The Discussing Hufflepuff #2: How Do You Dress Your Characters?

Our characters need clothes. Duh. But how do you visualise what they wear? Do they have their own wardrobes in your mind palace? Do you have a Pinterest board for each character where you pin clothes you think they’d wear? Do you use Polyvore? (See my post on this useful and also slightly addictive website here) Do you just think it up yourself? Or do you not know at all?

It took me a while to really know what my characters would and wouldn’t wear. Honestly, I still don’t really have the style of my male characters figured out, but I’m pretty proud of myself of thinking ‘This is something Rose would wear’ or ‘This is perfect for Sophie’.

I use both Pinterest and Polyvore, though I haven’t used the latter in a while. Polyvore is great because you can put outfits together yourself. Pinterest is great because you don’t have to do anything yourself, just pin it.

After several hours on Pinterest, I made these collages of my three female characters’ clothing style:

Rose

Ashelle

Sophie

So now I know what kind of clothes my characters would wear, I feel it’s easier to describe them. Of course I won’t describe their clothes every time, I doubt any reader would be interested in that, but when writing a dance scene I had trouble coming up with what they’d wear. Not to mention I feel like I know them better now, which is very important, ’cause if I don’t really know my characters that well, how can my readers now them? Cloths might seem unimportant, but through clothing we express themselves, so do our characters.

So now I have a question to YOU, my fellow writers. How do you dress your characters? Do you vividly see it in your mind? Or do you not know at all? Do you find it important to know how they dress? Do you use Pinterest or Polyvore? Let me know in the comments!

Now I’m off to figure out the clothing style of my male characters!

– The Writing Hufflepuff

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26 thoughts on “The Discussing Hufflepuff #2: How Do You Dress Your Characters?

  1. I love visual using my characters in their specific clothing! It helps me give more life and personality to the character, bringing them further to life and setting their unique attributes in place! It helps me feel that the characters are much more real!

  2. I’m not a visual person or much interested in fashion, so this tends to be difficult for me. (Any tips?) I usually just stick with simple clothing, like tees and jeans with some variation for “fancier” characters, especially since my stories tend to be urban fantasy.

  3. I think when you read a book, you create your own version of that character, in terms of behaviour and looks. I for once, like characters whom wear knitted jumpers because knitted jumpers are the most perfect clothing items on this planet, but that’s just me.

  4. I actually rarely describe clothing except for in very simple terms, and it makes me uncomfortable when writers do in their books. I don’t know what a loafer looks like, and if you use any term besides “Sweater” I’ll probably skip the whole scene to avoid brain overload. Looks like I’m the odd one out here. :)

  5. I don’t really pay attention to what my characters are wearing unless it’s important, like they’re worried about their looks for a date or they’re getting dressed in the scenes.

  6. Ooh, this is an interesting post. I think, really, it just depends on the story and the characters themselves. If it either benefits characterization, the plot, or even the world (which I think clothing could be very important in high fantasy sort of novels) then I think it could be very necessary. :)

  7. Liked this idea, maybe I should try it sometime. My main character in my finished manuscript, Amelina, likes to dress in a quirky style, she is artistic so this is reflected in the clothes she wears. :)

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