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Friday, October 11, 2013

Costuming Conundrum

As Halloween approaches, the mind turns to thoughts of spirit gum and fake warted noses. But before I get to don my witchy weeds, I need to stress about another costume drama; my fast approaching trip to New York.

1. I’m told it’s more civilized there. The flowered muumuu will not translate -- will not bespeak an intelligent, classy writer of note. 

2. They have weather, meaning one must wear shoes. And not just shoes but serious, writer-of-note shoes. Plus a possible sock or stocking item. Also sleeves. 

I enjoy the invisibility of being a woman of a certain age. No one looks at me very closely and that suits me well as I make my occasional forays into public in any one of my five $5.00 polyester China Town shirts and Target jeans. 

And when I speak at school & library gigs I figure I’m talking to kids, and they don’t bother to judge my fashion choices or lack thereof since I’m safely out of their hipness age range.

But as I plan to take two meetings and accept an award in New York, I have to spruce up. The question then becomes: Who shall I be? 

I cast an eye around at my friends who dress for their jobs. 
1. To be S, is to wear loose dark skirts and tops, which she says all come from one source; Eileen Fisher, at well over a hundred bucks a piece. I am far too cheap for that. 
2. To be the other S, is to wear white or beige in girly billowing layers and lots of earth-tone jewelry.  
3. To be C. is to show cleavage. 
4. To be M. is to wear stiff-looking tailored suits.

When I picture these as paper-doll outfits over my frame, the results are at best unconvincing and at worst ridiculous. So how does a person impersonate a reasonable adult at this late date, without having cultivated a personal style? 

 Ah to be the man with the easy uniform of a dark suit & tie, or a nun with full habit, or a cop, or sailor, or a line cook at In & Out, or a Halloween witch... 

Although the temptation is to forget the whole thing and just hide in my room, I will not do so! Am therefore off (bravely) to clothes hunt and identity shop. Tally-ho!