You know, folks, sometimes, there’s no denying the truth, no matter how unpalatable. And the truth is that no matter what some of us do, we are just never going to hit the stratospheric heights of popular success enjoyed by other bloggers.
There are online superstars out there who began blogging after I did. They probably began everything after I did, to be fair, because in the Internet of Now, I am a whingeing pensioner, and they are the Bright Young Things.
They are the crazemakers. The trendbreakers. The coolmongerers.Embed from Getty Images
I am speaking, of course, about the online overlords of fashion and beauty blogging. The trailblazers who can garner 10,000 hits with a half-captioned photograph of a €5 Primark T-shirt, or a $65 bronzer. The influencers whose letterboxes are groaning under the weight of designer freebies, their diaries straining at the clasp with pleading invitations to wear some stuff in a selfie.
I might get an invite to the odd cultural event, true, but they are generally rare, and don’t come with a goodie bag.
I don’t get sent free samples of words, let alone jokes, and nobody ever asks me to endorse anything except the odd book (I mean, why can’t people see the potential of having a satirical cynic* such as myself enthuse about their product? Oh – wait. Okay. I see). And even then I have to tell them that sadly I do not review books. Well, what’s your blog for, then? they say, sometimes in confusion, sometimes with derision.
Lookit. I am never going to be an Instagram star, or gain 100,000 followers by talking about winged eyeliner. That’s not my forte. However, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, or so they say.
I do books, but I also wear clothes. And what could be more fashion-forward, than pairing your book to your overall look? And with that in mind, I would now like to bring you my Essential Guide To Wearing Your Fave Books This Season.
*(or should that be cynical satirist? Don’t even get me started on social democracy, or democratic socialism.)
1. Crime Fiction
Nothing suits crime better than a sombre suit. The somberer the better. When I’m reading crime fiction, I like to wear dark black trouser suits from Next or Marks & Spencer, preferably with grey or light black shirts, as though I’m on the Tube, going to an unnecessary meeting in London’s financial district. Warning: do not confuse this with grey suits worn with black shirts, especially if they’re from Reiss or Ted Baker. They are completely different, and suggest you’re reading unreliable narrator grip lit which everyone else already finished last year. Do not make this mistake, or your Instagram account will be blocked by everybody popular.
Accessorise with: Large typefaces on the cover and a smoky eye for yourself. Extra fashion credit if the title of the book is in a larger typeface than the author’s name. The men might like to try a touch of manscara to make things more dangerous.
A popular misconception is that chick-lit readers should wear designer brands. This is a lie, because nobody who reads a lot can afford the designer brands namedropped lovingly between the pages of popular chick-lit. The real outfit of choice for the chick-lit lover is actually a uniform. This can be any uniform, including but not limited to: police, nurse, fire-fighter, paramedic, train driver, pilot, lifeguard, or even a school uniform. If you’re not in a uniformed profession, make your own. Wearing a uniform means you are too important to humanity to feel sad about your lack of designer stuff.
Accessorise with: Like florals in spring, it can be difficult to get away from pink book covers in this genre, but paired with a contrasting nail polish, you can really make it pop.
Mysteries are all about intrigue, so when I’m reading a fiendishly good yarn, I like to keep people guessing about me, as well as the end of my book. And nothing keeps people guessing like a red herring. Now, the fashion buffs who have just stumbled across this blog for the first time will know that there is a clothing brand in this corner of Europe which is, in fact, called Red Herring. With Red Herring, mystery readers of all shapes, sizes and creeds have a wide array of sartorial choices, provided they are women, and within a fairly specific band of dress sizes.
Accessorise with: This is all about minimalism. You only want to hint at what you’re reading. Choose books with small typeface on the cover, and an understated lip. No highlighter.
4. Literary Fiction
Literary fiction is all about the bag you carry it around in. Hermès and Chanel are generally fine, but Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors will never match your painstaking ennui, so don’t even try. The most adventurous will go for up-and-coming designers, but much like reading literary fiction, what’s the point in having it, unless people know what you’ve got?
Accessorise with: Impressionist book covers bleed into each other: make sure that doesn’t happen your lip line. Everything is pointless. A prizewinner is always an elegant fashion statement.
5. Self-Help (Mind, Body & Spirit)
This is a tricky one, and catches out many people who think that Mind, Body & Spirit means floaty scarves and unbleached cotton. They are wrong. The best way to tote an MBS manual in public is in sportswear, but only the really, really expensive stuff. $250 lounge pants are fine, but ideally, we’re talking about a much loftier goal in order to help us to help ourselves. This ensemble from Fendi below, for instance, comes to about $2,300, which will really put you in the mood for change.
Accessorise with: Always hold a book in your hands for seventeen minutes before deciding to read it. If the vibes don’t give you a headache, you’re okay to go. Wear sunscreen and never buy a yellow book on a Tuesday.
So, there we have it. I’ll bet none of you even thought for a moment that I had such insightful fashion and beauty credentials, but I do like to surprise you.
This week’s post is a little early, because Thursday is St. Patrick’s Day (note to my dear American friends: A.K.A. PADDY’S Day, not PATTY’S Day. It has never been, and never will be, Patty’s Day. Just so you know) and I will be throwing myself all around this little country, and thus away from The World.
And if I’m lucky, I’ll get to see a parade with at least 3 vintage tractors. I’m not promising anything, mind. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!