Fashion No-Man Land

I’m speaking at BYU’s Symposium For Young Readers on July 12 & 13. It’s going to be a great conference with impressive people like Gary Paulsen (who has so many Newbery medals that he probably uses them to decorate the Christmas tree). Anyway, I asked my contact there what I should wear and she told me business casual.


My wardrobe mostly consists of things that could pass as pajamas. Writers are all about comfort. I also have a lot of jeans, which probably is more casual than most businesses allow.

So I went out shopping trying to find something that would make me look like a professional. A lot of women my age are professionals so it shouldn’t have been hard, right? If there were sound on this blog you would hear me sighing now.

Note to fashion designers. Women my age don’t want to show our bra straps. Yes, I know it’s all the rage for the younger generation but I’m afraid women in my generation will never feel comfortable showing our underwear publicly. We can’t turn things that mortified us in junior high into fashion statements.

Also those large flowery prints, the ones that were big in the sixties and seventies–I still remember my mother wearing that kind of thing. How can I wear something I saw my mother wear and not feel old?

Isn’t that the whole point of having fashion change–so you never have to wear the styles your parents wore?

Anyway, I didn’t find much. Today as I packed I just threw a bunch of clothes into a suitcase and I’m hoping they’ll look professional when I pull them out. Or maybe I can find something in the airport shops.


  1. Josi
    July 11, 2007 at 6:29 am

    Black slacks–I like side zipper ones. And then a colored blouse of some kind. You can do a tank top with a jacket over it, or just a button up. Add some earrings and a necklace, some black sandals or boots and you’re done.

    But I feel your pain, it makes me crazy when I have to go shopping. good luck at the symposium

  2. Heather B. Moore
    July 11, 2007 at 8:07 am

    You’ll look great in whatever you choose, Janette! I once did an interview and the radio personality was surprised when I showed up looking “nice.” He thought all writers wore pj’s and wrote books in the attic on a typewriter. LOL. I have a nice office in the basement, with a top of the line computer and 99% of the time I’m wearing regular clothes, unless I’m writing at 4 a.m. But usually when writers go out in public they do get dressed first.

  3. Tamra Norton
    July 11, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Dogonit, Janette! I’m arriving in Utah the 14th! I would have loved to hear you speak. Grrrr.

    Anyhoo…I vote with Josi–black slacks. You’re a she-babe–you’ll look great! 🙂

    Good luck!

  4. tenacious d
    July 11, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    No Janette! Nooooo!!!! Do not go with the black pants and jewel-colored shell. No, no, no. I will send you some ideas.

  5. Erin
    July 11, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    Hey, I just found out I have a blogger display name that I don’t remember getting, so I can post after all. 🙂 I think this might by my first post on a blog.

    I am a wanna-be-writer (well I’m already a writer, but I’m a wanna-be-published writer) and I came across your web site and blog looking up editor information for an upcoming conference and I ended up reading all the posts that showed on the current page. I just wanted to let you know how much your blog made me laugh! Yeah, I know, so I ought to read your books…oh the hours I kill “working” on my writing by reading books, and web pages, and blogs, and… well, you get the point! Thanks for the good laugh! I your clothes passed the business test!

  6. Katie Parker
    July 11, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just make all your “appearances” over the phone?

    Good luck!

  7. Janette Rallison
    July 11, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    I have thought about paying someone else to pretend to be me for book signings and such, but thus far no one will take me up on it.

    Good luck on your writing Erin–eating chocolate is also considered research.

  8. Julie Wright
    July 11, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    I cannot believe you’ll be in Utah the same weekend I’m in North Carolina. How cruel is fate? I always wear black. Black top, black pants or skirt . . . it’s who I am. I unpacked for this weekend just an hour ago. Everything in my suitcase was black. I look like I’m going to a series of funerals but oh well. Black makes me comfortable. Whatever you wear will be GREAT!

  9. Enna Isilee
    July 13, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    GRRR, I wanted to go so badly. But I only just got back from camping today.

    Did my mother go Janette? Did you see her? Did you recognize her? I’ll be impressed if you did.

  10. Candace Salima . . . the LDS Nora Roberts
    July 14, 2007 at 6:26 am

    So how did it go, Janette? At the symposium — and yeah, I have the same trouble with business casual — and ditto, ditto, ditto and “you said it, sister!” Today’s fashions simply make me drop my mouth and say, “Is that underwear or a shirt?”

  11. Enna Isilee
    July 14, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    Ooh! I just talked with my grandma and she said that you were HI-larious. And she got me a signed copy of All’s Fair in Love, War, and High School. Yay!

  12. Anonymous
    July 16, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    Janette, eating chocolate passes as anything, not just research.

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