Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Fashion Police

I just wanted to pop in and tell everyone to shoot over to http://toberead.wordpress.com/
My writing partner, Faye Hughes and I are blogging about: Why Can't Life Be Like A Romance Novel? Faye's post is up today, tomorrow I will be taking a stab at it. So pop over!

Crime Scene Christie

Deadly Deleon blogged about this very subject once upon a time, and she even touched on it yesterday, but recently this issue has been bought to my attention—on more than one occasion—and I’ve decided to take a stab at the whole fashion-sense subject myself.

Fashion sense is right up there with common sense, right? It’s about color, tone, texture, body shape, and form. Hey, I write a monthly interior design feature, basically I make part of my living by dealing with design concepts.

It’s not algebra, guys.

I mean, what’s to stop a woman from walking into her closet, pick out a top, a cute skirt, choose a belt, a scarf, snatch a couple pieces of jewelry out of the box and “Shazam!” a snazzy outfit is born.

Well, I don’t have a freaking clue what’s stopping me, but I’ve never been able to do it. (Now, there’s the issue of not being able to walk in my closet, but I’ll save one that for another blog.) And no, it’s not algebra, but I seriously missed out on the “fashion togetherness” gene.

Don’t misunderstand, I don’t consider myself totally fashion-impaired. I don’t walk around wearing stripes running horizontally across my backside. I know that crop tops were not meant to accent belly rolls. I’m aware that tight white polyester and cellulite don’t do well together. (You’ve seen them at the grocery store, too, huh?) I’m generally cognizant of what colors make me look sick to my stomach and which ones accentuate my skin tone and bring out my eye color.

But I am slightly envious of the women who always look so “pulled together” that they could have walked off a catalog page. And the only place they shopped was their own closets. And when you compliment them on their outfit, they always say,” Oh, this? I haven’t done laundry and just snatched something out of my closet.”

I’m even more envious of the women whose style is just a bit edgy, trendy, and they look great wearing it, too.

I’m more of the classic-style of dresser. Which is just another way of saying, extremely boring.

I’ll admit that I’ve tried to add a little spunk/spark to my wardrobe. Last year, I bought a black velvet French beret to wear with a black sweater jacket which was accented with a strip of black leather down the button line. The buttons were large silver, stylish “Harley-Davidson-ish” looking buttons. I pulled the outfit together with a pair of black pants and nice metallic silver shell to be worn beneath the sweater.

I put the ensemble on, looked at myself in the mirror and thought, Damn, who’s that forty-something woman trying to look like a hot babe but ain’t even close to being hot?

And just to make sure my opinion wasn’t off, I came downstairs and casually walked into the room with my son and husband. Their uncontrollable laughter had me digging in the trash for the store receipts lickety-split. (I mean, I’d paid dearly to look that ridiculous.)

So, I’m back to the nice classic style of suit-jacket, matching pants, in my skin tone-acceptable colors. As always, my outfits are topped off by a very small brimmed, nothing too showy with feathers or anything, type of hat, which has grown to become my trademark.

However, my demure style of dress and lack of fashionability has been a slight embarrassment to some. Namely, my mom, who owns more belts and earrings and scarves than a junk yard dog has fleas. Her closet is like a walk-in boutique with all the latest trends, styles, and hot colors. Her hair is dyed red, her jewelry always . . . always matches her clothes, even her shoes. Her purses look as if they were made by the same designer who put together her shoes. And frankly, she pulls it off with pizzazz.

Don’t you know that she’s constantly trying to save her daughter from her humdrum style, too? I have a whole closet full of mother-gifted clothes. Why, just last month while visiting her in Los Angeles, I was wearing my silver heart-shaped necklace, with a small pair of 14-karot gold earrings. (See, I even wore them in my press picture.)

Mother dropped me off at the OCC chapter meeting, and took the shortest route to the mall and bought me a pair of silver earrings to wear the next day when I went to church with her. I mean . . . to my mother, wearing gold earrings with a silver necklace was as bad as corduroy in the summer, or white cotton before spring.

So . . . now I’m getting ready to pare down my wardrobe for the Romantic Times’ Conference. I know there’s going to be hundreds of women wearing the latest, trendiest styles. And I’m thinking maybe I need to go shopping and get something . . . something different. Something that doesn’t look like the same thing I wore last year. I’ll let you know later how it comes out.

So what about you, guys? Want to share any fashion mistakes or fashion impairments? Offer any fashion tips for the fashionably-slow?

Crime Scene Christie


Anonymous said...

Pretty funny, Christie. I'm usually pretty good at pulling together an outfit ... as long as its something simple and that I can interchange different tops with. However, as far as jewelry goes ... I'm a jewelry hound. I have most everything needed to bring an outfit together and then some. If I don't have it, my MIL does.

Liz Kreger

Jana DeLeon said...

Sorry Christie, but I'm with your mom on the earrings. :)

Wearing fun, trendy clothes is not about body shape, size or color - it's about attitude. Those women you see that you think are so fashionable and pull it off, do so because they love the clothes and are comfortable with them on. I understand that b/c I am the same way. I don't care if it's horizontal stripes, big blue polka dots or a jungle scene. Don't care if most people think I shouldn't be wearing it at all - if I like it, damn it, I'm wearing it.

You just need a little attitude! God knows you have the quirky personality to pull off anything you want to do. Just be fearless with your wardrobe the same way you are with your writing. (low blow, huh?) :)

Anonymous said...

Yanno, Christie, you have some nerve complaining about the Fashion Police after last summer at national.

You guys should have been there. I'd been bragging to her about this really cute new black jacket I'd bought - on sale! - just for national. Christie nods and smiles and then says," So, when are you going to take off that ugly navy blue one and put on the cute black one?"

Yep. I apparently can't tell the difference between navy blue and black because my "cute new black jacket" was navy blue. And there I was, all ready to wear it with my black pants and snazzy new green blouse. LOL.

I think I could have still pulled it off but would Christie let me? Nooooo. LOL.


Christie Craig said...


Thanks for stopping by. Nice website, by the way! And I noted the very cool jewelry you wore in your bio photo, too.

I buy a lot of interchangeable outfits, but again, they are mostly in the same style.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...


My mom will be a happy to know you agree with her. :-)

And I think you hit the nail right on the head. A woman has to feel comfortable in her clothes. And that's my problem, I always feel as if I'm playing dress up and not being true to myself.

Now about being as fearless in my wardrobe as I am with my writing. What do you mean? I consider my fiction to be very sedate, and classic stuff. No?

Okay...I'll take your advice to heart and consider it as I go shopping Jana. But I refuse to wear horizontal stripes across my rear end!


Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

I'm sorry Faye. But that navy color did not work with the black and the pea soup/stomach ache green.

Hey...what are friends for if not to tell each other things like that? I mean, if I got spinach in my teeth, or had the toilet seat cover hanging out of my pants, you would tell me, right?


Who am I kidding? You would let me walk around and laugh your butt off!

Crime Scene Christie

Jana DeLeon said...

Please, romance writers have to be fearless - especially if we want to say what we do out loud in mixed company. :)

So forgo the stripes across your rear, but horizontal stripes across your chest might stop traffic!

Christie Craig said...

Okay Jana,

Don't start with the girls! :-)

They are constantly being downplayed and NOT decorated to stand out.


Crime Scene Christie

Gemma Halliday said...

Oh, girl, I wish you lived closer. I would so take you to the mall for a make-over Gemma style. For me, fashion is a little like algebra. It’s like all the stuff in my closet just needs to be put in the right combo and – voila – problem solved! Unfortunately, being short, you have to be extra creative as most of the latest trends are made for women like Jana and Kathy – all legs.

But, I must say, I LOVE your hats. Whatever you do, don’t lose those!


Christie Craig said...

Thank you Gemma!

I mean...being short makes this all that harder.

And girl, I wish I lived closer too. I would so take you up on that makeover.

Crime Scene Christie

Anonymous said...

Are you sure it makes sense to pay attention to fashion comments from two guys who think leaving a pair of boys skivvies in the middle of the kitchen floor is the hight of home decoration?
BTW, what kind of wild life do you expect to come home to after this convention?

Lark Howard said...

Christy, I went to the RT convention booksigning in Houston and I'm here to tell you don't worry--there wasn't a lot of chic and trendy going on.

A wise Houston socialite (is that an oxymoron?) once told me, "People care about what they're wearing, not what you're wearing. Unless you look fabulous or hideous, no one really notices your clothes." That observation has gotten me through many a snotty social event. (That, a black pants suit, a black cocktail dress and a very tall pair of black Charles Jourdan pumps.)

I'm sure you'll look great!


Christie Craig said...


LMAO! You have an excellent point!!

As for the type of wildlife? Hmm...yesterday son asks to borrow my camera. He steps outside, comes back, hops on the computer, and continues to look at the camera. I say...what are you doing? He says checking to see if the snake I caught is really a cottonmouth.

But to answer your question, I swear, if anything new shows up, I'm frying its butt and serving it to them for dinner.

Crime Scene Christie

Leslie Langtry said...


I'm totally FASHTARDED. I live in a t-shirt and jeans (shorts in the summer, natch). My mom always looks great, but I have to work at it. And Jana - you are so right on about clothes not made for women with breasts.


Christie Craig said...

Okay Lark,

I love the advice. And it's true. Thanks. However, I may need to pick me up a new black dress.

Crime Scene Christie

And yes...that is an oxymoron. (Smile)

Christie Craig said...


At least we be fashtards together.

Thanks, it's good to know I'm not alone.

Crime Scene Christie

Kathy Bacus said...

Sorry, Crime Scene. I got nuthin' for you, girl. I come from a career where my wardrobe was selected for me and all I had to do was buy the requisite white T-shirt, socks and under garments. I'm still fashion challenged and trying to learn the art of accessorizing.

Good luck getting ready for RT. I'm sure you'll look fab no matter what you end up wearing!

~Bullet Hole~

Angie Fox said...

LOL We should start a club. I'm wearing my usual uniform - jeans and a t-shirt. Isn't that one of the benefits of doing what we do?

Anonymous said...

I understand snake taste like chicken. :)
I don't know about fried though.

Christie Craig said...


I remember you posting you were fashion challenged as well.

Hmm...do you think we could talk writing conferences into creating uniforms?

But I have to ask you. How's the hair coming along?

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...


Yup, working at home comes with the "work as you come" rule. And a lot of times, I come into my study wearing PJs. Makes calling it a day really easy. :-)

Thanks for postin girl.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...


I'll let you know how it fries up.

Crime Scene Christie

Kim Lenox said...

Christie, I think you need to wear something "slinky" to RT.

I've always wanted to wear slinky clothes, ever since the 5th Grade when my mom told me I couldn't have that green dress in JC Penneys because it was "too slinky".

Keri Ford said...

I’m going to echo some of the previous comments. It’s all about your confidence in what you have on. If you feel uncomfortable, you’re going to look uncomfortable.

That said, there are a great many folks out there, some sadly are part of my family, who wear things they THINK look fantastic on them, but, uh…they don’t--this is usually due to their clothes is missing a few yards.

So, ACK! What’s a girl to do?? Find some great friends who would never lie to you and haul them to the store with you. If you don’t have anybody close, like me, I’ve asked the hubby before. He’ll tell me if I look like a piece of white trash or if I look okay. Sometimes it comes down to a gut feeling.

maybe we can talk our more fasion-wise dressers of the Killer Fiction ladies to give some pointers on their next posting???

Christie Craig said...


Slinky, huh?

I'm not sure the world is ready for me dressed slinky? LOL.

But hey...I will think about that when I go shopping.

Thanks for posting Kim.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Thanks Keri.

I do have a few girlfriends who are honest. I think the hard thing is finding something different that still feels comfortable in my fashion boundries. Which means . . . lots of shopping time. Have I said I also hate shopping. I swear, my mom, the shopper of all shoppers, worries I might have gotten swapped at birth.

Oh, and I have a few of those same family members, too. It always makes family gatherings rather interesting.

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Nancy Kay Bowden said...

Clothing is not the problem. It's shoes! I really don't like wearing them. I'm SO picky about comfort that before we moved to England
(1988) I made sure I bought a second pair of my most favorite-in-the-whole-wide-world comfy AMERICAN flats. (They couldn't possibly make comfortable shoes in England, right?) I already owned a pair in black, so I bought a pair in blue. Fast forward to fun times in in London. One night, we were invited to join some people from my husband's office for dinner and the theater. After dinner, as we walked down the street to the West End theater, one of the women tapped my shoulder, glanced at my feet and said (insert a lovely British accent here,) "Do they wear their shoes like that in America?" Yep, I was wearing one blue and one black!

Needless to say, I'm very careful when I pack for conference... and I ALWAYS double check my feet before I leave my hotel room. BTW, if you ever catch someone kicking off her shoes during a workshop, really, it's not me. :)

Christie Craig said...

Hi Nancy,

Hmmm...shoe impaired.

I have to tell you that my mom did that once. Two different colored shoes.

Too funny.

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Anonymous said...

I can tell good outfits when I see them, but as for pulling them together? There was a reason my roommate put my outfits together when we used to go out clubbing. *g* She had much better fashion sense than I did.

Christie Craig said...


I'm feeling better and better about my impairment.

Thanks so much for posting girl.

Crime Scene Christie

Anonymous said...

Now girl you always look like you are headed to a business meeting when I see you. I have never noticed your imparment. So i guess that the idea that people dress up when they are going somewhere important, fits here cause you always seem like you have dressed up to come visit HOME.

Keep the laughs coming .

Christie Craig said...

Ahh Terry.

Thanks. I do try. It's just when it comes to serious bling-bling I never measure up.

Thanks for popping in.

Crime Scene Christie

Gemma Halliday said...

Okay, that's it. After reading all your posts, I think a serious San Fran shopping trip is in order for nationals. You are all such gorgeous women, there's no reason you shouldn't look drop dead! Come to the fashionable side... the force of fabulousness is strong in you...


Cait London said...

We have to have a terrific story and dress well, too? Egad.

I offer some Conference clothing tips at my website, but I've never tried to do anything trademark. I'm a low-key sort of person.

I used to go into a panic over travel, but have decided it unnerves me too much and I just have to do the best I can. Now, I like what travels in a carryon and rolls without wrinkling. Since I live rural and shopping takes time away from writing, I rely on QVC's Susan Graver a lot. (I know, people are gasping out there.) But her navy blues match, etc., either in plain or in print. I try to update a piece now and then over basics. A pair of comfortable dress and walking shoes.

And I've never, ever liked shopping or lined suits. They weigh too much when traveling. Unless you're a 0 and I'm way past that :)

Christie Craig said...


I'm 100% positive that shopping with you would be a total riot. And with all your Maddie influence, I'll bet I would come away looking totally cool and maybe even hot.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...


I'm with you. What's up with having to do both?

I'm going to check out your website for tips.

I do buy a lot of TravelSmith. Here comes another confession: in addition to being fashion-impaired, I'm totally allergic to irons and ironing boards.

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie