Costumes and Collars

Last night, in an effort to bond with my fabulous father-in-law I read a Janet Evanovitch novel-- the first book in the series about female bounty hunter Stepahnie Plum. One of the things that struck me most was the wardrobe changes. She started out trying to do her job in skirt suits, pearls and heals. When she had a little more experience, she switched to workout gear and the occasional hooker costume. In very subtle ways, Evanovitch used wardrobe to explain her character's progress.

For my senior research in college, I wrote about early Anglo-American novels, and how the female characters used costume and disguise to accomplish more than they ordinarily would have.

I'm laughing at myself a little, because I've become aware lately of how much I do this, too. For instance:

-I very carefully chose a black and tan (small) houndstooth print dress and black blazer for a funeral I helped with.
-I'm trying to figure out what to wear to The Inquistion in September. I'm leaning towards elegant slacks, a sweater, and a silk scarf.
-When interviewing recently with a very conservative gentleman, I wore a navy skirt suit.
-I had one of my most fun nights ever because of a white fuzzy sweater, cowboy boots and a brown hat.

But the collar's the big one. The collar's a sensitive one, too. Hell of a subversive costume for a woman. Instantly creates even more assumptions than the fuzzy sweater. I'll be conscious of what it represents when I wear it, but also of the fact that other people will have a lot of other connections.

It'll get even more interesting years from now when I have to find a shirt with a clerical collar in maternity sizes.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:08 PM

    ok, so since today is the day of the inquisition, you have to tell me what you wore. and also, whether, when you wear the white fuzzy sweater, if you still call it your "touch me" sweater. i always thought that was so cute coming from such a good, chaste girl. p.s. they just opened an Anne Taylor Loft in my mall and I thought of you. loves, Thing 2


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins