Monday 8 August 2016

Wearing the Write Stuff or What to Wear at Your Book Prize Ceremony

by Addy Farmer

It's Summer and there are things to do
Because it is Summer and nobody is going to read this and crucially, I wear clothes, I have decided that I am qualified to give advice on the important matter of what to wear at a prize ceremony.


Most people who come to me for fashion advice say, 'Addy, you always put clothes on (mostly), tell me what to wear to my literary lunch/literary party/literary-do-thing.'
To which my standard and brilliant response is, 'Not pyjamas.'
There, you have it.
Everyone then has a jolly good laugh and says, 'Yes, but seriously, I need more than that.' So, for what it's worth, here's my guide to wearing the write stuff.
I'm on the right-hand end in green looking like a chlldren's author who has won a PRIZE
Let me say this straight off the bat. I have WON A PRIZE and it was glorious. I was a winner of a Northern Writers Award in 2014 and I spent AN AGE deciding what to wear and finally went with comfortable plus indie plus a hint of camouflage going on. Nice.

Please don't feel that you have to rush off in search of the same outfit (although it would suit you, Nick Cross), there are other clothes available.

1. Go direct to the Prize Givers and read the advice as to what is acceptable wearage. Take the Nobel Prize for Literature for example. The Award Ceremony in Stockholm and the banquet that follows is a strictly formal affair. Gentlemen are required to wear white tie and tails, while ladies should be dressed in an evening gown. This is the perfect time to dress up and look like royalty! Wearing your national costume is an alternative to white tie and tails or evening gown.

A fine choice of national dress for the discerning children's author

Not forgetting the gentlemen
Then, there's always the old favourite - Elizabethan Extreme
2. Work it, baby! There are those of you who will relish the opportunity to show off not just the fact of winning a prize but also your own striking fashion vibe ... .

Bonkers genius
Dubious genius
3. How about the sporting look to enable running up to the stage and running away again. Plus adaptable enough for adopting the power stance advocated by Kathryn Evans.

Comfy and fast plus you can take down your literary opponents
see above caption
4.  There are perks to being a wall flower I believe, so you could try this ...

You'll be barely noticeable
5. Or how about distracted genius ...
There aren't many who can carry this off
6. Since it's a children's book award why not run with the children's theme
A bold choice

standing on head is optional

Moomins are appropriate at any time
7. Why not really ram home your win and dress to echo your own book
Super hot

it could work

In the end, my best advice is ... be yourself - there's no better look (apart from pjs obvs). Have a lovely Summer!

For Teri, who attends many award ceremonies and always knows what to wear ... hem-hem


  1. "not PJs": yes Addy does regularly provide excellent what-to-wear advice!
    I know that agonising over what to wear is actually a displacement activity. It takes my attention away from agonising over what to say, which is far more worrying.

    1. I am a bit of a fashion guru, Teri when it comes to the not-wearing-pjs-advice.

  2. Haha, nice post. Of those, I'm taken by the alpine strudelhosen look. At the la-la land award ceremony I go for Schiaparelli. Agree with TT about the what to say bit; fortunately short-listees can sit happily naked and silent at home.

    1. Oh, there's a whole world of bonkerdom out there! Alpine strudelhosen sounds practical, striking and tasty - it ticks my boxes. Thanks, Ana!

  3. Love the David Bowie trousers. Plenty of room for snacks in there.

    1. You make a VERY good point, Paula. I think they're the fashion equivalent of hamster pouches.

  4. I think I'm going for the Elizabethan look but with extra wide ruff. Then, when I don't win I can lift it and turn it into a cone and hide inside to cry. After congratulating the winner with heartfelt sincerity of course. Winning isn't that important.

    1. It's the wearing that counts not the winning, of course! The gracious-loser-face is the subject for another blog perhaps. I think Extreme Elizabethan will suit you and I look forward to dancing on attendance at your book award, Maureen.

    2. I'm a pro at the noble loser face! Hilarious post, Addy!


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