Tuesday, April 2, 2013
What to Wear
These are my favorite boots. I got them at a place called The Boot Barn in Jackson, Wyoming. True story: they were my carry-on during the flight back to Atlanta, all wrapped up in their shopping bag, and the stewardess made me stuff them under the seat. They're the most comfortable things ever. I have fancier, prettier, more feminine boots, but these are just so solid, and so grounded, and I feel in-charge when I wear them, which is every single day in the fall and winter months. I've been told that they're chunky and ugly and unflattering, and you know what? I just don't care. I paint my nails and I'm meticulous about my makeup, but there are certain elements of my childhood tomboy phase that will never be outgrown.
It gets tricky at more formal events. Dresses - or the always-dreaded slacks - are not my thing; on the fashion scale, I'm definitely a Jo and not a Delta. I had an "oh, crap" moment when I realized that at the sale this weekend, there might be cardigans and pressed gray pants involved. So I did some research, and read dozens of blog posts about author-appearance fashion dictates. Most seemed of the opinion that dress pants were preferred. But there is no official dress code, and some leaned more toward the casual. Then, of course, there's photographic evidence; with the exception of a lovely few - like J.K. Rowling - most authors have a sort of rumpled, dazed, worked-all-night-in-yesterday's-Target-work-clothes look going on, despite their financial success. I asked myself: Am I actually researching this? Ludicrous.
And then I read something that made a lot of sense to me: one blogger talked about dressing to match your novels. If your books have a theme, a style - if your characters have a certain aesthetic that makes them feel real - dress like that. Represent your work. If all your characters are classed-up and label-conscious, you should look the part. Lucky for me, most of my characters are all leather jackets and jeans, caught somewhere between teenage nostalgia and adult practicality.
This is the segment of the post where I should make some sort of statement about what authors should do...but I'm not going there. Frankly, I think authors telling other authors what they "ought to" is a bit silly. Instead, I'll promise to post a pic and show you how much of a sore thumb I was. Ha! Oh, the little things that stress me. (I won't wear these boots, by the by. I have at least that much sense.)