After spending the last five years covering hockey and traveling all over the world to cover the NHL, I always see women asking the same question over and over again: “What do I wear to a hockey game?” Not too many women are asking what to wear and pack when they’re traveling to see a hockey game, but I know these women exist. How? I ran into a slew of Chicago Blackhawks fans in my last visit to Dallas, Texas to cover the Dallas Stars. So here are my tips for those who road trip to see hockey.
First, you’ll need the right bag.
Lacoste has one of the biggest tote bags I’ve been able to find that is perfect for travel. You can fit all of your clothes and shoes for a long weekend, along with your laptop and reading device…and still have plenty of room to throw more stuff in. You don’t have to check it in. It fits easily in the overhead compartment.
I like to travel light on a 4 day trip to Dallas, so I only pack lightweight clothing that can be layered for the freezing temps inside the rink, to the shedding of layers outside in the 70+ degree temps. If I bring jeans, they’re worn onto the plane and back. It’s always wise to pack clothes that can do double duty, like double as something you can sleep in.
For this last trip to see the Stars, I committed to a color scheme: shades of green mixed with black. Everything from my coat to small purse and carry-on bag were in shades of green. Black pants are always a sure bet, especially since you can wear them to look professional, and for when you go out later when paired with a nice top.
Leave your workout gear at home. Trust me, your workout will happen while you are walking around, exploring the city you are visiting. You won’t have time (or the energy) to log in a few miles on the treadmill. Besides, why would you want to lug around those sweaty clothes onto the airplane with you?
I usually pack a pair of sandals to wear around the hotel room, a pair of sneakers and a pair of fancy flats (optional for when you know you are going out). The less you pack, the less you have to carry with you.
As for what I wear to the game, it’s simple:
First, everyone always wants to know about the bag. I keep it simple and small. For this trip, I decided to bring my Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.C. in mint. I fell in love with it when I was in Dallas back in February shopping in the West Village. I waited until I could get it on sale at Bloomingdales before purchasing it. This size bag is ideal for travel. It will fit your phone, wallet, and room card. You really don’t need anything else when you’re off to a game. And for those who are photographers, most phones now come equipped with a great camera, so no need to bring a camera with you. Remember: Most Items Can Do Double Duty.
As for this outfit, the green sweater is from Ann Taylor (Winter 2012/2013 collection). The black and white tee underneath is from Ann Taylor Loft. The necklace came courtesy of the PopSugar Must Have Box: the Heather Belle Signature Tassel Necklace. The bracelets are from Bauble Bar (Enamel Stud Bangle in cream and a gray chain wrap (similar in black)).
Many of the ladies at the Stars game that were not dressed in team gear were wearing various shades of green at the game. After all, shades of green is the IT color this year, and Dallas is green, black, white and gold.
Now, I’m a minimalist when it comes to hair and makeup. Over the years, I’ve learned various ways to minimize traveling with the essentials. In Canada, they make you use their plastic bags for toiletries. If you’re a frequent traveler, make sure to pick up a few of these. They come in handy whenever you travel internationally.
I usually try to bring as many beauty samples from magazines, Sephora, subscription box services, etc. as I can find. They’re flat and can fit easily into that plastic bag without filling up the bag. For one long weekend, all you need is 1 package of shampoo/conditioner, 1-2 lotion(s), and 1 moisturizer sample. Remember: samples are your friend.
Buy a travel sized bottle for hairspray and pour enough for a weekend into the spray bottle to take with you. If you have must have products for your daily regimine, check with your store’s beauty counters to see if they can give you free samples with your purchase. Or, if you’re like me, you can try out different products on road trips. A favorite subscription service that delivers various samples to me every month is Birchbox. They will send you different sample products to try out for $10/month based on your skin type (this is the only company I’ve found that takes into special consideration skin sensitivities). Their samples are small enough to fit into those plastic bags.
Keep in mind that all makeup liquid products must go into this plastic bag, so scale back on how many lipsticks, mascaras, etc. you bring. They all have to fit in this little plastic bag.
If your plastic bag is starting to overflow, make sure you only have liquid items in that bag. You can have a makeup bag where you keep your contacts case, medications, powdered makeup and brushes. You’re wasting valuable real estate in that plastic bag if you put non-liquids in there.
A little trick I picked up from The Pink Puck’s Editor-in-Chief Winter Adams while we were in Ottawa covering the NHL All-Stars is to keep all cords (phone charger, laptop cord, etc.) in a small cosmetic bag. It makes it so much easier to find what you’re looking for (and you don’t have a jumbled mess of cords in your bag). You’ll find that the more organized your carryon is, the more room you’ll have in your bag.
If you plan on doing touristy stuff, make sure you pack comfortable clothing and shoes. This isn’t the time to break in a new pair of shoes. Make sure you have comfy shoes, because you’ll be walking several miles in them.
If you’re heading to Dallas in 2013, make sure to do the JFK tour. Buy your tickets ahead of time to The Sixth Floor Museum (aka the Book Depository), because those lines can be an hour long to get tickets. 2013 also marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, so make sure to pay your respects while you’re there.
Other places of interest: The Perot Museum of Nature and Science (the building is unique and great if you have kids with you…you can even watch a tornado touching down inside the museum) and The Dallas Zoo. Maybe you’ll find Jaromir Jagr’s teammates (the camels) that he posted a pic of on his Facebook page. All of the animals are very friendly there and love to have their picture taken. Make sure to tweet @DallasZoo while you’re there. They always love tweeting back their visitors.
WARNING: Don’t go shopping in Dallas. Sales tax is 8.25%.
What to enjoy: The southern hospitality and the southern cuisine. One of the things I love about Dallas: they ask, “Do you want gravy with your biscuits?” Why can’t all places ask that?