I was working on one of WIPs today and ran into the old clothing dilemma. What’s that you say? Clothing dilemma? Yes, indeedy. I don’t know about any of you but I find describing clothes very, very difficult. I have this image in my head of something incredibly cool and styley, but when it comes to writing it down on the paper, it ends up sounding naff. Even nana-ish.
For example, there’s this incredibly cool shop in Auckland called World. They stock really nice clothing for men and whenever I walk passed, they’ve got some great outfit on the models in the shop and I always think ‘hmmm, something hot for my hero’. But when it comes to writing it down… ‘He wore baggy, black trousers, a waistcoat with horses on it, and a spotted shirt.”
Now does that not sound silly? And yet, on the model in the shop, it looked very cool indeed! At least, if you were young and trendy and…oh, okay, you had to have balls to carry it off but do you know what I mean?
Anyway, that is why my heroes always tend to wear t-shirts and jeans, or suits. No patterns. Easy to describe, easy to envisage. And no chance of nana-ish images cluttering up my hero’s cool.
I think I was permanently scarred by an old Mills and Boon I read that was published in the 80s and where the hero wore a white jacket that had brown box pockets and epaulettes. And the heroine drifted around in housecoats. Hideous. And just what is a housecoat??