Design Mom Gabrielle Blair Red Velvet Gucci Tuxedo

By Gabrielle. Photos by Justin Hackworth & Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit. You can see all the photos from the event on Microsoft’s One Drive.

I loved attending Alt Summit last month! There was so much good stuff going on. Some of you already know this, but for those of you who are new here, I’m one of the founders of Alt Summit and I run the conference with my sister, Sara, and a fantastic team. So of course, I attend every Alt Summit event. Sara works with sponsors, and I’m responsible for the speakers and topics at the conferences.

Some of the highlights of the event for me:

Lisa Congdon at Alt Summit

Lisa Congdon’s Opening Keynote. Having Lisa share her inspiring story about how here career has unfolded was the perfect way to start the conference. She was completely engaging, and attendees walked away feeling like they could learn something new, no matter what age or stage they were in.

Photobooth at Alt Summit Winter 2015

– Getting to see my kids enjoying the conference. Maude and Olive flew out to Salt Lake City and met me there on Wednesday. Several of their cousins were attending and it was super fun to see these teens interacting with attendees, going to classes, and helping out as needed.

Check in Desk at Alt Summit Winter 2015

– Seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Yesterday, I went through the business cards I collected and sent a quick note to each person. I can’t wait to see what sorts of collaborations come out of this year’s conference!

Painting Tiles for a Birthing Center in Haiti, with Every Mother Counts & Wayfair, and Alt Summit Winter 2015

– Connecting with really great sponsors who were excited to work with bloggers. I loved meeting the folks at Overstock.com. I totally took advantage of the Airbnb lounge for conversations with fellow attendees. And I had an awesome talk with Fandango in the hair and makeup lounge. Speaking of their lounge, I need to credit my hair and makeup in all of these photos to Fandango! I would meet Rubi of She Let’s Her Hair Down in their lounge at 7:00 AM each morning and she would absolutely transform me.

There were 25 excellent sponsors this year! It was super fun to see bloggers and site owners making connections, pitching ideas, and walking away from the conference with new business deals. That’s the best! And it’s one of the big reasons Alt exists.

Design Mom, Gabrielle Blair, in a red velvet Gucci tuxedo.

After the jump, I share photos of all the outfits I wore, plus more details and highlights from the conference. Be prepared, I show a lot of photos of me in the red tux. I can’t help myself. It’s such a cool suit!

Gabrielle Blair, Design Mom, What to Wear to Alt Summit, Winter 2015

Let’s start with Wednesday. The black striped top is from H&M — it’s made a some sort of material that feels like a cross between sweatshirt and neoprene. It keeps a super boxy shape and I love the look. I paired the top with yellow cropped pants that I’ve had for years.

Gabrielle Blair, Design Mom, What to Wear to Alt Summit, Winter 2015

The shoes are thrift store Gucci pumps that I found in Atlanta last May. The pumps have square heels and a boxy toe — I thought they worked wonderfully with the boxy shape of the top. Here I am speaking with the team from The Honest Company. They put an amazing display into the bathrooms. I love having Honest at Alt Summit!

The colorful necklace is super cool. It was a gift from Ben Blair for Christmas. It’s made of seeds!

Gabrielle Blair, Design Mom, What to Wear to Alt Summit, Winter 2015

On Thursday I wore a blush skirt with a simple black turtleneck. The skirt is from H&M, and the top I’ve had since France. I felt super ladylike in this outfit.

Gabrielle Blair, Design Mom, What to Wear to Alt Summit, Winter 2015

The heels I’ve had for ages. They’re from the Vera Wang Kohl’s collection. They match the skirt perfectly!

The necklace was a gift from my sister Sara. It’s a geode and it’s gorgeous! She said she found it when she was traveling in China for ten bucks. Bargain!

Gabrielle Blair, Design Mom, Downton Abbey Party, Winter 2015

Thursday evening was the opening party with a Downton Abbey theme. I love the dress I found for the party! There’s a discount department store in Berkeley called Jeremy’s — I found the dress there. It was available in tons of sizes and in two colors, lavender and cream. It’s a $300 dress but it was marked down to $40. Such a score.

Gabrielle, Maude, & Olive Blair at the Downton Abbey Party, Alt Summit Winter 2015

I couldn’t believe how ideal it was. It was one of those shopping situations where I had like 30 minutes to find something and found the perfect dress at the first store. Love that!

Gabrielle Blair & Laura Mayes at the Downton Abbey Party, Alt Summit Winter 2015

I ordered the gloves from Amazon, and the 3 strands of pearls were already in my jewelry collection (two were given to me by my Grandma Daisy).

Rubi did my hair and Laura’s hair for the party. We both felt gorgeous!

Jess Lee of Polyvore, Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom & Alt Summit, Susan Petersen of Freshly Picked

On Friday, I wore a red velvet Gucci tuxedo that I bought while thrifting in Atlanta last May. I’d been waiting for the perfect opportunity to wear it, and this was it!

I knew I would be up in front of people quite a bit that day, so I wanted to wear something that made me feel really confident. I can tell you now: red tuxedos are definitely confidence game changers!

Jess Lee of Polyvore, Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom & Alt Summit, Susan Petersen of Freshly Picked - Alt Summit Winter 2015 Keynote LunchJess Lee of Polyvore, Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom & Alt Summit, Susan Petersen of Freshly Picked - Alt Summit Winter 2015 Keynote LunchJess Lee of Polyvore, Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom & Alt Summit, Susan Petersen of Freshly Picked - Alt Summit Winter 2015 Keynote Lunch

That day, I moderated our Lunch Keynote. It was a Q&A with Jess Lee, the CEO of Polyvore, and Susan Petersen, the CEO of Freshly Picked.

Both of these women are amazing and had such good advice to share. I’ll be sure to share the video link of their keynote as soon as it’s ready. Also, the big ALT letters received a coating of glitter for the conference. They were so sparkle-y and gorgeous!

Gabrielle Blair at Alt Summit Winter 2015. Wearing a red velvet Gucci Tuxedo.

Then, that afternoon, I introduced our Closing Keynote Speaker, Dallas Clayton. If you ever get the chance to hear Dallas speak, don’t miss it! It was fun to watch the audience respond to him.

At first, attendees seemed a bit skeptical. Is this guy for real? But by the end, people were clapping, cheering and crying happy tears. His talk ended with a rousing standing ovation. He did an amazing job and was a wonderful way to close out the panels and classes.

Gabrielle Blair and Dallas Clayton hugging at Alt Summit Winter 2015

At the end, I got a 6-second hug from Dallas. Six seconds because, as we learned from Dallas, apparently it takes six second to make a heart connection. So sweet!

Gabrielle Blair, Design Mom, dancing at Alt Summit Winter 2015

Friday night was all about Mini Parties — there were nine different parties, each in a separate room on the 3rd floor of the hotel. Attendees hopped from one to the next. I had a fantastic time at all nine and Instagrammed each one if you’re curious to see what they are all like.

Sisters, Jordan Ferney, Liz Stanley, & Gabrielle Blair at the Lindt Chocolate Party at Alt Summit Winter 2015

I wore a colorful, modern hand-me-down dress from Laura Mayes, black tights, and black loafers — I was so glad to be wearing flats at that point. Hah.

I think I took approximately one million photos in the Lindt Chocolate photo booth. It was created by Jordan and Paul Ferney (my sister and brother-in-law), and it was absolutely genius. So much fun!

Alt Design Summit 2015 photographed by Justin Hackworth

Lastly, on Saturday, the conference classes are over, and attendees spend the morning on guided tours of the city, or skiing, or at Sundance, or traveling home. Or, they can come to “conversation lounge” at the hotel to make final connections with fellow conference goers. So on Saturday, I tend to go more casual.

Alt Design Summit 2015 photographed by Justin Hackworth

I wore a striped top and scarf from Ace & Jig, and some cropped black pants I’ve had for ages. Then, to make things really casual, I wore my favorite Vans.

What a conference. I feel so lucky that I get to be a part of it. The next Alt Summit happens in June. If you want to learn more about it, feel free to subscribe to the Alt Summit newsletter.

Now I’d love to hear: Have you ever been to Alt Summit? Or do you have plans to go? Any opinions on my outfits? Would you ever be into a red velvet tuxedo? What’s the best find you’ve ever discovered at a thrift store? Chime in below!