A couple of months ago, I started wondering what the leading ladies from my books would wear today. What would she find familiar and comfortable? What would she find daring and appealing? Then I thought to myself: Maybe you’d like to get in on the fun!
Since I just finished Tiffany Girl, the heroine—Flossie Jayne—was, of course, the first leading lady who came to mind. How about I tell you a little bit about her, then give an example of what I think her 21st century style would look like? Then you can show us all how YOU think she would dress over on my Group Pinterest board or on Facebook.
"January’s wind caught the corners of Flossie’s mid-length coat and flung it back to reveal a bluish-purple skirt with subtle stripes of mignon. She’d never had a first-day-of-work before and wanted to make a good impression. Picking a gown should have been a simple task. Heaven knew she had a gown for every occasion, or so she thought. Yet there was nothing in Harper’s Bazaar or The Ladies’ Home Journal that discussed the appropriate attire for a Tiffany Girl...She’d tried on four different outfits before settling on her grosgrain. She hoped to heaven she wasn’t overdressed.” - Tiffany Girl
So … Flossie Jayne … where to start? Let’s see, her lifelong ambition is to be one of the first women in history to have her art work hanging in a museum right beside the currently all-male artists. But that’s not going to fly too well with good ol’ traditional mom and dad. He’s a barber and she’s a seamstress for New York City’s rich and famous, and they fully expect their daughter to do what every other female on the planet does: live at home until she meets a suitable man to marry. Problem is, women aren’t allowed to be in the workplace to begin with—and the few who do manage to bust their way in can stay ONLY if they aren’t married.
Kinda puts Flossie between a rock and a hard place. If she wants to work, she can’t get married. But if she stays home while she works, her dad (being the male) will be given all of her pay. So when the famous Louis Comfort Tiffany visits her art class and offers her and several other female students the opportunity to help create his Tiffany Chapel for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, Flossie not only jumps at the chance, she moves out of her home and takes up residence at a local boarding house as a “New Woman” who supports herself and lives by her own rules.
I always try to pick a celebrity to use as inspiration for my characters—it helps me remain somewhat consistent. In Flossie’s case, I chose Sandra Bullock. I love that she’s beautiful, fashionable and sophisticated, but also a little quirky. Sandra doesn’t mind doing things her own way, and neither did Flossie.
Since Mom sewed all of Flossie’s clothes, Flossie was totally the most stylish woman at her boarding house. Her closet was filled with many of the same fashions as the rich and famous at a fraction of the cost.
Somehow, making your own clothing has fallen out of vogue today, so I like to think that if Flossie were around in 2015, she would shop for trendy, high-end fashions at stores like Saks off Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus Last Call and Nordstrom Rack. That’s how she’d get the same look as the rich and famous without spending her whole salary from Tiffany Studios! Here are some ideas on how she might dress today to stay on top of the latest trends while working to fit into her role as a New Woman. Are those peach shoes on the girl in the middle to die for, or what? (Experiencing serious shoe-envy right now.)
Now it's your turn! Find an outfit you think Flossie would wear today, and add it to my Group Pinterest Board. Simply comment here or send me a note with your email address and I’ll add you to the group board so you can pin away! Or, you can simply leave your images here or on my Facebook and I’ll make sure they get pinned!