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This post is a first since I started blogging in late 2013, because today I’m shining a spotlight on menswear, with real experts on the topic. In 8 out of 9 of books, sartorial menswear is a central point for my male characters, especially in the Waldorf Manor series.
In my very first novel, The Solicitation (Waldorf Manor book one), the first chapter begins:
Brayden straightened his tie and double checked his waistcoat before pulling down his blazer one final time. Perfect. As always. His shoes had been shined to reflect the daylight and his perfectly manicured nails and hair hinted - nay - bellowed, that a flawless and sophisticated appearance was top priority. And it was. Just as priority as proper behaviour was.
He looked at his reflection in the mirror without reaction. He was pleased, but no need to show it. Navy blue had always been his colour; navy blue with thin white stripes marching up and down his trousers, to be exact. A starch, made to measure, white shirt with a perfectly pointed collar lay beneath the navy blue striped waistcoat. His solid navy jacket was secured in front by two gold buttons, with another two matching on the underside of the cuffs.
That set the tone for how Brayden James and the rest of my male characters would be introduced; by their love for a bespoke wardrobe. Details are important to him. Everyday is worth looking his best and that’s what makes Brayden delightfully unique in a world otherwise dominated by an obsession with casual. I had no idea that four years later I would be working on Waldorf’s seventh book (my tenth overall) and digging deeper into the details of suit colours, patterns, textiles, his extensive shoe collection, or indeed, that I would eventually have real-life examples to look at for inspiration.
Readers escape to Waldorf for just that – escape. There is an entire world to live inside; from the sprawling estate, to Brayden, Bennett, Damian and Jonathan’s sartorial clothes, to life with domestic staff and chauffered cars, to Alice’s cheeky antics. It is all fiction within the bounds of complete realism. Nothing described is impossible. What’s most encouraging and exciting for an author is finding realism beyond the world she built, and being able to share it with her readers.
It is with great pleasure and thanks to my four top-rated Instagram accounts for Waldorf (and general) inspiration. And might I just say, that all of these chaps were pleasant to communicate with, from start to finish. Not only do they look like gentlemen, they act like it too. In no particular order and without further ado, I'm pleased to feature:
Artworth Brothers, Switzerland
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