I follow fashion blogs and I love fashion. As an actress for many years and I loved dressing up and becoming someone else– for me clothes did make the man/woman. Shirley MacLaine, in her one woman show, spoke about finding her characters through what she imagined their silhouette to be. I found my characters through dress, make up and, especially when playing period pieces, where their bodies were bound. By that I mean corsets, girdles, skirt diameter, anything that inhibited movement in daily life let alone the world.
Auditions demanded a certain type of fashion. As an actress in the 1980’s and 90’s you had at least three outfits for auditions. I had a tight black dress like the ones in the “Addicted to Love” video. I wore that to audition to play villains, business women sleeping their way to the top and other nefarious types. Then came the suit, usually with a skirt for professional women: doctors, lawyers, heads of industry, and politicians. And finally perfect fitting jeans and a t- shirt or button-down which was worn to play the girl next door, sister, best friend or cop. Shoes were a basic black pump, a tennis shoe and a boot. I had two coats: a rain coat, because back then we really had winter, and a long black linen coat that I wore over the black dress when I was in dicey neighborhoods going to auditions.
I am not going to discuss commercial auditions and the times I was brought into a room full of men wearing a bathing suit to audition to play someone in an airport.
As a mom you dress for comfort. As a writer you dress for comfort. Which can leave you working in sweats and pjs. I get dressed. I find that the way I work best is to approach my time at the keyboard as a job. My dress code is still comfort but I wear my jeans and t-shirts or sweaters and sit down to work. Yes I do end up in sweats sometimes and even pjs but I try to make the effort. I remember my dad telling me about shaving everyday of WWII. It was a normal thing in an abnormal time. So when the girls were born I took a shower every day of their new born lives. Even if it was 6 pm I took a shower and I put on clothes. I tried not to spend the day in pjs.
I tried for year to not over buy clothes. Even thought I fell off the wagon later in the year I found that planning what I actually needed for the year helped keep me from over spending as well as helping me make good timeless choices. Now that I buy clothes for three women( I really miss the gymboree days when you could get 16 really cute outfits for around 300 and it would last 6 months or longer if you sized right) I have to plan. The girls grow, have events, travel and no one is in kid clothes anymore. The fashion budget has changed.
Next month I have an event to go to. As my days are writing working out and being a mom I don’t have too many “lunch outfits” but last year I started looking at clothes differently. There is that saying, “dress for the job you want.” I started deciding to dress for the job I want which is as an author coach(launching soon stay tuned), a motivational speaker(hence the lunch clothes) and as an author and mom. The last two I have handled. The author coach doesn’t need a new wardrobe but that motivational speaker women’s lunch part did.
So I started by heading to my closest outlet mall and went to Vince, Elie Tahari and St John. Ended up getting exactly what I needed as well as an evening gown. So that was a total splurge while also being a great bargain and I need an event to justify it but it is rare you will find one when you need one and I haven’t bought one in 12 years. It was time and a bargain. When the above photo was taken I bought all my formals at vintage stores. The 1980’s were an amazing time for finding beautiful, perfect condition 30’s and 40’s dresses and they were always my first choice. I still have that dress.