Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Thursday 31 October 2013

Clothes Maketh the Man

I just read this blog over on John Scalzi’s site and it got me to thinking.

The truth is, I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I’d been wondering whether there was a blog in it; I simply wasn’t sure how interesting it would be to many or most of my readers.

I love clothes. 

There, I’ve said it.

Clothes maketh the man.

Well they don’t, obviously, but it’s something my grandmother used to say in order to persuade us to dress neatly and appropriately and to care about our appearance. She didn’t need to say it to me; I already cared.

Apparently, I am a flamboyant dresser. I’ve been told that I am, so it must be true. In fact, I was told by someone, and I was so surprised that I asked another someone, and they confirmed this assessment.

I love clothes. I have always loved clothes.

John Scalzi doesn’t much. That’s cool. I get it. I also get the essay he linked to about poverty consciousness, about fitting in, about putting your best foot forward, about belonging, about how best to allocate limited resources, about speculating to accumulate. I’ve done a little of that in my time. I do a little of that every time I dress to shop or to go to the hairdresser, knowing that I'll get better service because of it.

I do so love clothes.

Just to prove it, here I am with the husband,
at a convention in jeans and a shirt,
and a jacket and boots
I’m heading off to a convention this weekend. I’m attending the Black Library Weekender. I always enjoy these events; whether I’m there in my own right or whether I’m simply accompanying the husband, I always have fun. I love the Black Library guys and the other freelancers, and I’m awfully fond of a lot of the regular readers. I’m in a form of nerdy geek heaven and I’m happy there.

Earlier this week I decided that I’m bored with jeans. I’ve been wearing them since my teens. I’ve been wearing them for more than thirty years, and I wear them by default, for ease, and, oddly enough, for the sake of conformity. 

For someone who actually likes clothes that’s not really very satisfying. So, earlier this week I picked out my wardrobe for the weekend and I didn’t include any jeans. Then I updated my status on Facebook to that effect.


If the comments my status update generated are anything to go by it would appear that if a woman isn’t wearing jeans she must be wearing some form of sexually fetishistic fantasy wear... Or perhaps my FaceBook folks and convention goers everywhere just happen to see me in a very strange light.

I am taking up the gauntlet. I am leaving the jeans at home. OK, I’ll be honest, I’m packing one pair for emergencies and incase I chicken out. I’m going to attempt to prove that it is possible to be a woman and a convention-goer and to be properly attired in clothes that my grandmother would find acceptable, but that won’t make anyone else point and laugh.

I do love clothes, and I hope that by the time the weekend is over some of you will love some of my clothes too, or, at the very least, recognise that it is entirely possible to manage for two days without a pair of jeans and a shirt, even if they are flamboyant.


  1. Women wearing skirts without looking attracting prurient interest is ubiquitous in mundane life, so huzzah for demonstrating it is true for geekery too.

    This post brought to you by the word prurient.

  2. funny you mention it. I haven't worn jeans in years by combination of increasing waistline, fiscal tighfistedness, and wishful thinking. it's interesting to notice that for many, jeans have become almost a uniform. admittedly, I could be merely substituting with cargo pants ... maybe when I'm not studying, and actually earning money again, I should redesign my wardrobe.