Ready to tackle that stack of books beside your bed, but still want to look good doing it? It’s time to get shut-in-chic on Sunday for the 29th annual Stay Home and Read a Book Ball, a fundraiser for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles.
Proceeds support the library’s cultural and educational programs, while participation fulfills your earnest desire to never leave the house. That’s right — the genius of this bookish event is that you don’t actually have to go anywhere. Finally, an event that honors introversion, social anxiety and bibliomania. Everyone wins!
But first, you’ll need to get red — er, beige — carpet ready. Here are our suggestions for 2017’s hottest non-event looks.
Pajamas are the tuxedo of the Stay at Home Ball. Splurge on stripes like the Sleepy Jones set above for a midcentury-menswear, John Cheever-inspired ensemble, or simply tug on a printed flannel pair like the one you wore to pull all-nighters before comparative literature finals in your freshman dorm. A classic, tailored choice for catching up on the classics.
You heard it here first: if the ’90s are in, the aughts are right behind them. Stay ahead of the curve in that iconic Juicy Couture tracksuit you keep meaning to take to Goodwill but is actually still in a box behind the elliptical machine in the garage. The athletic-inspired cut says “marathon reading session” like no other. Pairs well with white wine and Helen Fielding.
Calling all bad girls to the ball: Sporting a broken-in band shirt screams “anti-establishment.” Love the “damsel in distressed” look but don’t have time to thrift? Your ex’s hoarded concert tee, which you’ve worn paper thin from hundreds of restless, pining nights and subsequent self-disgusted laundering, already nails it. Revisit “Wuthering Heights” and wonder what you ever saw in Kevin-I-mean-Heathcliff.
Terry cloth, quilted or cotton, the humble bathrobe is so versatile. Case in point, this unisex Pendleton number. Don’t worry if you accidentally dip the cuff in a mug of coffee — individual touches make for custom couture. Details include adjustable tie belt and built-in thigh-high slit. Get supine in this look with a French work in translation, or post up beside the fire with a George R.R. Martin novel and pretend that winter’s coming.
Reading expanded your capacity for empathy, provided company when you needed it most and enriched your life in ways that no other pastime can compare to. It also made you nearsighted. Let your glasses frames reflect your favorite genre: horn-rimmed for nonfiction, cat-eye for mysteries, round if you’re getting an MFA.
Footwear sometimes goes unnoticed on the red carpet and Uggs are no exception, mostly because you’re reading at home and no one is looking at you. Curl up with “Wild” and when Cheryl Strayed’s boot pitches off a cliff and she starts to lose her toenails, you’ll really appreciate the comfort of this controversial look.
Much like a hybrid literary genre, these luxury Gucci slippers are blatantly avant-garde and high-brow. Just don’t get “House of Leaves”? No one will know if you wear these mules.
Worn with an updo comprised of your unwashed hair in a bun, facial masks, like this gluten-free mud mask from Mudpot, really kick the whole “natural look” up a notch. Take years off your face while reading “A Picture of Dorian Gray.”
Throw a blanket over your shoulders and voila! Instant, chic outerwear for the trip from the gala to the after party, also known as your couch to your bedroom. Reminiscent of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, no one can see you when you’re wearing this blanket because you already told them not to bother you, OK, you’re at the Stay at Home and Read a Book Ball and yes that’s a thing, Google it.
Think of it as a giant, sculptural statement clutch; a fluffy pillow is a tried-and-true accent to any look and any book. (Although this one is oh-so matchy-matchy with “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.”) Prefer understated glamour? Use a pillow like a regular person, for neck support. Ready to go bold? Put a pillow over your head to drown out any sound other than the ur-voice reading pages in the total privacy of your own mind.
Don’t forget to raise a glass to the fellow tastemakers and trend-setters of the L.A. Public Library’s Stay at Home and Read a Book Ball, and remember that no matter what you’re wearing, a book is always the perfect accessory.
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