SSWS 2020 – Dressing Your Brand

While I recovered from Superstars Writing Seminars 2020 (SSWS2020) this week, Kevin J. Anderson attended another conference, LTUE, and is heading to another, PensaCon. Mary Robinette Kowal is also always traveling and for several years now I’ve tried to figure out how they do this.

Last year, when we attended GenCon, I figured out how to write on the road and this year I proved that last year wasn’t a fluke. So that element is handled. But traveling isn’t just figuring out how to write. It’s also packing and unpacking, figuring out what to wear, and so forth.

At SSWS2020 there was a lot of talk about dressing as your brand. As I thought about Kevin J. Anderson’s travels this week, something finally clicked for me. He wears the same thing whenever he is out in public being Author Kevin J. Anderson.

He looks like this. Black shirt, black pants, black jacket. Always the same. How many black shirts, pants, and jackets does he have? Enough for two suitcases so that he can do a quickie changearoo? It’s brilliant.

Kevin J Anderson

Other Superstars instructors also wear their branded clothing and so you always know instantly who you are talking to. Here’s James A. Owen in his classic puffy white shirt, black pants, and black vest. Same outfit every day.

James A Owen

Here’s Jim Butcher. How perfect is this for the creator of the Dresden Files? Jeans, flannel shirt, varied t-shirt underneath, long blue hair tied neatly behind.

Jim butcher

One thing that Rebecca Moesta said was that the look should be professional, fitted to the types of books you write (to reinforce your brand), comfortable, and something that can be worn in a wide variety of temperatures. It’s not about fashion for the sake of fashion. It’s about creating an enduring brand.

I have a personal preference for monochromatic, fit and flare, wrap dresses with large hidden pockets. I get them from eShakti and I love them.

fit and flare wrap

The pockets are big enough to hold my phone, tissues, wallet, and water bottle. (Seriously!) The skirt is large enough to wrap around my legs like a blanket for cold weather or easily move aside in warm weather. Paired with boots, I never need to worry about wearing stockings, though I can dress it up a bit with high heels, lace camisole, and a pretty shawl if I want.

At Superstars I wore the hat I wear in my Facebook photo and it seemed to work. People recognized me. I may pick up another hat of the same type in a color that works with blues and teals.


I am not sure what the look says about the types of stories I write. I hope it says, Historical  Fiction and Historical Fantasy because that is the majority of my fiction.

Let me know about your look and what works for you.

Hope you are feeling fashion forward today. Be well, friends.


All photos from Superstars Writers Seminar 2020 were taken by Katie Curtis and are official SSWS2020 photos.

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