Come visit us at Toronto's annual book and magazine festival
The Wornettes are coming to Toronto’s Word on the Street, and we want to see YOU—yes, you—at our booth. We’ll be offering ridiculously good deals on back issues of WORN, plus gift packs, puppets, buttons, and more, and we’ll be doing it all in really cute outfits.
You can find us in Magazine Mews at the intersection of St. Joseph’s Street and Queen Park this Sunday, September 23, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
photography // Adam Goldhammer
The most exciting part of all WORN staff meetings is when it’s time to assign the book reviews. Everyone sits up a little straighter, eyes the most coveted titles, sizes up their competition; it’s an office full of fashion nerds and the promise of a thick, educational book on an obscure area of fashion is tempting to all of us. Yet every so often it happens that a book will be held up and no one will jump to claim it. “Anyone?” our editor-in-pants will prod. Sometimes she’ll flip through it. “It looks really good, you guys,” she’ll say, and everyone will look around the room to see if anyone dares accept the challenge. I never turn down a challenge and so at the last meeting, I took the plunge. “Okay,” I said, “I’ll give it a try.”
As soon as I put The Dictionary of Fashion History in my bag I was positive I had made a mistake: I mean, a dictionary? My assignment was to write six hundred words on a literal dictionary. Just a collection of pages with words in alphabetical order and dry descriptions of each. There are barely any pictures, the five year old in me whined. I flipped through it once, twice, hoping to be hit with some sort of inspiration but nothing came except a particularly stubborn bout of procrastination.
Gentlemen do prefer blondes—at least, that’s been my experience so far. I’ve been a bleached blonde for just over a year now, and I have received more male attention than I ever thought possible. At first, I thought it was all in my imagination. My hair stylist and friends teased me about “blondes having more fun”—maybe it was one of those self-fulfilling prophecies? Frankly, I had expected a certain amount of male attention as a blonde and now I was seeing it everywhere I turned.
I knew that wasn’t the case when I started actually listening to these men who preferred blondes (calling them “gentlemen” would be a stretch). Once, I had my hair in a messy bun and I was wearing glasses—a man asked if I was his “hot secretary” (believe me, I am overqualified for that position). A few times I’ve curled my hair and worn red lipstick—several men have referred to me as ‘Marilyn’. And once, while I waited for the streetcar in a sleeveless shirt, I refused to let a man touch my visible tattoo—he called me a blonde bitch.
I’m sitting at my computer with a horrible little pit burrowing into my stomach. The pit is named “failure” and the feeling is small enough that I can keep working, but mean enough that my arms feel shaky and my eyes feel like they’re burning holes into my laptop. I’m really, really sad, and I’ve already had four cups of coffee, and my energy is still so non-existent that I feel like I’ll never accomplish anything, ever, not in my entire life, never mind this one dark morning.
So, yes, I am feeling a bit melodramatic today. And I’m looking for a quick fix. What can I do right now, I wonder, scanning my “office” (read: living room), that will pull me out of this deep hole of exhaustion and self-pity?
“Oh,” I say out loud, even though I’m alone, as I look over at my side table, where I tend to dump all of my personal belongings at the end of the day. I can put on my bracelets.