Saturday, December 15, 2007

characteristics part 2

The heroine and fashion. I'm a big believer in making the character work for the character herself, and if she's unfashionable, then she is. You can get away with it better in a contemporary, or even in much of the 20th Century than you can previously.

In the upper class there were 2 kinds of women. Fashionable and those too poor to afford fashion. If her family could afford it, she wore the best. Maybe not if she were gardening, but every other time, yes. Whether or not she had any idea what was and wasn't 'in', the dressmaker did, and that was enough. And if she couldn't afford it, then she still wanted to look her best, just as women do today.

Forgetting for a moment those poor relations populating romance, the woman had to look her best. Society was extremely catty, and fashion was what counted among the rich. It affected a woman's place, her marriageable chances, and her social circle. Now, if she wanted to wear last year's style, she could - not at any balls but around the house, assuming she wasn't entertaining there.

She wasn't going to leave without everything in place, and she certainly wasn't going to embarrass herself or her family by making a fashion faux pas.

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