It is not at all uncommon for life to imitate fiction in certain genres: science fiction, crime fiction, and contemporary thrillers come to mind, since the appearance of plausibility in extrapolation from the real world is so critical.
For the same reason I would expect it to be far less common in contemporary romance novels because the demand for such plausibility in extraction from the real world is arguably going to be lower.
Not that I am saying contemporary romance novels are unrealistic (well, except maybe for the HEA part!) but rather that part of the fun in writing science fiction and contemporary thrillers (less so with crime novels) is to be able to claim to have predicted the future when something happens in the real world greatly resembling what you wrote.
I can think of one obvious example of costuming affecting character from "The Lady and the Pearl" itself, which I read a NetGalley ARC of:
Unlike most warlords and other men of power (or would-be men of power) in Tang Dynasty China he dresses simply, in plain dark robes. I would assume he does so for a number of reasons:
1. To intimidate. Black is a color often used to generate fear. 2. To distinguish himself from such men whose selfish motives he despises and who he claims to be very different from. 3. To identify more closely with his common soldiers. Although most military leaders throughout history have gone for the ostentatious display in military uniform, there have always been the notable exceptions who dressed very simply in the field with only the abject minimum of displays of rank. One thinks of Generals Ulysses Simpson Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman,...
My first reaction to Detroit as an urban fantasy romance setting was extreme skepticism, but after reading your defense of it above, I am forced to admit that you've opened my mind, if not quite made a believer of me,...