A Novel Idea

Archive for the ‘Clothing’ Category

I have been writing full time now for two and a half months and seem to have established a uniform. No, I’m not talking about my multicolour flannel pyjamas and comfy terry toweling robe. Although I must confess I am sitting here in my Ugg boots (the most comfortable and the ugliest footwear I own).

No, my winter writing uniform has a lot in common with the ‘House wife/husband at the shops’ look. It consists of slate grey track suit pants, a long sleeved t-shirt, a woolen jumper, a polar fleece jacket, covered by a woolen thigh length coat with the biggest buttons you’ve ever seen. I’m typing in cut-off woolen gloves despite the little column heater pumping its guts out next to me. I’m more bird-woman from Mary Poppins than Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City right now.

I am comfortable. I am productive.

You wouldn’t believe that I gleefully pour over my monthly subscription to Vogue magazine though.

I am concerned that I risk becoming labelled with the F-word.

That’s right: FRUMPY.

It really is an insult I hope to duck my entire life.

I’ve started to wonder if Connor finds me any less attractive now that he’s coming home to a fleece-clad woman rather than a sexy sophisticated business manager.

Let me be clear, I have absolutely no evidence to support this. Except…

Except last night.

Yesterday I dolled myself up to attend a play in support of a new actress who I grew up with. I even put on make-up (I forgot the lipee though and my wallet – I seem to be turning into an absent minded creative).

Upon seeing me in my finery Connor suggested we go out to dinner rather than eating the leftovers we had planned – what a treat!

It was fun and so spontaneous. The food was great too.

But I couldn’t help wondering: am I doing our relationship a disservice by dressing to quill rather than to thrill?

Fellow feminists in the audience – resume your seats – I’ll never be the good little 1950s house wife.

Further, if my clothes are bland (they’re not actually – they’re good quality but the most comfortable tend to be the most basic), will it infect my writing with a kind of drabness?

Do I need to look like a Lorrikeet to write colourfully?

Picture courtesy of: http://nrpg.org.au/page/Newsletters.aspx

Total aside: I loved the touch of the Jenny Kee jumpers in the hiliarious series Kath and Kim on Australian ABC TV. Great example of clothing reinforcing characterization.

A quote from a great writer on the subject of clothing:

One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art. 

~Oscar Wilde

A quote from a great mind:

If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture, let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies…. It would be a sad situation if the wrapper were better than the meat wrapped inside it. 

~Albert Einstein

While I agree that substance should trump style, I don’t believe they are mutually exclusive.

When I dress well, I do feel better about myself. Does that translate into writing better? I think I shall have to experiment.

Do you have a writing uniform?

Write well. Write often.


(C) Copyright of the author. 2010.

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  • Violet: Thanks Alannah :) Apologies for not replying sooner: I'm finally catching my breath and the year is almost over!
  • Alannah Murphy: I remember your first post, way back when I had my old Here Be Dragons blog, and I am glad you are still writing. We all find out, sooner or later, ho
  • Violet: Good to hear that Aaron. Good Luck with your work.