Cheapskate: Style Wars – Business Trip

Anti-Couric is taking an overnight business trip to NYC next week. She’s got a conference to go to. As previously mentioned in these posts, she’s a light packer — and if you’ve ever seen her, you’ll know she doesn’t like to iron. So she’s got a packing challenge ahead of her and we decided to take it on head first.

Asian Persuasion:

So the Anti-Couric is a lady from my style of packing — anything that involves having to haul out the hotel room iron and questionable ironing board is a no-no. So, most pants are out of the question. The nice thing about dresses is that tights don’t take a lot of room and if you find the right one, you can pull it off with comfy flats–which also save suitcase room.

I found this dress on sale at for $44.99. Throw in some tights for $6.99, and you get free shipping. With 2% back from ebates, it comes to about $51. The dress is black, with a little kick so it can be used for work or play, making it a good investment. Since it’s not fitted, it’s bound to be comfortable while wandering around a conference or exhibit hall floor. Since it has some fun ruffle detail, you can wear simple shoes and accessories, also cutting down on what you have to pack.

For day two, I kept with the dress theme, but went for a cable sweater dress at Ann Taylor Loft. Since they were on one of their 40% off everything kicks, it worked out in our favor. Originally $89, then on sale for $69.99, and minus another 40%, that makes it $42. (If you’re buying other stuff, shipping is free for orders of $125 or more…if not, save the $7 and haul your butt to the mall). Not bad for a work outfit when a suit could easily cost you $200. Again, you can wear it with heels, boots, or flats and it’s not too confining for long days of doing business. Since this is pretty basic, you can kick this one up with a colorful scarf or bigger, funky earrings.


In case you haven’t noticed, it’s cold outside and I’ll be on train platform, and trudging from Grand Central to my hotel, to the conference venue, and then doing it all in reverse. So, on day one I fully intend to be warm and comfortable. The other day I got a pair of GAP trousers for free thanks to a BOGO sale, but since I can’t replicate that deal for you, dear readers, I’m resorting to choosing a bland pair of pants from Old Navy. For $14.97 — on Tuesdays you can get 10% off — they’ll do (at least they will if you’re a size 0).

I took a cue from the AP and headed over to Ann Taylor Loft to find a sweater which was marked down to $49.99, plus the 40% off — which makes it $30. Because it’s the winter and there will be walking involved I’d likely wear this with boots–most likely a pair I could also wear with day two’s outfit.

This outfit was a bit trickier. I’ve got intentions of wearing a jersey dress that rolls up into a ball, with tights, and a sweater. But a decent jersey dress can be hard to come by on Cheapskate terms–and that is more work appropriate and less sporty. So, rather than hunt down a dress I decided to reuse the sufficiently nondescript pants. The nice thing about trousers is that they all kind of look the same and no one pays much attention to them. It’s plenty easy just to reuse the pants for a second day without anyone catching on. (Yeah, I’m gross I know, but by the second day of these things I’m usually ready to gnaw my own arm off to get out anyway.)

It appears that all tops are now designed for warm to mild weather. People don’t seem to like sleeves anymore. Nonetheless I searched Ann Taylor Loft for a blouse to once again take advantage of the 40% off deal. I found this blouse for $49.50 (about $30 after the 40% off). It’s kinda piratesque, but nothing a cardigan can’t take care of. And there you have two days worth of business attire for about $75. Sounds pretty good to me.