Writing Prompt Story Starter: Clothes

Shutterstock / REDPIXEL.PL © story starter

I chose the topic of clothes to be this week’s story starter. I think it could spark a million ideas and could lead you down many different writing roads.

The clothes we wear can be functional, a symbol of our status in the world and an expression of our personalities and priorities.

Your character’s closet

A great way to get to know your character is to take a peek inside their wardrobe, drawers or closet.

In fact, before you even look inside, where does your character keep their clothes? Do they have a walk-in wardrobe? Just one chest of drawers passed down through the years? An American-style closet? Suitcases under the bed?

How many clothes do they own? Do they keep everything they’ve ever worn? Are they a follower of fast fashion? Do they have a capsule wardrobe – swapping their clothes around with the changing of the seasons? Which clothes do they keep despite never having worn them?

If they have a job, then how much space is taken up by their work clothes?

How many accessories do they own? Is it costume jewellery or precious metal in their jewellery box? Do they have a jewellery box, or maybe keep it somewhere else? How many pairs of shoes do they own?

Are they someone who plans their outfit the night before, or somebody who scrabbles around for anything clean at the last minute?

Do they put thought into their style, or pick clothes for convenience?

Are their clothes plain and simple or full of colour and prints?

Maybe your character only buys second hand clothes. They might work at a charity or second hand shop. Or they could have a side business selling their old clothes on an app.

Jobs and careers

Your story could be set in the clothing industry. Are they a designer, a tailor?

Perhaps they write about clothes, or they photograph models. Are they a model?

Are they a hatter or milliner? A shoemaker?

They might even make army kit, or sew an astronaut’s suit together.

Do they work in a clothing store? A wedding dress shop? Do they curate the clothing pieces for their shop? Do they have an online shop? Are they a personal shopper?

What about a costume designer for stage or for film?

Story starter

Here are just a few scenarios that your story could involve.

As a twist, your young character doesn’t understand their parent’s (or grandparent’s) fashion style. Surely, it’s just a phase!

It’s time for a big spring clean and clear out, but everything seems to have a memory attached.

Your character arrives on holiday only to find that their suitcase has been lost.

The main character is looking for a particular item, but can’t find it anywhere. They vaguely remember lending it to someone, but who was it?

A teen has saved up their pocket money and is heading to the shops to buy their own clothes for the first time.

Learning how to sew and adjust clothing empowers your main character after buying so many clothes through the years that haven’t fit their body shape.

Find more inspiration with our previous story starters.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.