Thursday, June 10

Fashion is (not) my middle name

During a chat on the screened porch with a dear friend today, I was lamenting how I can barely remember the gal I used to be in my corporate days. The one who did her hair and makeup every weekday and even (gasp) wore nylons and heels. These days, I rarely wear makeup and consider being showered, hair styled with a blow dryer, and dressed in clothes that are not wrinkled a very impressive feat indeed.

The thing is, I'm all about easy. Life throws enough at you without having to worry about whether your nose needs a touch up of powder. But here's the thing...

I wrote a book in which the character undergoes a makeover.

And even though I live in shorts and tees in the summer (yoga pants or boot cut sweats in the winter), these are not always appropriate attire. Like, say, when you're signing your book that has a makeover in it. You don't want people thinking, "Wait, I'm going to read about a makeover from YOU?"

Now, The Cinderella Society is about more than just makeovers. It's about bullying and girl empowerment and getting comfortable in your own skin. But with Cinderella in the title, it's pretty obvious to anyone that makeovers are part and parcel of the game. So showing up to a signing looking like a frump? Not really the way to win over booksellers and readers.

Anyway, I was lamenting this to my friend and saying how back in my corporate days, it wouldn't even have occurred to me to leave the house without makeup on. Now it's a red letter date on the calendar if I have it on. And it got me thinking... when did this happen? Was it when I left the corporate world and started writing full time? I don't think so. I don't think it happened overnight. It was sort of a gradual process that evolved as I evolved into the new writerly version of myself who worked from home and, let's be honest, didn't really get out all that much.

I mention all of this because it turns out that fashion is not always like riding a bike. If you don't ride a bike for several years, you might wobble the first 100 feet but you get right back into the groove. With fashion, if you don't pay much attention for several years, EVERYTHING CHANGES.

Seriously. I find myself thinking all the time now, as I'm shopping for new author event clothes, "Can I wear these together? What are today's rules? And why does every blouse look like it was designed for a woman with Barbie's proportions?" I was never a fashion plate - that's just not how I roll - but I swear to you, I was competent at putting together outfits that did not offend anyone's sense of fashion. Now, I pretty much resort to checking out the mannequins and thinking, "Maybe I should just buy that in my size. At least I know it all goes together."

If I had Barbie's proportions, of course. ;-)

What about you? Does anyone else struggle with clothes shopping? Either with finding fashions that flatter or just figuring out what's supposed to be in style (without looking hopelessly yesterday by this time next year)?


Mary Brebner said...

I HATE clothes shopping. With a passion. That's probably why I only shop at a couple of places: New York & Company (the most comfortable pants ever), JC Penny's (cute, comfy dresses), and Target (because you can never have too many t-shirts, imho).

I'm of the opinion that people like us should automatically be assigned someone to shop for us. It would make life so much easier.

Gerb said...

I'm with Mary. If I could get someone to shop for me, it would make things so much easier. Plus my clothing choices might be a little better... informed. I used think I was "up" on fashion, but now my goal is simply to not look too much like 'a mom' whenever I do author events!

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

I love shoe shopping - I'm such a cliche! - but clothes? My biggest pet peeves are garments that look great on the hanger but then when I go to try them on, I have no clue how to get into the thing.

Kay Cassidy said...

Mary and Gerb - Yes! If I could just give my measurements to a personal shopper, my life would be so much easier.

Lauren - LOL. I had that exact experience this month. I had to take the thing off twice to figure out how the straps were supposed to go. :-)

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