Monday, April 30, 2007

Clothing

I was dressing one of my characters the other day (well, she was dressing herself but with my fabulous *cough* stylistic advice), when I started thinking about clothing in books. How much do you, as a reader, notice in terms of what the character is wearing?

I suppose it depends on the type of book - in regency stories, for example, ball gowns and well tied cravats are part of the scene setting. But what about in contemporary stories? Hmm...any thoughts?

8 comments :

Kat O+ said...

Hmm...I only really care if the clothing affects the story (e.g. she's wearing something that makes the hero drool, bits of clothing used/removed in steamy scenes, etc.). Otherwise, I prefer clothing descriptions to be non-intrusive if they're mentioned at all.

SWoods said...

I rarely notice a womens clothes in modern fiction, but give me a discription of a man in a pair of wrangler and I am hooked

danetteb said...

You know what Nalini, I don't think I really notice clothes in the books I read,unless the hero/heroine is a clothing designer or works selling clothes,I read mostly romance and the only time I notice the clothes is when they're being disposed of.:D

Barbara V said...

I go more by the character description. I don't think that I pay much attention to what they are wearing

Nalini Singh said...

Thanks for your thoughts guys. I'm still pondering it. One of my favorite series - Anita Blake - has a lot of clothing descriptions and they really do contribute to the story but that's paranormal - dif rules maybe?

Susan said...

I think you need to describe what the reader is not familiar with. So in paranormal, we might not have a mental picture of the clothes already. But for regular clothes, we all know what t-shirts look like, jeans, ect.

clare said...

Just cut the labels off first!
I'm put off by indepth designer parades. Some detail is good it can tell you about the character ~ free/uptight/modern.... but too much and it can draw you out of the story at the end of the day readers like to create their own image of the characters.

SharBee said...

Depends on what kind of subgenre it is - chick lit I expect (nay, *demand* to see good description in there), contemp - not so much
and paranormal - only if it's some kind of cape (on the guy with pointy teeth) :)))