What’s your writing uniform?

Hi. Barb here wondering–Wickeds, what do you wear when you write?

I know some full-time writers arrive at their desks everyday in full makeup and dressed like they’re going to the office. They think it helps reinforce the idea that writing is professsion. Others believe the luxury of working at home means you can write in sweatpants or even pajamas.

Some of the Wicked have day jobs they have to dress for, while others work from home. But my questions remains–what do you wear when you write? Do clothes affect your productivity in anyway?

dressSherry: I just throw something on like in the picture and swish down the hall to my computer. I need to look nice when I write. Did anyone believe that? I’m usually in jeans and a t-shirt. My hair is usually done and my makeup on. Occasionally I’ll write for a bit in my robe but not very often. I want to be ready if opportunity knocks — or a salesperson.

Jessie: I have to admit to being the type of person who wears heels and red lipstick even to the grocer. Leaving the house under-dressed is just not my way of being in the world. So, that tendency has helped me to select a very effective work uniform: ugly velour sweats. I have several sets in a variety of colors, complete with hoods, which I refer to as my thinking caps. After donning these uniquely unflattering outfits I know there is no way I will be leaving the house or even answering the door. I don’t let myself change out of them until I reach my word count goal for the day.

mormonsBarb: I admit to starting the workday in my nightclothes. Who knew my role model for adulthood would be Eva Gabor in Green Acres? Usually, after I answer e-mails and check Facebook and do what I call “the business of writing,” I head upstairs and dress in jeans or cords and appropriate layers. However once in a great while, I get so caught up in what I’m doing, I never make it upstairs to change. And that is ALWAYS, ALWAYS the day my usually silent doorbell rings….

Julie: This is such an interesting question. I had first thought “well, I work weekdays, and still write, so I am in my work clothes” but that is a big fat lie. I write in my pajamas most days. If I write at night (which I often do), I come home from work and put on my pj’s before I start. And on the weekend, I may put yoga clothes on and pretend I am dressed, but let’s face it, they are just pj’s I can wear outside and not be embarrassed.

boatneckEdith: What a fun question, and interesting what it reveals about us! Now that I’m home full time, I wear jeans and one of my many collarless knit shirts, plus a fleece vest or sweatshirt. Summer variation is shorts and a t-shirt. I don’t wear makeup, but my hair and teeth are brushed before I sit down to work. But I have also written in work clothes, yoga pants, author-event clothes, funeral outfit — and I don’t think it makes any difference to what comes out onto the page.

Liz: As one of the Wickeds with a day job, I have to admit that I’m barely through the front door after work before I have either pjs or workout clothes on. After an entire day of being buttoned up and expected to have “executive presence,” I’m good. If I’m wearing workout clothes, I’m in pjs as soon as I shower and change, and then I’ll write. If I write in the mornings, I stay in pjs as long as humanely possible – weekends too. I’m happiest when I’m comfy!

Readers: What do you wear when you’re being creative? Does it make a difference?

14 thoughts on “What’s your writing uniform?

  1. I go for comfort! Right now it’s an orange hoodie (that I would never wear outside the house) and a pair of chef’s pants, which are great–decent enough to wear to open the door, but nice and baggy. (My grandmother, who lived in a “nice” NY residential hotel, would put on a girdle and stockings to take the trash down the hall. The only time I ever saw her in pants was when she was in rehab after breaking a hip in her 80s.)

  2. I usually head to the computer as soon as hubby leaves for work in the morning, so I start out in my pajamas. When I either get hungry or tired of sitting, I’ll put on jeans or what I call my don’t-go-out-in-public clothes (ratty shorts in the summer, yoga pants in the winter).

  3. Your post made me immediately recall my favorite author’s scribbling cloak…….. “Her ‘scribbling suit’ consisted of a black woolen pinafore on which she could wipe her pen at will, and a cap of the same material, adorned with a cheerful red bow, into which she bundled her hair when the decks were cleared for action. This cap was a beacon to the inquiring eyes of her family, who during these periods kept their distance, merely popping in their heads semi-occasionally to ask, with interest, “Does genius burn, Jo?”
    “They did not always venture even to ask this question, but took an observation of the cap, and judged accordingly. If this expressive article of dress was drawn low upon the forehead, it was a sign that hard work was going on, in exciting moments it was pushed rakishly askew, and when despair seized the author it was plucked wholly off, and cast upon the floor. At such times the intruder silently withdrew, and not until the red bow was seen gaily erect upon the gifted brow, did anyone dare address Jo.”
    …….bet you know who I’m thinking of!

      • actually, she was! I’ve many times been up to her garret at Orchard House (to retrieve craft items for girl scout visits) and would often pause a moment and look out the window…..and imagine.

      • Lovely, Julie! I love Orchard House–it’s so human (the first time I visited was after Norm Abram said on This Old House that the place was falling apart). You work there? What about the work desk that the father built in the front bedroom?

  4. Not completely sure I qualify as creative, but when I’m at home, I’m usually in warm up pants (winter) or shorts (summer) and a T Shirt. I like to be comfortable.

  5. I’ve volunteered at Lacey Loves to Read for years where the audience was mostly children. As a member of Friends of the Lacey Library, I’ve helped at author events for adults. I was a volunteer at the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association’s 2012 fall tradeshow when it was held in Tacoma, Washington. Their were at least a dozen authors in attendance, as speakers or signers & the audience was all adults. In between over the years, I’ve had many books signed for my husband, son, & friends to give as gifts. On every occasion, every author was dressed like it was casual Friday, so your attire while actually writing to provide us with more mysteries is fine!

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