Thursday, August 30, 2012

Airing my Dirty Laundry. AKA what to wear: Rollercon Edition

***a note for you, my gentle reader*** It took a village to write this damn post. And it wouldn't even be done now if not for the efforts of a whole crew of people who tracked down and sent me photos taken during the trip. Even then, I had to use photos from last year. So extra credit thanks to Jersey and Commanda and Sam (and a few others who shall remain nameless to protect the not-so-innocent) for your assistance with photo coverage. And Max, who just took two outfit photos in our living room because for GAWD'S SAKE lets get this thing up already AMIRIGHT?

Sadly, I do not have pictures of myself in the gigantic pink woolen vagina suit. It left lint all over my tux that was a bitch to get off, but the color was quite flattering so if anyone has photographic evidence, please do send that along.

And for real-life packing inspiration, you should go check out Maggie's Mighty Closet, because those posts are some of my favorite things to read on the internet - Maggie and her friends have extraordinary style, with pieces that are applicable to the general population and don't involve running around convention centers half naked. Or at least, not posting poorly lit pictures of it.

For the last week of July, I went to Las Vegas for Rollercon, which has now become a bit of an annual tradition. Sam was added to the mix this year, and I am fairly certain he is now a permanent fixture at this event. Rollercon has a tendency - whether you skate or not - to get under your skin.

I personally think it's because of the fabulous "pants optional" celebratory nature of the conference - but Sam also pointed out that we spent 3 solid days watching games and attending lectures, and we had pants on for that. Well, at least he did.

Since I was traveling to Vegas from the East Coast (leaving the kids with my mom) and Sam was traveling from Maui to meet me, I had packed a suitcase at my mother's with a few things for the first couple of days before Sam arrived - but he was bringing a bag of "Vegas clothes" from home. These clothes were sequined, animal printed, high-heeled, mostly black, and worn with fishnets. Not a lot of call for those in Connecticut so I had left them in Maui for Sam to throw in his suitcase.

As a result, I ended up having 2 suitcases full of clothes at my disposal.
Which is why it's so remarkable that I ended up wearing this at least once Every. Single. Day.

And one night, I wore this:

I know, I know. You are sitting there shaking you head at this sad demonstration. I get it. But here's the thing - no one at Rollercon batted a fucking eyelash. I went to a lecture in that glitter-crusted, sequin-tailed body suit you see in the first picture (more photos below) and no one even noticed.

This is why I love Rollercon.

This may (secretly) be why Sami loved Rollercon, as well. Well, that and the Peppermill. Which is also, blessedly, a place where no one seems concerned if you show up dressed like.....well, dressed like this:

For your reference, I will go over the list of things I brought to Rollercon; but please keep in mind that the only thing you really need is a killer unitard and maybe some clean underwear. Or you can just jump in the pool fully clothed and  let the chlorine freshen you right up.
Whatever you decide, you really shouldn't wear your unitard on the plane because it makes people nervous and you don't want any trouble before you get your Rollercon on. Besides, you don't want to get any Xanax wine on there. SO the first step is having the right bags. This is a conference, and you will bringing home more than you came with. It could be a few new pairs of socks, or it could be a new bag full of gear - either way, be prepared. Bring an extra bag to fill, and bring a bag that you can easily carry around. Purses are a huge pain in the ass at something like this, which is why I bought this bag at IKEA right before I left.

This bag is, to put it mildly, The Shit. (or, as the Swede's call it, The Upptacka)

It's a wheeled backpack suitcase, and normally I would be totally averse to this EXCEPT it has a smaller backpack/padded laptop bag zipped on the front that is REMOVABLE.


This bag rocked my world. Commuters, moms, derby girls, and pretty much every other person on the planet should own this. I had a bag to hold all my gear/clothes/etc., and then a smaller backpack which doubled as my purse/briefcase during the day. Seriously, get one. That is all I have to say about that, except to stress that I have never loved a piece of luggage like I love this bag. I love this bag like I love my Vitamix - and that is a lot of love.

But what is IN the bag, you ask?

That is such a good question.

Here's a basic rundown of what I packed for Rollercon. Gentlemen of the derby world, I can't help you. Buy the bag, and then fill it with clean underwear and black and white shirts, a vaguely obscene black and/or blue outfit and a pair of dress pants, and you'll be good to go, I think. But no one is really looking at you anyway.

This one is for the ladies.

Let's start with the basics:
Skaters, you need a couple of black tanks or shirts, and a couple of white ones. All should have your name and number on the back. You need extra socks, and bandaids, and a few ziplock bags to make ice packs in your room with ice from the ice machine. You also need a huge sharpie. A pair of scissors is a great idea if you are checking your bag but airlines won't let you carry them on. You will need a couple of bandannas, and an air freshener to stick in your skate bag, or your hotel room will smell like a locker room.

I was off-skates again this year, so I got to play around a little bit with my clothing. I feel weird wearing my name and number as a non-skater, so I only brought a few personalized shirts. Like I said, Vegas for me equals glitter and animal prints. I am very serious about this.

And to properly rock the flash, you need some basics in supporting roles. I started by packing 2 pairs of basic black leggings. For me, leggings are basics. For you, this may be weird, and you may be wondering why one would wear such a thing in public. Well, my dear, one would wear these things at Rollercon without raising an eyebrow. Put on your leggings, and be comfortable for goodness sake. We're all friends here. Also, I brought my team jacket, and I purchased a neat-o knit circle scarf from one of the Rollercon vendors that is cotton-blend, soft, machine washable, and nice to have in the air conditioning. I brought rubber slippers (aka flip flops) for easy, lightweight footwear that I can also wear by the pool and won't be upset if I lose. Shoes (and other things) get lost a lot at Rollercon. Speaking of the pool, bring a suit. And if you want to walk the Strip, bring some sneakers or something like that.

I added one animal print top, a pair of skinny jeans, and a pashmina in case I felt like getting fancy, as documented by Max here at home for your (albeit blurry) viewing pleasure.

I also had knee-high black boots and a little black dress that for some reason compelled senior citizens to stick their faces in my cleavage.

I am not kidding.

That really happened.

In a tent in front of a lot of people, on stage, under a tight rope.

Don't worry, they bought me two drinks.

I also packed an outfit for the black and blue ball.

And an outfit for the Reidell costume party - this year the party was luau themed, and our team went dressed as warriors, in matching sarongs and tribal tattoos.

Despite all of this, I didn't really have anything appropriate for my role as MC and I had a few presentations to make during the weekend. Which is why - almost as soon as we arrived - Sarah bought me the aforementioned tuxedo, which was a one-of-a-kind from Derbyskinz

Now we are home, and the glitter and sequins and animal prints are (mostly) put away.
Side note: these things are a bitch to wash. I have glitter all over my bathroom, bedroom, porch, and laundry.

But our neighbor totally wants to go to Rollercon next year.

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