A while ago, I wrote an article about how to incorporate some of the fashion from several of our favorite TV shows into everyday life. In this installment, I will continue in that vein only this time around the inspiration stems from some of the heroes/heroines from our favorite books. Yes, that’s right. I’m a bookworm. And you should be, too! Books are instigators of the imagination. They take you away, however briefly, from the “real world”, allowing you to escape from the dredges of your regular life for a few hours.
Right now, I’m in the midst of reading the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon. I started reading the books in preparation for the Starz show based off the books, and have already fallen into absolute obsession with them. Definitely recommend picking them up if you haven’t. No, really…what are you waiting for? Go!
(Also watch the show because it’s a completely faithful adaptation and Sam Heughan is ridiculously hot. Like, the kind of hot you didn’t think existed in the real world.)
With that said, I have the perfect segue into this article! And an excuse to talk about my newest obsession some more. So let’s get started on the fashion inspiration.
Pop-Culture Inspiration: The “Outlander” Series by Diana Gabaldon.
Synopsis: The character of Claire Beauchamp-Randall-Fraser (the main protagonist in the books) is absolutely fantastic and a great heroine. Unlike in “Game of Thrones” (which, admittedly, I also love), she is the epitome of the feminist character who is in charge of her own sexuality, as well as possessing a mouth like a trucker (or a lorry driver; Claire is English). In the series, women are not merely a set of walking boobs for the male characters to have sex with; they have fully fleshed-out personalities, ambitions, and wishes. They are not treated like second-class citizens. Although the biggest chunk of the “Outlander” series takes place in repressed 18th century Scotland—at first, leading up to the Jacobite Uprising wherein Bonny Prince Charlie tried (and failed) to regain his father’s three kingdoms and make Scotland independent again—Claire is a time-traveling WWII nurse from 1945. And she is a modern woman even in that time period. She takes no guff from the men she finds herself around who try to “put her in her place”. She’s outspoken and opinionated, making her a distinct anomaly in that era—and causing many to be suspicious of her, not the least of which is due to her being English in a time when the Scottish was perpetually battling with the red-coated Dragoons of England. She’s also deemed a “healer” due to her capabilities with medicines.
In order to keep her away from the suspicious English (specifically, Black Jack Randall, her modern-day husband’s ancestor and sadist), she is made to marry Jamie Fraser, a young (and hot, did I mention hot?) Scottish warrior, in order to make her Scottish. Thus, the English have no claim on her anymore. As Claire unwillingly begins to fall in love with Jamie, she must decide to either stay with him or return to her other husband, Frank, in her own time.
How to Get The Look: Claire Beauchamp
Claire is originally from the 40s, and we all know it was a decade of true style, for both men and women alike! To get Claire’s pre-time-travel look, stick to a classic, vintage silhouette. I LOVE this polka dot sheath dress in navy blue. It has a distinctly vintage feel but isn’t so over the top that it seems costume-y. I also adore this navy blue trench. It’s perfect for winter and it is both vintage inspired and military inspired, reminiscent of Claire’s own battlefield background. As for shoes, peep-toes were very big in the 40s. I like these. Heels were the ONLY shoe to have in that time period for women. Thesegorgeous wine and creme colored pumps are divine. Top your outfit off with a little envelope clutch like this one and voila! Hello, Claire!
Later on, post-time-travel, Claire, of course, looks a wee bit different:
Now, naturally, you don’t want to look exactly like an 18th century English/Scottish lady, because it’s not Halloween yet (though when it is, sure; go to town!). I would recommend a full, flowing midi-skirt to capture the feeling of Claire’s 18th century outfit like this one. Keep the colors relatively muted or monochrome; remember what time period you’re channeling. I like this in a print. Add a simple cardigan over a white button down and a pair of flats or oxfords and a chunky knit cowl or scarf and you have the essence of Claire’s old timey look without appearing to have stepped out of a text book.
How to Get The Look: Jamie Fraser
Excuse me while I take a moment to simply gaze at Jaime’s devilishly good looks. He really is quite the perfect specimen. But at last, I digress. In order to achieve the essence of Jamie’s 18th century Highlander look, first you need a plaid skirt like this. Make sure it’s in a muted color. You may think of tartan kilts as being in loud, bright hues, but that was only in the 19th century after Scotland reclaimed the kilt after years of the Scottish staple being banned by the English government as punishment for the unsuccessful Jacobite Uprising.
You also need some kind of woolen or tweed coat, like this one or this one. The top should be a simple white shirt like this. Add a white scarf and a pair of flat riding boots. Remember, every item should be in muted earth tones.
Another of my personal favorites comes from the Young Adult section. And one you may be familiar with it.
Pop-Culture Inspiration: The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
Synopsis: In case you happen to live under a rock, “The Hunger Games” is a dystopian YA book series that centers on 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen and her quest to survive and feed her family living in the last of fictional Panem’s twelve districts. When her younger sister gets chosen to “play” for the Hunger Games–a set of kill-or-be-killed “games” that Panem’s dictator-esque government created as a sort of punishment for the uprising of former District 13 against the President (all for the entertainment of the Capitol, whose rich citizens do not need to participate).
How to Get The Look: Katniss Everdeen
Katniss has a distinct spartan style that is quite easy to recreate. Many of the necessary items you probably already have in your closet. First, you need a strong pair of jeans, preferably skinny, ones that boots could easily fit over. They should be dark wash, preferably mid-rise, and easy to move around in (after all, Katniss needs apparel that do double duty in both clothing her and keeping her comfortable to hunt in). My favorite jeans from from American Eagle. They regularly fit super well and rarely shrink in the wash.
You also need just a regular basic shirt, like this tank top or this subtly lined drop shirt. A brown leather jacket is essential to recreate Katniss’s signature look. I LOVE this one from Express and this one from Overstock. A pair of flat boots complete the ensemble. And don’t you forget Katniss’s trademark Mockingjay pin!
Next entrant also comes from the wonderful world of Young Adult.
Pop-Culture Inspiration:The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
It was recently a smash hit movie, “The Fault in Our Stars” is about two teenagers with terminal cancer who meet and fall in love. You might also know it as this year’s “I Cannot Stop Crying” novel and movie.
How to Get The Look: Hazel Lancaster
Hazel has a style that is very “teenager”. She’s not the type to troll through the racks, searching for that skirt or this blouse. She’s a definite jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. Recreate her look by combining a mid-wash pair of skinny jeans with a simple soft t-shirt and flats. Hazel’s green jacket is gorgeous. I like this one by Steve Madden and this one by Kenneth Cole.
Of course, everyone remembers Hazel’s iconic periwinkle dress from the Oranje scene. Unfortunately, the actual dress from Halston is sold out (*sad trombone*), but these are sufficient replacements, I think:
- Calvin Klein’s Women’s Cap Sleeve Solid Flare Dress
- Forever 21’s Floral Lace Strapless Dress
- ASOS’s Skater Dress in Texture with High Neck
- Dorothy Perkins’s Aqua Ottoman Bardot Dress
- Last Call’s Sleeveless Pleated Wool Dress
As for Gus’s trademark leather jacket:
- Lock and Love Women’s Faux Leather Jacket
- KUT from Kloth Distressed Faux Leather Jacket
- J. Crew’s Factory Leather Bomber Jacket
- Wilson Leather’s Rivet Vintage Leather Bomber Jacket
Next goes to the classics.