Monday, March 26, 2007

More about dressing...

Speck’s dress-for-writing-success blog post reminded me of a humorous little game that I and some of my fellow conference buddies like to play.

Several years ago, I attended my first Harriette Austin Writers Conference, held on the beautiful campus of the University of Georgia in Athens Georgia.

As I rested between sessions in one of the many cozy niches watching our fellow scribes interact, I wondered if I could guess what genre a writer fancied by the type of clothing he or she wore.

Soon, I engaged my gaggle of new friends to play. The romance authors (the females, at least) tended to dress in flowery prints; some complete with beribboned hats. The mystery writers seemed to favor monochromatic attire, as did the science fiction group. The poets wore more eclectic outfits—flowing garments or bold colors. Each time we guessed successfully, we high-fived and laughed. Amazingly, we were correct more often than not, and the writers we approached enjoyed our game enough to join in.

One thing I consistently noted; the published authors and those serious about their writing were nicely attired. I saw no flip-flops, torn jeans, or slouchy clothing. First impressions stick. Who knows if the person you meet might be a future reader, agent, or editor? Shouldn’t you think enough of yourself to consider presentation in your appearance as much as in your manuscript?

All of this observation led me to wonder. As a southern fiction author with humorous undertones, how should I dress? Hmmm….

Rhett DeVane, the madhatter


Laura said...

Hey Rhett,

Sound like your game was a lot of fun!

Now I'll have to take an extra minute to decide what genre I want to wear! lol

Southern fiction with humours undertones...a flower dress with Mini Pearl's hat and a basket of cat heads?


Cheryl said...

Very interesting post, Mad. For someone who was told by the age of 16 that she dressed like an old woman--way too conservative for the rest of her family and peers--I have always been concerned about my attire. Maybe it's just to hide my unphotogenic face. LOL!

Dressing so casually seems to be a trend that has taken over many industries. While I was still working outside of my home, a decision was made by upper management to go to business casual. That quickly deteriorated into so casual that people looked like they belonged at a picnic instead of in the office.

But my mind also wanders back to conversations I had with one of my old bosses who said in California he would attend meetings with executives clad in khaki shorts and sandals. I guess it all depends on where you live.

I haven't had the chance to attend a conference in person; but when I do, your game will have me wondering if anyone in the room is trying to decide my genre by my clothes.

And I think Lori's description of what you should wear is dead on.

Thanks for the great post.