Sunday, January 16, 2011

WPPI: What to WEAR?!?

You know that horrible feeling in your gut when you show up to a party and are woefully underdressed? That happened to me quite a few times during my first trip to WPPI. I had virtually no clue going in how fancy people got trussed up for events and I also had never been to Vegas before - two dings against me! While we've covered a LOT of WPPI topics here, this one hasn't been discussed before and while it's not remotely photography related, I thought I'd pipe in and hopefully save at least one person from the mortification I felt my first year!


The key element for your clothing during the day should be comfort! Not only will you be doing a lot of walking (make sure your shoes can withstand being walked in for many miles!) but you will be going in and out of warm/cool rooms. One thing I have quickly found out in Vegas is that they don't use their heat often and it's not really well regulated. If it's cold again (which it has been during WPPI time the past three years) you will be going from warm to cold and back again fairly often so make sure you wear layers! A room may be cold when you initially enter it for a platform class but it will quickly warm up the more and more people pack in. The Trade Show floors are always hot - last year almost unbearably so at times. However, to get to one of the trade shows you have to go outside so keep that in mind! Finally make sure whatever you are wearing can go through the sit test - don't wear anything you can't sit in for at least 2 hours comfortably!

HOWEVER! Don't dress lazily or in something that you wouldn't leave the house in. Think of what you wear for engagement sessions or meetings with clients. Something that looks good but you can move in as well. Dress smart but this isn't anything you wear a suit to (although some do!).

Bottom line: jeans, t-shirts, sweaters, button-up shirts, casual shoes and sneakers are what you'll find most of during the day.


This is where my downfall happened. I had no idea how fancy it gets in Vegas, none. This small town girl from Ohio thought jeans and a cute shirt would cut it for dressing up in Vegas. Ha!!!! Some of the parties get fancy - and the awards show with WPPI has always been a dressy affair. Beyond that, most of the restaurants within MGM are classier places where you are going to want to dress up a bit (no jeans!) when dining. Make sure you check with the host of the party to see if they mention the style of dress (i.e. Airplanes and Blazers is black tie this year) to plan accordingly. If a style of dress isn't mentioned, you are still going to want to make sure you have some fancier duds on hand. Guys, make sure to bring at least one 'snazzy' outfit - shirt & tie and pants. Girls - make sure to have one dressy outfit as well. It's Vegas, so bling it out if you so desire. One year I even wore shoes that lit up!!! Ha! While it is possible to overdress (Yep, I've done that at WPPI too) I'd always rather be the one in the crowd that is overdressed rather than underdressed.

Ladies that will be donning heels: if your bag is big enough, make sure you tuck in a pair of shoes that you can slip on if your heels become unbearable. Make sure to walk around in your heels before bringing them to Vegas. I made the mistake of NOT doing this the first year and I had horrific blisters for my lack of preparation!

Bottom line: suits, shirts & ties, dress shirts, dress pants, cocktail dresses and evening gowns are what you'll find when the sun sets in sin city.


As my childhood icon Annie said, "you're never fully dressed without a smile!" Never forget to bring your smile, no matter where you're at!

Corey Ann is a wedding & lifestyle photographer from North Canton, OH. She is a mix of everything - fashionista (runs Clothes for Pros, clothing suggestions for photographers), travel guru, deal hound and geek rolled into one. She's had a website online since 1997 and a blog since 1999. When not plotting world domination or her next trip, she can be found reading one of the 100+ books she reads a year. Follow her on Twitter.


  1. Corey Ann, Thank You so much for this post!!! I will be attending my first WPPI this year and didn't want to pack a trunk of clothes for the week :)

  2. thanks so much for this post!
    i've been wondering what is "appropriate" wppi attire. didn't want to look like a TOTAL college student bum :)

  3. Thank you!! I needed this advice :)

  4. annie was also one of my childhood icons.
    the others being joan jett and (janice the muppet) from the electric mayhem band

  5. Thank you so much. Really needed the insight. Brought plenty but wasn't sure how dressy it can get. Thank again. Off to the canon party :)


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