Today, we’re here to talk about clothing choices. These choices are the little ones, the ones you probably will never even notice, and that come naturally to you. It’s not your fault; in truth, it’s the fault of writers who don’t think through your wardrobe, and so call on you to pick outfits not suited to your adventure. Well, readers, the next time your author asks you to do something relating to clothing that makes no sense, tells you no one will notice the foolishness of it, and expects you to go along with it, say no and show your author this letter.
Since cloaks are considered cool, we’ll start with those.
Try to avoid sleeping with your cloak clasped. Now, I realize that sometimes you just can’t help it, but in those times you’re more unconscious than actually sleeping, so don’t worry about it. At other times, however, especially when you’re on your grand quest and you take a break to sleep, do make sure that you unclasp it. If you don’t, you risk the danger of strangling yourself in the middle of the night or, if you expect to be set upon by your enemy in the middle of the night, you’ll regret leaving your cloak clasped. When the surprise attack comes, you’ll find that, rather than dramatically swooshing out behind you as well-behaved cloaks should, your cloak will be thoroughly tangled around you. Have fun fighting off attackers like that.
Don’t (don’t, don’t, don’t!) pull your hood up for camouflage. I cannot stress this enough. I realize that you want to blend in with your surroundings, and your cloak is (either by the dye used to make it, or some unexplained, non-Earthly phenomenon) the perfect color to match the landscape. As soon as you do it, though, you give yourself a handicap; in effect, you’re putting blinders on yourself like you would put on a horse. If you want to blend in, use face paint. Your author will protest at this, saying that hoods look far nicer, but while painting your face green and black and grey isn’t glamorous, a hood is to keep your head dry. I’m afraid it won’t do much else for you without the cons completely outweighing the pros. Go with the face paint. After all, if you’re embarrassed, that’s one extra reason to be sure you blend in well and aren’t detected by whoever you’re avoiding or hiding from.
Avoid Long Cloaks in the Forest. I’m afraid only evil over-lords can get away with it. The moment you step into most forests in a long cloak, it will seem that every single branch, twig, thorn or tree is permanently attached to it. Unless your author wishes to thoroughly irritate you, or completely creep you out with cries of, “No! We love you, cloak! Don’t go. Stay with us!” from the forest, stick to short cloaks in the forest—or, better yet, go with a jacket. If you must wear a cloak, were one made of heavier, tightly-woven material.
This next part addresses mainly women, but you fellows who care whether or not a woman will come out of battle alive, might want to read this and insist on certain things (or, if they’re not listening, a prison cell is always an option).
Wear Armor. Women mainly have trouble with this, though occasionally men will go without vital pieces of armor. You should know that battles are not calm affairs. In a battle, people will be everywhere, swords will be everywhere, and you will be injured. Be aware of this and make sure that your armor choices reflect that. While I’m aware that you may or may not be human, the neck, stomach, and chest contain vital organs for most of us. If you lack those, wear armor there anyway; you’re the hero of a story, and people will be watching. You wouldn’t want the rest of us to think we could get by without wearing armor into battle, would you? Our deaths would be on your heads.
Don’t Wear a Skirt or Robe into Battle. Out of curiosity, are you interested in coming out alive? If so, don’t wear a skirt. As far as I know, there are no Biblical commands against girls wearing pants. If you don’t want to wear pants, don’t enter the battlefield. The occasional Faerie Princess or century-old monk can get away with it, but most of us would die in half of a heartbeat. Don’t take the chance. Even if you can manage, your author’s credibility goes down considerably when you do, so support your author! Don’t do things most of us would consider ridiculous.
Watch Your Hair. First of all, I would like to offer a quick apology to any Elven characters who might happen to be reading this. I like your hair. I really do, but there comes a time when practicality takes over. If you’ll be navigating in a thick forest, running from people, hiding, battling armies, or shooting a bow, do something with your hair. Whether you want to cut it or put it up is completely up to you, but there are certain things that have happened to people because they did not take enough care to make sure their hair would not endanger them. It may seem small, but Absalom died because his hair got caught in a tree.
Most of you may or may not even know what your clothing is made out of, but if you do have that pleasure, avoid cotton in cold areas. As soon as cotton is wet, you have officially lost any insulation against the cold you might have previously had. Since cold does bother most of us, when you’re planning to go into a colder area or don’t know where you’re going, choose wool over cotton. Of course, if you live in another world and your people don’t grow cotton, this probably isn’t something you need to worry about.
And, to those people on Earth: Avoid Wearing Flip-flops. You never know when you’ll end up in a medieval world and have to walk miles through wild land to get to civilization.
There are some other things that might need to go on this list, but since most of you are probably ready to head out and begin your quest, I’ll close here.
(A person very concerned about your survival)
Authors? What are some other illogical clothing choices you’ve seen characters make? Are any of these things that you’ve done? There’s a comment box just below.