Many authors like to go really deep into their characters, describing pretty much everything in abundant detail. This is a point of contention in the publishing industry: while many people prefer their stories to have as little fluff as possible, others enjoy great, lengthy descriptions that help them put themselves even further into the character’s shoes… an especially important element in the escapism of romance novels.
I recently read Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Kiss An Angel (1996), a story about Daisy Devreaux, a woman who, forced by circumstances, found herself wedded to a dark and brooding man called Alex Markov. It’s my first time ever reading this old book often recommended by fellow romance readers, and I was amazed by how much thought Phillips put into describing her heroine’s clothes.
Here are three outfits inspired by Daisy’s wardrobe—stylised and modernised to today’s use!
Outfit #1: Semi-Formal Wedding
“I don’t know why you insisted on wearing that dress, dear. It might be appropriate for club-hopping, but hardly for a wedding.” Amelia’s critical gaze passed stern judgment on Daisy’s expensive metallic lace tank dress that ended in a scalloped hem a good eight inches above her knee.
“It’s almost white.”
“Gold isn’t white, dear. And it’s much too short.”
Outfit #2: Casual Work Day
“What are you gonna do, angel face? Stab me with your eyebrow pencil?”
Outfit #3: Romantic Dinner Date
“I was afraid I’d forgotten how to dress up.” For once she didn’t feel compelled to tell him how much better her mother would have looked, maybe because her appearance was no longer as important to her as it once had been. She’d spent so many days in jeans and a ponytail without a stitch of make-up on her face that tonight she felt quite glamorous.
“I give you my personal guarantee that you haven’t forgotten a thing.”
And that’s it! Kiss An Angel is definitely not the best of literature, but it has the classic elements of a romance novel: characters we can root for, a tumultuous love-hate relationship, and sizzling sexual tension. Out of these three outfits, which ones are your favourite? What would you do differently?