Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lucky's YA Fashion Picks & Dressing Up Your Characters

Lucky Mag recently ran a fun feature for us bookworms. They took a few favorite YA series and found clothing that reflected different characters' style. Here's their pick for Nancy Drew - a spunky dress that's perfectly inspired by the gumshoe's preppy chic:

And these fierce Camilla Skovgaard stilettos are somehow very Twilight (though more Volturi than Bella):

I'm writing a pretty geeky middle grade book, where robots and microscopes are more important than accessorizing. But a few distinct fashion choices came into play. When I saw Alexander McQueen's exhibit at the MET this summer, I was blown away by how much fashion can tell a story. I ended up dressing up my villain in a McQueen-inspired getup that gave her a much spookier air.

Getting too much into detail about clothing can date a book, and also distract from other important elements of characterization. But after seeing Lucky's picks for The Babysitter's Club gals, I found myself passionately agreeing or disagreeing with the choices. Clearly Ann M Martin's careful description of Claudia's style stayed with me.

What are your thoughts on dressing up your characters? Do you have their entire wardrobe picked out?  Or does their personality give you a sense of what they would or would not wear?


  1. I do dress up my characters in my YA/sometimes MG writing because teens/tweens are at the age where they are most self-conscious and they use clothing to show who they are, whether they wear black or tie-dye or Hollister all the time. These details also help the reader envision who they are.

  2. What a fun idea to dress up characters. Now I'll think about that when I read or write books. Love those heels!

  3. I'm constantly thinking about my characters' clothes, but then, I'm a very fashion-conscious person. I love shopping and picking out new clothes and combining the pieces I already have. I think the way a character dresses can tell you a lot about their personality.

  4. Your point about too much fashion dating a book is spot on (and too much of it can drag the action), but they do give glimpses into character and are important in bit and pieces that flow seamlessly into the story. Making that happen is difficult.