One of her poems is (legally) stamped into a sidewalk in Santa Clarita, California. Pre-empt this by illustrating everything in layers and completing each layer of clothing. You find that its about more than throwing out fashion terms and listing articles of clothing. Thank you for reading our blog! You suddenly know which details to include, which to leave out, and whether to call it a blood-red cloak or a goji berry wrap. PsstDoes Your Character Have a Secret? Make it mandatory to hold up a piece of clothing. So below, well take a look at the relationship between the genre of fantasy and medieval armor. By using fur for decoration you quickly create fictional pieces in no time. A knight, by definition, was a lord. How do they change, and how does their clothing reflect that change? The reason we fuss over physical descriptions is not because its so important that the readers imagination gets it right. Thanks Chuck! I don't mean make your characters walk around naked, but exposing (or covering) body parts in ways we don't today helps make ordinary clothing look different, which in turn helps sell the idea of it being futuristic. A band t-shirt. Follow edited Jun 17, 2020 at 9:43. But I find looking back in time to the likes of the medieval period can provide some wonderful and unique ideas. ). Abi Wurdeman is the author of Cross-Section of a Human Heart: A Memoir of Early Adulthood, as well as the novella, Holiday Gifts for Insufferable People. Through fashion terms you can understand the fundamentals of the fashion industry. Theyre probably less concerned with how they look (unless they want to look intimidating) and more concerned with things like survival or victory. 70s-inspired. Well also take a look at female fantasy armor and those used by knights, potential designs, and ways to help you find inspiration for creating your own. Using this site means trees will be planted. - Mix cultures. Heating to the perfect temperature was key. Embarrassed by her own inability to dress in finery for the occasion (and by being upstaged), Katerina resorts to scathing mockery of Amalia. Heres a video showing the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of leather armor against arrows. Not to mention the social status of a person. If you want futuristic fantasy simply follow the sci-fi/futuristic tips more or mix and match both sides. For example, fur usually wasn't used as a piece of decoration for clothing and if used at all was often worn around the neck and shoulders or underneath other (often hide) clothing to keep warm. Fully geared up, you were a walking fortress. Maybe theyre wearing an article of clothing that once belonged to someone theyve lost. Improve this answer. Dostoyevsky describes how Katerinas landlady, Amalia Ivanovna, dresses for the funeral: the table was properly laid at the time and fixed, and Amalia Ivanovna, feeling she had done her work well, had put on a black silk dress and a cap with new mourning ribbons and met the returning party with some pride. Affordable . - Break up clothing into more separate pieces and give them their own styles. Metallic works well too, but make sure any metal bits or metallic looking bits are smooth and clean looking too, otherwise it might look too historic. Let it hang diagonally across their chest and over their shoulder instead. Now turn the edges a different color or make them light up and you immediately have a more futuristic looking suit. His writing offers a masterclass in how to describe clothing in stories. Heating to the perfect temperature was key. This idea of knights becoming lords was introduced in England by William the Conqueror. If it fits your universe it usually works, so don't be afraid of doing something different. Only when youre keeping secrets in fiction, you can make them even darker and deeper than any you might ever have in real life. In other words: To describe a fantasy world, use either neutral terms, or made up words. Our characters are always (mostly!) Clothing tells your reader a lot about your characters goals and motivations within a given scenario. Mantel describes the cardinals vestments: They bring out the cardinals vestments, his copes. I have a hard time describing my thoughts on content, but I really felt I should here. How does their attire reflect what they want, what they fear, or where theyre going? "A dress" (or using "the" to refer to a particular "garment") means an item of clothing that is normally worn by women. Richie Billing writes fantasy fiction, historical fiction and stories of a darker nature. s a fantastic image that Thomas Feichtmeir, AKA Cyangmou has put together. To add to the previous mosaic part stealth technology can provide great patterns. Im struggling to properly figure out how to describe clothing for a fantasy setting Im trying to create. Mention the familiar swooshing of the neighbors tracksuit as he runs by the house every morning or how the aunts jacket always smells like cold air and pine needles. Game of Thrones/A Song Of Ice And Fire is one series that wonderfully explores fantasy armor and weapons. Well, mostly. I tend to avoid describing clothing. With all that armor, its often assumed the medieval knight was immobile. This is a heavy generalization of course and entirely based on Western culture of today, but these rules may not apply at all in a fictional universe, no matter if it's futuristic or based on a historic setting. Maybe a bracelet represents a character's relationship to her mother. This usually involves dresses from some time pre-renaissance and a tunic or shirt paired with trousers for men and women who are doing warrior stuff. Another quick way of making standard clothing fantasy themed is by converting clothes form the relative future to one that could be created in whichever time period your universe falls under. Describe these in passing to add visual colour and authenticity to your character descriptions. Each lesson breaks down the analysis of one component of a fashion collection, progressing from a consideration of the designer's technique and influences to the . A vintage polka dot dress with a sweetheart neckline. "White tunics" have been worn from 2016 to a good forty thousand years ago. Characters Wear More Than Just Clothes. Heres a great visual guide on female fantasy armor by YouTuber Shadiversity. A person who doesn't want to draw attention to themselves would dress completely differently today than they would even a few decades ago. But even regular elements can help with this. These are deep questions. Press J to jump to the feed. Finally there's the aspect of fashion to take into account. Heres how to describe clothing in writing to show your readers the world to which your character belongs. Id be willing to bet each of these items immediately brought to mind a semi-clear character. As a quick question, in film you see a lot of heroes and leaders not wearing helmets. You may have seen steelworkers doing this after forging the likes of blades and horseshoes. This includes things like a pilots uniform, a tiara, or a Pink Ladies jacket. They're the ones who are always there to lend a helping hand, crack a joke, or provide some much-needed emotional relief.And let's be real, sometimes they dont go unsung. 2012 - Lets talk about how to describe clothing in writing organically. It can be as simple as making a dress shorter, a jacket longer or sleeves wider and longer. But for writers like me who get stuck in the white socks, green dress rut, heres a quick reminder: Details about fabric, fit, quality, and color are super effective when it comes to creating a sense of character, place, or moment. And medieval warfare was a bloody affair. Nudity was often either a complete taboo or just common place in many cultures throughout history, so by changing these taboos (and others) you immediately create a fictional piece. Leonidas in 300, for instance, almost certainly wore a helmet in the battle with the Persians! The more people that join this thriving group the better it becomes. One major element that makes creating more futuristic clothing easier is to make sure it doesn't look familiar, to make sure it doesn't look like something you'd come across today. Shoes made with bendable displays already exist, allowing you to change your shoe's design on the fly. Similarly, show how different characters personalities are through apt clothing description. - 'Stealth'. A warrior had to fight the enemy, and to fight his armor as well would be too distracting. Pingback: Fantasy Weapons - Medieval, Magic And Other Types - Richie Billing, Helping writers on their journey and readers find their next favourite story.. So why not join the gang? Leather could be stitched into coats, or added to mail to provide added protection. Another might claim power by striding in wearing torn jeans and a tank top. Mail was one of the first types of metal armor developed, arguably by the Celts, though other sources say its origins came from Eastern Europe. Thus, "a dress" is inappropriate for a (male) prince, unless he is pretending to be a woman. If sturdy is a top consideration, your character might be expecting trouble or adventure. Copyright 2023 Richie Billing | Fantasy Writer. The good news is that attire is not only important, its also kind of fun when you start digging into it. Helmets were arguably the most distinctive feature of an armored knight. What would you think about a wealthy character who looked as though he shopped at thrift stores? Clothes can betray our greatest joys and our deepest insecurities. Well cover everything from helmets and plate armor to chainmail. In this section, Ive included some more guides on creating fantasy armor designs that you may find useful. Play with the question of presentation and power! "He was wearing a spandex tank top" is an improvement from just mentioning that your character's wearing a shirt; but consider adding the element of color: "He was wearing a black-and-yellow-striped spandex tank top.". But if you do want some guidelines, inspiration or just help this guide'll hopefully provide it. Its a good time. Required fields are marked *. Here are some classic characteristics you can draw out through clothing description. Its okay if Todds checks his designer watch three pages after you mention his silk tie. Only in certain situations is a description even needed. Those outfits can become iconic. This can be a very effective way if your universe is based on an existing culture. Something like this: As you can see, a knights armor is made up of a lot of different pieces. In the historical fiction books Ive read, none of the heroes took off their helmets unless they were knocked off, or bashed in. Maybe a bit of both. Clothes can betray our greatest joys and our deepest insecurities. These images all go a lot further than white socks, green dress, and most of them dont require a lot of extra words. If there is one thing I hope you take from all of this, its that none of this is about describing what a character looks like. The unsung hero of so many stories. As with body armor, great efforts were made with the designs of helmets. Chausses / Chauces (15th century) Pantaloons; padded hosen for the legs, often worn under chainmail or plate armor. No problem! Now, if you write historical fiction, its important to research the clothing of your chosen era. Scarves as we know them today weren't really a thing in the middle ages (they were way different) and hoods pretty much came in the form of chaperons and liripipes (Google for reference if needed), not as part of a piece of clothing. This article has compiled 100 different words you can use to describe clothes, and below the main list of 100 words we've explained our reasoning for a lot of the top picks from that very list, for your personal enjoyment.