How to Dress Like an Artist

Stephen Jones Coco Beret

[Coco Beret by Stephen Jones Hats]

Greg has mentioned to me several times that I don’t “dress like an artist.” I argue that I dress like every other artist I know. And how is an artist supposed to dress anyway?

So when we were at the LA Art Book Fair I had a good laugh at the n+1 table. They had tote bags with an excerpt from the book I like your work: art and etiquette titled “How Artists Must Dress.”

This passage, by Roger White, is on page 42 of the book:

“Artists must first of all distinguish themselves from members of the adjacent professional classes typically present at art world events: dealers, critics, curators, and caterers. They must second of all take care not to look like artists. This double negation founds the generative logic of artists’ fashion.

The relationship between an artist’s work and attire should not take the form of a direct visual analogy. A stripe painter may not wear stripes….”

Does this mean a book artist may not wear books? 😉

You can get the tote and the book, along with some other fun goodies as a bundle at n+1.

Paper Monument Tote from n+1

So, how should an artist dress? Should an artist strive to look like one? Should a painter look different from a book artist? Should a printmaker look different from a sculptor? Should a photographer always carry a camera around her neck?

For fun I Googled “How to Dress Like an Artist.” Here are some of my favorite tips:

From WikiHow: How to Dress Like an Artist: “Add piercings. You can pierce your eyebrow, your lip or your nose for dramatic effect.” “Stop shaving… artsy girls shouldn’t feel the social pressure to shave.” “Wear a hat. A beret looks good on both guys and girls.”

From eHow: How to Dress Like an Artist: “Wear a tweed jacket to dress like an artist.” “Add long black skirts to your wardrobe. A female artist has as least 2 in her closet, and she wears them often.” “Carry a tote bag that is big enough to store all of your artistic necessities. A Nietzsche book and a magazine about paintings  or writings are a good bet for anyone who wants to dress like an artist and carry the right accessories.”

From Tips to dress like an Artist: “Artists tend to extend their artistic chops to every area of their lives, including their wardrobes. They can’t stop creating, even if they try. Everything they touch, own, and wear becomes a medium of individual expression. It’s the artist’s way”

How do you dress as an artist? Do you dress to look “like an artist” when you go out to public events? And do I need to make a trip to Paris so that I can get an authentic beret?


One response to “How to Dress Like an Artist

  1. Ginger, very good post, it made me laugh out loud. It seems to me some people like to spend time thinking about their clothes, whether they are artists or accountants, others do not. I used to feel bad that I didn’t look like an artist. People mistake me for an old lady. Imagine! Now I don’t care, my outfit of choice would be jeans and a denim shirt. It’s comfortable, an easy uniform that requires no time, leaving me more time in the studio. It’s been my dream since I was 10 to wear jeans all the time. We had to wear dresses to school and I hated it. What a lucky person I am. I don’t own high heels or a little black dress, I love my life.

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