Zoe Archer Guest Post and Giveaway: Men dressed sexy in the 1700s


[From VBC: Today we turn things over to Zoe Archer. She’s going to try an convince you 18th century men’s style was super sexy. There are photos. Oh, and we’re giving away one copy of her historical paranormal romance Devil’s Kiss at the end of the post. Hint hint.]

I’m not going to lie. One of the reasons why I set my new paranormal historical romance series, The Hellraisers, in the 18th century is the men’s clothes. Superficial? Probably. But as a long time student of costume history, I found there’s just something incredibly sexy about the way men dressed in the 1700s.

Check out this gentleman:

detail of The Honorable Henry Fane with His Guardians, Inigo Jones and Charles Blair, 1761-62, by Sir Joshua Reynolds

Those tight, clinging breeches, the waistcoat, the buttons on his coat, and the boots. Oh, the boots.

And here’s another detail from that same painting:

Look at the muscle of his calf beneath his stocking! All three of these fellows look like proper hellraisers, don’t they? Plus, they make embroidery look masculine.

Look at this fellow and tell me a guy in embroidered velvet isn’t sexy as all get out.


Charles Crowle, 1761-62, by Pompeo Batoni

Charles Crowle, 1761-62, by Pompeo Batoni

For the most part, men in the 18th century shaved their heads and wore wigs. Sometimes the wigs were made of human hair, sometimes animal hair. I’m not a big fan of wigs, so I circumvented that by having the heroes of my Hellraisers series wear their natural hair. And you know what that means?

Heath Ledger
Just imagine undoing that queue and running your fingers through that hair.

With all these delightful images in my head, can you blame me for setting these books in the 18th century? Especially because the heroes of the Hellraisers books are all very bad boys, as befitting their name. The clothing of this period is exudes earthy sensuality, just like the Hellraisers—five London rakes who will stop at nothing in their pursuit of pleasure. And when the Devil himself tempts the Hellraisers with the power to grant their every desire, the offer proves impossible to resist. But the cost is their souls. Only a handful of courageous women have the means to redeem these fallen men. Can they be saved? If they cannot, the consequences are dire—not just to the Hellraisers, but to all humanity.

When you’re reading, do you picture what the hero (and heroine) are wearing? Does it add to your enjoyment of the story? And are there some clothes you find particularly sexy on a man? Share your answers, and you could win a copy of Devil’s Kiss, the first book in my brand new Hellraisers series!

Find Zoë Archer online: website, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr

Devil’s Kiss (Hellraisers #1)
Zoe Archer
Published: Dec. 1, 2011 (Zebra)
Purchase at: Book Depository or Amazon

A handsome devil

1762. James Sherbourne, Earl of Whitney, is a gambling man. Not for the money. But for the thrill, the danger—and the company: Whit has become one of the infamous Hellraisers, losing himself in the chase for adventure and pleasure with his four closest friends.

Which was how Whit found himself in a gypsy encampment, betting against a lovely Romani girl. Zora Grey’s smoky voice and sharp tongue entrance Whit nearly as much as her clever hands—watching them handle cards inspires thoughts of another kind…

Zora can’t explain her attraction to the careless blue-eyed Whit. She also can’t stop him and his Hellraisers from a fiendish curse: the power to grant their own hearts’ desires, to chase their pleasures from the merely debauched to the truly diabolical. And if Zora can’t save Whit, she still has to escape him…


Want to win a copy of Devil’s Kiss? Leave a comment answering Zoe’s question, then fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This contest is open to U.S. and Canadian addresses only, and you’ll need to enter by Dec. 18.

32 Responses to “Zoe Archer Guest Post and Giveaway: Men dressed sexy in the 1700s”

  1. Lindsey E says:

    I enjoy reading descriptions of the clothing, especially Regency era. There did not seem to be much casually clothing though. I still like a hero in jeans and a tight t-shirt.

  2. Barbara Elness says:

    I enjoy descriptions of clothing so I can picture the characters in my mind. I think the tight buckskin breeches and boots are very sexy.

  3. I definitely picture what the characters are wearing, but I have to confess that I’ve never liked imagining men in regency romances who shave their heads. I MUCH prefer the long locks.

  4. DeeF. says:

    That mental image in my head definitely is important which is why I appreciate the skill of a writer who can describe those kind of details and make me see them easily. For clothes that look sexy to me, a contemporary man would have to be wearing tight, well worn jeans, shirt optional; historically, a man in a kilt, or breeches and boots (I hear you, Zoe!) will please me.

  5. Stephanie says:

    I do picture what they’re wearing because it helps me get the full picture of what they look like. I like a t-shirt and jeans on a hero. Leather pants and no shirt works too!

  6. I picture what they are wearing as much as the description of the said character. I think to me that is, it brings more depth into the character(s) as well as the time (place) setting in the story. If I didn’t take into account the clothing, I would have naked hero’s/heroines running around in my mind. Though if it’s a really hot hero that maybe not be such a bad thing. LOL What’s sexy man clothing to me in stories depends on the story and place/setting it’s taking place. TY for this giveaway chance!

  7. Julie Witt says:

    I do like to have their clothes (or lack thereof) described because it helps me set the scene in my head. I definitely like my heroes to wear a lot of leather 😀 LOL Thanks for the awesome giveaway:)

  8. Carly says:

    I like descriptions of the clothing because it gives you a better idea of the type of personality they are whether they’re formal, vain, laid back or just plain bad ass 😛

  9. Proserpine says:

    Most of the time, the author gives a description of what the characters are wearing and I like to actually imagine them just like that. I like when the super sexy hero is wearing black combats clothes!

  10. Victoria Zumbrum says:

    I like knowing what the characters are wearing in the book and what time period. It makes the book most interesting and enjoyable. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

  11. Na says:

    I do picture what the hero and heroine are wearing but they’re mainly vague unless I have descriptions to help. Normally I have an idea based on the time period.

  12. Joani S says:

    I just have to share!! My husband does dress like that first pic!! We do french and indian war re-enactment, so I get to see him in all his finery, plus we go to lots of highland games and piping band competitions, and he wears kilts all summer. Yummy! I do like to picture what a character is wearing, it’s def a mood setter. I enjoy all types, most especially the kilts and leather!! Thanks!!

  13. shannonB. says:

    I love thinking about what the women were wearing but i guess i’ve never really pictured what the men were wearing.

  14. Karen Ullrich says:

    I’ve always tried and pictured what the characters are wearing. I always love trying to mental piece together the more out of ordinary outfits and really weird sounding ones. It does add a little bit to the reading and adds some enjoyement.

  15. Carol L says:

    I too like to picture what they are wearing along with the Author’s description. It brings the feel of the character to life for me. I never picture them with wigs though, I can’t. 🙂 But give me a kilted or buckskin clad man and I’m a happy camper. lol
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  16. thegirlonfire27 says:

    I do picture the clothing. If I can’t fully picture the character I feel like something is missing. What I tend to find the most attractive in books for men is suits. I can’t say why, they are just sexy!

  17. Allison says:

    I do picture what they are wearing, it helps to set the whole scene for me. I love a man in a good pair of bum hugging jeans but probably find someone in a well-tailored suit the most appealing. I think that is probably because you don’t get to see too many men dressed that way in real life.

  18. Sariah says:

    I do like have a great description, it helps me picture it in my head.

  19. Victoria Sloboda says:

    I honestly don’t picture the clothing very often. It seems I only do this when the author makes the clothes part of a scene.

  20. Karla says:

    I do like to picture what the hero is wearing (although sometimes its much more fun picturing what he’s not). It makes the scene that much more real in my head. I’m a casual clothing kinda girl. I prefer jeans that are tight around the butt, black tight t-shirt to show off muscle, and to top it off some steel toe boots. Perfection!

  21. Julianne says:

    I do picture the hero and heroine in my mind when I’m reading. Not so much as what they are wearing, but what they are doing, how they look.
    Sometimes, I do like to picture the hero in a pair of tight jeans and a muscle hugging t-shirt.

  22. latisha depoortere says:

    I always try to picture what the hero is wearing and what they look like!
    Thank you for the great giveaway sounds like a great book!

  23. Barbara says:

    I do picture what they are wearing, what they are doing, what they look like…it’s like a mini-movie in my head. What do I find attractive? I like bad boyz…so, of course I like low riding blue jeans…or black jeans, not skin tight…but tight enough. I like leather too and when the occasion calls for it…a nice fitting suit, nothing too fancy though. A good looking leather blazer and a nice pair of slacks can look just as good as a suit any day…on the right man that is. ;P

    barbbattaglia at yahoo dot com

  24. Oh, definitely.Those skin tight pants just always me humming.
    And the hair. My gosh, wouldn’t we women give an arm and leg for those locks of curls?

  25. Carolsue says:

    I do picture that, but it depends on the book as to what I find sexy for the main characters. In current books, I tend to like “preppy” — a suit and tie or blazer. I picture more what they actually look like, however, than what they are wearing.
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  26. Alaina says:

    i cant say i really picture it.. unless of course, the clothing is described very vividly..

  27. Anne R says:

    I do picture what the characters are wearing. I think it adds to their overall appeal. I like that visual image when I am reading. Thanks.
    areeths at new dot rr dot com

  28. ML says:

    Yes, I definitely picture what the characters are wearing when I read. I think the sexiest outfit on a male character is well worn jeans and nothing else! For historical male characters it’s all about the jackboots, breeches and flowing shirts or shirtless with a kilt!

    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

  29. Terri M says:

    i do try and picture the characters. sometimes it’s easier then others.

  30. Angela says:

    Yes I do picture them in period clothing because it adds to the excitement of the story. I wish I could go back in time and wear their clothes that would be fun!

  31. Denise Z says:

    I actually do not give a lot of thought to the clothing. I do enjoy it when there are t-shirts with funny sayings that give insight to the character. Period clothing is lovely to read about as it is outside my normal mental picture of the world and I love to learn about new things, but I am more interested in the character interaction.

  32. vampire says:

    love the time period and when guys in the novels act like gentlemen

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