Dressed to Kill (no, really!)

This is about historical clothing, not about clichés 🙂 It’s inspired by Marie Brennan’s post on Tor.com: How to Do Karate in a Victorian Dress. I suggest you read the entire post!

Replace ‘dress’ with ‘toga’ and this is totally something I should be doing!


I am happy to say that I do pay close attention to clothing in my writing. Both in fight scenes and in general, the articles that Felix et al wear have a significance in how they affect life. This includes everything from what gladiators wear, to Felix being immobilised in a Toga (you know when 😉), to taking advantage of people wearing hoods.

In my mind’s eye, I always visualise what is happening. Can Felix reach his dagger? Can he see over there? Can he do this without tripping up?

It stems from my own vivid and graphic imagination, and is fueled by my obsession with realistic fight (and other) scenes, and my obsession with historical accuracy, from high gods to food and clothing.

Not everything makes it to the page. I balance detail with flow. I try to give descriptions and hints, when it affects what is happening. Because there is always more than is explicitly details, I think it adds to the depth of the world and the stories.

If you’re writing (or reading), it’s just another thing to consider and pay attention to. But it is something that greatly adds to the richness of the stories and the immersion of the readers.


  1. The details are super important! I participate in medieval recreation and, while I don’t do the combat, I pay attention to the classes where they’re teaching medieval fighting manuals and have done slow work, put on armor, and read historical accounts. It seems to have paid off because I get a lot of complements on my gladiatorial fight scenes in my first book. It’s good to hear about other authors who put effort into getting the little details, the things that would be super noticeable if you didn’t do it, accurate.

    Liked by 1 person

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