1. Don’t expect food. There’s a reason that those perfectly-coiffed glamizons fit into sample sizes and it isn’t that junior bacon cheeseburger you’ve been dreaming about since 8am. Good news is–Wendy’s downtown is open late. Just saying.
2. Don’t expect to be drinking all day/night. In retrospect, this was a really good thing. Most of the shows are sponsored by water brands and other refreshing non-alcoholic beverages. And with sweat constantly dripping down your back, the sight of the coconut water vendor is enough to spark the singing of angels from above.
3. Expect to uber your ass all over town & expect it to cost about double what you thought it would. We got smart and signed up with codes like “riding 30” that give you your first ride for free up to $30. After that, the several additional rides from downtown to South Beach ended up costing us a lot more than we bargained for.
4. People will be pushy/rude [I guess I should have expected this]. Especially people who are running the shows. Some areas felt like we were herded cattle.
5. Expect to always be eating on the run. While we had originally thought that we’d have enough time to have a relaxing brunch when we arrived in Miami, that just wasn’t the case. Being bloggers, we did stop to shop real quick before the shows, but eating always took a ride on the back-burner. There just wasn’t enough time.
6. Pack more than you think [really.] The four of us laughed so hard when we all rolled up with suitcases big enough to stuff a body in, but truth be told–I really did use most if not all of the outfits I had packed. Blame it on the heat–changing several times was definitely necessary.
7. You will need to change about 6 times a day mostly due to how profusely you’re sweating. Going along with #6, it is imperative that you change or else you’ll be able to ring yourself out by the time dinner rolls around.
8. Shows almost always start late. Getting there early is great though, because it gives you a chance to network and check everything out.
9. Leave about 30 minutes early even if the next show is only 2 miles away. I was in disbelief myself of this particular notion, but turns out it’s completely true. You MUST give yourself a considerable amount of time to get to the next event because traffic is a killer.
10. Heels are a bad idea. So I brought a long a pair of 3 inch chunky heels thinking “Yeah, these will work. They’re lower than what I would normally wear, so they should be comfortable.” Yeah…nope. By the end of the day my dogs were barking and I had wished that I would’ve just swallowed my pride and sported some cute flat sandals instead!
11. So is silk. Because I’m a nerd that googled what to wear to Miami Swim Week, I came across this article warning not to wear any piece of silk clothing. I packed one silk dress [just in case] because I love the color and cut but I’m so happy I didn’t end up wearing it.
12. NEVER wear your hair down or you’ll end up looking like you were thrown overboard the Titanic by the end of the night. I tried to do the half up-half down look with curls. I must be nuts because I looked like a drowned rat within two hours. Shoulda done the bun.
13. Make friends with the staff at shows [you may get drink, line, or seating preference]. My friends figured this out real quick when we were dying of heat at the Mara Hoffman show. Making friends with the staff helped us to get some delicious iced tea drinks and champagne when we needed it most.
14. Take tons of photos/videos [you never know what you’ll use]. One thing I regret is not toting my DSLR camera everywhere with me despite how heavy it may be. iPhone cameras just do not do the shows any justice.
15. Don’t expect a goodie bag. Going to the shows is prize enough. Getting a goodie bag is cool but most of the time it just forces you to consolidate so you aren’t lugging everything around all day.
16. Your best bet for attire is probably being naked but since that isn’t socially acceptable I’d go with BREATHABLE maxi dresses, crop tops, thin shorts, lightweight skirts, and definitely NOT what I wore. I wore a bodycon-style skirt that I had purchased from ShopBop a week earlier thinking a skirt’s a skirt. Not true–the fabric wasn’t even close to breathable. I would’ve enjoyed nothing more than to have sported a breezy skirt and crop top. Coulda, woulda, shoulda.
17. The models will be about 1-2 feet taller than you and you may lose them if they turn to the side, but that’s okay–they’re beautiful and so are you. You know that episode in Sex and the City where Carrie remarks at how crazy it is that models “walk among us”? Well, that’s how I felt when I was watching the Gottex show and then stood next to two models from the show about 15 minutes later while waiting for a cab. It’s easy to imagine feeling bad about yourself when one towers over you with her amazing street style and $7,000 bag in tow, but then again–maybe she wishes she had your curves…
18. Pretty much every other person you run into will have one or more of the following: shoes you can’t afford even after your Christmas bonus, a nose or boob job, overly excited eyebrows compliments of plastic surgery, and/or the secret to self-tanning. It’s the Olympics of people watching.
19. Messenger handbags should be the only handbags you carry. Being hands-free helps immensely when shifting through lines and masses of people. Plus, messenger bags with storage are perfect for toting around the camera!
20. Wait for the professional photos to post because yours of the models will never turn out perfectly clear [they’re pretty much trying to qualify for the Olympics when they
walk run down the runway]. I tried so hard to snap the perfect photos from the runways but these girls were bookin’!
21. Don’t. Forget. Your. Business. Cards. You never know who you’re going to randomly run into.
22. Always be prepared for a photo op [I realize this contradicts #20, but Mara Hoffman was right in front of me at one point!] I was super into Snapchatting the Mara Hoffman models in the garden of the Versace Mansion, when lo and behold Mara herself walked right in front of me, allowing me to get an amazing photo on the spot! Additionally, be ready to get your blogger on because there are some fantastic walls perfect for photos right in Wynwood. Want proof? Check out this article.
23. Avoid foundation and excessive eye makeup lest they start running down your couture within 20 minutes of application. Your best bet is tinted moisturizer, lipstick/gloss, and a touch of mascara. Believe me the blush will come on its own when you step outside.
24. Don’t expect to have time to chill by the pool. Between uber & burger runs, you’re lucky if you change before you crash into bed at 1am.
25. Expect to have the time of your life. I’m so glad I went. I had the most amazing time with some amazing women. 🙂
What other advice would you have for first time Miami Swim Week goers?
Stay tuned for my next post about the Gottex & Mara Hoffman shows!