When you get up and get dressed for the day, why do you pick out the clothes that you do? Are you looking for comfortable clothes to fully enjoy your lazy Saturday? Are you attempting to look professional in your work uniform? Maybe you never even change out of your pajamas.
Showing what your characters are wearing can be a great way to show your readers what they might be up to that day without having to actually narrate anything.
Here are five examples:
1. Fancy dresses
Your main character just put on some makeup and changed into a fancy dress, complete with heels and a tiny handbag. Is she going somewhere?
Chances are she’s going on a date. Maybe she’s going to a movie or she’s meeting someone for dinner. Perhaps she’s going to a dance. Is it for school or is it a local event? Keep your readers wondering.
Perhaps your character is driving while wearing an, “I <3 Texas Roadhouse” T-shirt on. Is he going to work? This could be your way of letting your readers know that your character is a waiter.
Your character never changed out of her pajamas.
Maybe she’s off from work and decided to stay at home and watch movies all day. Maybe she’s sick. Maybe she’s sad because she just went through a breakup. Maybe it’s Christmas morning and she just rushed downstairs to see the presents. This simple outfit holds plenty of possibilities.
4. Black Clothing
A character is wearing all black. Is this the norm or is something wrong? Is your character goth or is he attending a funeral? Maybe he’s a ninja and needs to blend in. Experiment with possibilities until you land on something you like.
5. Jeans and a T-shirt
It’s a normal day at school, so your character is wearing normal clothes. There’s nothing simpler than jeans and a T-shirt. Oh, wait. What does that T-shirt say? “You suck!”? Is she mad about something? I guess your readers will have to wait and see . . .
What kinds of clothes do your characters wear?
Start a scene by describing what your character is wearing.
Write for fifteen minutes and post your practice in the comments. Be sure to support your fellow writers by giving them some feedback. Have fun!