If you google “how do writers dress,” the first result basically paints writers as hipsters. “Writers always wear glasses” “Writers put on a nostalgic-smelling cologne!” “Writers avoid stereotypes in their words, NOT in their dresser drawers!” I’m not interested in repeating clichés that don’t even apply to me, let alone apply to you. So let’s do something different. I’ll list articles of clothing that you can wear when you’re seriously sitting down to write… and then I’ll list what you’re going to wear anyways. SPOILER WARNING: I’ll mostly keep men’s’ fashion in mind while typing this, because I want to maintain a weekly limit to how often I make a fool of myself.
WHAT AUTHORS SHOULD WEAR WHEN THEY WRITE: Buttoned-up collared shirt (tie optional)
Fiction might not be your full time occupation, but as the bungled saying goes, dress for the job you don’t have! A long-time commitment demands a physical signifier, something that tells your body you’re going to WORK, not watch TV while eating Doritos in your fading sweater.
WHAT YOU’LL WEAR ANYWAY: Your fading sweater.
WHAT AUTHORS SHOULD WEAR WHEN THEY WRITE: Slacks
This type of pants continues the businessperson theme, while also being generally comfortable enough to give your derriere an easy time. You don’t have to run to an expensive store to acquire a fitted pair or anything— fancy pants are in the eye of the wearer.
WHAT YOU’LL WEAR ANYWAY: Pajamas
WHAT AUTHORS SHOULD WEAR WHEN THEY WRITE: Weather-Appropriate Socks
Sports socks for summer, thick socks (like soccer socks) for sucky winter months. Look, I added this suggestion because writers are constantly distracted by lame excuses, and I don’t want you to get literal cold feet when you’re about to write a novel. Do what I do, and procrastinate writing your novel by posting daily blog updates.
If your socks are brightly-colored? Even better! You don’t want to look TOO formal here!
WHAT YOU’LL WEAR ANYWAY: A shirt that says “Thoreau wrote barefoot”
WHAT AUTHORS SHOULD WEAR WHEN THEY WRITE: A watch
Maybe I’m a bit biased, because I still wear one of these electronic dinosaurs in The Year Of Our Lord Two Thousand And Seventeen. Ask yourself this: how many of your “I’ll only check Facebook for two days” writing breaks started with you thinking, “I wonder what time is it?” A watch with a stopwatch programmed in can help you plan out your writing schedule. You can get a pocket watch, if it means THAT much to you.
WHAT YOU’LL WEAR ANYWAY: A phone tied to your wrist
WHAT AUTHORS SHOULD WEAR WHEN THEY WRITE: A comfortable belt
It’s bad enough being a self-conscious creative artiste without worrying about if people stare at your ass. Too skinny? Too fat? Don’t know? Just wear the belt.
WHAT YOU’LL WEAR ANYWAY: The same belt you had since fifth grade
WHAT AUTHORS SHOULD WEAR WHEN THEY WRITE: Underwear
I’m talking to you. Yes, you, who promised to get off the Internet an hour ago. Get a sense of shame.
WHAT YOU’LL WEAR ANYWAY: A sense of shame for anything you wrote a year ago. Right now? NO SHAME IN MY GAME
WHAT AUTHORS SHOULD WEAR WHEN THEY WRITE: Anything that lets you stop worrying and get back to work in a comfortable environment
WHAT YOU’LL WEAR ANYWAY: Anything that has the least amount of holes in them.