Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

First off, I am not sorry at all if I planted Kool & The Gang in your head with the title of this post. Welcome to my nightmare (yup, Alice Cooper).

Next, let me admit that today I have even less to say than usual. I have been reading a lot, and writing some, and that is all good. My son and I are in Minnesota visiting relatives, and it’s been a lovely time, the lack of stress meaning I’m less neurotic than normal. So I don’t have any bees buzzing in my bonnet, or ants in pants, or fly in ointment, or any other kind of insect issue.

I am gearing up for National, and I told Amanda recently I hadn’t even thought about what to pack. If I was one of our heroines, I’d probably be one of those governess-y types, the quiet, secretly witty ladies who would have only a few gowns, one good one to wear to dinner that would be way less lovely than all the other ladies, but the hero would only see my sparkling hazel eyes and the way my crooked tooth glinted in the candlelight.

But I’m not. So I have many decisions to make. Namely, what to wear.

Some men claim that women dress for other women, and perhaps that is so, but I dress for ME (which explains those glitter shirts, red snakeskin boots, Hello Kitty t-shirt and stretch jeans with the hole in the knee I wear), as well as women. And men. And anyone else who might see me and think, for a second, I’m as glamourous as I would like to be.

I will probably do my standard travel outfit of black separates, a few colorful pieces, and gowns from my grandmother’s collection. I have been wearing her clothes for several Nationals now, and probably have to repeat, but I am hoping no-one but me (and maybe Amanda) notices.

My biggest concern is that I not look muttony, as in ‘mutton dressed as lamb.’ I’m not so old I should be wearing one of those dowager’s purple turbans, but I’m too old to be rocking some clothes I love. I know that. Really.

Boy, I sure am rambling.

My Saturday night outfit–for the RITA awards–will most likely be a pink floor-length dress from the ’60s made of stiff, almost upholstery-like, fabric; it’s got an Empire waist with a cute little bow in the middle, no sleeves, and the fabric has flowers printed into it, is that passimenterie? Like a couch, only vertical, and fitting around my body. Sounds horrid, doesn’t it? I promise it looks okay.

And if I were one of those governesses, I’d be so envious of the gowns my betters got to wear, when all I had was some drab hand-me-down in a color that didn’t suit me.

Clothes–to get back to the Regency part, which is ostensibly why I’m here, although no doubt you are wondering just why I am here today–are one of the biggest reasons I love the Regency so much. The fashion was classic and simple, and you could imagine wearing some of the clothing today, at least I could.
I even like the men’s clothes, especially because my husband would look hot in those skin-tight fawn-colored breeches, he’s got long, gorgeous legs although I bet he’d rival Beau Brummell in how long it took him to get his cravat right (my husband is a modern-day dandy).
So no real questions today, except what aspect of Regency life zings you, the way the clothing does me? The architecture, the clothing, the art, the freedom of political expression, the horse culture, what?
Thanks for your patience as I blather on again.
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Elizabeth Kerri Mahon
14 years ago

I want to wear the dress in the picture. It’s gorgeous. Who made it and where can I get it?

As for me, I will probably wear my ‘homage to JLo, the Ben Affleck years” dress. Seafoam green with little pink rose buds.

Louisa Cornell
14 years ago

No blathering at all, Megan. Your wardrobe sounds darling! And I think it is way cool that you where your grandmother’s clothes, although the thought of your grandmother and I sharing some decades is a bit disconcerting. God, I feel old!

My Mom found my Golden Heart nite evening gown at a place called Second Hand Rose. It is a gorgeous, slinky (as slinky as someone my size can be) spaghetti strap gown in a midnight blue so dark it is purple. The fabric is a metallic shimmery texture. Debating whether to buy the sequined shoes to match!

The rest of my wardrobe will be my standard black and white with a few earth tones thrown in.

I too LOVE the Regency fashions for their simplicity and elegance. And I DO love a man in those fitting buckskins. Woo hoo! And the boots too!

Of course I also love the architecture and decor. All of those elegant rooms and vibrant colors. And the libraries!! Just give me one of those libraries with a modern bathroom attached and I have a home for life!

Megan Frampton
14 years ago


The dress is by Elsa Schiaparelli, one of my favorite designers.

Louisa, you should def. go for the shoes–it’s a fabulous night full of fabulous frocks, and what other chance will you have to ever wear shoes like that?

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

O Doggie One, don’t buy the MATCHING sequin shoes. Buy some that (or choose from your collection) don’t quite match. Silver or gold, perhaps, or something totally unexpected, like red, a surprise contrast to your gorgeous-sounding gown.
According to What Not To Wear, it is not a good idea to be too “Matchy-Matchy”

I can’t wear my mainstay RITA outfit because it is the much photographed one that I wore for the RITAs when I won. Last year I had my alternative RITA dress to wear, the one I bought in case I didn’t like the filmy pants outfit I ultimately wore.
I have purchased a not-so-formal top to go with my black pants, but I’m going to go out shopping again, just to see what’s out there.

I also (while finishing my book which I finally turned in yesterday..just saying) ordered a bunch of clothes from Macys online. Some good; some needing returning.

Some people think going to RWA is to further your writing career, but really, it is all about the clothes. When else do I have to think about What Not to Wear!

I’m debating whether to dress in my Regency dress this year. Might do it!

Keira Soleore
14 years ago

Elizabeth and Megan, your dresses sound divine. I’m going to be wearing a two piece, a floor-length skirt in mulberry with a full-sleeved jacket-like top with embroidery in pink and gold on mulberry.

Louisa, oh, do go all out and buy the matching shoes.

Architecture, furnishing, and manners that govern day-to-day living is what fascinate me about the Regency.

Keira Soleore
14 years ago

Diane, go for your Regency outfit.

Janet Mullany
14 years ago

Megan, you always look great and I’ve seen some of the vintage pieces, which look wonderful on you.

My discovery for the conference is a reversible skirt, and I always try to wear stuff that hides the food stains (since I’m a messy eater).

Amanda McCabe
14 years ago

“it is not a good idea to be too “Matchy-Matchy””

Like a bridesmaid! 🙂 Megan, if it’s the pink dress I saw at your house, it’s beautiful and not sofa-like at all. Very Jackie Kennedy.

“The dress is by Elsa Schiaparelli”

It’s gorgeous, but there isn’t a lobster on it. 🙂

Due to some work scheduling stuff, I have to leave Saturday (waah!), but will be cheering for you from a distance, Louisa! For Friday, I have a new black-and-white bubble-skirt cocktail dress, that looks a bit like a deconstructed-tuxedo Marchesa dress I envied but could not afford. For Thursday, I have a ’60s style blue ombre minidress. And for the Beau Monde soiree, a whole new costume I LOVE!!

I also found a website about how to construct a Georgiana-style picture hat. I adore those hats, but am not very craft-y, so I don’t know if I should attempt it…

Deb Marlowe
14 years ago

Megan! I’m so glad you’re going to San Fran! I had it in my head you were skipping this year. I can’t wait to see your fab vintage dress–it’s one of the highlights of conference for me. 🙂

Louisa, your outfit sounds divine! I’ve got a gorgeous high waisted, low necked sparkly top with cap sleeves to wear on Rita night. I feel like a Regency miss in it!

I’m with you,too, on the tight men’s pants. Definitely a reason to love the Regency.

Amanda, you’re killing me! I can’t wait to see your new super secret soiree outfit!

Cara King
14 years ago

I have a big poofy ball gown — sleeveless black velvet top, grey & black flocked skirt — that I love to wear to the Ritas, but I’m flying this year, and I just don’t see it fitting into my one suitcase!

So I’ve no idea what I’ll wear to the Ritas.

For the soiree, I have my Regency gown. I do think women’s fashion in the Regency was lovely — for women who were shaped like Gwyneth Paltrow. For those of us with hips, it’s a bit less flattering.

And for the rest of the time? I’ll try to look vaguely respectable, and not have shoes that kill my feet… 🙂


Elena Greene
14 years ago

I can’t wait to see your vintage outfits, Megan, and your new Regency gown, Amanda.

I watch the makeover shows but to me dressing is a bit like English country dancing. I’m never sure I’m getting it right but it’s fun anyway. 🙂

I’ll be in Regency garb for the soiree if it still fits (note to self–must check!) For the awards night, I’ve got a simple black dress, but I’m looking for some vintage jewelry to glam it up.

Susan Wilbanks
14 years ago

I won’t be at RWA this year, but I am attending two conferences in the next four weeks–Pacific Northwest Writers Conference here in Seattle next weekend and the Willamette Writers Conference down in Portland two weeks after that. So this weekend I’m planning a bit of a shopping spree! AFAIK neither conference has anything to compare to the GH/Ritas, but since I’m a finalist in PNWC’s contest, I’m going to try to find something a bit dressier than I’d normally wear for the banquet night. Like, an actual skirt or dress, instead of my standard black job interview pantsuit.

As will surprise exactly no one, I love Regency-era military uniforms. I ordered this book yesterday, and I have to confess at least part of the appeal is I want to pet the cover…

14 years ago

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with Hello Kitty t-shirts. I’m fascinated by Regency architecture and furniture. I love going to the Met to look at the furniture exhibits.

14 years ago

Ooh, I can’t wait to see Megan’s dress!

I am celebrating good times today because…

I quit my job
Just had to share
I’m unemployed
and I don’t care!

Reality will sink in later, all I feel right now is relief.

I’m looking forward to all you Toasts at the Soiree and the GH/Ritas!!

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

I quit my job
Just had to share
I’m unemployed
and I don’t care!

Janegeorge! Way to go.

When I was debating leaving my job, a friend of mine told me, “Diane, God wants you to be happy.” I made the decision right then to leave.

Two weeks later I sold my first book.

May the same happen to you, but even if not, God wants you to be happy, too.

14 years ago

Thanks, Diane!

Happy, happy, happy!

See you in SF.

14 years ago

I will not be at the RWA conference, so I will say home in my pyjamas with my cats.

I like lots of things about the Regency–the art and architecture, the interesting historical transitions, the literature, and sure, the clothes are cool, too.


Megan Frampton
14 years ago

Aw, thanks for the nice words about my clothes, guys. I have to admit that getting to wear those fancy togs really makes Conference for me. I just wish I had a Shiaparelli; I’ve got one vintage Pucci piece, but I might not bring that this year. We’ll see.

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