Fantasy Clothing

Throughout history fashion has always been of great significance for the people of each epoch. Archeological findings of clothes allow us to gain insight about the wearer’s geographical origin and respective environmental conditions as well as their social stratum, profession, and prosperity. By taking these factors into consideration when designing and manufacturing garments, we can create a compelling and believable look for the inhabitants of a fantasy universe as well.

The basic principles of “suitable for daily use” and “practicality” were applied to designing clothes for the fantasy genre in such a way that—for example—warriors would wear pants and tunics while riding horses or engaging in sword fighting, while mages or monks would usually be dressed in full-length robes while tending to their scholarly duties. We can mix elements of men’s and women’s clothing as well as designs from different historical epochs while creating fantasy garments, thus achieving a credible outfit for, say, a female knight or a well-respected mage.

Fantasy garments for fantastic creatures

Non-human creatures—sometimes called, not quite accurately, “alien species”—can set themselves apart from human cultures through obviously outlandish clothing. Here, too, the choice of fabrics, ornaments, and colors illustrates whether these strange creatures originate from a cold, harsh land in the north or a warm, sunny country in the south. The craftsmanship and the style of the ornaments then hint as to whether the wearer descends from humans or from a fantasy culture such as elves or dwarves. It is important that the clothing of such a culture differ from that of the “common” human within the shared universe. Hence, we base our fantasy tunics on documented clothing, so they fit within a world where elves and mages need plausible garments for their journeys.

Fantasy garments for fantastic cultures

It is always helpful to take a closer look at culture, living conditions, and ethical values of humanoid and alien creatures alike. Depending on whether cultures dwell in a forest, on a mountain peak, in the desert or in the jungle, they have access to differing materials from which they fashion their garments, weapons, and ornaments. While an inhabitant of a desert region might consider an item rare and valuable enough that only the wealthy are able to afford it, an inhabitant of a northern region might find the same item common and mundane in a way that only the poorest of their society would want to be seen using it. This divergence creates potential for contrast and conflict in the game.

Weather conditions and the current season also may affect the way a culture dresses. In some regions the weather can be quite capricious between day and night or from day to day, and the people might want to prepare for that.

Other aspects that are reflected in clothing involve cultural considerations—war efforts or ambitions to conquer, for instance, or a bond with nature or faith in certain deities.

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