When creating characters, appearance is just one aspect to consider. And within appearance there are numerous ways to describe your characters. One of which is their clothing and fashion sense. It can tell a lot about a person, so take a look at the tips below.
Only mention clothing if relevant
As with most aspects of writing description, you should only mention a characters’ clothing if it is relevant. Sliding in information on what they are wearing can help build an image, and reveal personality. But avoid an information dump. When you first see a person do you immediately assess their outfit? When you’re telling a friend a story, do you tell them in detail what the other people were wearing? Probably not. So don’t make your characters do this. Mention what stands out, what is relevant, and what adds context.
Use clothing to portray personality
Clothing can be a great way to show your characters’ personalities, without having to simply tell the reader facts about them. Are they eccentric dressers? Do they wear casual clothes to formal occasions (or the other way around)? Perhaps they make their own clothing. When you write a scene, picture your characters and consider if any aspect of fashion could enhance the scene.
Use accessories to imply wealth/status
Alongside clothing, accessories can imply character in many ways, including wealth and status. What jewellery do they wear? Is it expensive, vintage, handed down through the family? Do they wear sunglasses even when it’s cloudy? Do they wear flamboyant accessories to catch the eye, or pull hats down low to hide their face?
Consider your setting
For believability, make sure you have considered your setting before describing clothing. It should match the local environment, the weather, and any traditional styles. It should also reflect the time period of your story, so ensure you’ve researched if necessary.
Don’t forget other fashion statements
Fashion isn’t all about clothing. You should consider piercings and tattoos as well. Body art is often used as a way to express oneself, and so can show a lot about a person and what matters to them. You can also describe hairstyles, makeup, fake-eyelashes or nail art.
Do you consider fashion when writing your characters? What do you use to give the reader insight? Share your thoughts below!