Author-Inspired Fashion: Patricia Cornwell

True crime novels can inspire some killer fashion.

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Here on College Fashion, we’ve found inspiration in romance, gothic works, and even interior design books. Today we’re looking at a new genre, the true crime novel. Specifically, we’re looking at prolific true crime writer Patricia Cornwell.

Patricia Cornwell is an American crime writer who has published dozens of novels since the 1980s, and it doesn’t look like she’s stopping anytime soon. Focusing on forensic science and the criminal process, Patricia’s works have become known across the globe, even inspiring popular TV shows like CSI.

Today we’re inspired by the power color red and Patricia Cornwell’s unique themes and characters. Let’s get right to the outfits.

Darling Detective


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There are three qualities that Patricia Cornwell always bestows upon her protagonists: professionalism, intelligence, and an uncompromising sense of cool. 

For an outfit that embodies these qualities and, by extension, the qualities of Cornwell’s most famous protagonist, Kay Scarpetta, a scalloped white blouse and ripped jeans start you with a canvas that is cool and comfortable. Pair these items with red pumps and a classy bracelet, topping it all off with a suede jacket for a look that is classic yet unique.

Pump it Up


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The holidays are coming up, and that means it’s time for every girl to find a go-to dress for parties, dinners, and events.

For a dramatic look that belongs on the cover of any bestselling novel, pair a gorgeous red dress with a long white coat, two staples for the season. These black jeweled earrings are wonderful for any event this year. Keep footwear simple for balance; a sleek pair of beige heels will finish the look.

Also Read: TV Inspired Fashion: Fuller House

Richmond Ready


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Much of Cornwell’s work takes place in the Richmond, Virginia area, so I wanted to finish with a look inspired by this upstanding city and its focus on government.

For a preppy look worthy of Richmond, grab a striped shirt that can go with everything in your closet and your basic black jeans. This backpack is trendy and practical, a killer combination for all of your needs. These boots were made for walking and crime-solving. Finish with a nude lip to look sweet and professional.

Final Thoughts

So what did you think? Have you read any Cornwell novels? Which look was your favorite? What author would you like to see next? Let us know in the comments below!

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