epending upon which school of thought a writer subscribes to, he or she will either describe characters and scenery in painstaking detail or in scant simplicity. Few writers take the middle path. They usually end up the most successful.
For writers, one of the most fun (and also most frustrating) elements of character design is choosing the right Costume. The specifics have to be perfect. If it can’t be imagined in the writer’s head, it can’t come out onto the page, either. Fortunately, we have a couple thousand years of human history and civilization to draw from. The problem, however, is not in finding What People Wore When, but finding what people wore where. Despite the vast wealth of knowledge we’ve collected on the internet, as well as in books, much of what is readily available in English is limited to western European civilizations. If a writer is writing a piece outside of this region, it can be very difficult to find information on the historical raiment of Asia, or South America, or Africa, or the Middle East. A 350 page book on the subject of global historical costume features only 88 pages of content outside of western Europe. I understand that in the English speaking world western European historical costume is what is most easily accessed, but one would think that in the age of information, the traditional clothing of the rest of the would would have been added to the English catalogs as well.
Or else I’m mistaken and the rest of the world has gone through history utterly unclothed.