Friday, June 3, 2011

Convention Style Tips from Leadership Consultant Ashlyn Stallings

Convention may be in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, but you can bet ADPi's are no "shrinking violets" when it comes to dolling up in the heat. Here's your play-by-play on what to wear to Grand Convention 2011!

[Day 1: Welcome Banquet]
With the Meet & Greet Grand Council event just prior to the banquet, you'll want to be lookin' your cutest! Pull out a nice summer sundress and you'll be set for our first dinner together at the Biltmore.

[Day 2: Adelphean Processional]

Since 1941, ADPi sisters have been sportin' head-to-toe white for the Adelphean processional. It's a gorgeous tradition when every Alpha Delta Pi chapter's flag is carried out one by one. You'll need a white dress (keep those strapless dresses and white pants in your suitcase for this shin-dig--no slacks allowed--and you will need someplace to pin your blue "We Live for Each Other" sash, so if you are going to go strapless, pair it with a cute white cardigan) and white shoes.

Think 3-fingers width for straps. Photo courtesy of Lucky Magazine.

It can be tough to find an ALL white frock, but some shops you can typically count on to carry a Little White Dress are Lilly Pulitzer, J.Crew, White House Black Market, and Ann Taylor.

And uh, keep in mind "proper undergarments," ladies. Our sisters do indeed patrol those involved in the procession for non-optimal aesthetics. That's all I'm gonna say on that...

Photos courtesy of J.Crew.

Honestly, it's the white-shoe requirement that will put ya on the hunt. Lots of your sisters will admit to having one pair of white kicks that they pull out once every two years--just for this. Your shoes are required to be all-white (think: from the side view), so for example, veer towards this look:

Photos courtesy of Franco Sarto, Jack Rogers, and Jessica Simpson.

...and--precious as they are--away from these styles:

Photos courtesy of Ralph Lauren, Michael Antonio, and Tory Burch.

[Day 2-3: Luncheons/Business Meetings/Dinners]
For business meetings, workshops, the Alumnae Dinner, Panhellenic Luncheon, and those times you just HAVE to sneak over to Gift Mart, stick with classy pin attire. Nice slacks are just fine for this, but uh, nix the jeans, sisters. Don't forget to grab a cardigan--those big 'ole rooms can get chilly.

Photos courtesy of Lilly Pulitzer and Emerson Made.

[Day 3: Free Time!]
The historic Biltmore hotel was a favorite of Marilyn Monroe, Irving Berlin, the Wrigleys, and countless presidents--plus the hotel plays host to multiple glistening pools. I know I'll be sure to pack my bathing suit to work on that tan in the Arizona sunshine! But the list sure doesn't stop there--the Biltmore can hook you up with a tee time, tennis courts, spa, fitness classes, horseback riding, desert Jeep tours and more? My goodness--we're going to wish we had a few more days in Phoenix!

[Day 4: Diamond Awards Banquet]
Pull out the glitz and glam for this one, y'all--we're not calling this the "Diamonds in the Desert" for nothin'. The final banquet is typically an ultra-dressy affair, with floor-length gowns, sky-high stilettos, sparkling cocktail dresses, and of course--diamonds. Since these sisters didn't see you in your show-stoppin' semi-formal or Black Diamond Ball dress, now is a perfect time to pull it out of hiding. Who knows: you may have to strut in front of everyone to accept your chapter's big award!

You can go long...

Photos courtesy of Rent the Runway and Mod Cloth.

or short--they're both acceptable.

Photos courtesy of  Mod Cloth, A.B.S., and Tibi.

P.S. Just as a heads up: My first Grand Convention, I was floored at the amount of blue, lions, and diamonds. I mean, you'll be mixing and mingling with ADPi's who have had years to collect paraphernalia that shouts our affiliation. Get excited. :)

So get those bags packed and tie an extra ADPi luggage tag on the carry-on: Gotta be reppin' the blue and white in the airports--you never know when you'll meet another sister flying to Phoenix!

What are you planning on packing for Convention?


  1. Awesome tips Ashlyn! Thank you for sharing. <>

  2. Another AWESOME site for solid dresses:

    My all white dress and the Day 1 sundress came from there.

    And they have "Big girl" sizes for those plus size models like ME!