Personality dictates a characters’ clothes, but what if your protagonist arrives on scene nude? Since my main character comes to earth without clothes, I had to give her an eclectic wardrobe from a variety of sources. This is how I did it.
1. Analyzed character and setting. Once I got my story drafted, I pictured the characters and setting of each scene and imagined the clothes she and others would wear. In the story, Trinidad owns no clothes, so she begs, borrows, or steals them, which provides for a range of fashion. However, Alani, her human friend, has a definite style that reflects her perky personality.
My male leads are opposites–one mysterious and the other open–so their pieces show their character. Can you tell from their wardrobe plot lines below which is which?
2. Searched the Internet. I went to the Old Navy website and found ensembles I thought Rick and Alani would wear in a beach town. The Nadirian wardrobes were mostly futuristic clothes or period pieces from their past.
3. Reexamined my characters and plot. Sometimes the clothing dictated a personality change or helped develop the plot. When I saw a collection of hooded dresses, I knew they would fit the silent Kolme from Nightstealer where many of those pieces dictate her actions.
All in all this brainstorming project was visual and very satisfying for a writer who has to take a break from words every once in a while. Where do you find inspiration in fashion?