Every now and then I come across writing about academics and clothing. I’ve seen ‘stuff’ about: the stereotype of corduroy and leather patches, how we women academics resent being judged on what we wear, and advice on what to wear to suit your academic position. There’s also some fashion oriented writing for academics too.
However, I have yet to see anyone discuss what they wear while writing.
This might be because it just isn’t an interesting topic. But I wonder, would a revelation of what we all wear when writing be as interesting as the pictures of where we write – our various offices and desks? I know I’ve never looked at one of my colleagues the same way again after his confession that he always writes wearing his Superman pyjamas.
I always write in old trackies, a tshirt, a jumper if it’s cold, and a pair of slippers. I put this salubrious outfit on as soon as I get up, generally pre-shower. Cup of tea in hand, I go up the stairs to my office loft. Putting on public-work-appropriate clothes marks the break between writing and the rest of the day. Trackies by then a distant memory, I head off to work or go back to the loft office to do less creative academic tasks …
I know that I am completely unsightly and unfashionable when writing, as anyone who has skyped in the morning with me knows. I am however very, very comfortable.
And I’ve been wearing much the same combination of writing clothes for a long time. Since my PhD. Getting up and dragging on the trackies in the morning is a clear signal that I am now going to write for a couple of hours.
The writing clothes signal to me that this is what I’m going to do and they signal to others in my house too. If I’m in my trackies and slippers don’t expect me to stop and get into a long conversation – I’m in writing mode. And do not interrupt me on the way upstairs, the thinking is already happening.
And I do put on the daggy writing clobber most mornings. This is not an occasional outfit of choice, but a regular habit. (A poor pun, apologies.) I can write in other clothes of course, but the trackie-slippers combo are my first choice.
To my mind – and body – writing requires this level of daggy. So what is this daggy? Daggy is an Australian term which means definitely and absolutely not stylish, unfashionable, untidy, not cool. Daggy can be used as a term of abuse – but is perhaps more often used affectionately, as in She’s a bit of a dag in her writing clothes. #antistyle. #dag. Resolutely #scruffy and #downmarket.
But I am seriously interested – what do other people wear when writing? Are you daggy when you write too? Or are you …. ???