I'm wondering what to wear to the London Book Fair - such a dilemma

mLondon Book Fair is looming and my thoughts turn not to productive meetings with my publishers and agents but to something far more important - what the heck do I wear?

First there's the weather.  April in England can be a bitterly cold month (witness yesterday) I nearly froze my fingers off in a biting north easterly wind while last Thursday it was almost 20 degrees and it was T-shirt and shorts weather. So do I go equipped for a heat wave in London or to meet a Siberian wind blowing off the Thames?  And does it really matter because for two days I will, in fact, be shut up inside an air conditioned shed called Earl's Court, that is when not travelling on the Tube or walking across Waterloo Bridge.

Then there's the 'who'.  No, not the group but who am I going to see?  From a dress code point of view the publishing industry is far more relaxed than the industries I have previously worked in, and my smartly tailored suits were banished from my wardrobe when I sold my marketing company and decided to become a full time writer.  After all who needs a suit when no one sees you sitting at your desk bashing away at a novel? But I'd still like to look efficient and business like when meeting agents and publishers, and yet I also need to look 'creative,' I am a writer after all.

Now having done many book fairs, both London and Frankfurt, you'd think I'd know precisely what to wear but not so apart from a few basics: take a scarf because the air conditioning can be extremely draughty, a cardigan or jacket because ditto it can be freezing, or if in a crowded aisle or stand with lots of lights it can be very hot, so layering therefore is good.

And footwear?  Sandals might be nice if it is hot but boots might be more appropriate if it is cold and/or raining, which is far more probable - though not inside Earl's Court, I hope. Flat shoes are definitely more sensible for traipsing the aisles and from the main floor to the Rights hall, but not so sexy if  I am hoping to chat up a potential overseas agent or television or film producer. But then sadly I'm not thirty so it probably doesn't matter anyway.

So smart casual I think is the order of the day, but do I have enough smart casual clothes?  And what do I change into for dinner in the evening? Maybe I should take the sexy strappy shoes if only I could find where I put them. I think they might already have gone in the charity bag. What a dilemma!

Time then to plan the wardrobe and I've only got four days in which to do it. Thankfully though they are all shopping days. But sure as eggs is eggs, no matter what I decide to take, an hour before leaving the house to catch the train I will change my mind and all my carefully laid plans will be thrown out of the window - or rather in bad-tempered heap on the bed. And when I get to the London Book Fair?  Well I'll just know that whatever I am wearing they will be the 'wrong clothes.' And these will be paraded before you in all their glory here on this blog after the event. No doubt you'll probably think so too.


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