Clothes Make The… Really, Clothes Make Me Crazy


Well, I had been afraid of this… the American Research Center in Egypt has just announced that because of the Coronavirus situation the 2020 Conference has been cancelled. That’s all the official email said. I’m going to have to reach out to my team at National headquarters to find out how/if/when/whatever this affects the auction. I am heartbroken, but cannot see any other resolution to this situation. I’ll keep everyone appraised of what transpires. Sigh.


by Janis Patterson

I like a pretty outfit, sure, but I’m not one of these obsessive types who reads fashion magazines and watches all the TV shows about what’s new.

So why am I sitting here wishing for my very own personal wardrobe coordinator?

Because I NEED one, and right now.

It’s all ARCE’s fault. The Husband and I are preparing to go North (Toronto is a long way North from Texas) to attend the American Research Center in Egypt International Conference. Originally we had planned not to go, as Toronto isn’t very high on our ‘must see’ list, but once my book contract with ARCE was agreed upon, finalized and signed (nine months in the making) we simply have to go.

This is a first for both ARCE and me – they have never worked with an author on fiction before, nor auctioned off character naming rights in a novel, and I have never written a book where three people have bid (hopefully a lot of money!) to have their name put in the book as a secondary/tertiary character. It’s going to be interesting!

However – writing the book is something I can do. I’ve done it many times before, and if I have three characters whom I did not create to do honor to, so be it. This is my gift to a scholarly organization with which I have worked happily for almost 30 years.

So what is the problem?

Basically I am a simple person. Like a lot of writers I spend my days alone in my office surrounded by all my invisible friends, usually wearing comfy sweats or t-shirts and shorts, depending on the season, or occasionally my nightgown. Obviously I don’t get dressed up very often.

The Toronto conference is going to be different, though. Part of my job is to talk up the book project and convince the attendees to bid, bid often and bid high. I’m officially the Glamorous Author, which means I have to dress the part. During the day I have to appear glamorous but businesslike, so there will be lots of blazers, slacks and boots. (I don’t do pantyhose. Ever!)

There are going to be parties every night, which means at least four evening outfits. Luckily I saved all my ‘sequiny’ party clothes from the time I was a SAG/AFTRA talent agent, and they’re all old enough to be back in style, so it’s just a matter of figuring out which jewelry goes with what. You all know I’m a hopeless jewelry junkie, so accessorizing is a real consideration; black evening sandals, a plain black faille evening clutch – easy peasy. Jewelry… now jewelry is important! Do I wear the rubies with the red and black sequin jacket, or the fluffy black silk dress, or the spangled red lace blouse? The gold bracelet or the rutilated chunky quartz? Jet drop earrings or simple studs?

See why I need a wardrobe coordinator? There are so many things I could be worrying about instead of what necklace goes with what dress. However – I don’t have a wardrobe coordinator, so I’ll just have to do the best I can. That’s why I spent most of this afternoon with a pen and small notebook putting one entire outfit – earrings to shoes – to a page. Every outfit sounds good on paper; it’ll be interesting to see if my notes translate to reality.

I’d rather write a book any day. It’s easier.

If you’re curious about how these outfits end up, I’ll be posting photographs of most of them on my website in the second week of April, a couple of days after the conference ends.

11 thoughts on “Clothes Make The… Really, Clothes Make Me Crazy

  1. Sad your conference was cancelled, like so many others. When things are back to normal–and they will be–we can go back to planning what we’ll wear to this or that.


  2. Hi Janis,

    Sorry to hear about the cancellation. So many things are now cancelled. My younger son is often hired to speak at conferences and a number have been cancelled by the major pharma companies as of now. Just let’s all hope to keep healthy.


  3. Toronto has great bookstores. Enjoy the conference. Bring your hand sanitizer. My theory of dressing up: all solid colors in compatible range. Then everything can go with anything. Have fun and safe travels.


  4. I’m terrible with fashion. I’m a jeans girl. However, I do like dresses. I really like dresses that have a vintage look to them. I’ve never been trendy and I hate trying to figure out what to wear. I need a fashion person in my life!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Like you, I spend the days in comfy clothes while home. but I can start up to two or three weeks before an event figuring out the clothes/outfit I’ll wear. I think it’s a throw back to my paternal grandmother who always looked so put together. My mom was happy if she was clean and no wrinkles. Good luck at the conference. What a fun event!


  6. I am very surprised the conference has not been cancelled. Be prepared to be in quarantined up there for 14 days or more, cross back into the US, and go back into quarantine for another fourteen days plus.


  7. What a nice problem to have! I spend all my days in jersey pants and tops–so I don’t have to iron and can be comfortable. I don’t know what I’d do if I were in your situation–all my fancy outfits are long gone. Hope you have a grand time and the fundraiser makes a lot of money.


  8. Wow, what an amazing adventure! I’m with you though….comfy slacks and boots LOL! As for jewelry….just don’t wear a silver necklace with gold buttons LOL!

    Good luck and God’s blessings on your new adventure.


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