Clothing Talks

I went to jury duty this morning. You know, the part where they shuffle your seats and ask you questions. I didn't get picked. I blame the seat shuffling.

If nothing else, it was a great opportunity to people-watch.

And after coming home and writing a blog post that has since been deleted, due to me discovering the point of it, I now present two people-watching scenarios from this morning.
  • There was a young man in front of me dressed in an ill-fitting yellow polo shirt, striped capris, and flip-flops. Being the imaginative person I am, I drew conclusions about his socio-economic {as they say} status. And I was wrong. He had gone to college and done athletics. He was well-spoken and had a beautiful bass voice.
  • There was a man sitting beside the defense attorney, well-groomed, dressed in a suit. {A tuxedo? My knowledge of male fashion eludes me.} And the entire army of possible jurors thought he was another attorney. He wasn't. He was the defendant.
Clothing is important. It creates first impressions. And while first impressions really aren't everything, because most people are willing to change their minds, they are something.

{No, I have no intention of Jennifer Lawrence
playing Jenn. Don't even start.}
Ever since I began Those Who Trespass, Jenn dressed in black skinny jeans and black hoodies. She was very insistent that she was not emo. Yet she was lacking something, and a couple of weeks ago, I gave her a cap.

It worked.

Not only did it give her some personality, I was able to use it to avoid some telling. Jenn's worried about being seen? She pulls the cap down to her eyebrows.

Jenn's running away? Cap falls off.

I'm sure I'll be using it for so much more. It's already become a prop for the love interest to return. But maybe she'll take it off, wring it in her hands, throw it on the bed, on the floor, lie about losing it...who knows?

Granted, I really shouldn't be changing much at all because the plot needs to stay where it is as best as it can.


No, no, Plot and I aren't having any difficulty staying on track, are we dear? :)

How do your characters dress? How do you use their clothes in the story?


Sarah said...

I dress my characters in the basics because I just don't pay much attention to fashion, even when I should. I've written a few things that have characters wearing uniforms, and man, that does make things easier! But you're right, clothing and appearance in general does lead us to make quick judgments about people!

Creepy Query Girl said...

sometimes it's that one little detail or object that permits you to go places you hadn't imagined. I like the cap idea!