I never look more like a geography teacher than when I'm on the beach. Unless I'm looking like a minor civil servant on annual leave that is, and really it could go either way. Of course, being English, the sunburnt knees and insect bites come naturally, but at least I could do something about that hat.
Back when I lived in Silicon Fen, people with bored handshakes would say 'you're in IT I suppose', and I always enjoyed putting them straight, if only to watch their confusion. 'Is that even a job?' they wanted to say. Perhaps it was unfair of me not to have purple hair and a brain stud.
To what extent should (should?) people in the arts peacock themselves with flamboyant dress? Is a poet in a cardy and slippers not to be taken seriously? And what about a crumpled linen suit, straw fedora and loud summer scarf? Which is worse, being a disappointment or being a cliché?
Now that we writers are all performing monkeys and indefatigable self-promoters (you reclusive types can just stay at home), surely it pays to adopt a trademark style. Some have big hats, others enormous beards, and some look like they've escaped from rock bands. What do you think, could red knees do it for me? And how about you – do you expect creative people to give themselves away in their manner of dress? And what do you do to set yourself apart?