When I read books, one of the things I absolutely love is hearing/reading about the fashion of the day. Emilie Loring books take place in the 20s through 50s and I always try to imagine what the styles were. The gal in the 1920s book… does she wear a bob and have a flapper dress? Does she dress like Mary Crawley? I always hope so because I love the fashion from Downton Abbey. Who doesn’t? It’s so stylish. I’d wear it.
And then when I read my romance novels taking place in the Regency Era of Britain, I wonder, do the gals wear clothing like in the movie Pride and Prejudice? The one with Kiera Knightley, because other P&P adaptations are, um, well not period done. Do not even get me started on the 1940s or 50’s P&P version. Horrors.
And when I read my Janet Dailey books, they are taking place in the late 70s, so well, I can picture that a bit more, but still I love to hear about it. Excluding the men with all their patterned silk shirts. From what they sound like, I could do without.
Knowing the fashion and clothing of the period you are writing a book is so crucial. That is why Georgette Heyer is so revered when it comes to her books. She researched extensively and her writings show what the style was. Jane Austen, sadly, never talked about the clothing in detail. I guess when you live in the time period, it’s very hard to want to write about fashion considering everyone knows what the style of the day is.
One of my favorite vintage fashion places to go to is DevilNight. There are all kinds of fashion from different eras and it’s a great place to start if you need to have an idea of period clothing. I just researched for vintage fashion on Bing and found Vintage Fashion Guild, but sadly, the hats section has not been filled. Then there is Couture Allure Vintage Fashion and Unique Vintage, along with Vintage Trends, but this last one isn’t as nice in my opinion.
Finding good resources for vintage fashion, without searching in a library, I.E. online, isn’t exactly easy. But again, it’s something that one must do if they are going to write. I always appreciate a writer that has done their research and made me totally picture the clothing. It makes the whole story much more believable.
And this is where I say women are more interesting writers than men. Women will do the detail and talk about all the clothing. The hairstyles, gloves, shoes, jewelry…… Men rarely go into detail with fashion. So that is how today’s post relates to my theme of women. Women get fashion, and the importance of clothing….
Just watch Miss Petigrew Lives for a Day with Amy Adams and Frances McDormand and you will see how much fashion plays a role. Not to mention just how stunning the film is. And watch Downton Abbey and pay attention to the clothing and styles. They are so completely elegant. And so different between Cora, Edith, and Mary. Fashion makes the story believable.