Saturday, May 17, 2008

What are your characters wearing?

I’ve always enjoyed fashion, even when I didn’t like what was in style. From the mid-calf bohemian-style skirt to the micro-mini, women have defined their fashion sensibilities since they started wearing clothes. As a writer, I try to incorporate fashion into my books to add an extra dimension to my characters. Here are some high fashion concepts I’ve noticed for this season:

Fabrics, colors, and prints: Go for color and interesting prints with as much natural fiber in your fabric as you can manage (consider dry cleaning, laundering, and need for ironing). Bright primary and secondary colors as well as earthy tribal prints will give your wardrobe a boost. Florals, ombre and muted metallics are hot this season. Yellows, blues, and all shades of purple rule.

Silhouettes: More volume in skirts and dresses will give you the oomph you might be looking for, but if you have the figure for it, you can still rock the pencil skirt.

Handbags: Clutch, frame, and metallics are all buzzwords for this season’s bags. Look for saturated color that makes a standalone statement. Purple, yellow, silvertone, goldtone, bronze, and lots of beads! Oh, and don’t forget about metal mesh!

Footwear: Flip-flops aside, what better way to show off a great pedicure than with some strappy wedge sandals? From the gladiator and tribal ankle strap to the cork wedge, stepping out has never been so cool. Platforms, cone heels, and cutout wedges make the statement that you know exactly where you’re going. And what shoe-loving woman doesn’t have at least one pair of peep-toes in her footwear lineup? For a full-on color statement, let your shoes show off your favorite pattern, print, ombre, or bright color!

Jewelry: Whether custom-made or mass-produced, every woman needs at least one signature bracelet and lots of necklaces for extra fashion dimension--layered or worn solo. What better way to draw attention to your pretty wrists than with bangles, cuffs, and charms! Although it’s fine to have a standard watch that goes with everything, jump out of your comfort zone and sport a timepiece with lots of zing. Whether longing for drops of glistening gemstones or manmade knockoffs, why wait for someone to give you that perfect necklace? Don’t hesitate to decorate your neck in the perfect face-framing piece of jewelry that will turn an otherwise ordinary outfit into the talk of the party.

How do you dress your characters? Are they in or out of step with current fashion trends?


Janet Spaeth said...

Well, right now I'm writing in 1886Minnesota, LOL! Full skirts and fur muffs are all the style.

However, I do have a LTWIP (Long Time Work In Progress!)contemporary which I laid aside maybe 5 years ago because I couldn't figure out how to resolve a plot oopsie.

I gave one of the minor characters a beauty trait (not related to the plot problem) that was kooky and unusual, and someone in some fashion magazine must have read my mind because it became a major fad!

It's no longer a fad, so now my character looks horribly out-of-date, instead of eccentric and charming.


Debby Mayne said...

Hey, Janet! I love the idea of writers setting trends! It happens, so why can't we do it? Maybe once your contemporary book comes out, people will want what your characters are wearing!

Carla Capshaw said...

What a great topic, Debby. I'm wearing my writer's clothes at the moment--aka pajamas. :-)

As for fashion and my characters, I write historicals, so the 'fashion' is usually defined for me. But I love using colors, jewelry, hairstyles, fabrics, etc. to help build my characterization. Adding those touches makes my people more real and it's lots of fun to research those details.

Debby Mayne said...

Hey, Carla! Nice outfit!

I'm excited for you and eager to see your first book in print! When will we see it on the shelves?

Super-Mommy (aka Carrie) said...

My characters always dress like me. I am not necessarily trendy, but more beachy. In my opinion jeans, a tee and flip-flops are the right attire for almost anything (with the occasional sundress).

Janet Spaeth said...

Flip-flops? Did someone say FLIP-FLOPS?

I have a teeth-chattering addiction to flip-flops. Matter of fact, I just blogged about it.

And I found out this week that I have passed this onto my daughter, as she came home with three new pairs one night.

This, my friends, is why I keep my day job. Flip-flops may be relatively cheaper than, say, Manolo Blahnik heels, but when you buy them in bulk, LOL.....

Debby Mayne said...

Hey, Carrie! I know you like flip-flops, but I've seen you drool over some really cute shiny 3" peep-toes. Fess up. :)

Janet, have you checked to see if Manolo makes flip-flops?

Janet Spaeth said...

Ooooh, Manolo flip-flops. Be still my heart!

Wouldn't that be incredible?

Terri Tiffany said...

Thanks for this reminder of dressing my characters in outfts that are in style.:)) I saw you are from Florida too and a ACFW member. Hello!