Friday, April 3, 2015

C is for Clothing

Day 3 and still going strong. Check out A to Z challenge participants for more blogs.

Today, I'm going to talk about clothes for both fiction and fitness but I'm going to start with the fiction side this time. A little while ago, I wrote a newsletter for a writing web site where I talked about fantasy and clothing. While it may not always be needed in detail, there are times for story, world and character where a mention of clothes can make a big difference.

What do your characters wear? Is it really that important? It can, at times, be an overwritten details. Too much about the clothes will come off as unnecessary and probably bore the reader who doesn’t care about such information. But when building worlds or even doing some of the writing it helps to have a general idea of the fashion in your fantasy story. I don’t do the minor details well, let along think to put much about what the characters are actually wearing at times, but it’s something I’m going to work on as I have a few novels where for a couple scenes that information is important. Instead, let’s look at how a published story used fashion.

In book 2 of the Wheel of Time series, The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan, there is a part near the beginning where it talks about the clothes Rand has been given to wear. It’s a long fantasy series, so at times certain aspects are explained, but this part in particular stands out not just because it manages to show aspects of the world, internal conflict in the point of view character and creates conflict with others as well. It's just clothes but that little change in how Rand had to dress made a change and the discomfort is something that was able to show through its use.

Clothing can be quite important in the right scene. There are many things that fashion can show in a story, whether it’s for an individual character or to show the entire culture of a community. Granted, we don’t want every detail described, nor do we need to know the clothing every single place and character involved. It’s one factor where you have to decide what is best for the story each time.

Clothing is also important for fitness. I've also found that the type of athletic gear will vary on personal taste along with the different types of activities. I have found that the same shorts/capris do not work well for both jogging and lifting. If the shorts material is the less flexible material, they can be okay for jogging but I have found they are not the best for squatting because they get too tight around the thighs.

Many wear leggings, at least females though there are guys who wear them too or tight like items but some wear shorts over them. I am not at the level of comfort in body shape yet to wear tight pants and tight shirt that shows all the curves. Plus, it seems kind of like it would get hot. I am looking forward to lifting more in shorts now that it's getting warmer. 

On the other hand, if something is too loose, I have found that is not good for jogging. It's a pain to have to pull up your pants or shorts every couple of minutes. Not easy finding the right middle ground and on a low budget at that. And that's just the bottom half. One has to also consider shirts, what covers the stomach and keeps it covered, what doesn't show cleavage, and the list goes on and on.

Also, I need more pockets! There are far too many shorts, capris and pants that lack pockets, from my experience. Sure, my little ipod holders have a spot for a key (even though they are both getting worn out from all the use already) but my car key is way too big. I end up linking my locker key or put my car key in my sports bra when out at the park because not enough of my fitness clothing has pockets. I don't have one of those weird flip fanny belt things either, though I will look at them maybe in the future as an option but overall, I like pockets (work pants need pockets too by the way).

So, summary. Clothing is important in fitness. :-)

When do you mention clothes in fiction? What type of clothes do you like to wear for fitness activities?

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