Clothes of Female Characters in Fantasy

Update 29/4/24: Thanks to the surprisingly informative platform that is TikTok, I’ve recently learnt tightlacing was a particular style for corsets that not everyone wore. I leave my woefully uneducated original article below, as some of its points still stand and it talks about my female characters’ choices of clothes.

If you follow me on social media, you may have recently seen me complaining about the availability of comfortable/practical options for girls clothing. I’ve been looking for school uniform for my daughter, who starts school in September, but the trousers from the shop we can afford (a supermarket) are all form-fitting stretch material (which gets hot in summer and cold in winter), and the shoes are mostly T-bar and Mary Jane styles, or are light up. (On a side note, why are supermarkets making light up school shoes?)

From the moment girls are born, they have pinks and frills thrust upon them. Even on underwear. Yes, gentlemen readers, the trim on young girls underwear is almost always frilled elastic, rather than the nice turned over piece of fabric boys briefs have. This kind of elastic can rub. Some find it comfortable, but for those who don’t, the only real option is to buy boys underwear, unless you can afford something other than supermarket/big chain clothes (lucky you).

But I don’t want this entire post to be a rant. I want to talk about clothing for female characters in fantasy. Women seem to have two options for clothes in fantasy: dresses or form-fitting leather trousers. Have you seen the episode of the TV show Friends where Ross wears leather trousers? Imagine wearing a tight-fitting pair of those while running around, fighting for your life. No thank you.

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