I've been at MLA for 24 hours now, a sojourn made more pleasant by the fact that my luggage returned from Barcelona full of shoes and other good things--and then I went to DSW and bought a pair of these at 80% off.
So all has been well on the sartorial front, and if you don't consider that a crucial element of the conference experience, you're no friend of mine; I consider the dressing up and playacting part of conference-going one of its distinct pleasures. A good paper is that much better when it's heard in new shoes, while a lovely suit (whether one's own or someone else's) is a welcome diversion during a bad one.
Being well-shod, however, is no defense against native stupidity--nor will pretty clothes distract anyone when you wipe out in the lobby of the main conference hotel. Late to meet someone for dinner last night, I burst out of the elevator the moment the doors opened, taking the marble floors at a gallop. . . and thus treated everyone behind me to the spectacle of my catapulting forward for three long, slow-motion yards before hitting the floor.
Guess I can't wear that outfit again.