How do your clothes inspire your writing?

Looking for inspiration for your writing?  Consider how your clothes could inspire your writing.

When you’re stuck for inspiration, pull open the doors of your wardrobe and take a peek. Pull something out, sniff it, twirl around with it, what memories does it invoke?

When faced with the task of writing your memoirs, write lots of short stories and then see how you can join them up.  You will be amazed at where your imagination takes you and how it will inform the stories that you share, not only with yourself, but with others (and only if you want to).

Most of us love clothes.  Can you remember a favourite dress or suit, shirt, tie, pair of shoes, a bag?  What thoughts do clothes evoke in you?  Do you have a style? Have you always loved the same kinds of clothes?  What are your favourites?  Are you a shoes and handbags person?  Did you, or do you make your own clothes?

What do your clothes say about you? What kind of attention are you attracting? Like it or not, people do judge a book by its cover. While it may not seem fair that people develop an immediate impression of who you are simply by the clothes you wear, it’s still true that your clothes tell a story about your personality and how you are likely to be perceived by others.

What kind of dresser are you?  How have clothes impacted on your story?

Green dress and I

For 5 years green dress and I were best friends, she was short, straight, soft and silent, you couldn’t ask for much more in a friend.  She clung to me on nights out, laughed at my jokes, helped me get dates and danced like a demon; there wasn’t much she couldn’t do. She came with me to Monaco, hot nights in expensive bars were her thing.  Dark Italians touching her, wanting her.  One short brooding type sucked my finger and proclaimed love, she had other ideas and whisked my out of the dimly lit room, helped me quickly up the stairs and out into the balmy night. 

On our return we sadly fell out for a short while, a forgotten exercise routine and a few too many boozy nights out squeezed her out of my life.  I didn’t forget her and when sometime after I left the note ‘please leave immediately’ on the microwave to the maniac man called husband, she reminded me that we should forget about the fat, renew our friendship and try again. In 3 short months we were back at it again enjoying ourselves and our new found freedom. 

Which brings me to the last night we partied together.  In the week leading up to that night in Cardiff, she lay there on the bed encouraging me to wax and tan my legs, suggesting that curls would look sexy, not forgetting full war paint and high patent black court shoes. That last night we strutted our stuff on the dance floor watched by the soon to be ex boyfriend, he’d had his chance she reminded me. 

She bought me home safe and sound that night like she always did, this time to the new man in my life.  He for his part didn’t know how close our friendship was, so every night he wined and dined me and sadly green dress was once again left to hang around by herself, devoted to the end.

Your action plan – How do your clothes inspire your writing

  • If you aren’t already journaling, get a journal and start capturing your ideas and thoughts around the book that you want to write.
  • Now think about how you will fit your life around your writing (yes that’s right fit life around writing, to hell with the dishes)
  • Create your timeline, break it up into smaller chunks, write about one of your chunks, pen to paper, don’t think, just write
  • Find a piece of clothing and write a creative story as if it were a friend.

Sadly my green dress is a little bit too short and tight for me now, but I still have her after 30 years!!!

7 Replies to “How do your clothes inspire your writing?”

  1. Great post Jacqui, My moods definitely choose my clothes.Joggers for when I cant really be bothered with much,my black dress for those feeling fat days and a bit of sparkle when I’m in a flirtacious, good mood.Today i am sat writing in my pyjamas. Whilst for lots of people this is their feeling lazy clothes for me they highlight my productive moods. I find myself staying in them when I really don’t want to stop doing what i’m doing.I am going to take up your challenge and will include my story in a future blog post. x

  2. I love this idea Jacqui – I learnt back in the 80s (during my goth phase) that the way we dress can have a huge impact on the way we behave, and the way we are percieved, stands to reason that it should affect the words that come out too

    1. I know, when I think about all of the strange clothes I made and wore!!!! I love looking back at clothes and cringing and also remembering those long lost days.

    2. I also had a looonnggg goth phase. There’s definitely some good and bad memories in what I have left of that wardrobe. In retrospect, however, I discovered that when you are a person who has been over-stereotyped it becomes harder for you to instantly judge people and easier for you to want to get to know a person for who they are, not for how they look.

  3. I love this article! I’ve always enjoyed when authors personify objects because they often do start dictating your feelings and decisions. I keep a journal, but I prefer to call my journaling “essaying” because I write about a wide variety of topics in a more organized manner. I’m going to try this idea soon because I can think about several clothing articles that are associated with stories and feelings in my life.

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