I was planning to pack for the June tour for my seventh Dead-End Job mystery, “Clubbed to Death.” I had a wardrobe like a new widow: Black jackets. Black blouses. Black pants.
Black is the traditional color for author appearances.
Black should be perfect for a touring author. But not when you’ve been shaken like a martini at 30,000 feet, for three days in a row. Put yourself in my (black) shoes:
You are flying to your fourth tour city in four days. Now it’s 4:30 a.m., and your media escort will be outside your hotel at five o’clock to drive you to “Good Morning, Festus,” a major TV talk show.
You flip on the bathroom light, pry open your eyes, and the bags under your eyes are a perfect match for your black outfit. Someone has stolen your face and replaced it with your Aunt Marie’s – the one who talked about her operations at dinner. There isn’t enough concealer in Texas to help you.
It’s time to abandon the literary funeral and consider a color.
But where do you buy clothes that look successful without bankrupting yourself?
I’m six feet tall. My arms measure 48 inches from finger tip to tip. That means I have a wingspan of four feet – equal to an NBA pro.
A stylish outfit from Target won’t work. Those adorable, affordable knockoffs have sleeves that are too short for me. The skirts look like belts. Add a pair of fishnet stockings, and I could moonlight as a cocktail waitress.
Designer consignment shops are supposed to be crammed with bargains, but too many are overstocked with cocktail dresses.
Fortunately, I live near Sawgrass Mills mall, which has an Escada outlet. Even discounted Escada is expensive, but if I buy it during the holiday sales (Christmas, Memorial Day, etc.) I can get jackets that fit for $250 to $400 – about seventy-five percent off the original price.
Notice I said jackets. I don’t buy the matching skirts. When I wear a designer suit, I look like I’m planning the annual charity ball. Instead, I pair a designer jacket with a black top and black pants or jeans. The look (I hope) is stylish, younger and less formal than a traditional suit with a skirt.
The trick to designer outlets is to buy the classic styles and avoid the season’s weird signature color. Remember that sickly yellow green a few seasons back? About six people could wear that color. The rest looked like unburied corpses.
For the “Clubbed to Death” tour, I’m packing a deeply discounted orange tweed jacket, (pictured with this blog), a lavender jacket and a pink Escada top.
I’m not afraid of a few colors. I read that pink is the new black.