Clothes. We wear them every day, or at the very least most days. 

It’s one of the first things we usually describe in a character, you go over hair, eyes, height, facial features, body build and clothes. 

Often, only the first outfit gets mentioned, maybe a ball gown or a uniform might come up? But it’s less common. 

So we usually are quite picky about that first outfit. It has to say something about the character, bring that initial description together. That’s a lot of pressure to put on some material we use to cover our bodies. 

It can be difficult to choose the right outfit. Most YA fantasy novels I read tend to go with something plain, simple and comfortable. And that makes sense, it’s easier to imagine a main character doing adventures in those clothes. Sometimes if it’s royalty they get some cool dress.

I think perhaps the outfit that stands out the most in my mind, at this very moment, is the uniform in Convenience Store Woman, I know, I know, not my genre, but it was simply such a vital part of the story. I urge any aspiring authors to read this book, not much happens, it’s just an example of amazing writing and descriptive text. 

Another think is, what if your character doesn’t have a specific way of dressing? What if your characters enjoys switching it up? Well, you can’t just change their outfit a million times, all that description of clothing would bore your reader! 

There’s so much to think about when it comes to clothing and outfits. 

So, here’s some quick things to think about: 

1.- If you’re going to change up the outfit often, just be vague about it. Jeans and a tshirt, a summer dress, a black suit… unless it’s a ball gown for an important event or a specific item of clothing with plot relevance, you can be vague and let your audience fill in the details. Nobody will get angry at your for changing their outfit ten times if you don’t waste barely a sentence. 

2.- Be practical. I know my main character is most comfortable in a yellow dress she can twirl and show off. Honestly, so would I. But the same way I throw on jeans and a tshirt to go to university, so does she. Not university. But at the beginning of the book when about to go on a trip she’s shown changing into more comfortable and practical clothes. 

3.- Try not to bother with too many details, especially those that will get in the way. For example, if you give a character a hat, there are a million things that can happen to hats, they fall of, blow away in the wind, mess up your hair… if your character is going on adventures with a hat and you just forget about it and your audience does not, that is a stupidly unimportant problem, but a problem nonetheless. 

4.- You can show of a character’s personality through certain parts of an outfit. Do they take the extra time to put earrings in? What designs does their tshirt have? Are their shoes comfortable or fashionable? Does their dress have pockets? Please, more pockets. 

5.- Remember colours! 

6.- Also, what materials are the clothes made out off? Could that be relevant for some reason? This may seem weird, but the fact my main character has fireproof clothes is a really important part of my story. I’ve also seen a lot of people use the material of clothes as a way to signify class. 

7.- Remember pijamas! Does your character have a night gown? Fluffy pijamas? An old tshirt? Maybe I’m just silly but I really like knowing what character’s wear to bed. It can also be a sign of class. I certainly can’t afford pijamas, old tshirts it is for me. 

Anyway, that’s all I can think to say about clothes for today. 

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What’s your favourite outfit? What’s your favourite fictional character’s outfit? Doesn’t have to be a book. I think my favourite going of the top of my head is Mabel (from Gravity Falls), she changed her outfit yet it also never changed, it was always a sweater and skirt and I just loved it. Great, now I miss Gravity Falls again.