events / life stuff / writing

What to wear?

I have just been at a writers conference in Peterborough and then travelling all round the country to a whole set of World Book Week visits. It’s been great fun, but I the day before I packed my stuff and left I spent several hours tearing my hair out and wailing, “I have NOTHING to WEAR!!”


Of course, I have a whole wardrobe of clothes. Plus a chest-of-drawers. Plus various cardboard boxes with things that I keep meaning to throw away but can’t quite manage to. And in case that makes me sound rich, the main reason I have so many clothes is that I keep them for YEARS and YEARS. Because, you see, once you’re an adult, you don’t grow any bigger (usually… except maybe around the waist, at Christmas!) So you have no excuse to throw things out because they’ve got too small.

Imagine all the clothes you’ve ever owned all still fit you (including the babygros, now resized as onesies!!)

Now imagine they are all in your cupboards.

Then multiply that by 5 because that’s probably how much older I am than you!

NOW you know why I have so many clothes – and you can probably guess why I still feel as if I have NOTHING TO WEAR!

Part of the trouble is fashion.


Fashions change all the time. I’m not generally very good at keeping up with it, and most of the time I’m not that bothered – but then I find I have to go to a publisher’s meeting in London and I think – Aaarrgh! do people even wear bootcut jeans any more or is it all skinny jeans? And I have a mini-breakdown.

It would all be so much easier if I wasn’t a girl. Male authors get away with wearing the same suit, or jacket and jeans, over and over again. They don’t have to decide whether to wear make-up or not. They don’t have to agonise over heels or comfortable shoes.

(Actually, I never wear make-up or heels, but still… It’s the principal. At some point, I had to decide whether I was a make-up person or not. Boys just don’t worry about it – unless they are very creative and decide they want to wear make-up, of course!)

I notice exactly the same thing going on at ‘wear your own clothes’ days at my childrens’ schools. My son goes in the same thing every time – a hoody, cargoes, trainers. My daughters both agonise over whether they wore that last time and whether this goes with that, and does their hair look stupid?


Do my legs look too thin in this suit? No, seriously though, do they?

Recently I saw a really interesting video where journalists asked the male actors at the Oscars how long it had taken them to get ready and do their hair and ‘who’ they were wearing tonight, and to ‘give us a twirl’. They were all completely bemused. Err, five minutes? … Umm, I just brushed it … Er, not sure – my wife picked it for me… A what? These are questions the female actors get asked ALL THE TIME.

It would be good if we didn’t have to worry quite so much about what we look like and what we’re wearing. Maybe it would be easier if we were like the boys?

But then…. I look at how much fun girls can have dressing up, and enjoying clothes, and being creative with them – and I think about the times I’ve worn something I love and felt fabulous – and I think, well, it would be a shame to lose all that.

What do you think?


5 thoughts on “What to wear?

  1. It’s a worry, all right! (No make-up or heels for me either, if that helps!) For events I like clothes where I look perfectly okay but nobody would necessarily remember afterwards what I had on. This way, if I decide to rob a bank on the way home, there will be no reliable witnesses …

  2. I still like to play dress-ups but just schlub around in jeans, tshirts and sneakers most of the time. With no makeup – but mostly because I can’t stand the smell of it anymore.

    For special occasions I will throw myself into looking like a pretty princess for a change though. I don’t do heels (never got the hang of them) but do have some nice wedges, boots and sandals to choose from. And I’ll do light makeup and crack out a dress or skirt.

    I don’t follow fashion, however – just wear what I think looks good and feels comfortable on me.

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