this, I brought along a few different sweaters to keep warm. Even if you love that kind of weather, temperature fluctuations are common at a convention, so stick to an outer layer that you can adjust. I was able to roll the sleeves of my favorite cardigan up if it got too warm.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

Since the convention is so huge, it takes a lot of walking to get anywhere. Definitely bring your most comfortable pair of shoes!  They don’t have to be tennis shoes, but even my most comfortable flats caused a few blisters at the end of the four days. Use your best judgment. Some of my friends even brought fuzzy slippers for the end of the day. 

Dress with Pockets!
Dresses with pockets are so useful. 

Think About Functionality

My biggest revelation this convention was that dresses with pockets are seriously awesome. I already have many well-loved dresses with this functionality, but it was indispensable for Comic Con. Armed with my cell phone in one pocket and my camera in the other, I was always ready for a photo opportunity or social media giveaway. Any kind of pockets will do, so if you're a fan of jeans, the same applies.

Bring a Backpack

Although you might only bring your wallet, phone, and other essentials, the amount of free things you will receive necessitates a larger bag. From free t-shirts to buttons, posters, and other swag, your bag will most likely be full by the end of every day, even if you aren’t buying anything. The convention itself gives away large bags each year, but I found it easier to carry and keep track of my own backpack. I also heard that a lot of the convention bags broke, eek!

The Bottom Line

By the end of the convention, I realized that my ideal convention “uniform” consists of a dress with pockets, a cardigan, comfy shoes, and my trusty floral backpack. Although I wore jeans for a few days, they just aren't as comfortable for walking around and are harder to adjust with temperature fluctuations. Of course, that is just my opinion, and your mileage may vary. The bottom line here is: wear something that you will be comfortable in and that you feel good in! I feel like I will definitely be more prepared for SDCC next year, if we get to go again.

What is your ideal convention outfit?

P.S. -- More SDCC posts incoming! I'm organizing my photos and writing away. :) 
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