Crafting Personality Part IV: The Clothes Make The Man

0 clothes

Hello beautiful! You’re a sight for sore eyes. Is that a nightie you’re donning? For me? You shouldn’t have. No really, who wears that to sit in front of a computer and write? Honestly.

Unlike your apparent questionable wardrobe choices, I sincerely hope your characters have a clear sense of fashion.

Much like speech and mannerism, your character’s dress sense is another way of conveying to the audience what type of person they are. Someone whose clothes are constantly disheveled obviously is a bit sloppy and doesn’t have the concern for their appearance that someone who always looks put together might have. Their appearance is a way to show off station and a fleck or crack in that mirror can denote the fall of their reality.

My novel’s character, Kaiden, has only known a soldier’s life and takes pride in maintaining a kept appearance. Small things like hair that’s grown too long, and too wild, or torn clothing tell the reader about his mindset. The fact that he becomes content in clothing that is much in need or repair tells them of his acceptance of his new station. It reflects him as much as tightly clenched fists or a stance that’s too tense. Appearance is how the world sees you, and how the reader sees your character.

Imagine your character has a favorite piece of clothing. For one of my characters it’s a soft floral dress, girlie, yet flattering, soft and simple and yet stunning and sexy. It is the epitomy of how she would like the world to view her. And it’s her go-to item. I have a deep red cardigan that is everything about how I’d want the world to see me. It is comfortable, warm, a little edgy, and still full-figured friendly.

When it comes to looks, they should fit their purpose. Lau begins tall, dark, and handsome, and I quickly rough him up. Because having him take lasting damage physically reminds the reader of the emotional scars he’s also forced to carry. He is still handsome, despite this, because his character as a man makes him so. His swagger was not as damaged as it would have been if he were a lesser man. I have another character who is lovely to look at but emotionally scarred. It is initially difficult for other characters to sympathize with her until they see beyond her face value. Our appearance has a vast effect on how other view us. Just as our personality can affect how others perceive their views of us. Someone who is amazing to be around is several times more attractive than someone who is dull but pretty. Attraction is complex, and taste is subjective. Always remember this.

I’ll be seeing you soon, and then we’ll talk about how to go about the circumstances which change a man. Until then, keep writing, creating, and building.

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Cara Rowen is a Los Angeles artist, poet and writer working on her first novel entitled Dust. A hard working member of Soapbox International’s Danger Team, with a strong dedication to the arts and giving back to the community, she has interest in geek culture and humor, fashion, baking, and music. Cara Rowen is known for her fun, bubbly, and sarcastic personality. http://cararowen.tumblr.com
About Cara Rowen
Cara Rowen is a Los Angeles artist, poet and writer working on her first novel entitled Dust. A hard working member of Soapbox International’s Danger Team, with a strong dedication to the arts and giving back to the community, she has interest in geek culture and humor, fashion, baking, and music. Cara Rowen is known for her fun, bubbly, and sarcastic personality. http://cararowen.tumblr.com

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