Sunday, January 07, 2007

Dressing the part

I've never met my editor, Michelle, but I’ve heard she has great shoes. Lots of the Simon Pulse Ro-Com authors are based in New York City, and I picture them all doing lunch with Michelle every Friday, wearing designer pantsuits and great shoes. Micol brings her dog in a purse.

It’s probably just as well that I live in Alabama and can’t do lunch in NYC, because I don’t have great shoes. Or if I did, I wouldn’t know it. They would have been an accidental purchase at DSW.

Actually I thought myself quite the fashion plate in high school in the 80s. A typical outfit would be an oversized Generra shirt from the boy’s department, oversized Esprit pants tucked into one pair of socks that matched the color in the shirt and a second pair of socks that matched the color in the pants, white Converse high-top tennis shoes decorated in Crayola marker, one very large dangly earring that matched the color in the shirt, and another large dangly earring from a different pair that matched nothing at all. If it was below 50 degrees (typically for one week in January), I might wear my denim trenchcoat.

In my 20s in grad school, I didn’t have the money to keep up with fashion, but I thought I knew what was going on because I taught college English to 18-year-olds, which kept me withit. Any time I wanted to get back in the fashion game, I was back in like that. *snap* Then came one fateful day when, armed with my 27th birthday money from Granddaddy, I wandered into The Buckle at the mall. The Buckle is a juniors store that happened to be run that day by a gorgeous and sophisticated 15-year-old named Beige. Much to my chagrin and certainly to Beige’s, I found that I had lost it. I did NOT know what was going on fashion-wise. I had no idea what shirts went with what pants anymore, and forget the shoes. Since then, I have included a character named Beige in several of my novels. Actually I wanted my pen name to be Beige Racy but my agent wouldn’t let me.

Nowadays I have the money to keep up with fashion, but it’s a lost cause. I watch What Not to Wear and look for those “pieces” when I “build a wardrobe,” but it’s difficult when you’re five-foot-two. For some reason, the petites department is geared toward the elderly. Tall people get INC and Juicy. Short people get Sag Harbor and Koret. In addition, whenever I do go shopping, I now have a five-year-old boy pulling on me. Occasionally he detaches himself in order to entertain the other shoppers with a Taylor Hicks-like dance in the aisles, punctuated with a move or two he picked up from That’s So Raven. This is distracting. So my wardrobe is made up mostly of things that grabbed my attention as I whisked by. Things that have birds embroidered on them, or things that are shiny or sparkly. I have the fashion sense of a crow.

How about you? Are you a fashionista or a fashion disaster, & how has this changed for you over the years?

And, Simon Pulse Ro-Com authors: Are you really going to lunch without me? *sob*


Jennifer Echols said...

1. I hate computers.
2. I am leaving myself a comment to see if the comments function of the blog is working.
3. I hate computers.

Jennifer Echols said...

Now I am leaving myself another comment. This because I changed the blog settings and I'm testing to see if they work. It is NOT because no one has left a comment on my post and I feel like a dork.

Erin Downing said...

Sorry to smash the fantasy, but I am not having lunch with Michelle every week...though I was lucky enough to see her today, in person! Yay me.

I was wearing sneakers.

White sneakers, in fact, for fear that the "gas smell" (not maple syrup smell, as was the case a few months ago) permeating ninety blocks in NYC this morning would force me to flee Manhattan in a hurry. Practical shoes prevail when danger lurks.

Micol Ostow said...

Fashion, ha! I love clothes but let's talk about a writer's salary. Meanwhile, now that I am a full-time writer and student, the only matching suits I wear are Juicy knockoffs, mainly of the terrycloth and velour variety.

ps: Jones is way too big for a purse!

Nicole Burnham said...

Okay, I'll admit it. I love fashion. If I could, I'd be as fashion-conscious as Amanda on Ugly Betty (without her snarkiness. Mostly.)

But I don't have the time to shop for so much STUFF. So I end up wearing jeans and Ts all the time and just reading about fashions like that in mags like InStyle and Lucky.

Niki, not living in NYC, either

Jennifer Echols said...

An article on AOL this morning says the skinny jean is out.

Was it in???