Background: from 2006 to 2010, I wrote four chick lit novellas which were published by Psicom Publishing Inc. These were the Pink Shoes Trilogy (Pink Shoes, If The Shoe Fits and Shoes Off), concerning a trio of best friends named Dina, Shane and Emily; and The Hagette, about pretty Cynthia de la Rama and her non-existent gaydar. (These books are all still available at National Bookstore, Powerbooks, Fully Booked and Booksale if you want to read them, and yeah I'm at work on a new one...which is coming along rather slow, but that's a different story!)
Anyway, these sets tell you something about the characters and maybe even a bit of the plot! Let's start with the narrator of the Pink Shoes trilogy, Dina Vazquez.
When the trilogy starts, Dina is frumpy and miserable in a job that stifles her. Spurred by the purchase of universally flattering pink ballet flats, she discovers mini-skirts and starts making other changes in her life -- including the courage to pursue the career she really wants and the romance she sorely needs.
Dina is practical and independent but is a child at heart. She secretly wants to be pampered and cared for (but will not admit that). This is reflected in how she echoes her childhood through her clothes: her love of uniforms and how she tries to approximate the idea of a Catholic schoolgirl look for a professional setting. Since leaving her tech marketing job she has worked in fashion and events, which requires her to look polished and professional, but ready to pitch in and move furniture around if need be. She's not wealthy either, so her approach to dressing is building block-like - each piece can be mixed and matched with a variety of other items. Here for example we have her beloved miniskirt, in a yellow iteration, matched with a sturdy blazer and a cute blouse for work (echoing that schoolgirl aesthetic) and then matched with a cropped pink sweater and a tank top for a weekend out or a date. An all-purpose satchel with lots of pockets are perfect for the gal in events who's always on the go. Accessories are simple and beloved: a heart locket, a sporty lilac watch and a cute rope bracelet with some bling for sophistication.
See the looks for punk rock Shane, romantic Emily and (straight) man-repelling Cynthia after the cut.
But Emily is also the most conventionally successful of the trio, being an advertising executive, and she likes to show off the fruits of her labor: there's the status bag, (Louis Vuitton Epi Leather Travel Bag in Forest Green, natch) and the bohemian-yet-crazy-expensive necklace (Bea Valdes). She'll keep it all casual by tying a cheerful yellow scarf around the bag and mix in some Indian-inspired bangles, but make no mistake: Emily's going for a casual luxe vibe, a weekend-in-the-Hamptons sort of thing, and she'll only be a hippie as far as it allows her to bathe regularly and indulge in her designer bath products.
Don't call Cynthia de la Rama a fag hag, she's a Hagette, thankyouverymuch -- the young, witty and charming version of a, say, Joan Rivers or Kathy Griffin. A magazine editor at a vanity press and more-or-less a rich kid, she hangs out with her three gay best friends attending plays, restaurant openings and fashion shows. She's a self-confessed fashion fiend who's updated on the latest trends, and so may dress a little...er, challenging for a straight guy to comprehend. But her approach to dressing is witty and smart and she's out to make a statement, never mind if the guys don't get her at all.
The Hagette was written in 2005 (there are references to Seven jeans and Jimmy Choos), so this is what I think she'd wear in today's world of man repelling and street fashion: some fierce neon green Louboutins paired with unconventionally casual acid wash jeans (worn folded over the ankle) belted with a studded belt. Of course she'll layer: on top she'd have a Kate Mouse T-shirt (Cynthia would find that hilariously clever) worn under a mullet leopard top and layered with a leather vest. (Cynthia keeps cool by sheer force of fashion will.) She'll pair that with a ratty multi-strand rope necklace and the Dali, a long mustache necklace - again, something she'll find witty, some evil eye bracelets and a trio of chunky silver rings. To top it off she'll don a black turban and set everything of with her grandma's precious vintage Chanel purse. Cynthia will wear this to a full day of styling shoots, coffee with her boyfriend, dinner at a secret restaurant and later to a club, because she's awesome like that.
Hope you enjoyed these costume-design flights of fancy! Till next time!