I’ve been working on my WIP today and ran into the clothing dilemma. What, you say? The clothing dilemma? Yes, indeed. The clothing dilemma frequently happens to me when I am describing what my characters are wearing and an incredibly cool, styley outfit ends up sounding like something an old man/woman would wear. For example, I saw a picture of a fab Ralph Lauren outfit for my hero, and it came out sounding thusly. “He wore a pale grey, pinstripe suit, with a bright pink shirt and a pink and yellow paisly tie.” The outfit was great, the guy wearing it, hot. Honest. No? Okay, what about this one, “His black shorts showed off his powerful thighs, the purple jersey he was wearing a nice contrast to the bright green lapels of the shirt he was wearing underneath it.” Alright, what about this: “The pink trousers he wore hugged his rear nicely, a pale green jersey stretched over his powerful chest.” No? Hey, this is Ralph Lauren! Okay, fair enough, you have to have a lot of balls to carry off pink trousers. And that’s nothing compared to the very cool (and NZ) World Man label that does fabulous things with men’s clothes. Sadly if I dressed my hero in baggy black pants, a spotted shirt, topped with a waistcoat printed with horses on it, that’s going to sound even worse.
So, having been scarred by an old 80s Mills and Boon where the hero wore a cream jacket with brown box pockets and epaulettes, and where the heroine wore nothing but house-coats, my poor old heroes only get to wear jeans and t-shirts, or suits. Cut-offs at a push. No patterns. Easy to describe, easy to envisage. And don’t even get me started on what the heroine wears.
Anyone else have this problem or is it just me? And just what is a house-coat anyway??