OK, Gentle Reader, today I am going to climb on to my soap box and blog about something evil, something so base and vile, that you may, just possibly, wish to stop reading right this very moment.
I may offend you.
I am not holding back.
This is something I believe in, possibly more than anything else. So I am going to take the plunge.
I am going to address the rank underbelly of the SF/F community (no, not literally). I am going to do it because I feel someone has to make a stand. This is a highly embarrassing topic that everyone seems afraid to broach. Well, I have the courage. Someone must be strong, and I am that person. Yes, Gentle Reader, we are going to talk about . . . Appropriate Dress.
Let me start this off by listing some inappropriate dress for a convention, mixer, signing, etc.
- Sweat pants
- Track pants/gym clothing
- T-shirts with offensive slogans (in fact t-shirts with slogans period I would strike down if you are over the age of 30, but I don't think the SF/F community could cope with the great black void this would leave behind)
- PJs or anything that looks like PJs (for The Love, people!)
- Any article of clothing that has a hole that is not an arm hole, a leg hole, or a head hole
- Similarly, anything that is fraying, pilling, or warn through if this is not a designer deconstructed look (like those from Max Studio or BCBG)
- Dirty shoes
- Anything that sports a food stain
- An untended beard
- Unwashed hair
I don't care how alternative you think you are. How much a slacker. What counter-culture you believe you represent. You are none of these things.
You are a slob.
You are disrespecting the authors and presenters (if you're a fan) and the fans (if you're an author), not to mention all the other important individuals who have arranged for and attended the event (con organizers, editors, agents, producers, actors). Most importantly, you are shaming yourself and the SF/F industry as a whole. Yes you are. Suck. It. Up.
If you aren't suitable to be seen in public, than you shouldn't be in public. Go back, take a shower, take a nap, put on clean respectable clothing.
What sparked this rant, Ms. Carriger?
You might well ask. I was watching a (unnamed, to protect the guilty) video blog of some SF/F convention footage, featuring, I am sad to say, mainly authors. And I was ashamed. Ashamed
, I tell you.
Let me explain something. Style is not hard. No matter what your shape or income level. All it takes is a tiny bit of time and effort. You can make it hard. I, for example, like a challenge. So do the Goths and the steampunkers out there. But it really doesn't have to be difficult. And, as the person who spots the problem (namely, me) is responsible for its solution, here are some tips:
- Look around and id someone who's about your shape and whose style you like. At a convention, in particular, this can work well because people are disposed to be friendly. Go up to them and ask politely where they shop, and how they put together their look. People, in general, love to talk about themselves and will be delighted to tell you.
- Invest in a few good pieces that you can pull out for public appearances in particular: a really nice pair of jeans, some basic black t-shirts, perhaps a sports jacket or a little fitted blazer. Ladies, never discount the inherent joy in one really nice day dress. It is far more important to spend money on basics than on the tux or the uber-fancy gown that you maybe wear once a year.
- You can do quirky, but try to confine it to accessories: hats, watches, jewelry, belts, belt buckles, and the like. Trust me, the people who do head-to-toe quirky put a lot of effort into it, you might want to ease in slowly.
- You have two choices: you can fit in, or you can stand out. You don't want to fall to the wayside. If you are wearing inappropriate dress you will be dismissed. We are a superficial culture. Most cultures are. Appearance is important. No, don't argue, it just is. There is no point in fighting this one; 34,000 years of clothing evolution is not something you can muscle down with one pair of ratty sweatpants. Besides, you and I both know the truth of it. You're just being lazy.
- At a SF/F convention, to fit in, you wear jeans or BTUs, boots or sneakers, and a t-shirt with a nice graphic logo. This is very boring, but so long as it's clean, at least you don't look like a homeless person. Cheap corsets and old leather jackets are also known to make all-to-frequent appearances.
- At a convention, to stand out, you can do any or all of the following: go Goth, go vintage, wear a suit, were a nice jacket over your jeans and t-shirt, actually investigate the current trends an go fashionable (this one is hard), go hippy-dippy, go frat/sorority, and/or wear color (there's an awful lot of black).
Right. So. There it is. Read it and shop!
From the Goths in Hot Weather
Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Mad Men's Bryan Batt
Who sadly will not be returning to Mad Men Season 4
But look at his outfit. So natty!
Your Tisane of Smart:
Modern Manners Guy on dressing up.
And using fashion to hack identity
Your Writerly Tinctures:
on what (not) to wear to a romance writers convention.
Cynthia Ward for Fantasy Magazine.com
has this to say: "If you’ve been looking for a steampunk-tinged urban fantasy novel of manners, Gail Carriger makes your dream come true with her delightful debut novel, Soulless
SPOILER ALERT! Amazon and Powell's have posted Changeless
cover along with blurb. Blurb gives bits of Soulless away so don't read if you haven't read the first book.
: Done, happy dance.
Super Secret Project H:
treatment submitted to agent. Paused.
Super Secret Project F:
notes stage, working on it this week
CAKE in Space: Trunked for the moment.
(can go up to 3000) scheduled for next week
(can go up to 13,000)
Quote of the Day:
"Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months."
~ Oscar Wilde