Fashion in Fiction
Crossword stockings were a craze in America in 1925. Not before, not after. Fashion’s a funny thing; nowadays, it changes fast.
Why do I bring it up? Because, except in rare cases, your world probably has fashion. If it’s a historical world, then you know by now you’ve got to do your research. If, however, it’s a world you made up, then you’ve got some thinking to do.
For starters, what do the people in this world value? What is their general mindset? In the 1920’s, the war was over, and people wanted to forget it had ever happened; this is when the idea of right and wrong began to be more questioned in America, when moral issues began to be probed by the common man. The old was something they wanted to do away with, as it represented war and death. This lead to exciting clothing, newly high hemlines, brilliant colors, fringes, beads, and the like.
Another important point is, who is important in the society? For instance, again in the 1920’s, leather aviator jackets came into fashion when Charles Lindbergh made the first sole transatlantic flight. He inspired a whole style of clothing for men.
Colors are also important; green stood for pacifism in the 1920’s, an increasingly popular movement. White was sometimes associated with the KKK at this point in time; black with fascists. Your colors could stand for anything, from red for the blood of those killed by war (a protest), to white for purity (a classic), to brown for the power of the working class (a party or group).
And again, most fashion is designed for a particular body type; in Victorian times, one was expected to have a waspish shape, if one was a woman, and to be able to look good in very fitted garments. At some point in Victorian times, the style for men was to have an inverted triangle sort of shape in the upper body.
Fashion also follows necessity; the length of girls’ dresses shortened during the 1940’s following the lack of cloth.
So, just a few thoughts on deciding what’s fashionable in your world and what’s not, to get you thinking. I hope you come up with marvelous things!