January 10, 2014

how to dress like a writer - winter 2014 edition

Last winter, I addressed some of the important style factors us lady writers should consider. We do, after all, have a reputation to uphold. But as you also know, fashion constantly changes, so it's time for a refresher on how to look the part when you write.

Whether you're writing from the comfort of home or venturing out into the world, the right look can help you play the part. Of course some items never go out of style for us writer-types: jeans, sweaters, etc.

In 2014, my writer wardrobe tips can be summed up in three little words: Accessories, accessories, accessories. Yes, my friends, we have officially entered the year of accessories. From the perfect hat and bag to the bling around my neck and on my feet, I've carefully selected new accessories to help me channel my writing goddess when I'm scheduling a hot date with my novel.

My Five Winter 2014 Must-Haves

1. Equestrian Boots

About the Photos: Unfortunately Miley Cyrus, Annie Leibovitz and
Grace Coddington weren't available to oversee the photo shoot
for these pictures. I had to snap them Instagram-style on my iPhone.

While the slouchy boots of my past were perfect for an aspiring author, I'm loving this year's new boot. The sleekness of this pair tells the world I'm ready to be taken seriously as a published author. As an added bonus, their equestrian style also suggests I may or may not have a wild, but gentle horse named Buttercup stashed away in some stable. Naturally, my horse is being kept by the equally dynamic and thrilling stable master. Probably someone tall and dark called Niall or Jacques - who I am taming along with the horse. When you're writing books with romantic elements, it doesn't hurt to give the appearance your personal life is as equally thrilling as the stories you craft.

In addition to sending my thoughts in a more fanciful direction, wearing these boots makes me feel like a total bad ass. There's nothing better than feeling like you could rule the world when you're writing.

(Boots by Avenue)

2. Personalized Jewelery

One of my good friends sent me this adorable typewriter key necklace as a "congratulations on publishing your debut novel" gift. Personalized with my first initial, the necklace is so me, and I wear it almost every day. This, more than any other item of clothing, gives a solid shout-out to my writing profession in a subtle way. And best of all -- it goes with everything.

(Jewelery by Rocky Mountain Accents)

3. Purse in Lieu of Laptop Bag

I'm saying buh-bye to my laptop bag this year in favor of two new purses. The first was an impulse buy while watching E! News. During their "Love It Buy It" promo, they featured this navy blue tote from Emperia Handbags. Made out of faux leather (the only way I wear the fur/hide trend), the bag was on a major sale. The interior compartments are great, and there's plenty of room for multiple notebooks, books, pens and even a tablet. This bag is perfect for those days when I'm not using my laptop, but still need plenty of room to store writing supplies.

My Steve Madden bag was a Christmas gift from my sister. She scored major points for listening when I said I was over my laptop bag and wanted a purse big enough to stash a laptop. Like the Emperia bag, it's faux leather and has ample pockets and storage space. I'm currently in editing mode, which means this bag - and my laptop - are going everywhere with me this week, and I love it.

4. Bold Print Scarves

Like last year, I'm fully committed to saving my neck by wearing scarves throughout winter. (Neck protection has been a top concern of mine ever since I read Nora Ephron's memoir.) While I was more into heavily woven textiles last year, this winter my scarf wardrobe expanded to include lighter-weight fabrics with bold prints. My favorites include a black and white zebra print, red and white polka dots and a turquoise and black floral motif. I wore the polka dot scarf to work yesterday, and had multiple people stop to tell me how much they liked it.

On colder days, I revert to my heavier scarves. I'm still leaning towards ones with bright colors, like my teal sparkly scarf.

(Scarves by Target)

5. Caps

According to Elle, we have plenty of hat options available for those of us living in colder climates. This year, I'm embracing the cap. My black cap is a classic from my collection, but I'm pleased to pull it out of storage. My bright cap in bold red also doubles as the perfect accessory when college football kicks off again next fall. (Go Big Red!) With it's large, knit design, the red cap offers plenty of warmth, and can be worn like a beanie. I also recently figured out how to do a fishtail braid, and the caps allow me to wear one without looking like a total idiot.

And as I mentioned, I live in Nebraska. Winter can mean days of 40 degrees or days below zero. Protecting my head and ears from the harsher elements means a healthier, happier me.

(Caps by D&Y and Old Navy)

For more accessory inspiration to spruce up your 2014 style, look here, here and here.

To broaden our writing fashion scope, I reached out to six of my Literary Glam Squad members to discover what other trends are sweeping the writing world this winter. Check out their tips.

Tip 1: Represent Your Brand

Since I brand myself as "the older, divorced, suburban Carrie Bradshaw," I have been into sporting my gold "Jacqueline" necklace that looks just like Carrie's "Carrie" necklace. It had been missing for almost 25 years until I found it in a box last month. I'm also into wearing cashmere scarves, loosely hanging down. They're sexy and they keep me warm, and really define me as a Chicago author! 

- Jackie Pilossoph, author of Jackpot!, Free Gift with Purchase, Hook, Line and Sink Him and Divorced Girl Smiling

Tip 2: Get Comfortable

True, I used to be a fashion journalist, but my current writing attire does not reflect this at all. (My former editors would be aghast!) I'm all about comfort these days: tee shirts and yoga pants, with a bulky cardigan and a pair of warm socks if it's cold.

- Anna Garner, author of Lying to Meet You and Sugar Spun Sister

Tip 3: Stay Warm

Right now, it's almost -40 Celsius in Toronto so my must-have wardrobe has got to be warm. Even though I work from home, I still want to look somewhat put together in case the doorbell rings or I actually venture outside. Comfort is key. This winter, I'm loving my black Lululemon yoga pants that I've had for ten years (they still look new--ish), my fuzzy blue socks and a variety of striped sweaters that hang just so off my shoulders. On particularly chilly days, I throw on my thick purple cardigan that wraps stylishly over said yoga pants and sweaters, and I'm in writing mode. A little deodorant, a swipe of lipstick and mascara, and I'm ready for...the mail to come.

- Samantha Stroh Bailey, author of Finding Lucas

Tip 4: Embrace Work-to-Play Ensembles

This winter, it’s all about staying warm while I get started on writing my fourth book. With a new puppy in the house and constant trips outside, my new “boyfriend sweatpants” from Victoria Secret are a must. They are comfy and cozy, and being from VS – fashionable too! On my writing breaks I like to clear my head and walk or run on my treadmill, so a workout top with a good sports bra is also handy. I think I am more motivated to work out if I have cute clothes on, so racer back tops in bright colors are my go-to. My breast cancer mug will also continually be filled with hot chocolate and mini marshmallows – a must for typing away at my computer and keeping me on track.

- Samantha March, author of Destined to Fail, The Green Ticket and A Questionable Friendship

Tip 5: Don't Fear Color and Flare

I'll be starting a new fashion trend for writers this winter; I like to call it "Bag Lady Chic." To achieve this look, one must wear sweat pants (always black, because I'm all about sophistication), a long cardigan (Rock it like Mr. Rogers, ladies! According to Fashion Allure, cardigans are a sweater trend for 2014.), and to show a bit of whimsy, a colorful t-shirt with a fun, writing-related quote on it (i.e. "I'm plotting against you. I'm a writer. It's what we do."). The look should be completed by stylish, but practical, footwear that will be comfortable when a writer is pacing her office, trying to work out a scene. Santa just brought me a pair of Brooks Pure Flow 2 sneakers that are black with neon magenta accents - neon is hot, my friends!

- Tracie Banister, author of Blame it on the Fame and In Need of Therapy

Tip 6: Pair Cozy with Stylish

Being somewhat of a (reformed) diva, I'm all about looking fabulous at all times. The only time you will catch me looking anything less than cute is if I'm sick and dashing out to the pharmacy in the middle of the night to buy cough medicine. But when it comes to writing, I need comfort as much as style. This winter, I'm loving leggings with boots underneath a long tunic in a soft fabric. It's a super cozy combo, great for parking it on your behind for hours at a time at your favorite coffee house.

- Lucie Simone, author of Hollywood Ending and Picture Perfect

What are your writing wardrobe must-haves for this winter?

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  1. I love this post so much, Laura! And I am now completely OBSESSED with that typewriter key necklace and plan to order one for myself ASAP. J'adore!

    I am so honored to be a member of your Literary Glam Squad. I hope that all of the fab tips here will help our writing brethren achieve fashion greatness this winter. :)

  2. At the moment I am in pj's, but that will (hopefully) change. As a PT by day, I have bucked the fashion-typecast of khakis and polo shirts. I am all for sleek pants and boots with cozy comfy sweaters. Freezing my cooley off here in Upstate NY, the scarves are a must for me as well, and I've never been afraid of a hat. But now, I feel I MUST have that typewriter key necklace. Thank you for making me aware of its existence.

  3. This post is too awesome. I'm all about yoga pants, t-shirts and layering cardigans! I guess I'm in style and didn't even know it. Now I just need to get me some of those writer Ts, a writerly necklace and I'll be set!

  4. Funny! Old Navy sweat pants, long-sleeve tee, and hoodie here, pretty much every day.

  5. Love this post! It's fun to get an insight into the fashion lives of some of my favourite authors!

  6. What a great post :) I've been toying with the idea of doing away with my laptop bag and just getting a stylish bag instead. I'm going to do it now!

  7. Such a fun post, love reading everyone's styles :)

  8. I must have that necklace! And the boots! I loved reading everyone else's posts, and I need to do a bit more shopping.

  9. Thanks for the great feedback, everyone. This post was a lot of fun to put together, thanks to the help of some fabulous ladies!

  10. What a fabulous post! So much fun to read about everyone's style takes. My belated New Years resolution is to care a bit more about style. ;-)

  11. Love this post!! :) Love your boots, Laura! And I am obsessed with that necklace too. I must get a C one soon! ... I'm also all about the comfort when it comes to writing. Yoga pants and tee-shirt. :)

  12. I love that typewriter key necklace too! I have to get one!

  13. Love your fashion choices, Laura! It's too hot in LA to wear hats, but they're so cute!

  14. What a fun post! And how awesome to discover I already dress like an author most of the time. I wish I could wear those high boots, but I have the fattest calves in the world. They're like... well... the size of baby cows, so I guess they're appropriately named. I'm particularly rocking the scarves lately. Love them! My neck feels so naked without one anymore. Tracie's tips about yoga pants and cardigans and sneakers really made my day, too. Comfort is key!