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Tag Archives: Playing Dress-Up

I’ve been loving this thread about places, and definitely want to return to it! But since I just got done sorting through my summer photos, I thought I’d share this one of some of us during the Beau Monde conference in Reno.

I’m the one in the middle. That’s Cara to my left, looking very cute. (Sorry Cara, you are cute! And I envy your skill at Regency dances. And your left foot, a left foot that actually knows it’s your left foot and not your right…) To the right is our good friend Regina Scott aka Regan Allen ( I miss that rakish dandy Sir Reginald Scott, who has made appearances at previous soirees, but I have to say Lady Regina is most elegant! As for me, although the high-waisted Regency style doesn’t highlight the real waist that I do have (honest, it’s under there somewhere) and anyone who knows me can tell I’d had a few glasses of merlot by that point, I don’t care!

It was fun, though looking at the pictures from the soiree did make me think about why we like to dress up in period costume.

It isn’t as if anyone is actually going to mistake me for Elizabeth Bennett on the dance floor. Maybe more like Mr. Collins, occasionally coming close to bumping into the other dancers and messing up the entire figure. Though of course real Regency folk would have many more opportunities to practice, it’s not as easy as they make it look in the movies!

It is actually a good learning experience to don somewhat-accurate period clothing and try to recreate period activities (though I hasten to say I am not a purist and did not have my costume hand-sewn, as I’ve heard some Civil War reenactors do).

But I think the bottom line is some of us never really outgrow the urge to dress up. I figure inside me there’s still a five-year-old who clumps around in her mother’s pumps, a necklace swinging way past her belly-button.

It’s just fun.

LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE – an RT Top Pick – available now

Next Friday, I head to The Homeland (i.e. Massachusetts) to attend the NEC-RWA’s Annual Conference. During that time, I will get to a) ride a bus with my friend Kwana, who is insisting on teaching me knitting (our other friend, Elizabeth, cannot stand buses, so she’s training it there) b) not see Anne Stuart, who had to cancel as keynote speaker c) hang out with my friend Myretta Robens (known on my own blog as the Delightful Phone Friend), and d) look like even more of a ninny; see below.

See, during the Conference there is a party, a party where–wait, here’s the description:

‘Bring Your Fiction to Life’ Costume Party!
Fun Is Mandatory…Costumes Are Optional

Choose any character from fiction past or present…whether from a favorite book, movie, or even your own manuscript.
Someone was inspired to create this fictional character. Come and show us why!

Oh, my lord (and my panic has nothing to do with the quality of the idea–the idea is fine; unfortunately, so is my panic). So who do I pick? One of my favorite characters is MTV’s Daria (and I think I look a smidge like her, too), but–dressing up like a cartoon character for a party? A CANCELLED cartoon character? Might as well just wear the big ‘L’ on my forehead.

Hm. Who else could I be? Last Halloween, I went to a costume party dressed as Miss Havisham, which meant I donned my aunt’s old wedding dress and put some tattered cheesecloth around my shoulders. Equally lame as the Daria thing. Plus Miss Havisham isn’t really a favorite character.

Jane Eyre? Sorta plain garb, mud-soaked boots from tromping around searching her soul? I could do that, but it’s hardly going to feel like I’m at a party. Unless it was an orphan party or something.

I know you’re all wondering why I don’t mention Elizabeth Bennet, but geez, I’m not 18, don’t have Empire waist gowns lying around in my Brooklyn apartment, and I’m even less than tolerable. Back to the literary drawing board.

Godot? Harriet The Spy (I love tomato sandwiches!)? Lew Archer? Ack!

Who’s your favorite literary character? Who would you like to dress up as?

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