5 Reasons to Describe Clothing in Your Games

Each one of us has spent at least sometimes a lot of time trying to figure what to wear for the day. It can be for work, or for a date or even for a coronation. What is important, though, is that we spent this time, to pick the right clothes. This can also be used in gaming.
  1. Fashion can help to establish cultures. A culture in which women are covered from head to toe will be looked upon differently than a culture in which women can wear whatever they like. Cultures in which every Sunday all are wearing green; cultures in which everyone goes to work wearing everyday clothes (and not ties and tuxedos, for example) will be looked as much more strict and formal. This is a cheap way to establish a culture.
  2. In addition to the first thing, if the characters went to a mission and returned to find the people of the place wearing entirely different clothes, the time that has passed will be felt, and a smell of change will be smelled.
  3. Clothes can help to differentiate between characters (PCs and NPCs alike). Will they meet the knight who wears green, or the one that always goes with pink armor today? Isn't it more colourful than the knight who wears silvery armor?
  4. Clothes can help to show feelings or hidden truths. A character that wears black will be seen as a vile or depressed character, while the one that goes with white clothes will be seen as formal or naive. Think about the character that goes with the ripped off clothes in contrast to the one that goes with the colours of the enemy state...
  5. Clothes can help to create and express the character's personality: "Remember that wizard fellow who used to wear brown shoes every day? Today I've understood why: An oracle told him that he'll meet the love of his life wearing brown shoes..."
So, how about you? Do you pay attention to what your NPCs or PCs are wearing? How do you use it? What purpose does it fill in your game?

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