Fashion in Fiction

I`ve heard different opinions from other writers about physical descriptions and wardrobe choices of their characters. I know that too much detail is definitely over kill for the reader in any case. Some say that clothes and looks should be left up to the reader, while others (Like me!) enjoy giving a mental image of the people that they write about.  

In addition to eye and hair colour, I enjoy describing what a character is wearing. It does, in my opinion, help round out what kind of person they are. Oh yes it does! It is also a fun way of showing where the plot is going. It can also hint at what emotions they are feeling. She may be wearing heels and a pencil skirt for her day job as a secretary, but tomorrow night she`s wearing ripped jeans and high tops because she`s going to break into someone`s house.

Okay…that was kind of lame. But anyways.

I guess it has something to do with the fact that I spend almost as much money on clothing and fashion magazines as I do on food. I love fashion. Why not express it in writing?

Readers, writers, do you like to see fashion in stories, or would you prefer it to be left out?

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8 thoughts on “Fashion in Fiction

  1. I do love fashion in fiction, provided it says something about the character and it doesn’t date the story too badly. I cringe whenever I read the clothing descriptions from one of my favorite authors. It’s so obvious in that moment that the books were written in the 80’s. Destroys the sense of immediacy for me.

  2. I am a terrible abuser of detail. I love to describe outfits in the Eden series because they dress so sparkly, especially Bradley. And I absolutely want to know what people are wearing. Tell me where we are or I’m going to put people in fancy dresses and cute things, I swear.

    I love fashion. Mostly because I design and sew for a resin army, but also because I love looking at the things that doll companies come up with. OMG if only I could afford some of those things in human scale. My dolls have cooler shoes than me, and they cost more.

    (Fidelis’ shoes were $35-40 and have buckles. Mine were on sale at $25.)

  3. Here’s an old picture of Fidelis from a photostory, wearing the shoes.

    I think I got them from Luts, but it may have been eBay. The market has gone down a little since so some of the shoes (depending on where you get them) can be cheaper or more expensive.

    http://www.eluts.com/shop/step_submain.php?b_code=B20101202053521

    They have such cute fashions. :3 Little ones and big ones.

    http://www.eluts.com/shop/step1.php?number=3476

    Another favorite of mine is Dollmore:

    http://www.dollmore.net/

    http://www.dollmore.net/shop/step1.php?number=8706

    And they sell Another Space, which sometimes does Steampunk things: http://www.dollmore.net/shop/step_submain.php?b_code=B20071001012109

    I love my fashion forward dollie fandom. :3

  4. I have abused this writing rule too. 🙂 I agree. For me, describing the character and how they dress and how they look helps make the character real to me and that opens my mind to describe their actions, it gives them personality too. I try not to add everything I see, just enough; it’s a balancing act between my need for detail and the readers need for detail.

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