Dressing Normally

Author’s Note: I think, as much as I wanted to call these things snippets, that limiting scenes because of length doesn’t really work for me. I wanted to do something for my theme of Wednesday wardrobe with the character whose fashion sense gets the most time on the page (dressing vintage is a huge part of who Effie Lincoln is.) This scene seemed right to use, though there are others I could have picked, but I couldn’t split it in a way I liked, so I’m posting the whole thing.

And I’m going to go back to Monday’s entry and give that whole scene since I think that is a much better way of doing Monday Mayhem/Mystery.

Dressing Normally


Garan knocked on the bathroom door. He had heard that women took a long time in the bathroom, though he’d mercifully never shared one with a woman for any extended amount of time. He didn’t have any sisters, and he’d never had a live-in girlfriend—never had a relationship that lasted more than a few weeks, if that, so it had never been an issue. Still, he’d managed to doze off again waiting for her to come out, and when he woke and she was still in there, he grew rather concerned.

“Lincoln? You still in there?” he asked, leaning against the wall. “You hurt? You’d better answer me, or I’ll have to open the door.”

“Just a second,” he heard her call, and a moment later, the door opened. She stepped out, and he took in her new outfit with disbelief. This woman had no idea how not to draw attention to herself, did she? Sure, the forties dress was gone, and the wave hairstyle with it, but she’d managed to put together something retro—old, whatever. He didn’t know fashion—again, with one of those peasant blouses and a skirt. She’d managed to style her hair up, and he swore he was practically looking at the costume Effie Lincoln had worn in one of her only westerns—not one of her better films, either.

“Do you even know how to dress normally?”

She frowned. “What is wrong with this? It’s a shirt—and I went with a skirt since we didn’t really have the money to get shoes, too, so I was stuck with what I had. I fail to see what the problem is. What is it with men? You just don’t get the need for self-expression, do you?”

He gave her a dark look. “I have nothing against self-expression, but you take it too far for a woman on the run. You need to blend in more, and that is not blending in.”

She looked down at the clothes she wore. “This is… a perfectly normal outfit. Other women must wear stuff like this, or they wouldn’t sell any of them. I suppose if there’s something I can change, it’s the hair, but I figured up and out of my way was best. I am on the run for my life, I’ve lost everything I had—including a store that has been in my family for generations—and now you’re telling me I have to squash my personality, too? I don’t want to be unreasonable, but I think I’d rather let them kill me. I shouldn’t have to look like the idiotic pop driven masses to survive.”

He shook his head. “How is it you managed to find the two most old-fashioned looking things in the store anyway?”

“I picked what appealed to me, and what appeals to me always has a vintage element,” she said with a slight shrug. “Am I really going to have you approve my wardrobe now? Because that is… yeah, not going to happen.”

He shook his head. “At least lose the Breakfast at Tiffany’s hair.”

“You really do like old movies, don’t you?” she asked, reaching up into her hair and taking out a pin. “For the record, this is just a bun, and I don’t have a tiara or a ridiculously long cigarette holder. I don’t actually carry a bunch of ponytails or scrunchies or even clips with me, so I’m kind of limited to what I can do with barrettes or bobby pins, and that can be problematic with my hair because it’s so thick.”

He went back to the bed and sat down again. She continued to mess with her hair. “Okay. Why do you like old movies so much?”

“Never said I did.”

“But you know them.”

“Seen a few.”

She shook her head, almost comical with the bobby pins in her mouth. “You have seen all of the ones by an apparently obscure actress called Effie Lincoln. I think that qualifies as more than a few. I know old movies because I took care of my grandfather as he was dying—which he spent the better part of my late teens and early twenties doing—what’s your excuse?”


“Insomnia?” she repeated, turning her hair into a twist, and he decided that she would just grab attention no matter how she looked. She was one of those people. Put her in a burlap bag or the plainest clothes available, and still something would draw your eye to her. Something in her manner, the way she carried herself—something she had no idea she shared with her predecessor.

“Late nights with nothing but old movies on the channels still running programming,” he explained. He couldn’t afford to keep comparing her to a dead actress. She was not that woman—or any of the characters she’d played. “Better them than infomercials.”

“True.” Lincoln stuck the final pin back in her hair. “There. Better?”

“Not really.”

“Good grief. What do I have to do? Wear a paper bag over my head?”

“Wouldn’t change the clothes.”

“Oh, go to hell,” she snapped as she walked to the door. “I’m not fixing it again.”

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