I don’t know about you, but one of the things I love about historical romances is the clothes. Whether split suede skirts and light blouses in Westerns or beautiful ball gowns in regency romances or a stylish town dress for strolling through Hyde Park, I love how the author gets me to see what our heroine is wearing, especially when the articles of clothing are being removed, slowly, tenderly…you get the picture.
Even the men’s fashions fascinate me. Who can’t picture a pirate, the sleeves of his loose white shirt billowing in the wind, his trousers tight enough to show every muscle and curve of his leg and backside? Who can’t picture a Lord decked out in evening clothes or heaven help us, a man in a kilt! Sorry, I got carried away!
I love the descriptions and the colors and the fabrics (yes, I can see all this in my head, but there’s nothing quite like seeing one of these ensembles in person).
A couple years ago, there was an event at Rawhide in Scottsdale, Arizona. There was fancy horseback riding, and vendors selling antiques and food that was popular back in the 1800’s. To top off the weekend, there was a costume contest and a friend’s daughter entered, wearing a town dress that her grandmother had hand sewn exactly how someone would have done it back then (and it was gorgeous)! I had the good fortune to meet the woman who made this town dress. Imagine my thrill when I learned she also hand sews Civil War uniforms. I had the opportunity to not only pick her brain but to actually touch the fabric (and the chest of the man modeling the uniform….he didn’t seem to mind at all). I was in heaven. Absolute heaven!
What about you? Do you like reading about the dresses and ball gowns, the lingerie, the kilts?
As always, happy reading.
I love the clothes, too! Every summer there's a two month long Renaissance Fair where the people who run it and many visitors dress the period. I have two costumes of my own and I made half the pieces. I bought some at the fair because it's too fun to try the clothes on. I almost wish we could wear that kind of clothes today. I'm sure I'd get tired of needing so much time to get dressed.
I didn't get to touch any of the studly men, though!