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Describing clothes on characters isn’t nearly as fun writing an action scene. But let’s face it, clothes and their condition say as much about our characters as they do on real people.
Thankfully there are ways to sneak clothing descriptions into a scene without sounding like a fashion magazine.
When ever possible, let clothing and the character’s appearance leak into the scene as a bystander.
Clothing descriptions as a bystander to body language is used a lot.
Example: She sat, smiled and nodded her head. Beneath the table, her damp fists crushed the delicate silk of her evening gown while her kid boots tapped a rapid rhythm. This doesn’t sound like a description of clothing at all and yet the sentence shows the reader what the woman is wearing.
Clothing descriptions as a bystander in an action scene is not the norm. Usually they just slow down the action and are better avoided. UNLESS, the type of clothing is important to the action.
Example: Set up: In my book Love and Fortune the heroine is a distraction while a group of Yankees soldiers surround a band of weary Rebels. Her attire is important to this scene.