Simply Stylist Fashion and Beauty Conference recap

July 30, 2015

Hey fashionable followers!

We are nearing the end of July, which means we only have one month left of summer! It is time to bust out all of your favorite summer outfits before you have to pack them away once again come September.

Before I start off today's new post, have you taken a look around the blog lately? There are lots of big changes! You can now find tabs at the top of the page to learn more about me, as well as access my personal Instagram page, The Fashionable Fox Instagram page, my Pinterest profile and my Polyvore profile.

It is also way easier for you to share content on your favorite social media sites! Just use the bubbles at the bottom right corner of the screen.

The email club is new and improved too, so make sure to sign up, even if you already signed up once before! I'll be able to send you direct Fashionable Fox updates!

Finally, you can find my Instagram posts on the right side of the page. That way, you can keep up to date with all of my Outfit of the Day (#OOTD) posts and my fashion excursions, as well as some other fun stuff. Follow me on Instagram for even more photos at @mslaurafoxy!

I've been working hard on all of these great new features and I hope you all love them just as much as I do!

I've been so inspired to improve my blog lately, and I received some really great ideas and advice when I attended the Simply Stylist Fashion and Beauty Conference in Chicago a couple of weekends ago.

Simply Stylist is a company who's main goal is to connect people. Bloggers, stylists, or just fashion lovers in general are brought together to build relationships. Whether you are just looking to make some new friends or are looking for a connection to spark your career, Simply Stylist events are centered around networking.

Photo from 

Simply Stylist hosts the Fashion and Beauty Conference in three different cities: Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. They also host monthly sessions that teach a variety of valuable lessons about the fashion industry.

The Fashion and Beauty Conferences are held once a year, and this year, I decided to buy a ticket and go, and I am very glad that I did! Not only did I meet new people (including my favorite blogger, Lakeshore Lady! *starstruck*), but I also felt so inspired to keep working my hardest at being a fashion blogger.

So, let me break down my day at Simply Stylist! :

6:30am: My alarm woke me up bright and early! I didn't get much sleep that night because I was so excited/nervous for the event- but I got out of bed and had my daily bagel and orange juice. I wanted to leave my house for the city at 8am, so I gave myself plenty of time to get ready.

Now, I had my outfit planned out since May, but I wanted everything to be perfect! I'll fill you in on what I wore, and then you'll see a picture of the full look later on in this post. I picked out a black and floral Merona shift dress from Target that I fell in love with. I then paired it with rose gold block heeled sandals and a matching statement necklace; both from New York & Company clearance!

It was really important for me to still dress for less; considering that is what I am passionate about and what I write about for all of you. As I mentioned before, I found my dress at Target for $25! The size I have is no longer available, but you can find it in a plus size here. My New York & Company criss-cross metallic sandals were only $13, but they are no longer available. I also found my New York & Company statement necklace for $5, but it is also sold out. My retro sunglasses are from Ann Taylor LOFT and are only $15! You can find them here. The bag I used was my hot pink Coach Turnlock Leather Tote that I found at the outlet last year for $90. Find it on Amazon here.

After I did my hair and got dressed, accessories and all, I did my makeup. I kept my face and eyes really simple; I used my new L'Oreal Nude Palette 1 on my eyes and finished with Covergirl's Full Lash Bloom mascara (love this stuff!). I added some color to my cheeks using Avon's Be Blushed Cheek Color in Golden Rose. I swear by those blush sticks! I kept my makeup simple so I could add the final touch; my bright pink lipstick! I wore E.l.f. Cosmetic's Moisturizing Lipstick in Flirty and Fabulous. My look was complete!

8:20am: Okay, so maybe I didn't leave at 8am like I planned. Leave it to me to be late! But hey... at least I would be FASHIONABLY late. ;)

A quick selfie in the car! (which I sent to mom)
9:22am: I made it to the event! The conference was held at the Dana Hotel and Spa on State Street in Chicago. The valet took my car and I headed into the hotel. Check-in didn't begin until 9:45am, so I took a seat in the lobby and ended up meeting two new lovely ladies; Hope and Nicole!

My business cards I had made to pass out at the conference!

10:00am: Check-in began and I received the itinerary for the day, a pen and my name tag. Everyone headed to the tables for brunch and I sat with the ladies I met in the lobby, as well as some new people, including Illeana and Caitlin.

Brunch was delicious! Pancakes, eggs, bacon, fruit, hashbrowns... and of course, MIMOSAS! YUM! Our silverware even came wrapped with a little inspirational quote. Mine said "Dream big and dare to fail." The founder of Simply Stylist, Sarah Boyd, who I had the pleasure of meeting, shared her story during brunch, and let me tell you, that woman is such a #GIRLBOSS!

The Simply Stylist brunch. (yum!)

11:45am: All of us VIP ladies finished brunch and headed up to the rooftop (yes, the rooftop!) of the hotel! It was an incredible view- the walls were windows and you could see so much of the city! They had comfy couches and front row seats for us, so I was only a few rows away from the front.

A look at the incredible view!
View from my seat.
A picture by the window!

I then discovered that the rooftop had an outdoor patio, so I went outside to snap a few shots. Here's your look at my full ensemble for the day:

There's nothing better than Chicago rooftop selfies!
12:00pm: It was time for the panel discussion to start! Sarah Boyd kicked it off with a great introduction.

How great is Sarah's outfit? She told us she found her white jumpsuit at Forever 21!
The host of the panel discussion was Catt Sadler! Only the coolest anchor on E! News- and she was so much fun!

Catt Sadler said that there are "no mean girls or boys allowed" at this event. Love!
Next, the panelists were introduced. Members of the panel were Corri McFadden, founder of eDrop-Off; Jacey Duprie, the fashion and lifestyle blogger better know as Damsel in Dior; Joey Maalouf, celebrity hair and makeup artist and co-founder of The Glam App; and Sazan Barzani, fashion and beauty blogger.

From left to right: Sazan Barzani, Joey Maalouf, Jacey Duprie, Corri McFadden, Catt Sadler.
Each panelist shared their story and had some very inspiring things to say. Although I gained something different from each of them, I think the greatest lesson I learned from the panel is to never give up on following your dreams.

1:30pm: The panel opened up to the audience to ask questions. It was great to see what other bloggers had questions about, because we are all swimming in the same sea. I stepped out of my comfort zone and raised my hand to ask a question, and Catt Sadler picked me! I asked "what advice can you give on growing your audience?" All four panelists chimed in to answer, but the main advice they gave was to always believe you are a big deal, and the followers will come.

Sazan giving some great advice!
Pink tote, pink toes, and metallic sandals. And my Simply Stylist itinerary, of course!
2:00pm: The panel came to a close and it was time to move on to the brand experience and breakout sessions downstairs. Before I headed down, I went out to the patio one more time, and lucky for me, I met one of my favorite bloggers, Lakeshore Lady! I felt like I was meeting a celebrity, in all honesty. She was just the nicest!

2:20pm: When I made it downstairs, the place was a full on party! A DJ was playing great music, there were plenty of appetizers and drinks, and different brands were all providing some services! The Glam App was offering free hair curling and makeup touch-ups; OPI was hooking you up with a free manicure; Soothe was giving complementary chair massages and California Tan was offering free temporary sun tattoos. Illustrator Julija Lubgane was even sketching outfits, but she was all booked by the time I got in line. (darn!) There was even a photo wall with props to take some fabulous pictures!

I didn't have the chance to make it to the breakout sessions, because the rooms were all full, but I did get to enjoy the brands and the yummy appetizers! The breakout session speakers were: James Nord, founder of Fohr Card; Cara Santana, fashion expert and entrepreneur; Lauren Gores, lifestyle blogger and host; Marcellas Reynolds, style expert; and Catalina Su, celebrity makeup artist.

 Some new friends! Nicole and AllyPhoto courtesy of Simply Stylist.
4:30pm: After I enjoyed the brand experience for quite some time, I decided it was probably time for me to head home. I wanted to beat some of the Chicago traffic, so I said goodbye to the lovely ladies I met, thanked Sarah Boyd for creating such a fabulous event and headed downstairs. 

Before I left, I was given a huge Simply Stylist swag bag filled with so many goodies! Take a look: 

My Simply Stylist VIP gift bag!
This adorable canvas bag was filled to the brim with different foods and drinks, makeup, hair products and more, including a $50 giftcard to Neiman Marcus LastCall Studio, which I plan to use this weekend! So excited about all of these treats!

The whole day was fun and inspiring- I came home with lots of business cards, new connections and confidence in myself and my blog.

Some of the awesome women I met!
Love my VIP Fashionista name tag!
It's no easy task being a fashion blogger, I'll tell you that. A lot of time and energy goes into getting everything how you want it, and sometimes, that doesn't even feel like enough. The amazing thing about an event like this is that it brings a bunch of powerful women together who are interested in the same things and forms a community full of passion and positive energy. And that's a community I am proud to be a part of.

The main idea I took away from my day at #SimplyStylistCHI ? Simply Stylist said it best: "Do what you love." 

I love to shop and I love to find great deals. When I find the perfect piece at Goodwill or when I put together a killer outfit, nothing beats that feeling of excitement and accomplishment. 

And I especially love writing about it for all of you.

So- are you doing what you love today? Get out there and do it.



  1. Great post!. It was awesome meeting you and becoming friends. You are so right, everyone was so supportive.


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