1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

Clothing and Garb

Discussion in 'World Building' started by trentonian7, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. Patrick-Leigh

    Patrick-Leigh Sage

    235
    170
    43
    Thank you! As the Romans used to say, "Vestis virum reddit." The clothes make the man. I'm finding that the more I figure out about how clothing (including undergarments) work in my story setting, the easier it is to figure out what my characters wear and what they're preferences are. Since I'm going for a "mix and match" approach, blending things from various cultures to create some new combinations and aesthetics, I'm having to do a lot of research on historical garb, and what I've learned is truly fascinating stuff. I'm also trying to give different races garb that I don't usually see them wearing. I always see Dwarves dressed up in Viking and Celtic attire, so I've decided that I'm going to avoid those aesthetics with them as much as possible. Instead, I'm going for a blending of Babylonian, Medo-Persian, and ancient Greece influences. Indeed, those three cultures are serving as starting points for my Dwarves in other ways. Like all three of these cultures, my Dwarves are big on mathematics, geometry, and astronomy. They see the platonic solids as "divine" polyhedrons and use them as the main design for many of their light sources. But for their attire, I'm largely drawing inspiration from the Babylonians and Medo-Persians, with a few touches of ancient Greek garments here and there. Essentially, a large portion of their world was turned into a desert, which resulted in attire like what the ancient cultures of the Middle East wore, but they retained those elements even when they began building cities underground to escape the heat and weather of the deserts. So, most of them wear clothing that's something along these lines:
    [​IMG]
    Mind you, that's just the starting point. I'm trying to figure out how to blend these styles with things that represent mathematics and geometry. I may have those things crop up in the patterns that are woven into the fabrics and the designs of the jewelry, mostly. Maybe they use a lot of regular polygons with the number of sides being a reference to some mathematical principle. I think I'll have to get some experts in math and geometry to help me come up with some ideas for that.

    Anyway, the key point is that my Dwarves are (hopefully) not going to look too much like Dwarves from most from other story settings. They'll still be short and squat, but they won't be dressed in attire that looks like anything a Viking or Celt would wear. Oh, and my Dwarves also use a crude form of hydroponics to grow some of their crops in their underground cities, too, so things are actually pretty green and well-lit in their settlements. It's a bit of a nod to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
    [​IMG]
    The idea is that, as more and more of their world was turned into a desert, they took their wildlife with them underground to retain what some of what was being lost. So, yes, in addition to colorful clothing, their cities are pretty vibrant, too, in more ways than one.
     
  2. Your cultures are very fascinating! You should make a whole portfolio about the attire!
     
    Patrick-Leigh likes this.
  3. Patrick-Leigh

    Patrick-Leigh Sage

    235
    170
    43
    I’m in the process of doing that, actually!
     
  4. OberonLordofSylva

    OberonLordofSylva Troubadour

    108
    42
    28
    The setting for my main project is industrialized, to the point of borderline urban fantasy, so the clothes people wear are pretty close to modern fashion. The middle class have access to pretty eccentric stuff but that's more because of my inspiration coming from Tetsuya Nomura rather than anything else. I haven't really come up for an excuse as to why my characters dress like FF characters yet. In my world weaponry is displayed but oftentimes businesses will store weapons in a safe while the people shop as a safety precaution. Religion exists and there are ceremonial garments for special occasions but priests mostly dress like normal people. Men and women do have different fashion "rules" that differ by culture. For example: In Elven culture long hair is a status symbol but since women and children are perceived as weak they are under peer pressure to keep their hair short. Female leaders in Elven society riding the wave of global change following the Second Elf War will often grow out their hair as a sign of open rebellion. Meanwhile in the human-dominated lands to the west, women wearing their hair long is the norm. By establishing this rule and others like it, you can use character design to gauge a character's personality which I think is cool.
     
  5. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

    1,569
    452
    83
    Why did the Oriental cultures use silk? Because it was a natural resource that was found through south-east Asia. Why did the europeans tend to use linen and wool? Because that's what they had access to with flax and sheep. Why have Americans worn cotton throughout the years? Same answer. I think deciding on specifically what resources each of your cultures has access to via trade or natural resources can help you figure out what sort of clothing you might use. The same would be true for colored fabrics. Why were blue fabrics so expensive that only the nobility could afford it? The natural sources of blue for the dyes was rare or very difficult to process. That's why most of the poorest populations throughout the world have worn earth-tones.
     
  6. Red Star

    Red Star Scribe

    25
    9
    3
    I based my story off of a certain time period in Earth's history, so their clothing follows suit. Not to say I don't throw in some fantasy tropes as well though. I find a mix of different elements is usually the most fun to work with.
     
  7. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

    1,569
    452
    83
    In one of my stories, when the Talutah Ooljee wear clothes; which is only during the cold season) they use garments from natural fibers similar to hemp or buckskin, given they cultivate the plants and have domesticated the deer. Another culture (unnamed as yet) is from a colder climate, so raise long-haired buffalos. They weave the hair of the animal into cloth and in turn sew that into a garment. Given the shorter warm season though, they also use wool.
     
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
Loading...

Share This Page