Posted by: oneyearbook | March 2, 2009

Writing uniform

Every writer has to have a uniform.

One writer's uniform

One writer's uniform

This is Grady Tripp’s, in the great movie version of Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys. (Seriously, the movie, while it didn’t seem to get a lot of attention when it first came out, has since been embraced as one of the best book-to-movie transitions ever made. Watch the trailer here.) That ratty pink bathrobe that he wears in the movie to write – he claims he got it at the thrift store – isn’t exactly the same as the one he wears in the book, but the idea is similar:  “I’d come upon it years ago, hanging in the upstaris closet of a beach house in Gearhart, Oregon, that … I rented for a summer from a Portland family named Knopflmacher. It was an enormous white chenilla number, threadbare at the elbows, with pink and red arrangements of embroidered geraniums on the pockets … it had since become impossible for me to write wearing anything else.”

Well, I don’t have anything like that, although I do own, and often wear, a bathrobe just about as ugly as that one, only neon green. There’s no time to wait for the type of serendipity that Grady gets, filching his from the closet in a rental vacation home, so I was reduced to buying. Plus, my stuff has to be presentable enough that I could, conceivably, venture out of the house sometimes in it. I was going to get fleece pants but figured they might be too much like pyjama pants, and therefore, likely to put me to sleep right quick. I ended up getting cargo pants with a cloth-elastic waistband and a loose cotton skirt and dress (ironically, I rarely wear skirts or dresses to my current job), which I figure will do me well when summer hits.

Maybe someday I’ll find a robe of my own.



  1. I could loan you my ugly dressing gown, with the collar all shredded from KatesAnnie riding on my shoulders.

    • But then what would you wear to write??

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