Friday, 11 March 2011

What (Not) To Wear




I could do with a restyle. Not of my everyday writer uniform of pyjama bottoms and old shirts, and even older worn down birkenstocks, that works fine.
But as you all know, it's just been World Book Day and I've had quite a few school visits back to back. This has meant wearing proper clothes out and about, and not just my lucky school talk outfit. It could do with a complete overhaul.
I was thinking about this and wondering if any of you have lucky outfits. I always find schools horribly hot, and dread pouring with sweat so my lucky outfit is a t-shirt (nice, and not boring honest) not too tight, with flat shoes and a sensible - not too short but not too long to be too uninteresting - skirt.
But I could do with something a little more exciting, perhaps a headress or a giant fur muff like the one in the photo.
You might think my lucky clothes are a bit dull, but I have had several wardrobe malfunctions in public, a few examples of which include wearing a pencil skirt so tight I couldn't sit at a coffee bar stool without falling off the other side, and getting a long, floaty summer skirt caught in an escalator as I tried and talk to, and appear intelligent and sensible to, a certain well known publisher. I have also gone shopping with my skirt tucked into my knickers.
So although my lucky outfit is a little on the safe side, it is at least trustworthy.
Catherine.

15 comments:

Stroppy Author said...

Underwear! Weary really nice, sexy underwear and you will feel confident. No one needs to know you are wearing it, except you. This is the grown-up version of lucky pants.

As for the outside... I feel it has to be something that expresses personality and is comfortable. Colour! As writers, we're expected to look slightly odd so we can wear anything at all and not get the disapproving looks that, say, an accountant might get for wearing a scarlet jumper full of holes and stripy tights. (If you ever see me in a suit or black trousers, please shoot me.)

Perhaps we need a writers' gallery of favourite publisher-visiting/school visit outfits to inspire each other?

Lynda Waterhouse said...

I usually wear my 'pearls of wisdom' earrings or a flower brooch made up of white shirt buttons. Sadly my favourite navy blue school visit top has sprung a hole. Perhaps a Marilyn makeover is in order?

adele said...

I try to wear interesting earrings esp in Primary schools. I remember ALL the jewellery my teacher wore. And COMFORTABLE SHOES, and generally a scarf of some kind which can double as a shawl if it gets cold. You're right though. Schools are boiling hot, so layers are necessary. Trains on the other hand are often chilly....

bookwitch said...

As the others have already said, you want to be colourful and I feel the Gudrun Sjödén look would be perfect on you. So maybe a t-shirt or vest topped with what I call my poachers shirt/jacket. It's cotton or linen (and obviously has those big pockets a poacher needs) and in the most flattering colour for you, and which goes well with the t-shirt/vest. Then you just need comfy trousers and shoes you can walk in. I find colourful shoes add to the ensemble and to a person's bohemian style.

Penny Dolan said...

Interesting question, Catherine. I cope by having two pairs of identical black trousers. Then I can adapt/vary/layer tops without worrying about finding a suitable "bottom" item. Boringly, although I love colour on other people, mostly black.

However, I also have a deep anxious clothing need for jackets with pockets, in a slightly Sue Perkins style. The pockets are for tissues for the snotty front-row kid, small items to surprise an audience and/or for writing workshops, and a pack of postcards - some blank & some with skeleton "talk" notes - plus pens, and anything else I can think of. Do shops actually sell jackets with useful pockets?? Not very often.

I also almost always wear shiny silver earrings and attention-seeking jangly bangles, as well as my celtic silver horse/dragon medallion. Luck? I don't know but any magic, ancient or modern might help. (Plus underwear of the secure sort!)

Gillian Philip said...

I'm always in boring black jeans! But I have to wear boots with high-ish heels, because they're such a confidence booster. And I definitely have lucky jewellery - either a silver arrowhead-elfshot thingy, or silver rowan leaves. Which as all superstitious Scots know, offer protection from note-losing, stair-tripping, brain-gumming goblins, faeries and witches.

Linda Strachan said...

Yes schools are always hot.

I like to try and find interesting earrings and jewellery, I have a pewter elephant pendant that I often wear for primary schools.

A skirt and is fun to wear especially if it is one with a flouncy underskirt - usually with long black boots. But I spend a lot of time in black jeans, too Gillian, and keep trying to find something colourful to wear with them but often end up with black and white!

Nicola Morgan said...

I'm with Gillian - black jeans and highish boots. Definitely boots are my specialty and I do have speaking boots, of course... And yes, the heat and need not to sweat are important. Also, a long top so that you don't have to keep checking your jeans are done up....

Penny Dolan said...

Am jealous of all that high-heeled elegance, people. Would love to teeter or strut. Do any of you give lessons? I need my big flat feet firmly on the floor., and maybe my knees at the right level for the knee biters.

Recall Meg Cabot wearing a pair of stunningly pink cowboy boots that triumphantly upstaged a rather too upstagey author. Now those I loved!!!

catdownunder said...

Miaou! This scares me. If I ever reach these giddy heights do you mean to say I have to buy clothes to wear? I doubt my human wardrobe has anything suitable. (I work from home.)
Seriously - invest in a dramatic shawl - preferably in the Faroese shape so it sits on the shoulders without falling off...and sneak a pocket or two onto the inside of it. (Would take my own advice but I am too short and would look ridiculous - I look ridiculous anyway.)

Gillian Philip said...

Nicola, I knew your footwear was exotic, but talking boots? It's like a special kind of Narnia.

Nicky said...

I usually wear repro Celtic or Roman jewellery and carry a sword or two. Once I unsheathe my gladius no one is looking at me anymore : )

michelle lovric said...

Catherine, when you kindly let me tag along on a school visit, you looked splendid ... the slightly hippy but elegant paisley shirt and the denim skirt worked a treat together, and even the year seven girls looked on you with approval - the sartorial approval of a year 7 girl being the hardest thing in the world to gain, I suspect.

Katherine Langrish said...

Yes, I wondered about Nicola's talking boots, too. Do they ever argue with you, Nicola?

I try to be colourful. And I always wear makeup, which I don't always bother with on a day-to-day basis.

Dianne Hofmeyr said...

Always boots with heels to be taller and a bracelet that makes a jangly noise and some big silver rings (haven't as many as Jaqueline Wilson though)so that I can throw my arms about and wake up any sleepers! But you're right, it IS a problem not to have real clothes. Speaking boots I could do with too.