Part of my “writing uniform” includes a tatty, terry cloth bathrobe that I received as a free gift with a cologne purchase years ago. No matter the season, whenever I sit down to write, I have to slip this robe on first. It’s lightweight so I can even wear it in summer, and it’s old so I don’t worry about spilling coffee on it. I’ve taken this robe to schools where I speak to kids (and it always draws a laugh), I’ve worn it to take out the garbage or get the mail (even when I’m fully clothed beneath its crummy comfort). In short, it’s part of me, part of my writing life.

Each Christmas, my dh buys me a new robe in the hopes that I’ll throw out my once-white/now gray author costume. Nope. I think at this stage I have five different colors, all assorted styles and weights, and all with the tags still hanging from the sleeves. I don’t want to give up my old buddy.

But at this stage, it’s worn thin and I’ve noticed the teeny hole where I caught it one day on a doorknob (Don’t ask!) has now become a gaping canyon. So yes, it’s time to retire my freebie friend and bring in someone new. It wasn’t an easy decision. Finding the perfect writing costume takes time and insight. Will the sleeves get in the way of my keyboard? Is it lightweight enough for warm days but cozy enough for chilly ones? Can I wash dishes while wearing it and not get my sleeves wet? Does it have a belt? Will the cats like it (a major consideration since they did love to cuddle up on me when I wore the old one)?

After some gut-wrenching sorrow for my old friend and many days of testing the various products in my closet, I finally settled on a mint green number the hubster bought me for Christmas last year. It’s a little heavier than my terrycloth buddy, but a few months of constant wear and washing should fix that. The sleeves are cuffable–a major plus and the cats have approved its softness. Best of all, it has pockets! I no longer have to tuck my MP3 player and cell phone into my bra!

Excuse me while I indulge a moment of silence for my fallen comrade: “The Robe is dead! Long live the Robe!”