1. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    Clothing in your setting.

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by halisme, Dec 8, 2016.

    Considering that it's one of the things in our everyday lives, but a lot of people don't talk about for their worldbuilding, I've decided to create this thread to ask how do the people within you setting dress?
     
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  2. Scot

    Scot Senior Member

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    Good topic, and one I've never really paid much attention to. Other than mentioning 'coat', 'trousers', 'dress', etc. I've never really described said garments in any detail.
    I'm going to add it to my character building template, as the saying goes, 'Clothes maketh the man'.
     
  3. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    No.

    Manners maketh the man.
     
  4. Scot

    Scot Senior Member

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    It's a very old proverb.

    “Euer maner and clothyng makyth man” (Prov. Wisdom, 1400)

    “Ffor clothyng oft maketh man.” (Peter Idley’s Instructions to His Son, 1445).

    For the apparel oft proclaims the man. (From Hamlet, Shakespeare @1600)

    Clothes make man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. Mark Twain, date uncertain.

    Clothes maketh the man. (Scot, 2016)
     
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  5. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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  6. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    Okay, any chance for this thread to get back on topic?
     
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  7. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Mainly BDUs and boots. And body armor made out of exotic alloys and materials that are not well defined.
    Then there is the cantina scene where the off duty female Centurians wear civies, but that too is kinda open ended.
    Misc. Medical/Lab wear.
    The Empress wears a double slit mid-length simple white dress, and white thigh high boots of the same color in
    the sequel.
    Not quite as exciting as jeans and t-shirts, but then it would be a little strange and not really fit the rest of the story
    all that well. :)
     
  8. EnginEsq

    EnginEsq Member

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    My characters dress just like most people seem to: practically most of the time, theatrically (i.e. to make a particular impression) some of the time, ritually (e.g. a wedding dress, a tux, or a yukata at an onsen) as necessary, and seductively on occasion. But I only describe the clothing if it says something about the character or is required by the plot.
     
  9. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    My guys are all in some manner of battle dress - the recon units (protag and co) are wearing the Nato urban/winter BDU (the white and grey pattern sometimes known as 'shadowcam') in the summer months they'd swap to something else but for the whole first book they are fighting in the snow. The Mercenaries (antag and co) are in standard DPM , while the Clans are in a missmash of anything they can lay their hands on leather, denim etc
     
  10. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    Looking at other peoples, I think I might have overdone it.
     
  11. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    It really depends on your setting i think - i'm writing about a post plague uk where the survivors are engaged in a civil war , so it makes sense for all sides to be wearing battledress looted from army bases and for that matter all to be fighting with ex nato weaponry

    If i was world building from scratch I'd have a lot more to develop
     
  12. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    Considering mine is from scratch, I agree.
     
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  13. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    My novel's set in the early 1980s, and in the office my architect protags tend to dress on the conservative side, with just a hint of artistic flair. Oxford shirts, flannels or chinos, and in the winter, wool pullover sweaters for him, and the same with a wool skirt for her. (No heavily shoulder-padded power suits, thank you.) On their off time, both favor shorts or jeans and old college t-shirts. They're into natural fabrics and would die before they'd wear polyester, unless, as in one scene, she's trying to look awful on purpose.
    In the 4th act he wears cargo shorts, because I thought the pockets would come in handy and wanted to be nice to my character.
     
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  14. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    I'll post the style guides for my two nations that I've got sorted.
     
  15. Infel

    Infel Contributor Contributor

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    I think it's one of those things where the more detail you give to it, the more important your reader assumes it is. If you describe a merchant's white coat in immaculate detail, they're going to get a very good idea of him based off how he treats his clothes.

    But outside of using it as a means to accomplish a specific goal, I don't really describe clothes in too much detail. I think for the most part people all on their own have a reasonably good idea of what "clothes" in a particular setting look like. But I could be wrong!
     
  16. antlad

    antlad Banned

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    Purely depends what I am writing and what I want to describe. So far I have had no special clothing/coverings. I might describe someone getting dressed, or skip it by going into a room and coming out a minute later and leaving.
     
  17. Quanta

    Quanta Senior Member

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    In French, they say: "L'habit ne fait pas le moine." The cloth doesn't make the monk.

    I'm writing a contemporary ya novel. My MC is a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, like my 16 year old daughter. I mention the type of clothes and perhaps the color when it is relevant to what's happening in the story.
     
  18. I.A. By the Barn

    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

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    Welllll, you ready?
    Lun, Lunen dress:
    • Fire angels- victorian dresses, suits and stuff
    • Imps- 'street urchin' victorian stuff.
    Higyoti, Yotish dress:
    *****************************
    Wit, Witik dress:
    • Class appropriate 18th century dress for everyone (the zooamorphs and humans)
    Norðreyjar dress:
     
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  19. Seren

    Seren Writeaholic

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    Funnily enough, it's one of the first things I made a note of about my protagonists. But...

    I agree with this. (And have no idea how to quote properly.) My characters wear basic Victorian/Steampunk inspired clothing and I know exactly how each garment looks down to the finest detail. My readers, however, don't. They only get a brief description of the clothes because it's an apocalyptic novel and the characters are giving their fashion little thought. They just want to be warm and somewhat decent. So, if someone's clothing is really important (whether it be to the character, to the plot, or to the world) then the detail it's described in should reflect that. If not, less detail is necessary, although I suppose you may choose to really focus in on the one particular garment the character treasures above all else, for instance.

    Everyone else has very amazing clothing ideas, though. I'm inspired.
     
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  20. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    Country A: Taughfland

    Due to its high level of militarisation, noblemen of Taughfland tend to favour gambesons, even when out of combat. While in winter they will wear the same one they wear for combat, whereas in summer, they'll favour something in the same style, but lighter. Noblewomen tend towards loose fitting dresses that are well suited for the warm weather, that normally go below the knee, normally switching to a thicker material for winter. Both will favour a cloak in winter, though furs are also a popular choice, as well as scaled hides from some of the reptiles of the region. Peasant women's clothing tends to be a little more fitting due to not wanting to waste cloth, and instead of going for a thicker fabric, they'll just chuck more layers of it on. Men tend to go for shirts and trousers. The lower class tend to wear more muted colours, while the nobles wealth and the countries position make bright dyes popular, though clothing dyed with them are not considered everyday wear. Jewelry is minimal, with rings being exclusive to the nobility and used to show what territories someone owns.

    Country B:

    Tumonte's clothing is significantly more relaxed than Taughfland's to a more relaxed cultural mindset. Noblewomen tend to wear sheath dresses, normally of a pale colour with white being most prominent, though beige and sand gold are also common. A cloak of some sort is normally added for cold weather . Noblemen tend to wear a shirt and tights, with a belt holding up an ancient Egyptian style skirt. Peasant women tend to wear the same style of dress as their noble peers, but normally a darker colour that better hides the dirt. Both sexes tend to wear jewellery, however, due to women being in control of most of the wealth, they tend to wear more. Men's jewellery is often made of copper or brass, and other metals that might hold an autumnal colour, though gold is often seen as above them.
     
  21. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    For the planet whose culture I've built from the bottom up (all right, well, I started somewhere towards the middle; I don't know what I'm doing), I gave the desert-dwellers loose, light-colored, multi-layered outfits that often include hoods and masks/goggles in case of sandstorms. Since they don't have much in the way of dye - or much need of it, being a largely pragmatic people - the imported cloths are largely off-white and the leathers are brownish. They're all a bit drab, but I love them. Most of their 'fashion' tends to come from how they style their hair - they're notably less pragmatic on that front. Gotta let'em have some fun. Some of them also make weapons and armor from the metallic exoskeletons of these massive predatory bugs that roam the deserts, but it's an unpopular job.

    On the same continent of that world, more northwards in the arid mountains, folks wear thicker wool harvested from the ram-like creatures that live there, shaggy pelts from bear-ish animals, and use feathers as insulation. Still lots of layers, of course. The mountain folk are a bit richer due to mining exports, so they're more prone to importing dyes from the plains and coast and looking a bit less dull. They also differentiate more between 'inside clothes' and 'outside clothes', having more delicate garments made from the silk of huge mountain-dwelling spiders (megafauna, especially arthropods, are a recurring theme on this world). This isn't a major export for them, so it's pretty unique to their area.

    The plains and coast, further south, are more temperate. Clothing styles on the plains are more like the desert-dwellers' - loose, layered as needed, but some dyed or more intricate since this is where the space cotton is grown and where many of the continent's stock clothes are made, and where those who're really into the craft are going to live. The southern coast has the most ports and the highest population density (otherwise they're mostly in small towns scattered all over, with some cities in the mountains), not so much because there's a good living to be made there but just because it's the most livable place, so people from the desert and the mountains and the mines will settle there, making it sort of a melting pot for the entire continent. So styles of dress mesh here and create new combinations.

    Then there's the southern continent, which I haven't done as much work on, but I know it's dominated by jungles, rainforests, and marshes, and the residents most likely dress alternately in very little to beat the humid heat and cover up to deter bites from insects and venomous nasty things in the undergrowth.

    Overall I favor practicality in all of my designs, influenced by how I've built the setting. In the same universe I have these aliens who were the apex predators of their world, and basically went out in space to conquer more shit. At this time their clothing was meant to be A) practical soldier gear, and B) scary and intimidating as hell. After they realized they weren't the biggest fish in the pond, they 'rebranded' themselves as a species over the course of several hundred years and now their typical clothing purposefully downplays and conceals things like their claws and spiked tails.

    Also, when I was designing their "space force" dress uniforms, I kept wanting to give them some kind of headgear - like a beret or something, you know? And it kept not clicking, nothing seemed right. Then I realized they have horns, so fancy hats are out. Gotta keep that kind of thing in mind :rolleyes:
     
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  22. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    Depends for me on how much the narrator notices the clothing.

    If the character is meeting someone for coffee to talk on a specific topic, I'd likely not mention anything about what either of them was wearing. Maybe one casual line: "Mr. Smith placed his worn fishing hat on the table as he sat down." Just to set the tone and let you know a little about Mr Smith.

    If the character is a teenage boy noticing a pretty girl, I'll likely go into detail about what she's wearing because he would notice all of that. I'd make it specific to what he'd be noticing though, probably wouldn't mention fabric type or anything but probably mention the folds in her lose top that exposed her naval when she stands up straight.
     
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  23. Kerilum

    Kerilum Active Member

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    Tunics and rolled harem pants.
     
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  24. PrincessBLJack

    PrincessBLJack New Member

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    It depends on where you go in my world.

    In the north, in the Empire of Burduct, they are at the beginnings of a Steampunk Revelation. They mostly abandoned the thick hidewear of their ancestors for looser fit clothes that makes them lighter for the simple mechanical vehicles that have been spreading across the nation. Cotton is a growing in popularity at this time. And the invention of heating units makes fighting the harsh northern winter easier. And due to influence from the Empire of Ercata, bright elaborate colors are in fashion during the time of the story.

    In Allica it's much like Burduct due to the two being close in trade. Allica however still keeps some of its older clothings. Thick hide coats are still an necessity during the winter months, and they yet to adopt Ercadish fashion.

    To the south, where the days are warmer, in the Empire of Hijikat most people where little clothes depending on the job they have. There are people there who wear nothing more that a loincloth. But the nobles where beautiful silk dress of many colors.

    In Zishwa its much like Hijikat, but the nobles most wear ceremonial armor made out of the scales of the Great Reptiles that live there, like the Dinoros and the Dragokin.

    But the fashion is most important in the central Kingdom of Ercata. In Ercata your clothes reflect you. When an Ercadian comes of age they are taken to the nearest city to meet a tailor. And they are made a special outfit that is unique to them. Everything means something to the Ercadians. Do you where a dress or pants? (And no this has nothing to do with gender, for even men where elegant dresses) What colors does your clothes have, and where is each color placed? What are you clothes made out of? What accessories do you wear? Do you wear a hat, or a cape, or a ribbons, or bows, or flowers? What kind of shoes do you wear? Everything has a unique meaning. While this outfit isnt always worn by the average citizen, everyone has a special outfit. People who live in the city have to wear it when out. You are not allowed to enter the cities with a special outfit. Even visitors from other nations have to visit the tailor before entering the major cities or else they'll offend import peoples who they might be visiting, depending on the occasion they might be forced to visit a tailor. The process of creating a special outfit usually takes all day, sometimes multiple days.
     
  25. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributor Contributor

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    I've never really given character clothing much thought, but if a particular piece of clothing is necessary for some specific bit of business within a scene, I'll make sure it's established somewhere. That's about it, though.

    This may be because I don't give it much thought IRL, either, but it might also stem from my acting days. What I wore on-stage or in front of the camera was someone else's concern, not mine. Actors are pretty much just talking hat racks (ask any film crew member or stagehand) so I concentrated on learning my lines and not tripping over the furniture.
     

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