Conforming or contrasting

The fact that the clothes your hero is wearing have him looking every inch the gentleman and your heroine's attire implies style and breeding is a major factor in characterisation.

Whilst the tall, handsome, immaculately turned-out chap may fulfil the role of every woman's answer to her dreams, he could also be any one of the following:

♦ a confidence trickster without a penny to his name

♦ a fashion-conscious young dandy, interested only in his own appearance

♦ a charming rogue, who overspends on clothes, wining, dining and gambling

♦ a man of action, uncomfortably restricted by his formal clothes.

The way he wears his clothes, his bearing, attitude and behaviour will all give a clue to his personality. Does he, for example, constantly rub his finger round his shirt collar, indicating discomfort? Or is he unable to pass a mirror without stopping to check the condition of his silk pocket handkerchief?

Heroines, too, reveal a great deal from the way they cope with their clothes. Dressed in skin-tight evening gown and dripping with diamonds, our heroine could be:

♦ a confidence trickster without a penny to her name

♦ a vain gold-digger, determined to trap a rich husband

♦ a shy, sporty-type restricted and uncomfortable in these clothes.

Like her male counterpart, our heroine may be sophisticated and elegant but if she has difficulty walking in her tight skirt or modesty has her constantly pulling up the top of her dress, it will be clear that she is less than comfortable with the image she is expected to project.

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