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Fashion For Thought September Newsletter


“Fashion is instant language.” – Miuccia Prada

Heather’s Notebook

September’s newsletter hopes to inspire both lovers of books and looks. This month we are consideringthe relationship between authors and their unique fashion and style. Fashion is our way of communicating without words, and “writers” are in a profession that uses words and works in semi-solitude. So what exactly are writers wearing behind closed doors? And what, from an artist whose job it is to communicate the experience of being a person, do their clothes have to say?

“The art of being true is the art of becoming you.”  

—Heather Caswell

Authors are authentic case studies for understanding the sometimes subconscious connections between identity and image—more so than a politician or celebrity because most likely they have no stylist or dress code. And yet when a new book is published, they must represent themselves in the world. Virginia Woolf actually had a name for this awareness: “Frock Consciousness.”

According to writer, Amy Gigi Alexander, “‘Woolf’s ‘Frock Consciousness’ is about the psychology of material, of clothing, altering-defining-conscripting the identity of women. She explores this at length in both her diaries and letters–as well as her novels.”

Ms. Alexander sees clothes as an expression, “Often times, my expression is that I want to be seen as practical, intellectual, capable, and almost–uninterested in clothing. But of course, I am very interested in clothing, which is why I make the effort to choose the things I do, to project the identity I want to be seen. Linear lines are important to me, the way things move: forward, I want them to say. Other times I pluck the brightness outof myself and put it on the outside. It depends on where I’m going and who I am dealing with.”


In what may be the most counterintuitive book of summer thus far, Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore, by British journalist and lecturer Terry Newman (published by Harper Design), “…the stereotype is as much a fiction as any fiction. [Her]… surprisingly convincing thesis is that the sartorial choices authors make are deeply connected to the narrative choices they make in print—or, as Beckett put it, “the fabric of language” they use.  

What? Writers and the clothes they wore? Isn’t one of the great benefits of being a writer that what you wear doesn’t matter, because you are hidden away in your house? That it’s your words that go out into the world, and your image remains behind? As an author, can’t you roll up to your desk and write in your pajamas and fuzzy Elmo slippers and no one has to know?

Some of the authors Ms. Newman looked at are more obvious about their sartorial signatures than others: Tom Wolfe, for example, with his white suits and spats (though Mark Twain did the white suit thing before him); Fran Lebowitz with her masculine tailoring (though again, George Sand got there first). Yet even in the case of less obvious names like David Foster Wallace there is synergy between what is on the page and what was on the person. Or between his kinetic, original prose, and what Ms. Newman calls his “hell, yeah” bandana, which he was rarely seen without.

About F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ms. Newman writes, “In the same way that fashion built their characters and helped them show off what they wanted the world to notice, it also operates in their writings, where mood and personality are delicately parallel to the clothes described. Fashion is key to what Fitzgerald first termed the ‘Jazz Age.'”


“Questions that have no right to go away are those that have to do with the person we are about to become; they are conversations that will happen with or without our conscious participation.”

— David Whyte

David Whyte is an English poet of Irish extraction. He is quoted as saying that all of his poetry and philosophy is based on “the conversational nature of reality”.

The Wardrobe carries his Books and CD’s. The spoken word is a wonderful way to become fully  immersed in Whyte’s beautiful poetry and philosophy while travelling or simply relaxing at home.



How do you move from clothing consciousness to style consciousness?

Colorfully Yours,


 Heather Caswell


Sympli Art Couture Event at The Wardrobe

Heather’s Favorites

Heather Caswell, stylist, in Bitte Kai Rand

Be Art Couture
in Bitte Kai Rand
Top: $158.00
Pants: $308.00
Bernie Mev Texas Charm shoes: $88.00





















Brooke in art couture look by Sympli at The Wardrobe

Be Creative
in Sympli
Zig Zag Top: $168.00
Jolt Pant: $208.00
 art couture look by Sympli at The Wardrobe
Be Chic 
in Sympli
Double Over Top: $16.00
Narrow Pant Midi: $118.00
Bernie Mev Gem Shoes: $88.00
 Art couture looks at The Wardrobe by Dolcezza and Joseph Ribkoff
Be Vibrant
in Joseph Ribkoff and Dolcezza
Joseph Ribkoff Jacket: $218.00
Sympli Go To Classic: $98.00
Joseph Ribkoff Pant: $158.00
Bernie Mev Texas Charm Shoes: $88.00

Dolcezza Tunic: $88.00
Robert Kitchen Pant: $118.00
Robert Kitchen Fashion
Be Sophisticated 
in Robert KitchenLong Knit Coat: $228.00
 Heather Caswell, stylist, in Salaam and A.N. Designs jeans

Be California Casual 

Salaam Pullover: $128.00
A.N. Designs jeans: $118.00
Nicole Talullah shoes: $138.00
Desigual Cougar Reversible Bag: $98.00



HeatherAsh Amara

 HeatherAsh Amara: Muse of the Month

HeatherAsh weaves powerful practices from a variety of shamanic traditions to support an individual in the manifestation of his or her highest potential. Author of 8 books, she is the founder of the Toltec Center of Creative Intent in Berkeley, California and the creator of the national SpiritWeavers program, which she designed to support spirit-based communities. HeatherAsh has studied and taught extensively with don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements.

As a favorite inspirational author and style client, HeatherAsh Amara will be in Davis to introduce her newest book, Awaken Your Inner Fire on Tuesday, October 3rd from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis (27074 Patwin Road). A former Davisite, HeatherAsh was the editor of the (UC Davis) The California Aggie newspaper.

Now more than ever, because of social media, authors must care about how they present themselves. As her stylist, I have been known to give HeatherAsh the clothing off my back for TV and book events.

Who or what is your muse?

My muse feels like a little laughing wind spirit who sometimes sweetly whispers in my ear and sometimes blows hard enough to jolt me awake and get me to my writing desk to let the inspiration flow. When I write a book I always pick one person that I image I am writing to personally, so that person in a way becomes my muse and helps me bring the right words through.

Who or what is your style inspiration?

For years I wore clothes from second-hand stores, hand me downs from my sister, or things my mom gifted me.  I didn’t have a sense of my own style or a desire to buy things for myself. One day I walked into a clothing store in Woodstock NY and fell in love with clothing – mainly Sympli and a brand called Testimony. I realized I did have a sense of style that I loved, and since then I’ve been learning more and building on my wardrobe. So working with Heather at The Wardrobe has been so fun because she has helped me more fully define and refine my style.

Anything else that our audience should know about you?

I’ve learned to love the process of writing, where once it felt more like slow torture. The biggest aha was when someone told me: don’t edit and write, just write and edit later. I realized that my struggle was around my judge constantly wanting my writing to come out perfectly the first time. Now I simply pick a topic, open up my heart, and see what comes through. I don’t write consistently since I travel so much, but I’ve learned to open up my computer on a plane or bus or while waiting to teach and write a page or two; then when I’m under deadline I can spend hours at a time immersed in the process of creation.

Who inspires your fashion choices?

I look for clothes that are playful and also can withstand lots of travel! I’m always seeking out a balance of professional and what feels like me. I know when I am wearing clothing, even if it is gorgeous or “suitable” for the occasion, if it doesn’t fit my sense of self I don’t feel as confident or sparkly. I also need clothing that is easy to take care of and is sturdy; I’m a bit hard on my clothing since I’m a very active person — I have been known to garden, ride horses, or go hiking in all sorts of nice outfits!

Do you shop with an outfit in mind?

I shop with my current wardrobe in mind and how I can expand and enhance what I already have. Since I live in a tiny apartment in New York I also am mindful that when I bring something into my closet I also need to let something go.

Has your sense of style changed since you’ve become recognized as an internationally acclaimed author?

I’m definitely a lot more mindful about how I dress when I am in public. I’m wanting to reach as many people as possible, so my days of wearing mismatched tie dye and floral’s and pulling my dirty hair back with a bandanna are saved for days at home! And I’ve found I really love dressing “up” and using my clothing as an expression of my spirit.

Also who is your literary heroine?

Anais Nin – I love her honesty and the depth and vulnerability of her writings.

What is your favorite book?

I love so many books!  One of my current favorites is an obscure book called Kali’s Odiyya; the most recent book I read was Danielle LaPorte’s White Hot Truth. I’m currently working on my dissertation on Toltec shamanism so I’m happily re-reading all of the Carlos Castaneda books.

Do you have a favorite Style Muse?

I don’t really have any favorite style muses, I’m honestly not that attentive to fashion. Mostly I am drawn to creative, artistic, passionate people who self-express through their clothes and hair.

What inspires your writing?

My writing is inspired by my love of sharing and my community which calls out the best in me and is always inviting me to stretch and grow!

Book tour of  Awakening Your Inner Fire

I’m excited about the upcoming book tour because this is a book for everyone, and super timely: how to create more spaciousness, flow, and energy in our days.

 Awaken Your Inner Fire book by HeatherAsh Amara
HeatherAsh Amara has studied and taught extensively with don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, and continues to teach with the Ruiz family. In Awaken Your Inner Fire, Amara proposes a foundational shift in how you approach the world: one that will show you how to make choices from your inner truth rather than from old programming, fears, feelings of inadequacy, or survival strategies. Amara invites you to fan the flames of your inner fire so that joy can manifest itself in every aspect of your life.
Available at The Wardrobe by September 30th!
 Pamona Purdy Jewelry Sets

Accessorize with our Pamona Purdy designs made exclusively for The Wardrobe!

Fashion Tip

Hot Sox

 You can wear statement socks. I like to wear men’s socks as part of my signature style. I like how high they come up on my leg and their highly imaginative prints.
Ozone Socks coming soon!







Chic To Chic

Kirtan Music and Meditation:
September 10th, 17th, and 24th
at The Wardrobe from 6:30 pm – 8 pm

Join us for an uplifting evening of guided meditation with breath (Gauranga Breathing) and music (kirtan) hosted by Davis Meditation.
Suggested $5 donation at the door.Instinct Extinct: The Great Pacific Flyway

September 18th – November 12th
Opening Reception and Talk
 28th from 6 pm-8 pm
UC Davis Design Museum, Cruess Hall

Art Couture Sympli Fashion Show:
Thursday, September 28th from 5 pm-8 pm at The Wardrobe

RSVP by emailing

Sympli Trunk Show
Friday, September 29th – Monday, October 2nd
at The Wardrobe

Awaken Your Inner Fire Book Talk & Signing:
Tuesday, October 3rd from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
hosted by HeatherAsh Amara
Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis
$5 Donations at the door