30+ Character Clothing Styles

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I haven’t found many straight forward lists available online that cover different styles of dress. I studied this some in college but really wanted to lay it all out in a way that I could compare them in a condensed form. Occasionally, I’ll get an idea for a plot, but won’t know which style, setting, or era is best until I sit down and scan through this list for ideas.

Only general descriptions are provided to help sort the styles because so many overlap. If you find something missing, please leave a comment!

  1. Western (cowboy) – boots, jeans, plaid, cowboy hat, spurs, chaps
  2. Rocker (traditional motorcycle) – black leather, band shirts, spike studs, skulls
  3. Punk – spiked colorful hair, black outfits
    • Anarco-punk – militaristic style
    • Steampunk – brass gears, buckles, latches, mechanical hardware, goggles
    • Cyberpunk – futuristic tech, pleather, goggles, colorful cable/dread hair
      • Biopunk includes more of the tech+body integration
    • Celtic punk – kilts and leather jackets
    • Glamorous punk – sparkles and spikes
    • Ska-punk – suspenders, black and white stripes/checkers, skinny jeans
    • Rockabilly – retro hair curls/greaser, white T-shirt, jeans, short A-line dresses, polka dots
  4. Gothic – black fishnet/lace, spikes, skulls, pale skin
    • Vampire – brocade, corsets, cape, black leather, blood, sheer fabrics
    • Voodoo/witch – long dresses, long hair, dark eyes, long necklaces, lots of rings
  5. Post-apocalyptic – thick, often torn canvas clothing, hoods, gas masks, knee boots, buckles
  6. Classy – simple suits, jackets, solid colors – neutral tone with a single color
    • Chic – classy mixed with a lace or floral pattern
    • Sophisticated – typically one color, a single form fit dress or suit, often with a single expensive accessory, a Coach/Prada purse
  7. Bohemian (boho) – tassels, lace, natural colors, sheer fabrics
    • Gypsy – richer color, corsets, more adornments, hip scarf
  8. Casual – jeans, hoodies, T-shirts, sneakers
    • Loungewear – sweats, hoodies, T-shirts, slippers, nighties
  9. Hippie – long flowing fabrics, flowers, bell-bottoms, bright colors
    • Romantic – pastel colors, flowers, skirts
  10. Tomboy (for girls) – dresses like a man
  11. Effeminate (for guys) – dresses like a woman
  12. National (ethnic) – dress based on cultural history and tradition
  13. Preppy – sweaters and slacks or skirts
  14. Sexy – torn/minimal clothing, showing a lot of skin
  15. Metrosexual (men) – skinny jeans, form-fitting tops, vests, manicured, long bangs
  16. Lumbersexual (men) – boots, skinny jeans, red and black plaid flannel, beard, long bangs, pipe/cigar
  17. Formal – suits for males and females
    • Glamorous – silk, fur, diamonds, floor-length form fit dress, expensive suits
  18. Active – stretch fabrics, tennis shoes, armband/waistband for mp3 player and keys
  19. Retro – 1980’s neon triangles/circles parachute clothing, and 70’s muted colors in t-shirts, high-waist jeans, and swimsuits, big hair/puffy-brushed out curls
  20. Vintage
    • Early 1900s – full-length corset dresses, casual suits, floral patterns, lace trim
  21. Medieval/renaissance – tunics, under-bust trim, silk, gold thread, accentuated sleeve openings for women, puffy sleeves and pants for men
  22. Skater – large flat-soled shoes, beanies, hoodies, torn baggy pants or skinny jeans
  23. Nautical – navy and white colors, often stripes and solids
  24. Vibrant/Flamboyant – boldly colorful, patterned, and shaped
  25. Exotic – rich colors, trimmed with gold/silver, gems (Stylized with ethnic elements)
  26. Seasonal – self-explanatory, depends on where you are.
  27. Artistic (Arty) – this can go two ways:
    1. The creator – casual with effects of work present, paint, wood dust, ink
    2. The professional – clean jeans/slacks, suit jacket/sweater, camera bag/satchel, and a beret or other well-known symbol of art appreciation
  28. Minimalist – simple clean lines with few to no adornments, no pockets, nothing in excess.
  29. Eclectic – a mix of tastes, plaid and paint splatter, breaks fashion rules, what most of us normies are.
  30. Street/Urban – a trendy casual, follows pop culture fads in everyday style
  31. Functional – work-wear, jumpsuits, overalls, gloves, grounding straps, harnesses
  32. Costume/Character inspired (Cosplay) – over 20 sub-categories.(Wikimedia Reference) here’s a few:
    1. Fantasy armor
    2. Superheroes
    3. Cyborgs
    4. Machines
    5. Legend and creatures
    6. Spies
    7. Martial artists
    8. Anime
    9. Maids
  33. Ancient
    • Egyptian – typically long white tunic adorned with gold and turquois, headdresses
    • Mayan/Aztec/Inca – loin cloth & tunics for men, skirts and scarves for women, body piercings
    • Viking – long canvas dresses, furs, cloaks
    • Nomad – thick pants and tops, full overdress, trimmed with geometric patterns
    • Barbarian – stud-trimmed leather, furs, skulls/teeth/round-stamped metal adornments
    • Greek – Chiton, men no sleeves, women had sleeves
    • Roman – Tunica and toga combination
    • Minoan/Cretan – layered skirt, jacket, brooches and daggers for women. loincloth and pants that folded into a triangle shape at the waist for men, no shirt
    • Israelite – animal skin apron with a long shawl-like tunic
    • India – a single piece of fabric wrapped around the entire body, bright colors, trimmed with gold thread
    • Chinese – darker colors, loose and wide sleeves, Hanfu tunic, sash
    • African – bark cloth, animal skins, paint, scars, beadwork

Published by Amy Harwell, CEO and Creative Director

Freelance Editor, Author, Publisher, Personal Trainer, Veteran, Universal Protector

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