Clothes in women’s fiction

Black trackie bottoms (elasticated waistband a must) scuffed trainers and a hoodie that has seen much, much better days… My writer/home worker’s uniform is far from glamorous.

But one of the joyous bits of being a writer—and particularly if you write women’s fiction/chick lit—is living vicariously through your characters. Mine get to wear all kinds of beautiful outfits and shoes. I find myself on fashion websites seeking out the dresses, shoes, skirts and tops they might don. It’s even more fascinating when coming up with men’s clothing. Traditionally, their outfits veer towards boring but I love to make my men hyper stylish. I reward then with loud check print skinny-fit suits, silk bomber jackets and brogues polished to within an inch of their lives.

I wrote this scene some time ago, having Googled male fashion and found the outfit on Top Man…

Kelly twisted awkwardly in her seat to see who had attracted their attention. Oh, God. Nate Walker. She turned away quickly before he could catch sight of her.

Leon, his eyes still glued to Nate who had managed to pull off skinny chino shorts and a sleeveless pink hoodie over a white long-sleeved tee shirt, noticed the sudden move. “Do you know him?” he asked, awed.

Yes, he’s a rude arsehole,” she muttered. “And he’s straight.”

In that outfit? Kelly, are you sure? Ooh, he’s coming over…”

To her chagrin, Kelly realised she had been spotted. Nate had made his way over to their booth. “Hi Kelly. How are you?”

At least he looked faintly uncomfortable and the exaggerated politeness of the other day had gone.

Fine.” She bared her teeth in bad imitation of a smile.

Er… listen, sorry I was a bit rude the other day. Family problems. I wasnae in the best of fettle.”

As Leon and Martin were practically panting beside her, Kelly nodded quickly. “Apology accepted.”

Anyway, having made my last heroine, Gaby of Highland Fling, as scruffy as I am, I wanted to make Katya, who stars in Highland Heart, the stylish, well-dressed woman I’m sure lurks deep within me. So, here’s an insight into her wardrobe and what she would wear…

The Vampire’s Wife

Vampire's Wife dressI’m OBSESSED with this brand. Their dresses are out of this world beautiful, all styled along the same lines—slender bodices, a defined waist, high necklines and those voluminous sleeves. One day, one day I will own one and I will wear it do the housework in.

AUBERGINE_FIG_VELVET_7673_1024x1024As a fan of the big bag—all the better to carry around all your medical equipment, reading material, make-up and a couple of bottles of diet coke, I love the idea of matching your bag so precisely to your dress. This silk velvet version is a beauty, isn’t it?

Victoria Beckham

paw19_jk_ovr_51005a_black_2_3bcbb597-b9c6-4bdd-80e0-e148be2272e0_750xI’ve also a sneaky fondness for Victoria Beckham’s clothing line because of its simplicity and the exquisite tailoring. I’d give Katya this contrast sleeve biker jacket, and probably the trousers and polo-neck too. A word of caution though… VB’s clothes only go up to a size 16, which pisses me off. Honestly, any eejit can design for tall, skinny models. A few less small sizes, the 6s and 8s, and a few more bigger ones, the 18s and 20s would vastly improve the range.

Levi’s demi-curve jeans

Jeans aren’t a favourite of mine—it’s the non-elasticated waist thing—but I do own a pair of Levi’s demi curve straight leg jeans and they fit brilliantly. So Katya gets to wear them far often than I wear mine, dressing them up with heels or cork wedges, dressing them down with a pair of Converse boots.

Jimmy Choo’s

AW19_CROWNJEWELSAh, the shoes! It’s a women’s fiction cliché that shoes at the end of skinny, long bare legs often turn up on the cover of chick lit books. As someone who spends 90 percent of her life in flats, I do own some fabulous heels. But as Katya is fictional and doesn’t need to worry about walking too far in anything or how much that strap is going to rub the front of her foot, she’s like those women in Suits marching about the smart NY Pearson Spencer Litt office in their male fantasy cliché pencil skirts and sky-high heels. And we might as well go all out femme with this pair of Jimmy Choo heels that look wearable for precisely five seconds.

 

 

Victoria Beckham Scoffs Enormous Cheesecake…

282045-victoria-beckham

Vickie B – pic courtesy of the International Business Times

A friend of a friend of a friend once told me a story about Victoria Beckham

Apparently, the Beckhams are actually lovely employers (the friend of a friend etc knew someone employed by them), but they do (allegedly) insist on one stipulation from their employees – thou shalt not eat in front of Victoria.

I am intrigued. Is such a rule put in place because Victoria turns feral when faced with people tucking into food? There you are, innocently eating your cheese and ham sandwich and about to dive into that home-made flapjack when suddenly Victoria ATTACKS you. She snatches the sandwich from your lips and wolves it down in seconds. She grabs the flapjack from your hands and crams it into her gob. She finishes the food and howls at the moon, “GIMME MORE!!”

Oh please, let my imagining of this story be true! Anyway, I mention this as I am conscientiously trying to live as Paleo as possible (more of this in the next blog post), so I fear a feral moment of my own may well be coming on soon.

If such a wild deviation from the path of the hunter-gatherer diet did present itself, it would probably take the form of Mama Highheelsandpinkglitter’s white chocolate cheesecake. Don’t bother with that baking cheesecake nonsense and instead create this lovely vision of white deliciousness…

Enjoy – and if you do want to go feral on it, I’d recommend reading the following guide to The Attack on The Cheesecake

White Chocolate Cheesecake (serves 10-12)

Sunflower Oil for greasing
40g unsalted butter
50g dark chocolate
200g packet hob nobs
250 g marscapone
200g Greek yogurt
500g white chocolate (cheaper stuff melts better)
75g castor sugar
284 ml double cream, lightly whipped
Cocoa powder for dusting

Lightly oil a n 8-in loose bottomed cake tin with the sunflower oil. Melt the butter and half the dark chocolate in a pan, then stir in the biscuit crumbs until well mixed. Press on to the base of the cake tin and chill.

Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. When it’s melted beat in the marscapone, yogurt and sugar.

Fold the whipped cream in and pour on to the biscuit base.

Grate the rest of the dark chocolate and scatter over the top of the cheesecake, then dust with sieved cocoa. Chill 4 hours or overnight.