Archive for March 4th, 2010


Action Fashion

on March 4, 2010 in Misc 2 Comments »

Indiana Jones machete

Putting together an action fashion wardrobe ain’t so easy. But for those of us writing about a lead character in a thriller (and for me, living like that character), it’s a necessary ingredient we’ve got to work with.

The good news is, I’m using Layla as my role model and she dresses more like Indiana Jones than James Bond. No expensive, high-maintenance outfits for her. She also has what I wish I could get: a 1930’s elegance mixed with modern-day touches.

futuristic costume

This means perfectly cut dresses and trousers, skinny pants tucked into boots, a brown leather jacket, and tops or sweaters with clean lines that cling without restricting her movements, ‘cause she’s gotta be able to move freely. Oh – and she doesn’t own a whole lotta clothes because shopping bores her.

I put Layla in a brown leather jacket because black leather can look too hard. When I was in Belgrade I saw Serb tough guys ad nauseum wearing black leather jackets like some kind of uniform, usually unzipped just enough to show off their holstered guns. They looked like rabid rottweilers. Ever since then I’ve gravitated toward the softer, earthier look of brown leather. But yeah, Layla still has black pants and sweaters and some black ankle boots (flat-soled and comfortable so that she can run and climb in them). And now I do too – except for the perfect lace-up ankle boots, which aren’t easy to find.

Because The Compass Master takes place in November I haven’t thought out her summer duds other than what she wears while roughing it on the Panamanian island. Basically hers is a sleek, simple look she can toss into a duffel bag at a moment’s notice.

OSullivan

Wrinkle resistant fabrics are a must. And given that she works mostly in Europe and the Middle East, she’s also picked up the French flair for style, hence everything she wears fits perfectly, and when she has to impress she might throw a Hermès scarf ($275) about her shoulders. Beyond the scarf, she can’t be bothered with silly over-priced designer stuff.

Obviously Layla dresses the way I’d like to if I were more sophisticated. She also looks a lot better and she’s years younger. Damn it. But I gotta thank her because simplifying my wardrobe to match hers has not only saved me money (of which I have an ever-dwindling amount), it’s made me throw away all floral prints (what was I thinking?) along with semi-hippy items left over from my long-ago Boulder days.

Currently the only things in my closet I don’t especially like are some of my work clothes – bland things I can wear to the office and not care if they get worn out. Still, I’ve resolved that once they do get threadbare I’ll replace them with fewer, cooler pieces I feel good in.

I can do this and get away with it because I’ll be modeling myself after a realistic woman like Layla. If, however, you’re personally going for an action hero along the lines of Van Helsing or Ripley in Alien or Bruce Willis at his most kick-ass, then human resources might take you aside for a little chat.