Where Do Your Characters Shop?


Where do your characters shop? One might think that discussing a character's wardrobe is off-topic from the mystery/suspense genre, but is it?


My poor characters are usually subjected to abysmal weather, and are up to their eyeballs in danger. With that formula, fashion is often the least of their concerns. Sweaters, boots, and jeans are all staples for both hero and heroine alike. The fact that I bundle them up so much can make for some frustrating delays in front of the fireplace. But the extra work makes the prize all the more rewarding, right?


One side-effect of a diverse wardrobe happens to be an editor's worst nightmare...remembering what the character wore in the last scene. If your heroine is wearing a red sweater at the top of the stairs and a blue one at the bottom, we know the author took a vacation sometime in between there. 


When your heroine throws on a coat, do you daydream about what type of coat you would like to buy and live vicariously through her, or do you seek out the most practical garment for the scene? When your leading lady slips on a pair of heels, are they shoes you know you'll never be able to wear, or like me, is the leading lady hauling on a pair of boots?


Is the wardrobe a major concern for you as a reader or writer? Does your novel need a visit from the What Not To Wear crew?



Comments

Wynter Daniels said…
Cute post! My characters wear what I need them to wear, which is in no way indicative of my attitude about clothing! I live to shop;-)
MaureenAMiller said…
One day one of my leading ladies will stage a mutiny and say, "Seriously, can't I just wear something fancy for a change?"
JB Lynn said…
Yes, not only could my characters use a visit from Clinton and Stacy, but so could I!
Shirley Wells said…
My characters all wear jeans, sweaters and boots. I forget that normal people (like, um, characters) might look in my wardrobe and be horrified: "That's it? Jeans and sweaters?" :)
Toni Anderson said…
One of my characters (Sorcha Logan in STORM WARNING) got all her clothes from Boden. I was living vicariously. I love Boden b/c they have fancy and also practical. Most of the heroines I write are tromping around in mud or sand and tend to be in jeans and boots (or even waders). My heroes...wow, I don't think any of them owns a suit.
Marcelle Dubé said…
Most of my heroines are in jeans or police uniforms. Not a sequin among them. Hmm. Am I depriving them of their secret fantasies? Wait... there's a story there...
MaureenAMiller said…
That's what I'm thinking, Marcelle. What if our ladies just suddenly wanted to put on a tiara?
Tanya said…
When my heroine is stuck with only one outfit(Jeans and sweater)while in his home during a blizzard, my hero visits Loehmann's (NYC Upper West Side Clothing Store). In an effort to surprise her, he's out of his comfort zone as he fumbles around among other women shoppers in the intimates department. Luckily he's rescued by a saleswoman who helps him shop for a complete wardrobe. He's such a good guy!
MaureenAMiller said…
I love that, Tanya.

Every time I think of a guy in a department store, I picture Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation saying, "You can't see the lines, can you Russ?"
Tanya said…
Maureen,

I had a great time writing that. And I love Christmas Vacation. I pull out my DVD every season. Always a giggle!
Rita said…
Okay-don't tell anyone but i've caught myself looking at clothes I think a character would like. Bought a shirt I thought would look goos on one og my heroes.
Eeep! I need therapy.
MaureenAMiller said…
Rita, you don't need therapy unless you actually BUY him the clothes. :)
Ann Bruce said…
Two words: thermal knitwear. Take it from a hiker and snowboarder: you don't need to be bulky to be warm.

My characters dress for the occasion, so it could be frayed cut-offs or a French cuff shirt complete with cufflinks. And cufflinks aren't just for men.
Ugh. Being 6'2", I have a hate-hate relationship with clothes-shopping in my personal life. I've found a couple sites for tall women, but it's difficult to find much beyond the basics.

So when I write for my characters, I look at catalog descriptions or stick to basics. I've read romance books from decades ago that described the setting, colors that were in fashion, etc. Now those would be so out of fashion. So I usually stick to timeless styles and colors. ;)
Wendy Soliman said…
It's hard not to dress 'em in the stuff you like yourself - if they're good guys, that is. But I do also give them nice small feet, (because I wish I had them!) And yes, I live to shop, too!

Great post!
Clare London said…
*lol* I have to smile because, writing male/male means I have much less scope in what they they wear :).

Unless of course they have secret fantasies, as Marcelle says...

Hm, there's a new plotline lurking in there somewhere!

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