I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed a bit of a trend lately in YA books—heck, all books, for that matter. The trend? That much less wordage is going into describing the characters’ clothes.

I’m sort of guessing this is a backlash from the decline of chick lit, and even though this makes me very sad—I love, love, love my Bridget Jones and Sophie Kinsella! (and NOT just because I can relate to the Queen of Babble! Really!)—I do get it. Sort of. I mean, I get that people don’t want oodles and oodles of brand names to smack them upside the head every time they turn the page. To be sure, some of those books definitely read like product placements look in movies. Like, the authors deserved some serious kickbacks, or at the very least, free purses. ‘Cuz you can never have enough of those. Especially when you defile them as rapidly as I do.

But, on the other hand…I sort of miss the descriptions of outfits, of what the characters are wearing at any given time. Call me girly if you will (though, this is kind of amusing, given the dust gathering on my hair-styling appliances) or fashion conscious (HA! Even more amusing since most of my capris are older than my soon-to-be first grader)…or, better yet, call me someone who thinks clothes can say a lot about a character.

I mean, picture a high-school guy wearing a buttoned-up collared shirt and khakis to class, and another wearing a Sex Pistols t-shirt and ripped jeans. Without knowing anything else, you’ve suddenly got a few clues into their respective personalities. Provided they aren’t wearing those outfits to be ironic. Or it’s Halloween. Anyway.

To prove my point, I’m posting the names of popular YA characters below, followed by the kind of swimsuit I envision those characters wearing.

Yeah, okay, so maybe it’s an excuse for me to screw around on the net plan my new life as a swimsuit designer distract myself from the impending 2-day car ride of doom with the kidlets (meep!) But seriously, I think people’s personalities and circumstances influence their clothing choices—even swimwear. How your character dresses him or herself really might give your reader some new insight.

First up: Katniss from Hunger Games. Okay, so let’s face it: Katniss has no time for frivolity. She’s either helping her family survive, or she’s battling for her own life in the Hunger Games. So no cutesy, decorative crap for her—she needs sleek, fast and utilitarian. Hence I think this Speedo skinsuit would work:

Lean, mean, swimming machine!

Lean, mean, swimming machine!

Now, tell me this doesn’t say something about the wearer, especially if that person wasn’t at a swim meet?

Next up, Grace from The Dark Divine. Grace is a little old-fashioned in some ways, and given her father’s profession and her church-oriented upbringing, I just can’t see her being comfortable flashing a ton of skin. So I pictured her in something a little retro with good coverage:

Polka Dots, for the win!

Polka Dots, for the win!

Really, doesn’t this suit say that? That here’s a girl who isn’t trying to flaunt a bunch of skin, but is comfortable with herself all the same? Unlike the next character, Rose from Vampire Academy, who, let’s face it, realizes she’s hot and has no shame in sharing her hotness with others. I totally picture her wearing a skimpy string bikini:

Flaunt it, baby!

Flaunt it, baby!

And finally, the sparkly-vamp loving girl herself, Bella Swan. For the most part, Bella is a totally self-conscious character, one who eschews attention. So I envisioned her in a plain Jane black swimsuit—one that wouldn’t make anyone look twice, with good coverage, no frills, just generic.

The Safe Choice

The Safe Choice

So, what do you think? Do you agree with the overall style of my choices for these characters? And that clothes say something about a character’s personality? And, most importantly—what style of swimsuit do YOU wear?

Share on Facebook

10 Responses to “Think Your MC’s Clothes Don’t Matter? Think Again–and Rate my Swimsuit Choices for Katniss, Bella, and more!”

  1. Angie Says:

    I agree totally with the first and last. I haven’t read the middle two books so I couldn’t comment on those. As for what I wear – oh my don’t ask.

  2. Kate Says:

    I kind of want that retro one for myself. It’s cute.

  3. houndrat Says:

    Angie—HA! I wear one that I probably shouldn’t, but I’m too stubborn to change. And you totally nailed Katniss in your rep, lol!

    Kate—I know, it is, huh? My friend has a retro-looking suit that is super cute. But are you SURE you don’t want the speedo? You’d definitely get some looks at the beach…. ;)

  4. V Says:

    They are completely accurate. Especially the Rose one. Although I have trouble seeing Bella ever removing that much clothing in public. She’d like…swim in her tee shirt, or something.

  5. Jennifer Says:

    Wow, love that speedo suit. Awesome job with the suits. I don’t like wearing swimsuits, never have but comfort is the most important for me, don’t wanna dig at my butt all day.

  6. Kaitlin Says:

    This post is awesome!
    I saw the first swimsuit before I read the paragraph above it and I immediately thought, “That’s Katniss.”

  7. Tracey J Says:

    I totally agree with you because I’m a girly girl and because this post rocks.

  8. Brooke Says:

    I love your choices for Rose and Bella. I tend to wear more Bella-like suits.

  9. Erica Henry Says:

    Great post. I think this is a fun way to delve deeper into characters. I can’t wait to think of outfits for my favorite characters :)
    Erica Henry recently posted..Night World Series Book 2 – Book Review

  10. hunterX0506 Says:

    They are completely accurate. Especially the Rose one. Although I have trouble seeing Bella ever removing that much clothing in public. | :P
    hunterX0506 recently posted..Watch Movie Online For Free Full Movie

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge