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Ken
07-02-2010, 03:42 PM
If an editor or an agent asked you to meet with them what would you wear? Or if you have already meet with one what did you wear? Am just curious.

If the opportunity ever arises I think I'd wear jeans, shoes of some sort, and a button down shirt. I'd be wanting to make a good impression, though at the same time I wouldn't want to overdo it and go in a suit and tie.

I think I'd wear a watch, too, for ornamentation purposes. The one I have needs a battery. Hopefully they wouldn't look at it and notice it wasn't running.

shaldna
07-02-2010, 03:46 PM
I'd wear what I always wear, something comfortable, slightly 80's, but as neat as possible. given my tattoos and number of piercings, not to mention my orange hair, i'm gonna loose out on the good impression number from the start.

jilly61
07-02-2010, 04:03 PM
I'd go for something casual,too. I'd be nervous enough about the meeting to not want to make matters worse. Probably a casual, Knee length skirt and a V-neck top.

Wayne K
07-02-2010, 04:11 PM
I did nice casual when I met an editor in NYC. Slacks and a collared shirt. For me that's dressy :D but it was appropriate

Elaine Margarett
07-02-2010, 04:13 PM
I think clothes would be appropriate. Nudity scares a lot of folks.

Calla Lily
07-02-2010, 04:13 PM
Business casual.

Sophia
07-02-2010, 04:17 PM
It would depend a little on the setting - if it was their office or a restaurant, I'd go with proper office wear as it is a business meeting, and you can't go wrong with looking professional. If it was at a conference during a kaffeeklatsch or Meet The Agent session, I'd go with smart casual.

Sophia, who looks ridiculous in smart/office clothing

Terie
07-02-2010, 04:19 PM
My agent invited me to tea at one of the fanciest, most expensive hotels in London. I wore dress trousers, heels, and my best cashmere sweater. And OMG, I think I was even more nervous about being in such a swank place than about meeting with my dream agent! It's a wonder I made it through.

Next time, the weather was fine, so instead of tea at the hotel, we went to Starbucks then sat on benches in a nearby square. Much better. Oh, and I wore dress trousers, heels, and my second best sweater. :D

CaroGirl
07-02-2010, 04:23 PM
I'd probably go with black trousers, a blouse and sport coat, with heels or boots (depending on the season). The sport coat is to cover the nervous sweat stains. :)

Maryn
07-02-2010, 04:30 PM
Business attire for me, which I'd have to purchase since I haven't been in business in a few eons. I'd probably go for a black pants suit (because I wear a lot of black), a nice blouse, and some accessory or jewelry which is sort of 'out there' and suggests a free-spirited thing going. Oh, and good walking shoes, because New York is a walking city.

Maryn, only daydreaming about having an agent meeting

Chris P
07-02-2010, 04:51 PM
My lucky undies. I don't have lucky undies, which means...

More seriously, this is a job interview; dress for the occasion, not the job. I'd rather be known as the guy who took the occasion too seriously than the guy who didn't care. At his office, I'd wear a suit. If over coffee at a neutral location, dress shirt, tie, and khakis.

Cella
07-02-2010, 04:57 PM
I would wear a skirt-suit sort of outfit or a tailored dress of some sort. Certainly more dressy than casual, for me.

seun
07-02-2010, 05:00 PM
A smile.

Bufty
07-02-2010, 05:26 PM
As long as one has washed, brushed one's teeth, combed one's hair and smells reasonably pleasant I doubt an Agent gives a toss what one wears so long as it's clean.

Jockstrap and wellington boots if it's a hot day, perhaps.....

Kathleen42
07-02-2010, 05:40 PM
Blazer over jeans and a funky t-shirt.

Matera the Mad
07-02-2010, 06:04 PM
Clothes. Clean. I would also shave my chin.

dpaterso
07-02-2010, 06:14 PM
Depends on the genre I was trying to pitch. For Sci-Fi, I'd dress like an extra from Star Trek with alien makeup and big shoulder pads. For Fantasy, an Elf with pointed ears and a forest green cloak. And so on, from a power suit with Ray-Ban Aviators for contemporary thrillers, through black PVC catsuit, etc.

-Derek

Mr Flibble
07-02-2010, 06:19 PM
Sophia, who looks ridiculous in smart/office clothing


Try and imagine me in a smart suit :D

I'd go with jeans and a smartish shirt. Prolly one of Morrocan ones, they're about as smart as I get except for formal dinners. I might even iron it first.

Toothpaste
07-02-2010, 07:54 PM
Everyone talks about what to wear to meet an agent as if there is a specific dress code for that. But the thing you need to take into account most is where you are meeting. If like Terie you are meeting for high tea, that's a different outfit than say meeting at a pub. That's the most important thing to take into consideration.

The other awesome thing about being an author is that you don't really have a dress code, we can get away with wearing just about anything so long as it's clean and respectful. It's about showing who you are as a person, as we are our own business. It's fun, and it's the only time where I don't worry too much if I'm wearing the "right" thing.

DeleyanLee
07-02-2010, 08:03 PM
When I met them at an SF/F con, I was in jeans and a comfortable shirt--but so were they.

When I met them at a professional writers' conference (RWA or otherwise), I was in business casual because that's what the (unofficial) dress code of the conference was--and so were they.

If I'm not their client and I'm meeting them in a restaurant or their office, I'd stick with business casual because it is a business meeting. If I'm already a client and it's at a restaurant, then I'd dress appropriate to that restaurant. If at their office, I just wouldn't look skanky but still be comfortable.

Ken
07-02-2010, 08:23 PM
... business casual:

for women: A reasonable length skirt (not mini-skirt) or full-length trousers of a non-jeans material combined with a top (such as a dress shirt, polo, or sweater set) is considered acceptable. An informal dress with appropriate skirt length is also acceptable.

for men: A combination of collared shirt (such as a dress shirt or polo shirt), cotton trousers (such as khakis or dress jeans) with a belt, and dress shoes (such as loafers) with socks is generally acceptable.

Wasn't sure what the term meant. So I looked it up on Wikipedia.
Insightful posts by everyone. Setting would definitely make a difference: meeting at their office as opposed to at a restaurant. ps If the meeting was at a restaurant would the meal be on them? Horrible of me to ask that. Sorry ;-)

DeleyanLee
07-02-2010, 08:53 PM
My limited experience: If they ask to meet you, they will generally pick up the tab.

If you just happen meet up at a restaurant (yes, this happened to me), it's separate unless the agent says otherwise when the checks come (yes, this has happened to me too).

spamwarrior
07-02-2010, 08:54 PM
Depends on where. I'd go with the knee length skirt, button down top, or black dress pants.

I'd leave mini-skirts and bikini top at home :P

Jamesaritchie
07-02-2010, 09:22 PM
Same thing I pretty much always wear. Boots, Levi's, and a shirt. The one exception was a restaurant wherein you had to wear a jacket and tie. I went with the pseudo Thomas Magnum look. Boots, jeans, a shirt, jacket, and tie.

Mr. Anonymous
07-02-2010, 09:56 PM
I would go naked, personally. If they still want to do business with me after that, then I know they have the passion to sell my book. ;)

Polenth
07-02-2010, 10:44 PM
I'd wear my normal clothing - jeans and a t-shirt. If they don't want to work with me because of the way I dress, I'd rather know that at the first meeting.

kuwisdelu
07-02-2010, 10:52 PM
In warm weather, grey cotton trousers and a blue button-down shirt. Burgundy leather belt and burgundy brogues.

In cool weather, grey flannel trousers and a white button-down shirt. Black leather belt and black oxfords. Casual sport coat with a rogue-ishly stuffed pocket square.

But then, that describes what I wear most of the time.

quickWit
07-02-2010, 11:07 PM
Chaps & soap suds.



...and a cowboy hat, of course.

Miss Plum
07-02-2010, 11:16 PM
Hmmm. The classic sleeveless white turtleneck that's so flattering for me? With my funky print bell-bottoms and black flats?

I'm light-years away from such a meeting, but any excuse to talk about clothes will do.

Jamesaritchie
07-03-2010, 12:24 AM
In warm weather, grey cotton trousers and a blue button-down shirt. Burgundy leather belt and burgundy brogues.

In cool weather, grey flannel trousers and a white button-down shirt. Black leather belt and black oxfords. Casual sport coat with a rogue-ishly stuffed pocket square.

But then, that describes what I wear most of the time.

Sounds very classy. Jeeze, I don't even own a pair of slacks, or a belt that doesn't have a big silver and turquise buckle attached.

I do have a black suit that works for church and funerals, but not much else. When I put that suit on, I look more like an undertaker than a writer.

I generally wear cowboy boots, but I do own a pair of tennis shoes and some sandals. No brogues, though.

I'm starting to feel like a real country bumpkin.

kuwisdelu
07-03-2010, 12:32 AM
Sounds very classy. Jeeze, I don't even own a pair of slacks, or a belt that doesn't have a big silver and turquise buckle attached.

I do have a black suit that works for church and funerals, but not much else. When I put that suit on, I look more like an undertaker than a writer.

I generally wear cowboy boots, but I do own a pair of tennis shoes and some sandals. No brogues, though.

I'm starting to feel like a real country bumpkin.

At least all your peers don't give you weird looks just because you're comfortable in different clothes than most of them. ;)

Besides, big turquoise belt buckles are awesome.

Shadow_Ferret
07-03-2010, 12:32 AM
I think I'd wear the same stuff I'd wear going on an interview. Dress shirt and tie. Dress slacks with suspenders. Nice, polished shoes. A blue blazer or suit coat. And a thong, just to feel pretty. :D

Ken
07-03-2010, 02:28 AM
My limited experience: If they ask to meet you, they will generally pick up the tab.

If you just happen meet up at a restaurant (yes, this happened to me), it's separate unless the agent says otherwise when the checks come (yes, this has happened to me too).

... thanks. Good to know and rather a relief. Otherwise I might find myself washing dishes if the restaurant was one of them posh ones in the city.

Smish
07-03-2010, 02:33 AM
Well, it depends on the location. Generally speaking, business casual is always a safe bet.

Shady Lane
07-03-2010, 03:36 AM
First time I met my agent and editor, I wore a cotton t-shirt dress with an interesting print--artsy and cool but not overwhelming, and nice black flats. And I made sure my hair was extra big.

artemis31386
07-03-2010, 03:40 AM
Chaps & soap suds.



...and a cowboy hat, of course.


I laughed so hard my computer keyboard nearly met its demise with Pepsi.

artemis31386
07-03-2010, 03:43 AM
I'd probably wear some vintage band tee (thinking The Cure or the Clash), a pair of jeans, and some heeled boots. If it's in a really nice place, I'll throw an over-sized blazer on.

Cranky
07-03-2010, 03:56 AM
Hmm. Depends on the venue, as has been pointed out.

Unless it's somewhere especially spiffy, I'd wear dark jeans, heels or boots (depending on weather), and nice casual blouse. If it's chilly, I'd wear one of my handknit shawls with a funky shawl pin, or a light blazer.

If it's Chez FancyPants, I'm wearing a simple black dress, heels and another handknit wrap (if chilly) or light jewelry. Meaning cool earrings or a nice watch.

Eddyz Aquila
07-03-2010, 03:56 AM
... business casual:


for men: A combination of collared shirt (such as a dress shirt or polo shirt), cotton trousers (such as khakis or dress jeans) with a belt, and dress shoes (such as loafers) with socks is generally acceptable.[/I]

My type of attire when meeting an agent :)
Except I would switch the trousers with dark blue jeans.

Witch_turtle
07-03-2010, 04:15 AM
In warm weather, grey cotton trousers and a blue button-down shirt. Burgundy leather belt and burgundy brogues.

In cool weather, grey flannel trousers and a white button-down shirt. Black leather belt and black oxfords. Casual sport coat with a rogue-ishly stuffed pocket square.

But then, that describes what I wear most of the time.

I like your style.

To answer the OP: I honestly don't know. All I can say for sure is black eyeliner and mascara---because my eyelashes are insanely long and make my eyes look awesome that way. I'd capture that agent or editor with my eerie, bright-eyed, smouldering gaze........

Hehe. But yes, like a bunch of people have already said I wouldn't think it'd matter *too* much what I wore.

DianeL
07-03-2010, 05:23 AM
I have an enormous affinity for costume, and am able to shift between a LOT of different modes, so if I had some idea how I thought a given agent might be most likely to market me, I'd probably play to that. Given the nature of (a) my work and (b) my person, that could go a lot of ways. I'm a pretty attractive woman, but also mature, and my work might skew to an audience of intellectuals, goths, metalheads, or people of faith. If I had no idea of the direction an agent might want to take with me, I'd present in a somewhat neutral restrained professional way, with a quality piece of "statement" jewelry to accessorize and punctuate.

I look pretty awesome in a wide-leg pants suit, and have a delicious selection of shoes, scarves, and jewelry, so the major question for me would be how to deploy my hair. In certain circumstances, I might go as far as a vintage do of some sort, instead of the statement ring or whatever. I truly love dressing for specific event moments like this.

Which may be a part of my getting the job offer I did today.

Oh, yeah - wrong thread - off to crow about my happy re-employment news elsetheheckwhere ... *Grin*

ishtar'sgate
07-03-2010, 06:00 AM
If an editor or an agent asked you to meet with them what would you wear?
Clothes. Definitely clothes.:D

Christine N.
07-03-2010, 03:09 PM
I'd be shopping first, because I'd stare at my closet and discover I have nothing to wear. So whatever I bought while shopping.

And new shoes, though I have to be particular about them b/c of my wide and amazingly flat feet.

Linda Adams
07-03-2010, 03:32 PM
Every year, I run the pitch room at my writer's conference, so I'm in full view of the agents. Even if I'm not pitching to the agents and none of them are in my genre, I want to stand out. Everyone at the conference usually wears black, so I start with a bold color. This year, since I was pitching, it was a toss up between turquoise blue or Irwin Allen yellow. I ended up with a sleeveless turquoise blue shirt with a simple floral pattern and brown cords. Since I was going to be walking around a lot and I have bad feet, the shoes were brown tennis shoes.

TrixieLox
07-03-2010, 04:05 PM
When I met with my agent, I wore black jeans, funky shirt / blouse and black suede jacket (yeah, I like wearing black!). I'd be as natural as possible and don't wear something that's unusual for you.

Jamesaritchie
07-03-2010, 07:51 PM
At least all your peers don't give you weird looks just because you're comfortable in different clothes than most of them. ;)

Besides, big turquoise belt buckles are awesome.

Well, most of my peers dress the same way. It's function, more than style.

But I'm not at all sure what we wear matters to agents and editors. I carry a handgun on a regular basis. I used to carry a Colt Gold Cup .45 ACP. Now I carry a Smith & Wesson 686, which is a stainless steel .357 Magnum. When I needed to, I could conceal the Colt. But the S&W has a six inch barrel, big grips, and a fairly thick cylinder. Concealing it is nearly impossible, so I seldom even try.

I carry it everywhere that's legal, and I've had many business meetings, including those with agents and editors, while carrying it in plain sight.

Seems to me that if I can get by dressing as I do, and carrying that big revolver, what other folks wear doesn't much matter.

willietheshakes
07-03-2010, 08:12 PM
Well, most of my peers dress the same way. It's function, more than style.

But I'm not at all sure what we wear matters to agents and editors. I carry a handgun on a regular basis. I used to carry a Colt Gold Cup .45 ACP. Now I carry a Smith & Wesson 686, which is a stainless steel .357 Magnum. When I needed to, I could conceal the Colt. But the S&W has a six inch barrel, big grips, and a fairly thick cylinder. Concealing it is nearly impossible, so I seldom even try.

I carry it everywhere that's legal, and I've had many business meetings, including those with agents and editors, while carrying it in plain sight.

Seems to me that if I can get by dressing as I do, and carrying that big revolver, what other folks wear doesn't much matter.

I'm beginning to see how your whole "don't need an agent, negotiate directly with a publisher" stance might work... :)

Ken
07-03-2010, 11:41 PM
... hmm. Well I always did like dressing like lumberjack: jeans, red and black checkered shirt and timberland boots with some splotches of mud. So maybe I'll wear that with an axe slung to my belt. If you can get away with a gun I surely can get away with an axe. Would come in handy too if I didn't care for the contract. Could chop it up. Same with my steak if we convened at a restaurant.

Elhrrah
07-04-2010, 04:31 PM
I pretty much dress like Ken describes when I'm at home. Jeans, boots, beltknife, pockets full of bolts and spare motorcycle parts; boondocks mechanic. Luckily though, I know how to work the slacks and polo combo pretty well when I'm art art shows and such.

The main advice I can give is to get comfortable in your fancy pants; it shows. If you can learn to wear so-called 'good' clothing without feeling self-conscious, you'll present better and feel more together than if you doubt your wardrobe. Depending on the setting, it might even be a good idea to dress down slightly, just so you can feel more comfortable.

DianeL
07-04-2010, 09:35 PM
Jamesaritchie, the point of dressing for any occasion has much less to do with the beholder than the wearer. The only person I really ever dress "for" lives four thousand miles away and is the sole human being who (a) ever markedly cared - other than my mom - and (b) understands the psychology of a woman dressing "for" a man, and deeply appreciates it. Ahem.

When I dress for an interview or a pitch or whatever other event piques my interest in my clothing (this includes trips to the drugstore), my concern is 100% wrapped up in how *I* feel wearing fill-in-the-blank. Do I think people notice? Sure. But do they notice in proportion to my preparation? I'd bet only ten to fifteen percet of the time, tops.

(And as regards my mom: she's one I dress in spite of, rather than for. Heh.)

Bartholomew
07-05-2010, 01:27 AM
If an editor or an agent asked you to meet with them what would you wear? Or if you have already meet with one what did you wear? Am just curious.

If the opportunity ever arises I think I'd wear jeans, shoes of some sort, and a button down shirt. I'd be wanting to make a good impression, though at the same time I wouldn't want to overdo it and go in a suit and tie.

I think I'd wear a watch, too, for ornamentation purposes. The one I have needs a battery. Hopefully they wouldn't look at it and notice it wasn't running.

Birthday suit.

Kitty27
07-05-2010, 01:58 AM
I would dress the way I always do.

Victorian Gothwear with a dash of hip-hop bling. It would cause me deep anguish to have to wear "normal clothes". I might expire at their feet from the shock to my system.

MissMacchiato
07-05-2010, 03:17 AM
lol!

I noticed a few of you mentioned you'd dress for genre you're trying to sell, as well as the venue (which seems like a sensible bet).


I'm writing historical romance slash mystery, but I might try urban fantasy or contemporary romance later down the track. I'm having a grin about what I'd wear for each of those.

I can imagine some of the fashion blogs I read putting together outfits based on genre that would be chic and somewhat impractical. Sounds like fun!

timewaster
07-05-2010, 06:22 PM
You don't have to dress like a business person but you do want to look interesting, and reasonably well turned out - like someone capable of turning up to a publicity event without scaring the horses.
I think you can wear a cleaned up version of your every day style that reflects your personality but plays down any anti social weirdness which might make social events more difficult. It is important to be comfortable in your clothes as well as in your skin so its good to wear things that make you feel confident rather than self conscious. it is hard to make a good impression if you feel self conscious about your appearance.

Jamesaritchie
07-05-2010, 07:32 PM
You don't have to dress like a business person but you do want to look interesting, and reasonably well turned out - like someone capable of turning up to a publicity event without scaring the horses.
I think you can wear a cleaned up version of your every day style that reflects your personality but plays down any anti social weirdness which might make social events more difficult. It is important to be comfortable in your clothes as well as in your skin so its good to wear things that make you feel confident rather than self conscious. it is hard to make a good impression if you feel self conscious about your appearance.

I don't do social events, and make that clear right up front.

willietheshakes
07-05-2010, 08:15 PM
I don't do social events, and make that clear right up front.

Is that what the gun is for? :)

CaroGirl
07-05-2010, 08:22 PM
I don't do social events, and make that clear right up front.
Social events aren't the same as publicity events. Publicity is business related and should be part of the job, no?

willietheshakes
07-05-2010, 08:43 PM
Social events aren't the same as publicity events. Publicity is business related and should be part of the job, no?

Dammit, Caro -- don't mess with the man with the gun!

scarletpeaches
07-05-2010, 08:46 PM
A snorkel and a balaclava.

DianeL
07-05-2010, 09:02 PM
scarletpeaches, for a sec I read that as baklava (I always *always* read that word incorrectly on the first go), and was simultaneously confused and charmed.

scarletpeaches
07-05-2010, 09:04 PM
I'm going to wear baklava next time I have an important meeting.

Along with flippers, a clown nose and a pony buttplug.

willietheshakes
07-05-2010, 09:06 PM
I'm going to wear baklava next time I have an important meeting.

Along with flippers, a clown nose and a pony buttplug.

"You're hired!"

scarletpeaches
07-05-2010, 09:07 PM
Works every time.

KTC
07-05-2010, 09:08 PM
stretch pants and a smile.

and trust me, the smile would be a stretch. sometimes even smiling makes my face ache.

aadams73
07-05-2010, 09:08 PM
Birthday suit.

I wear someone else's birthday suit. It's warmer.

KTC
07-05-2010, 09:10 PM
I wear someone else's birthday suit. It's warmer.

**insert fava beans and chianti comment here**

kuwisdelu
07-05-2010, 11:12 PM
On second thought, maybe I'd cosplay as my main character.

:D

A.R. Starr
07-06-2010, 03:20 AM
In summer, jeans, a nice t-shirt, my denim jacket and my high-heeled, knee-high boots.

In winter, fleece lined tracksuit pants, a nice top, gloves and my black leather jacket. And the same boots as in summer. I like those boots.

aadams73
07-06-2010, 03:29 AM
.

timewaster
07-06-2010, 11:18 AM
I don't do social events, and make that clear right up front.

I think that stance is harder to maintain these days. You are expected to do publicity stuff and appear human.

KathleenD
07-06-2010, 05:58 PM
Pants.

I mean "as opposed to a skirt." I think the last time I wore a skirt, it was on my wedding dress, and at my wedding, I was too distracted to freak out about Wearing A Skirt. Without the distractions, my brain tries to escape its moorings. I can just picture meeting an agent:

Is that a draft? Is it drafty because I tucked the hem into my waistband again? No, it's just riding up. Is it riding up too far? Should I have worn hose? My thighs are rubbing together, maybe I should just order a salad. How much rubbing together is normal? Do these shoes really go with a skirt? I hate shoes. Maybe I should have worn heels. Do I still have heels? What about boots? Did I dry clean this skirt the last time I wore it? I wonder what's really in dry cleaning chemicals. It can't be good for your skin. Maybe I should go get some pantyhose. Why do they call it pantyhose? Everyone I know wears panties under the pantyhose. Wait, I don't know anyone who wears hose anymore. Maybe they all stopped wearing panties underneath and no one told me.

Agent: So what's new?
Me: I'm wearing underpants.

Jamesaritchie
07-06-2010, 09:47 PM
I think that stance is harder to maintain these days. You are expected to do publicity stuff and appear human.

No, not really. I do appear human, I'd say much more so that those clones who dress for success, but I've yet to see any evidence whatsoever that publicity beyopnd what every writer already gets helps, and more and more publishers are doing less and less publicity because of this.

This "you have to get out there and promote your book" simply isn't based on reality. It's one of those things everybody says, so it must be true. But it isn't true, and never was.

Besides, if you do want to get out there and do pubicity, being one more suit in the crowd sure as heck isn't going to cut any ice.

Phaeal
07-06-2010, 10:02 PM
I think my Miskatonic University T-shirt would go down well, considering my material. For the fancy restaurants, I'll add Manolos.

Ken
07-07-2010, 01:09 AM
The main advice I can give is to get comfortable in your fancy pants; it shows. If you can learn to wear so-called 'good' clothing without feeling self-conscious, you'll present better and feel more together than if you doubt your wardrobe. Depending on the setting, it might even be a good idea to dress down slightly, just so you can feel more comfortable.

... you're right about this I think. One can get used to business attire and come to be comfortable in such get-ups and like them.

For me, the only time I used to wear fancy clothes was when I was trudging off to office jobs I hated. So I came to hate the attire I 'had' to wear too. Then I got a cool job with a magazine. There was no dress code at all and I could have worn undershirts if I liked. Instead I wore dress shirts, shoes, and sometimes slacks instead of jeans. After awhile I got used to them and am now completely comfortable in such.

All in all, clothes don't mean that much to me, anymore, compared to when I was younger. So I'm flexible and don't mind dressing for the occasion if required. So if I were to meet with an editor in their office, for instance, I'd probably go with shoes, a button down dress shirt, and slacks or new jeans (w/o patches). And if I felt overdressed the next time I could tone it down a bit.

That's just me though. The creative and individualistic ways posters above have said they'd dress sound really neat :-) ... And heck, if you look good enough to show up to a meeting naked, power to you ;-)

timewaster
07-07-2010, 01:39 AM
[QUOTE=Jamesaritchie;5115884]No, not really. I do appear human, I'd say much more so that those clones who dress for success, but I've yet to see any evidence whatsoever that publicity beyopnd what every writer already gets helps, and more and more publishers are doing less and less publicity because of this.

This "you have to get out there and promote your book" simply isn't based on reality. It's one of those things everybody says, so it must be true. But it isn't true, and never was.


I am expected to do publicity so it is a reality for me - different markets have different expectations: whether it works or not is a wholly different issue.

DianeL
07-07-2010, 03:17 AM
One of the things I have hated most about unemployment is the unending parade of "dog walking pants" I have been wearing every day. I worked for about a decade and a half in financial services in executive offices, and I MISSED the opportunity to dress professionally, very very much. Those who dismiss professional dress are entitled to their opinions, but wearing suits and good clothing doesn't diminish my writing nor anything else about me. I'm more than "fancy" clothes (which I hardly consider fancy; they suit the day, for me, in an office), and my work doesn't require me to costume myself as if I were one of my own characters, or as "An Author", or anything else. If I had a formal meeting with an agent I would feel most comfortable in heels and hose. That's ME. But it doesn't make me some sort of empty-headed dilettante, nor does it make me self-conscious, over-concerned with appearances over content, or trying-too-hard. For ME, a suit happens to have a sense of occasion about it, and that feels good to ME.

Thing is, I loathe and despise the idea of dressing the same way all the time. I'm floored by the number of people who express the desire to do exactly that, and by those who simply DO it. Women who are made up all the time, men who can't get out of the (way oversized) Dockers and golf shirts, goth kids who NEVER put down the eyeliner - I really don't discriminate based on genre; I'm just astounded at some people's *dedication* to genre dressing. I like to be a bit of a vixen on a Saturday night, and a sleek professional on weekday mornings, but I also very much revel in being the middle-aged suburban hausfrau I undeniably in my down time, and with my dog. I would be bored out of my mind being any one of those things ALL THE TIME; my consideration of dressing for any occasion - agent meetings or anything else - is born of how much more interesting it is not to be the same old visual bore all the time. I clean up well, as they say. So I like to do it.

More to the point, it is absolutely amazing how much more comfortable those dog-walking pants are after I've spent my day out in the world with actual human people, working for a living, and getting to come home and peel off all the accoutrements of professional battle. Man, no bra is better than the bra you get to take off at the end of a day at the office. And, at the same time, jeans or what have you just AREN'T that comfortable if you wear them all the time; no matter the venue, whatever the dress code is. I"ve worn jeans to work, and I swear by my heels and "fancy" outfits. They're better by miles ... again: for ME.

For the record, all of my agent meetings so far have taken place at the James River Writers conference. For this two-full-day occasion, I generally wear slinky black pants and some sort of bold colored tee, and oxford shoes for comfort. I've gotten two requests for reads thus casually dressed. I know a suit is not ALWAYS the thing. But dang if I wouldn't treat a potential "getting agented" for real meeting as a more professional situation. And love it.