The Hero Wore Pink Trousers

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??

14 thoughts on “The Hero Wore Pink Trousers”

  1. Pink trousers? No, no, no!

    I always stick to jeans and t-shirt or a suit for my heros too. I think the KISS acronym might apply here.

    I think my gran used to wear a housecoat – it’s a horrible polyester thing (like a cross between an overall and a dressing gown) that housewives used to wear over their clothes when they were doing housework. If your book was set in England I’m confident that’s it. A MH heroine wouldn’t be caught dead in one!

  2. LOL!
    Yep jeans and ts and suits seem to end up being the staple wardrobe don’t they? Though I am developing a thing for combats and board shorts.

    I’m guessing tartan slippers are out too? ggg

  3. Ooh – you can give me a rugged hero in cargo pants and a t-shirt any day.

    In real life, suits just aren’t my style, but I do undertand their place in M&B.

    It’s the women’s clothing that gets me. How many halter tops can one woman wear in the course of a single novel?

  4. My gran also used to wear a housecoat and I completely agree with Lorraine – it was horrible.

    I’m still trying to get the picture of that cream jacket out of my head. Pink trousers don’t sound so bad in comparison.


  5. Lorraine – yeah, pink trousers aren’t good. Re the M&B yes, definitely it was set in the UK. Hmmm, i have a horrible suspicion I DO know what a housecoat is. Think my nana used to wear one.

    Judy – I can stretch to combats and board shorts too. Verrrry nice. But maybe not tartan slippers!

    Romy – Lol re the halter tops!! And strappy sandals. I do say though, I like a man in a nicely tailored suit. Yum.

    Suzanne, the cream jacket was hideous and therefore I could not take the hero seriously. Poor guy.

  6. Pink trousers, however they look in real life, just don’t translate to the written word for me…
    Cargo shorts, jeans, black or navy tees are about it for me. oh i did have one wear navy pants and a white shirt rolled at the sleeves – although that’s just a half-suit.
    All my heroines wear skirts, but i hardly own one in real life. Oh and they wear dresses, think the last time i wore a dress was my wedding day…
    Off to look up housecoats.

  7. Becca, I’m with you. Heroes clothes should be simple. As Lorraine said, the KISS principle. But that’s funny about your heroines. Mine wear a combination, depending on their personality. Skirts are really hard to describe actually.

    Hmmm, if anyone finds a good picture of a housecoat, let me know!

  8. Jeans in combo with pretty much anything works for me too. Or a suit. Or nothing…

    The Eighties M&Bs heroes often wore slacks (sometimes with pleats) to match the heroines’ housecoats. Oh, the horror.

  9. Oooh, Lucy, forgot about the nothing. Yes indeed, a hot hero in nothing is best of all. 😉

    Of course, slacks!! LOL! How could I forget the slacks? Do you know, that sometimes, I have read a Modern where the hero STILL dresses in slacks! And then there are the ones where the heroine does too. Neat slacks at that. I just try subsitute said slacks for jeans in imagination at that point.

  10. Oh I soooooo hear ya on describing clothing. I often find the heroine’s sounds lame too when in my head it’s gorgeous!! But Pink trousers??? Perhaps not!!

    I usually go for suits or jeans or simplicity too. But whether that’s good or not, is anyone’s guess!

  11. This was so funny! Thanks for the good laugh! It’s so true though – best to keep the clothing descriptions to a minimum because they might sound even worse in two years time!

    No pink for alphas! Never!

    Give me an alpha in silky black boxers … swoon …

  12. Rach, I think that’s good. And given that’s what we all dress our heroes in, I reckon everyone else thinks that too!
    And I’m right with you on the heroine. I have this great vision in my head and it ends up sounding ghastly!

    Thanks Amanda! Glad I could give you a laugh. 🙂 Nup, I think pink is definitely a colour alphas should steer clear of. But black boxers? Ooooh, you do give me some good ideas… 😉

  13. Oh no on the pink trousers. On the finding of descriptions for clothes I think all my heroes and heroines have been naked. Either that or I have been too lazy to describe their clothes …

    Off now to find you a picture of a good housecoat (?!). I am on a google image mission.

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