So, if you’ve been following these posts then thanks to Lydia you already know what your characters look like, physically. While it may not seem all that important what your character actually wears, especially for some genres, clothes also say a lot about your character. Not only will deciding on clothes help you and your readers visualise your character, but it can provide an insight into how they see themselves and where they come from. And no, you can’t just stick everyone in jeans and a t-shirt and be done with it, unless this has symbolic significance.
As someone that doesn’t pay a huge amount of attention to what other people wear, it was initially very difficult for me to work out what on Earth my characters would dress themselves with. Thankfully, I discovered Polyvore. For those of you that haven’t used Polyvore before, it is a website that allows you to share specific items of clothing, and use them in “sets”. This is a great way to look at all the considerations of clothing a character. There is also an app, and if you’re on Chrome for PC, you can use their clipper tool to save things directly from websites.
I tend to start with what I already know about a character. More often than not, this is a face, a height, and hair. Polyvore has plenty of hairstyles and wigs already saved on there, so using this as a starting point is fairly straightfoward. From here, colour, class, and mobility are the most important considerations. Another useful thing about Polyvore is that you can see the price of every item without going to the merchant’s website. This is useful as you can prevent putting a character that openly struggles for money in a dress that would generally cost to the tune of £3,000.
My Polyvore sets sometimes go as far as to become almost mood boards of the character, like the Runa one below. I find this even better, as not only are you thinking about what they wear, but you’re thinking about their aesthetic as a whole, and the kind of things associated with them.
Aside from the characters themselves, also keep in mind your overall setting. As far as I’m aware, no 16th century queens ran around in hoodies, just as it would seem weird for normal, present-day teens to run around in gowns.
This post was in no way endorsed by Polyvore or their associates. It’s also not an advertisement, just sharing some tips