I have a confession to make. I love reading romance novels. There, I’ve said it! Lying in bed with a book that makes me swoon is a real guilty pleasure. I first got hooked on them during my preteen years. I bought a couple of bags of chips that had free Harlequin books in them. I thought “why not?” One was about a girl who had been jilted by her fiancé so she made the decision to move to South Africa to take over the family farm. There she met the steely Brand Royce. Another was about a young girl who goes to Swaziland (South Africa again) with her brother to start up a farm, where she meets the arrogant Dirk Von Breda. What these books have in common is not just the locale, but also the curious ways that the authors made a point of describing the heroines’ daily outfits.
Many of the books I read were written in the 1970’s. “…[she] perched the beret cheekily on her shining hair. She flicked a speck of dust from her smart black suit of mourning and drew on her expensive-looking gloves.” “…[he was] strangely attractive, and his Scotch tweed jacket, course-grained sports trousers and the hand-sewn veld-schoen on his feet accentuated his essential maleness” “Eve was resplendent in a red clinging summer-weight woolen gown with diamond-studded halter neck …Her sleek black hair was drawn into a smooth coiled chignon on top of her head…”
Despite the obvious cheesy quality of these books, the authors gave really wonderfully vivid descriptions of the fashions of that time. Why not browse your local library and sign out an old Harlequin book …”because no one touches the heart of a woman quite like Harlequin!”
Romantic dress for your next triste perhaps?