Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day Twenty-Nine: In Which I Feel Rather Ordinary and Wear Old Shoes

I'm here in Indianapolis this week for Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention. It's a thrill to have the con back in the Midwest again. My first Bouchercon was in Madison, Wisconsin, back in 2006. I was just an observer then. My book wasn't to come out for months--and in fact was pushed back so that it ended up being a full year later. Bouchercon Alaska was the following year, and I missed Baltimore last year.

Bouchercon Madison was the start of my Author Girl Wardrobe. I dressed very, very carefully. After a month of wearing entire outfits that cost an average of fifty or sixty dollars, it's a little shocking to realize that I once spent about $2000 on clothes to wear over four days of a convention. Plus, I spent one afternoon in Madison shopping and ended up replacing the awards night outfit I'd packed with a new skirt, shoes, a $70 cami and a sheer top to wear over it. (Let's not even discuss what I spent before each of my month-long book tours.)

I still have all of those clothes. I buy good clothes and keep them a long time. That's one of the advantages of buying clothes that are flattering and enhance one's personal style, rather than clothes that are wedded to a particular trend.

It's a little weird to be here at Bouchercon again with hangers and drawers loaded with new clothes from a discount store--the most expensive piece with me is the $80 leather jacket I bought at Sam's Club. Next in line is the $30 pleather bomber I'm wearing below. But if you knock off the leather jacket, the average piece I brought with me cost $15. Including shoes. Less if you count jewelry.

I find discussing the cost of things kind of awkward. It just occurred to me that you might be curious. Me, I'm still adjusting. But in a positive way, I think.

So, my dears. Here's the jacket you voted in. You have good taste! (Even my daughter covets it. I told her to get her own. She can afford the $30.)

Please ignore the shapeless eggplant shirt. I dislike it. I made a huge pile of clothes that I need to return and my closet is suddenly emptier. Also, we might call the shoes a kind of a fudge. Both Walmart and Kohl's had these brown mules last year. Same manufacturer, same style. I bought them at Kohl's last fall, then was reminded of them when I saw a last, super-discounted, identical pair at Walmart a couple of weeks ago. (It seemed way too stupid to buy identical shoes. Judge says the fit the spirit of the law, if not the letter.)

Faded Glory pleather bomber: $30; Faded Glory jeans: $15; White Stag Eggplant cotton 3/4 sleeve shirt: $10; That Damn Necklace: $7; Earrings: $7; Shoes: $24   Total: $93

Still hate the shirt.

Here I thought I was being brave....This woman wore the same dress for a month. Wow! I agree with many of her points, but the piece is way too short, leaving me to want more.

Have a great Thursday. TTFN!


  1. It's an interesting experiment, for sure. She was pretty clever. Here's another one for you: K. found a video on CNN about it, you might enjoy the company of kindred spirits!
    The bomber jacket is awesome - i want one now!

  2. Hey beautiful,
    Hope you're having lots of fun at the conference! I know what you mean about money and clothes. I think that's one of the most interesting parts of your posts. For some reason, women (I don't know if men experience this or not) are phobic about tallying up clothes expenses, myself included. I think money is more taboo on some levels than sex, disease, emotional despair, etc . . . And I also think it's kind of a no win at times -- spend too much and people assume a certain level of vanity is at work, too little and people assume you have no taste. I love clothes, expensive and cheap, and have always believed in their transformative powers, although usually the transformation was me in a rattier/chicer/disastrous incarnation. But I think it's fun -- my friend Shawn loves it because I'm his Barbie and am not afraid to go around looking like a fool or a gigantic cupcake!

  3. Please ignore the shapeless eggplant shirt. I dislike it.

    Sorry, but it works, as Tim Gunn might say. (I have over 5 years experience watching Project Runway and The Fashion Show with a 70% positive correlation between my choices of best outfit and the choices of the judges!)

    The outfit brings out your punk sexuality without making you look like your trying to be sexy--making the effect all the more sexy! (Take or leave it, dudes--)

    For some reason, women (I don't know if men experience this or not) are phobic about tallying up clothes expenses, myself included.

    Men are not phobic about this, especially when it concerns the wife's spending on her clothes.

    Men tend to be tally-phobic when it comes to sporting expenses (Bears tickets, new golf clubs, the costs of having the guys over on a Sunday afternoon to watch The Game, etc.)

  4. Sorry about the Your/You're issue.

    I hate commenting on the blogs of professional writers!

  5. Dave--Welcome! Punk sexuality? Hm. I'll take that--it's one of P's favorite looks. Years ago, he thought I should shave my head. Unfortunately, I was in my matron period.

    And no worries--this is a Grammar Police-free Zone!

    Sweet Michelle--I'm having a fabulous time. Just a little anxious as I always am at these things--but not in a bad way.

    I agree that clothes can be completely transforming. They are costumes. Some are just costumes that people don't give much thought to. Your costumes are always poetry. I love that.

    Maggie--The Uniform Project is amazing. Makes me feel incredibly narcissistic. The girls are talented, don't you think? I always donate our clothing to Thrift Stores, Goodwill, and the Salvation Army. But I wonder if I'll be donating my Walmart clothing or my designer stuff next September. Hmmmmm.