Climate and clothes

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Climate and clothes

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:36 pm

Astrid got me thinking about the weather in my book and that also got me thinking about the clothes my characters wear. They will need to wear clothes that suit the climate and the semi-medieval style world I've created.

I guess I'm just having trouble placing the type of climate the Land of the Phoenix is in. As I mentioned in a different post, my book seems to be in a perpetual summer. Given that my main character is a phoenix, the cold wouldn't affect her, but it would affect those around her. There are also forests but no mention of rain. So, I'm leaning towards subtropical climates, they tick all of the boxes except one (the seasonal rain in either summer or winter, depending on where they are on earth). I was going to go with tropics, but then I realised they have cyclones and monsoons and that also didn't fit my book and it's pretty well perpetually raining.

In regards to clothes, I'm having a hard time seeing anyone walking around in large skirts, especially when those skirts are probably soaking up the water on the ground or anything that gets blown onto her from the wind. I imagine she'd have to change dresses every time she comes inside. And what about mud on shoes/hems? (this would also indicate to anyone with eyes that the phoenix was up to no good when she was away from her guards and might even allow her to be tracked :/ ) Plus, it would probably be too hot to wear large/heavy skirts.

There's also a wedding that I need to think about. I imagine that in a hot climate, surrounded with beautiful gardens in a palace, an outside wedding would probably be ideal. But I think that she was set to marry Grand Prince Laddiv in the winter. That means rain.

So, I guess I'm narrowing it down to a subtropical, Mediterranean climate which has storms in the winter (who wants to go outside when it's raining and cold anyway?) and hot, dry summers.

Or I could change it the other type of subtropical where the summers are hot, humid and stormy and the winters are cool and dry. I could make it so that the rain occurs in the middle of the book (summer-ish) and just add mentions of seasonal rains to a few scenes and maybe comment on the humidity every now and then...

Now I'm rethinking the start of my book, where Lumina is off tracking down rebels and she's wearing a hooded cloak. If someone wore that in a hot climate, it would practically scream "up to no good!"

-sigh- I think I should stop there for now otherwise I'll overthink it. I'll go research general Mediterranean/subtropical traditional clothes (I haven't even ruled out togas at this point).
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Re: Climate and clothes

Post by Elowen-Astrid on Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:20 am

Since you have a semi-medieval world I am going to assume you have medieval technology. I am going to give you some general information, at least enough to be able to google. Also check out the Medieval Tailors Guide. You should be able to find a pdf file when you google it.
 
Production
First of all, people in the middle ages were incredibly good with textiles and fabrics. They were good spinners, weavers and seamstresses. They learned these skills from a very young age and could spin fine, even threads, weave cloth of incredible quality we cannot reproduce any more and they also could sew very well. So even poor people wore decent quality clothing. Most people made all of this at home, but the more money you had, the better quality clothing you could afford.
 
Fabrics
Common fabrics in the middle ages were linen and wool. Silk was available for the very rich and nobility. One of the most expensive fabrics was silk velvet.
While wool sounds most suitable for winter it actually works pretty well in summer too. You just had thinner fabrics (summer weight) and all of the fabrics mentioned above are natural fabrics so they tend to be cool in summer and are warm in winter. Also keep in mind the people then did not have central heating like we do now so they needed the layers.
 
Colours
Linen is hard to colour so you only get light colours like pastels. More saturated colours can be found on wool and silk. Expensive dies usually gave nicer colours and black was very hard to dye back then. However, you can dye wool black without too much trouble according to some sources.
 
Pattens.
Pattens are some kind of overshoe you wore outside. They are a kind of platforms, usually made from wood which protected your shoes and your dress from becoming dirty.
 
Dresses
Woman in the middle ages wore dresses all the time, unlike we do, and they were much more adjusted to it. So they are able to get a lot more done in a dress then we do. Just make sure to make your chemise, the layer is on your body, slightly above ankle length. Also for practical purposes garments were usually lined. It makes the garment sit nicer on the body and adds durability.
Women often wore two dresses an underdress and a surcotte. The surcotte would be worn outside as far as I know, and provides some extra warmth.
 
This is all I know from the top of my head, If you have questions or need resources, please ask.
 
I my experience, dresses/large skirt usually don’t pose any problems for the working class. Higher classes had more impractical clothing so they could show that they did not have to work and had servants to do stuff for them. If your skirt is in the way you can tuck it up and fold it over your girdle (also protects the hem from mud, if you need to sneak away, nobody is supposed to see what you wear beneath it)
 
Links
http://rosaliegilbert.com/kirtles.html
https://adamselindisdress.wordpress.com/category/medieval-clothing/
http://cottesimple.com/articles/
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Re: Climate and clothes

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 am

Wow! Thanks for the amazing information and resources! Very Happy You've given me a lot to think on and I'll check out those links. I'll probably ask more questions when I have some XD
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Re: Climate and clothes

Post by Elowen-Astrid on Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:12 am

You're welcome  Smile

As for myself, for my climate I use something based on a typical western/middle European climate. I haven't worked out the details yet since I also have to deal with mountains. 

The clothes my characters wear are based on a mix between 16th and 18th western European fashion. I took some design liberties but everything is still based on what people used to wear historically. The layers, details, fabrics etc. I like to use my own rules, but they are still based on history. The world my story is set in is semi-medieval/renaissance based. 

If you want to look at examples of historical clothing here is my pinterest https://nl.pinterest.com/roheser/ (I actually have more then one account to keep stuff organized)
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Re: Climate and clothes

Post by Sieglinde on Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:50 am

My climate is a mix. There are some high mountains (about 5-6000 meters on average), one main city in basically medieval Prague and one is more to the North so it would be surrounded by taiga. I just love snow.

Nomadic elves mostly live on the taiga, so they would probably dress and look more like Inuit or Sami people and less in "flowy LotR-like stuff". Most of my elf characters are PoC to begin with.

Dwarves dress like dwarves Very Happy Although they do wear the gemstone of their clan in place of heraldry. Gender doesn't have much to do with fashion. They wear armour or protective gear with smithing/mining most of the time, and pimp out for feasts. They love looking fabulous when they can.

Human fashion is mostly medieval styled but designed for a colder climate - even in the Prague expy city, winter can get very cold. Headdresses are very popular for both genders and have a wide variety.
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Re: Climate and clothes

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:30 pm

Sieglinde wrote:Nomadic elves mostly live on the taiga, so they would probably dress and look more like Inuit or Sami people and less in "flowy LotR-like stuff". Most of my elf characters are PoC to begin with.

Dwarves dress like dwarves Very Happy Although they do wear the gemstone of their clan in place of heraldry. Gender doesn't have much to do with fashion. They wear armour or protective gear with smithing/mining most of the time, and pimp out for feasts. They love looking fabulous when they can.

Human fashion is mostly medieval styled but designed for a colder climate - even in the Prague expy city, winter can get very cold. Headdresses are very popular for both genders and have a wide variety.

This got me thinking about what sort of clothes my immortals will wear... They're affected by the weather (at least, my dragon loves the sun), so I guess I should figure out what sort of clothes would suit them.

I think the vampire would be wearing "modern" (as in what the humans are wearing in my book) so he could blend in better when he shape shifts.

The unicorn would probably be wearing some white or silver draping outfit, maybe robes of some descript. Probably flowy LotR stuff.

The dragon would probably wear over the top/gold and black warriors' gear or he might just stroll around in just gold and black ornate clothes without any armour on and think that no one in their right minds would attack a dragon.

The fae warriors would probably wear some sort of leather and steal combo armour with swords at their sides... and daggers strapped to their arms... maybe.

And the forest nymph I think would just be wrapped up in vines, leaves and flowers so as to blend into their natural environment.

Now I just need to get specific details... Thanks for writing what your dwarves, elves and humans are going to wear Very Happy

On a side note, what is your giant going to wear?
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Re: Climate and clothes

Post by Call Me Nefret on Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:19 am

I have a lot of different clothing myself based on climate and culture. There's the Sisters, essentially nuns, that always wear white. There's the main cast, which all wear late Medieval garments with cloaks for warmth. And then there's the northern tribes, who wear thick furs and skins as they lived in the slightly colder region.

I do know that the story currently starts in the early days of autumn an/or late days of summer, as there will be a harvest festival. But aside from a storm that impeded travel, I don't see weather affecting the story all that much. It's mostly something I remark on for verisimilitude. And to help mark the passage of time. I'm not even halfway through and already several weeks have passed.
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Re: Climate and clothes

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:17 pm

Okay.. So, I think I've narrowed it down to humid Spanish weather (it's got both humid subtropical and Mediterranean climates), and the clothes will be based around the 1700s. I was thinking of something along the lines of cotton (muslin and that), linen and silk. (Apparently cotton cultivation was introduced to Spain in the 9th century)... But I'm not sure if royals wore it (apart from muslin, I assume they wore that).

The dragon will be in silk fabrics or silk brocades (maybe silk velvet, only the best for him Razz ), I've decided. But he'll like all expensive fabrics. I don't think he'll deck himself out in gold like King Remraz, I think he's a bit more practical than that.

Lumina, being a princess, I imagine she'll be in silk most of the time.

I need to come up with a durable but freely available cloth for a military uniform (and what colours they'll be in)... Hmm... Umm... probably cotton? (really not sure about this one)...
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Re: Climate and clothes

Post by Elowen-Astrid on Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:24 pm

Poetic-Jessie wrote:I need to come up with a durable but freely available cloth for a military uniform (and what colours they'll be in)... Hmm... Umm... probably cotton? (really not sure about this one)...

From my understanding about historical military uniforms they were mostly made out of linen and wool. If you have chainmail, plate armour or a brigandine you will want them to wear a linen gambeson underneath it.  A padded linen jacket that will absorb blows from hits. (What kinds of weapons does your military use? This will tell a lot about the kind of uniform/armour you need)  

I don't know very much about cotton. I think it became more freely available for clothing in Europe somewhere during 18th century. You should probably research the production process.  From what I just found on wikipedia if you have a dry season in your country somewhere I think you will be able to produce cotton yourself making it more freely available and I suppose you then can use different qualities of cotton for the military and (fashionable) garments.
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