The Well-Dressed Writer

by Robert Gregory Browne


Before I tell you the story behind this photo, let’s have a little contest. 

Whoever can come up with the funniest caption for the photo wins a signed copy of my UK hardback, WHISPER IN THE DARK, when it comes out next year, along with a signed copy of the paperback version of KISS HER GOODBYE.

Okay, so have at it. 

Go to the comments section and write your caption.  I’ll meet you back here when you’re done.

Tick tock.  Tick Tock.

(Theme from Jeopardy!)

Okay, you back?  Read on…

The guy in the photo is not Michael Jordan but me, of course, in a rust-colored, 70’s era three-piece suit.  This is what the well-dressed aspiring writer wore in those days.  I was reminded of this suit when a friend sent me an email showing photos from the J.C. Penny catalog circa 1978.

I looked at those catalog photos and couldn’t believe that people ever dressed like that.

Then I remembered the infamous suit — which I probably BOUGHT from Penny’s — and knew it was true.  This photo is proof.

It was taken about thirty years ago at a wedding.  The two guys in the air are me and the groom’s brother, going for the bride’s garter.  I was the victor — and a good thing, too, because the garter had 20 bucks in it and I was so broke that that twenty was going to feed me for the next couple weeks.

I actually had to rip it out of the other guy’s hand.  Which, come to think of it, probably goes down as one of those "hauntings" I was talking about last time around.

Anyway, I got the twenty, didn’t starve and looked damn spiffy in the process. 

And I’m only SLIGHTLY embarrassed by the suit.  It could have been worse.  I could have been wearing a powder blue tuxedo like the groom and his crew.

What about you?  What fashion embarrassments will you own up to?

19 thoughts on “The Well-Dressed Writer

  1. Jim Winter

    My prom tux? Powder blue with the obnoxiously wide black-trimmed lapels.

    OTOH, we did manage to get away with karaoke singing a few bars of “Whole Lotta Love”. “Waaaaaaay doooowwwwn insiiiiiide… Yooooouuuuu neeeeeed… LOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVE!!!!!!!!”

    Ah, to be young and stupid again. I miss it.

    Wedding tux? Conservative black. There’s a photo of my best man and I looking like waiters.

  2. guyot

    “Battles and Browne celebrate the end of another successful podcast.”

    Your suit doesn’t bother me as much as the other guy’s white patent leather shoes.

  3. B.G. Ritts

    Doggoneit, Naomi, you beat me to it! Now I’ve gotta come up with another one.

    (I wore a strapless, full skirted, long blue dress to the prom, hair piled high in a French twist.)

  4. pari

    Disco dunking.

    I think the biggest fashion crimes I committed were in the world of business when I felt that pancake makeup was de rigeur. That, and those amazingly stilted suits.

    As to the prom? My graduating class only had 13 kids and our prom was with a blue grass band, so, we didn’t bother dressing up.

    BUT: my best fashion moment was at my master’s graduation ceremony when I refused to wear the cap and gown. The organizers threatened to ban me from the event, but all of my classmates protested.

    I wore a gorgeous black dress with a strand of pearl and got a standing O.

  5. Tom

    When my zipper broke just as I went onstage to narrate Telemann’s ‘Don Quixote.’ Just had to try to get one more use from those old dress trousers . . .

  6. JT Ellison

    And they say elephants are the only ones who do tricks for peanuts…

    I think the metallic aqua strapless with Madonna height hair for a friend’s prom… or the Peter Pan outfit when I was 10…

  7. Mark Terry

    I’m maybe 10 to 12 years younger than you, Rob, so perhaps I can say that hey, it wasn’t my fault, my parents bought them for me, but I really loved my vertically striped bell-bottom pants.

  8. Rob Gregory Browne

    Linen pants suit and two inch heels, Elaine? That must’ve been interesting… 🙂

    And a tube top to an interview, Louise? Let me guess: you got the job. Now if you show up in that same tube top at LCC Hawaii, I’ll be a bit concerned about your mental health…

    Mark, I think I’m insulted. 10 to 12 years younger? And here I thought of you as a father figure.

  9. Elaine Flinn

    Interesting? Hell, people kept asking me if I was lost. 🙂

    Chalk it up to previous conventions I’d attended (and no,not RWA)-where the attire was, uh, more business like.

  10. Dave Jackson


    A couple of captions for you:

    “Locals gather to admire their new retro-style ceiling fan.”

    “Browne starts to regret going to David Blaine’s wedding.”


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