As posted by Rachel Ilsa Welton of Tailored Tunics----- Please forgive the ENDLESS wall of text— this sorta prompted something I’ve been thinking of, for a while. If you’re having trouble figuring out your garb, you might consider designing your kit like you’re costuming a character for a stage or film production. I built my kit piece by random piece for years, and it never added up to a cohesive whole. (Okay, yeah, it isn’t a cohesive whole NOW, because the kender-aesthetic is pretty random, but now, at least, it’s deliberate!) Nowadays I’m trying to front-load the design process, and people successfully “read” my kit a lot more, lately. One of the first things you might do is ask yourself what you want to convey to the audience about the character. If this were a theatre production, our audience would be the people putting their butts into our auditorium. Since Dag is live-action and immersive, your audience is your peers. Either way, the first time someone sees your kit, they should be able to make some inferences about you. How wealthy is this character? How much of a conformist are they? What time period or profession do you want to portray? If you convey nothing much (or worse, have to break character to explain your kit, or justify the absence of something that’s not there— ie, it’s hard to be an elf without pointy ears), then your design probably needs more thought. * All of that is a little overwhelming, so let’s boil it down to one important question. Say an average dude sees your kit for the first time. Without ever speaking to you (and, because they don’t care, without minutely examining every detail of your kit— subtle stuff is for your own satisfaction), they can still say, “aha, that guy is ______,” and be right. What do you want that blank to be? What do you need to include in your kit to make them say that? Your thing could be something super obvious like “that dude is a dwarf!” or “that dude is an Uruk-Hai!” (because [successfully portrayed, not half-assed] dwarves and [successful] Uruk-Hai have really clear physical markers— they’re easy to “read,” provided you’ve been exposed to the ideas before), you sometimes have to back off a little and go for something more general. It could be “that dude is rich,” or “that dude is a raggedy peasant” or “that dude is a knight.” So, for Rowan, the very least you want your audience to be able to say, probably, is “aha, this dude spends a lot of time in the woods.” Going for “this dude is a hunter” or “this dude has some weird canine traits” might be a little harder, so that could be something to build up to. Starting from “dude who spends a lot of time in the woods,” what would help convey that? Rather than listing individual clothing items, start with the elements of design: line, mass, color, texture, movement, etc. Should your DWSALOTITW appear bulky or slender? (A confident character might take up a lot of space, while one who hopes to fade into the background might be drawn more tightly in. Would your DWSALOTITW be a lots-of-corners or streamlined sort of person? What sort of textures are right for a DWSALOTITW? What sorts of colors? Should the materials you use be light and floaty, heavy and stiff, or something in-between? WHY? Hold off on the internal character reasons for any of the “whys” (ie, “I have this cloak because my mother made it, and she died, so I wear it to remember her”) and keep your focus tight to the audience. You might choose a silhouette that’s top-heavy with fur or leather shoulder armor and tapers down to through the lower legs, which very quietly suggests the lean lone wolf. You might chose muted, natural colors (which might say that the character wants to fade into the woods), or weirdly clashing or worn-out ones, which might say (though this is getting rather too subtle) that they don’t care about clothes or society’s expectations (or perhaps that they’re colorblind— canine attributes!)You might distress everything you wear to suggest a character who’s down on his luck, or pick cloth and materials that will look “new” longer, to suggest someone who’s successful or has the chance to replace his clothes more often. If this is still tough, pick one adjective and build your design around that, instead. Do you want people to see your character as, primarily, tough? Independent? Scatterbrained? Confident? Timid? Brainstorm how your adjective could bleed out onto their clothing— not just by giving them individual props (this character is tough because he wears lots of knives!), but by thinking in terms, again, of audience impression (this character is tough because he wears hard textures and has no extra frills!). Grab a print-out croquis (try here:http://www.universityoffashion.com/male-croquis-templates/) and do some drawings. It’s okay if they’re shitty. How can you make a character look confident, tough, or timid using shapes, colors, and textures, rather than building up from individual items? This link below might better explain what I’m rambling on about.http://www.geneseo.edu/~blood/CostumeDesign1.html tl;dr: Start from the ground up and ask what you want to convey to your “audience”— ie, your fellow fighters. The result will be more coherent than if you build stuff up, piece by piece.