Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

question about women's clothing (1 Viewer)

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
I know nothing about women's outfits and could use some help.

I'm currently writing from a woman's POV - she's someone that uses her looks to get ahead, and is sleeping with her boss. She's on her way home and is dressed like this:

Outfit

Along with a jacket kinda thing (you can see how I'm handicapped).

So, what would you call the elements to this outfit?
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
(Heathered teal / pale aqua /seafoam green) knit mock turtleneck.

Ombre' denim (?) miniskirt.

Shoes are often described by the style of heel which isn't really visible here (column heels, spikes, wedges, etc) but they're pretty obviously 'high heels' and the thin ankle straps would be important to mention as a feature.

I feel for you, dressing a clothes horse character takes research!

Is the jacket the same material as the skirt or something else?

Edit: Another thought, women will sometimes describe the outfit as much by what it bares as by the clothing itself. Your character is very proud of her legs and so she might consider showing them with this outfit as being kind of part of the outfit.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
I know nothing about women's outfits and could use some help.

I'm currently writing from a woman's POV - she's someone that uses her looks to get ahead, and is sleeping with her boss. She's on her way home and is dressed like this:

Outfit

Along with a jacket kinda thing (you can see how I'm handicapped).

So, what would you call the elements to this outfit?

Happy to help, but please clarify where she is on her way home from. Is she on her way home after an outing with the boss, a day at work or other?
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
This character always dresses provocatively and uses her appearance to get ahead.

I'm writing her introductory chapter - she is leaving her bosses apartment (she's having an affair with him) and on her way home where her husband is waiting. There's nothing especially suspicious about her outfit because she always dresses that way.

She's not a very nice person, but over the course of the story she'll improve.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
It's a little rough - just the first draft - but this is what I have for now:

Finally dressed in her blue skater miniskirt, tight fitting black long sleeve knit top, and open toed wedges, she returned to the main room of Anton’s apartment in the Strat Hotel.

ETA: I looked up women's clothing on line - and looked at images, then when to a page were it was described.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
I looked up 'skater skirt' and got miniskirts that were cut more as a very short circle skirt.

https://www.amazon.com/Skater-Skirt/s?k=Skater+Skirt

Other than that the paragraph seems fine to me.

Thanks! I may change it to just call it a miniskirt - as the skater thing seems confusing... apparently it's named after the style of dresses ice skaters wear.

indianroads only wears t-shirts and jeans.
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
Full disclosure, I'm not a fashion maven and I usually wear T-shirts and jeans, too. Comfort is king.

But occasionally I think about what it would be like to dress up in a pretty, feminine way again. Once upon a time I wore denim miniskirts and busted out the heels for almost any occasion or none at all.

Those were the days.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
Full disclosure, I'm not a fashion maven and I usually wear T-shirts and jeans, too. Comfort is king.

But occasionally I think about what it would be like to dress up in a pretty, feminine way again. Once upon a time I wore denim miniskirts and busted out the heels for almost any occasion or none at all.

Those were the days.

My wife is the same way.
Many years ago, we had one of those significant anniversaries and we went to dinner at a nice place called the 'Stage Coach Inn' in Manitou Springs. She got all decked out, and part of her outfit was a pair of needle point high heel boots.

Well, it was winter and the parking lot was icy and she had to walk up a fairly steep incline to get to the entrance. During her ignominious climb she had her feet apart and was leaning forward at the waist with her hands stretched out before her, taking very small steps. I couldn't help but comment on her fetching display of femininity and laugh.

Of course I went back to help her, but her climb up the hill has remained in my memory much longer than our pleasant meal did.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
It's a little rough - just the first draft - but this is what I have for now:

Finally dressed in her blue skater miniskirt, tight fitting black long sleeve knit top, and open toed wedges, she returned to the main room of Anton’s apartment in the Strat Hotel.

ETA: I looked up women's clothing on line - and looked at images, then when to a page were it was described.

I'm going to assume this is present day, 2020. I use to be a fashion designer of womens' business clothing, and later as a CPA, I also worked in large corporate offices for years, so bear in mind, it comes from my perspective. Just my opinion, but likely if she attracted the boss's attention, it may not be because she dresses provocatively on the exterior.

Sitting on the side of the bed, she looked down at the grey wool suit crumpled on the ground. The fabric was a fine wool melange, typical of the designer clothes she loved. As she pulled the pencil skirt up over her black garterbelt, noticing the wrinkles, she wondered if a polyester suit would have been a better choice. She buttoned up the high gorge jacket, concealing her black lace bra. Slipping on her black patent stilettos, she headed for the main room of Anton's apartment in the Strat Hotel.

I could probably spend hours discussing women's clothing and motivation behind what they choose to wear, but it would also help if I knew a bit more about her. What does she do? What level is she in her role? Junior clerk, manager etc.

What fun!
 
Last edited:

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Visit the website of a women's clothing shop and see how they describe the items.

Really?! I had a good giggle at this. Typically they don't describe the clothing with any personality or motivation. For example a "mini skirt" would be described as an "18" length, back vent with side zip". Not as "very short and tight, good for getting male attention".

Sorry to have a laugh at your expense...I just couldn't resist. :)
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
Typically they don't describe the clothing with any personality or motivation.
This is a good point! Not to mention a lot of online shop copy is written like bad instructions translated from Japanese to Sanskrit to English via Google translate and often use the entirely wrong descriptor for the item.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
I know nothing about women's outfits and could use some help.

I'm currently writing from a woman's POV - she's someone that uses her looks to get ahead, and is sleeping with her boss. She's on her way home and is dressed like this:

Outfit

Along with a jacket kinda thing (you can see how I'm handicapped).

So, what would you call the elements to this outfit?

So just reading this again, and realizing I missed your point in my first response, because I didn't click the link. I see you were looking for a description of that particular outfit. Here's my suggestion:

Form fitting poorboy sweater
Acid-washed denim miniskirt
Strapy gold stilletos.


It's a little rough - just the first draft - but this is what I have for now:

Finally dressed in her blue skater miniskirt, tight fitting black long sleeve knit top, and open toed wedges, she returned to the main room of Anton’s apartment in the Strat Hotel.

Just my thoughts on this, it doesn't scream sexy attention getter to me. Blue is not usually considered a sexy colour, "open toed wedges", are something older women wear, because they are easier to walk in than strappy stilletos. And "tight black long sleeve knit top" is a bit wordy. Here is my suggestion:

Zip-front denim miniskirt
strappy red stilletos (or gold)
black tight-fitting poorboy sweater (Although a poorboy sweater is usually tight-fitting, so you could leave the tight-fitting out, but it does emphasize her attitude.)

Sorry for the confusion earlier, I just love doing clothing descriptions. I think authors don't use this technique enough. Generally they describe the characters by physical characteristics, like "blond hair", "long legs", "green eyes" etc., but as people don't have a whole lot of control over what they were born with, it often doesn't tell that much, unless you fall to stereotypes. How people dress says a lot about them. Especially women!
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
So just reading this again, and realizing I missed your point in my first response, because I didn't click the link. I see you were looking for a description of that particular outfit. Here's my suggestion:

Form fitting poorboy sweater
Acid-washed denim miniskirt
Strapy gold stilletos.




Just my thoughts on this, it doesn't scream sexy attention getter to me. Blue is not usually considered a sexy colour, "open toed wedges", are something older women wear, because they are easier to walk in than strappy stilletos. And "tight black long sleeve knit top" is a bit wordy. Here is my suggestion:

Zip-front denim miniskirt
strappy red stilletos (or gold)
black tight-fitting poorboy sweater (Although a poorboy sweater is usually tight-fitting, so you could leave the tight-fitting out, but it does emphasize her attitude.)

Sorry for the confusion earlier, I just love doing clothing descriptions. I think authors don't use this technique enough. Generally they describe the characters by physical characteristics, like "blond hair", "long legs", "green eyes" etc., but as people don't have a whole lot of control over what they were born with, it often doesn't tell that much, unless you fall to stereotypes. How people dress says a lot about them. Especially women!

Thanks, that's really good input.
I need to make note of the long sleeve top - she has a tattoo on her wrist that she's had diminished a bit by a cosmetic laser, but the mark will become important near the end of the book - so I need to mention it beforehand. She wears long sleeve shirts and uses makeup to cover it.

Her latest outfit - and remember this is just the first draft of the story, so it's a bit rough:
(Her husband just found out that she's been cheating on him for years, and he's left. They were sleeping in separate bedrooms - and after the reveal the night before she went into his room and found all the pictures of her and him together were torn up, but their wedding album was untouched. She's just tossed the album in the trash.)
She returned to her apartment to finish getting dressed, and decided to wear something flashy to celebrate her liberation. Back in her room, she settled on a red A-line mini skirt and a matching long sleeve silk top, all supported by black knee-high boots with a stiletto heel.
Attired perfectly and feeling confident, she left her apartment. A car to take her to the McCarren Government Center would be waiting outside. She hurried to the elevator, pressed the button for the Lobby, and began her descent.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
I need to make note of the long sleeve top - she has a tattoo on her wrist that she's had diminished a bit by a cosmetic laser, but the mark will become important near the end of the book - so I need to mention it beforehand. She wears long sleeve shirts and uses makeup to cover it.

Oh that's great foreshadowing...I like it!

She returned to her apartment to finish getting dressed, and decided to wear something flashy to celebrate her liberation. Back in her room, she settled on a red A-line mini skirt and a matching long sleeve silk top, all supported by black knee-high boots with a stiletto heel.

Excellent...great visual!
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
Going the right direction!

My only thought further than the accuracy of the clothing descriptions is that what we call a piece of clothing might reveal our point of view and maybe a little personal history.

Example: 6100-5kXqjL._MCnd_SEARCH281250_AC_UL320_.jpg

The listing says it is a "women's deep-V neck ruffle sleeves cocktail party pencil slit formal dress". All true. Boring but a good descriptor of merchandise.

This is one of many examples of the little black dress. Essential to a woman's wardrobe and effective in almost any social war.

My niece once wore a dress with ruffles on the skirt to a wedding, she called it her "shimmie-shimmie dress".

Once I heard from a neighboring stall in the changing rooms, "This one! It really shows off the girls"

I read in a book once where a character said she would wear her "tatty black" that evening. When I looked it up "tatty" (I think it's a UK term) it meant shabby. I thought from the context that it had a feeling of being tried-and-true as well...the dress the character had often relied on.

If your character is focused on her glorious legs she might say this dress was her "silky black dress with the hemline that hit just this side of modesty and a slit that went all the way to heaven"

If a character is satisfied at getting her own back this might be "the best dress he didn't know he'd paid for".

Just thoughts but if helpful, feel free to use.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
Going the right direction!

My only thought further than the accuracy of the clothing descriptions is that what we call a piece of clothing might reveal our point of view and maybe a little personal history.

Example: View attachment 26195

The listing says it is a "women's deep-V neck ruffle sleeves cocktail party pencil slit formal dress". All true. Boring but a good descriptor of merchandise.

This is one of many examples of the little black dress. Essential to a woman's wardrobe and effective in almost any social war.

My niece once wore a dress with ruffles on the skirt to a wedding, she called it her "shimmie-shimmie dress".

Once I heard from a neighboring stall in the changing rooms, "This one! It really shows off the girls"

I read in a book once where a character said she would wear her "tatty black" that evening. When I looked it up "tatty" (I think it's a UK term) it meant shabby. I thought from the context that it had a feeling of being tried-and-true as well...the dress the character had often relied on.

If your character is focused on her glorious legs she might say this dress was her "silky black dress with the hemline that hit just this side of modesty and a slit that went all the way to heaven"

If a character is satisfied at getting her own back this might be "the best dress he didn't know he'd paid for".

Just thoughts but if helpful, feel free to use.

great info, thank you very much.
 
Top