5 Things I Learned from Attending Austin Fashion Week

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Hi, I'm Chelsey

Hey guys! Today’s post may end up reading a bit like a diary entry, but I felt it was important to take a moment and reflect on my time at Austin Fashion Week. I received a press credential to attend one of the shows this season and I walked away feeling incredibly inspired and grateful. I actually ended up purchasing a little keepsake at the pop-up shops despite mentioning in the vlog that I intended on window shopping…but hey, it’s always a good idea to support local businesses! Before I get into what I learned, let’s get into my fashion week outfit!

Austin Fashion Week Tips and Lessons

What I’m Wearing: Urban Outfitters dress | Urban Outfitters tights | Steve Madden boots | Amazon bag

What I Wore to Austin Fashion Week

As for my outfit, I had an idea of what I wanted to wear to the fashion show prior to landing on this look. Sometimes, the stores just don’t have what you’re looking for and you have to rethink your outfit. For a split second, I thought about dusting off my sewing machine but I simply didn’t have the time nor the patience.

Instead, I stopped by Urban Outfitters and ended up finding this little white shirtdress that’s perfect for Spring! It’s really comfortable and has pockets, so it’s an automatic win for me. Because I didn’t want to simply wear a plain white dress to fashion week, I added fishnet tights for a little edge. I immediately knew I wanted to wear red and leopard with the dress, but my go-to red boots weren’t practical for walking around in the city. Luckily, leopard boots were already on my shopping list for the year. I paired my newest boot purchase–the Steve Madden Carey boots–with a funky bag from Amazon and ended up with a look that I really loved!

Austin Fashion Week Tips and Lessons

Tons of people complimented my outfit at the event, which felt nice considering it was my first time putting together a look for Austin Fashion Week. What I learned from the outfit selection is to go with the flow. Despite having a vision of something else in my head, I was able to be flexible and build an outfit that actually ended up better than my plan!

5 Fashion Week Tips I Learned this Year

1. There are tons of great designers right under your nose, you just have to go out and find them.

It can be challenging finding new stores or brands when you’re used to shopping at the same places. Most of my clothes come from Topshop because they have styles that fit my taste and my body type, but even I get the itch to find new shops. Going to your local fashion week is one way to find new designs! The fashion show I attended had over 15 different designers presenting, so there was something for everyone. The best part is, local fashion shows will often take place in a single venue. Instead of driving across town to see one boutique at a time, the fashion show brings multiple designers to you. If you want to know a few of my favorites, check out the recap post on Texas-based designers.

2. Fashion shows are visually stimulating but can leave you physically exhausted at the end of the day/week. Be kind to your body in between events to avoid getting sick.

The New York bloggers talk about this all the time, but I admit I was surprised to relate at a local fashion event. The day before the fashion show, I went to a business panel and got to network with a few people. From there, I was shooting content for the blog, being active on IG stories, recording video footage, and responding to e-mails. Meanwhile, I still had to squeeze in time to get ready for the fashion show and grab a bite to eat.

At the show, I networked a bit, perused the pop-up shops, recorded footage, and checked out the event. Once the event was over, I went back to my hotel room for the night to work on editing the content I shot. Needless to say, it was a jam-packed 48 hours and that was only a fraction of what the girls experience at the larger fashion week events. Constantly being “on” and on the go can feel draining, so definitely stay hydrated and take mini breaks when you can. If you don’t take care of your body during those crazy busy times, your body will absolutely let you know.

Austin Fashion Week Tips and Lessons

3. Local shows are excellent opportunities to get your feet wet.

Austin Fashion Week consisted of 3 fashion shows across 3 days and 10 days of shopping for a cause. The shopping parties all took place at local stores and the fashion shows were confined to a single venue per night. By comparison, AFW is much more manageable than something like the massively popular NYFW. That’s not a knock to either event, simply an observation. Take advantage of the smaller events to test the waters before making a gameplan to attend NY, London, or Paris Fashion Week. If the local events feel overwhelming, you have the comfort in knowing you dipped your toes in before diving headfirst.

4. Staying near the venue(s) will prevent you from dealing with the headache of parking. Consider the upcharge a convenience fee or a peace of mind fee.

Even though I would consider going to Austin Fashion Week a pleasure, I was there to work. I say all that to say, sometimes these things are solo trips. When you have to go to events alone, it’s always a good idea to pick a hotel near the venue. For one, grabbing an Uber on your own…at night…as a woman…is risky. For two, driving yourself to the venue can be a major headache, especially in downtown areas.

If you can find a hotel in walking distance at a reasonable cost, I totally recommend it. I stayed off South Congress and having the luxury of walking to the venue that night and coffee shops in the morning was heavenly. There’s nothing like being able to leave your car in a parking garage for the weekend yet still have the freedom to explore the vicinity.

Austin Fashion Week Tips and Lessons

5. An industry may seem oversaturated, but there is always room for you.

Have you ever noticed that people always tag a creative field as oversaturated? Before influencing became its own “industry”, the fashion world was always deemed oversaturated and impossible to enter. Back in those days, it was discouraging. It seemed like you didn’t have a chance in the fashion world unless you lived in New York. While I admit there are significant pros to being in a city with the number of resources New York has, it isn’t impossible to create from where you are.

A similar question actually came up in the business panel I attended. A girl mentioned she liked where she lived but didn’t know if she could create her business in the city. The panelist responded by asking, “If not you, then who?” and it just stuck with me. Even attending Austin Fashion Week reinforced this idea of being able to create and build your own success from anywhere. There are local designers working hard and thriving, who says any market is oversaturated?

Austin Fashion Week Tips and Lessons

All in all, I felt so incredibly grateful to attend Austin Fashion Week! Since the out-of-state shows require much more prep and planning, I love that we have local events to experience outside of the more renowned shows. That being said, I would love to attend New York, London, Paris, or Milan Fashion Week in the future!

Before I go, there’s just one more thing I want to add:

Although I was in attendance doing my blogger duties, you don’t have to be an influencer to check out fashion week! I met a wide variety of people at the shows—fellow bloggers, fashion students, local residents, and business owners! Regardless of the background or reason for attending, everyone seemed to have a good time. If you want to find a fashion week near you, Fashionista has a comprehensive post covering tons of events within the US!

If you can’t get enough of the fashion week content, don’t forget to also watch my Austin Fashion Week vlog! I shared a view of the runway to give you a glimpse into the show! And of course, I’d like to send a huge thank you to Fashion X for the incredibly satisfying opportunity!

Austin Fashion Week Tips and Lessons

FTC: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, I receive a small commission when purchases are made from the links provided. Please show your support by shopping the links! Thank you to Fashion X for sending me to Austin Fashion Week! 

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