I’ve been working on my WIP today and ran into the clothing dilemma. What, you say? Clothing dilemma? Yes, indeed. The clothing dilemma frequently happens to me when I’m 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 pinstripe shirt, and a pink and yellow paisley tie.” The outfit looked great and the guy wearing it looked really 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.” Still no? All right, what about this: “The pink trousers he wore hugged his rear nicely, a pale green jersey stretched across his broad chest.” No? Hey, this is Ralph Lauren. Okay, then I guess I definitely wouldn’t be able to get away with the fabulous World Man outfit I saw in the shop yesterday. World (NZ designers) do great men’s clothes but if I dressed my poor hero in baggy black pants, spotted shirt and a waistcoat with horses on it, it’s going to sound naff.
I guess it all comes back to being scarred by reading an old 80s Mills and Boon where the hero wore a cream jacket with brown box pockets and epaulettes, and the heroine a housecoat. Ever since then my heroes have to stick with jeans and a t-shirt. Or a suit. 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 housecoat anyway??