What about the clothes?

June 5, 2008 at 6:00 am (General, Lori Devoti) ()

I’m kind of jumping in here on a non-me day, but I have a question for everyone. What about the clothes? How does everyone handle this and how as a reader do you feel about it?

Some people do the whole, shred the clothes to pieces when they shift thing. I’ve always figured my shifters didn’t grow in size, so no clothes need be harmed. But after the shift, when they shift back…then what? Naked, right? Can be kind of tricky to coordinate as a writer.

I read a novella where the protagonist shifted magically, but not into an animal…into other people complete with clothes. This kind of icked me out to be honest. So when you touched her skirt, you were really touching her. If you know what I mean…basically it was like wearing one of those body paint shirts–it looked like clothing, but she was really naked all the time…

Right now, I’m working on something where a man shifts mid jump. I’ve done this before, but there’s a bit of an issue with what happens to the clothes…does he jump free of them? Possible for the pants at least–and he could go commando so no issues with being a wolf wearing tidy whities… or what if when he shifted, his clothes just disappeared? We are talking magic here. Then would they reappear when he shifted back? Doesn’t seem like they would. Or maybe as he is shifting and kind of not formed–think of it like while all the molecules are shifting around–his clothes just drop to the ground, but then they are there when he comes back and needs them.

What do you all think? What works for you?



  1. avvette said,

    well i myself like the kenyon does with her characters. they wish them on and off epecially during their sex scenes. i wish i could do that.

  2. Lori Devoti said,

    Ah, that would be handy (as a writer 😀 )

  3. Ann M. said,

    LOL. Hmmm.. clothing and shapeshifting. I agree thinking that you can shift and get different clothing is a tad ick. I’m trying to remember which author mentioned shifting and ruining clothing as they changed. That seems likely to me.

  4. Tracy said,

    The books I’ve read where the shifters take off their clothes first and then show up nekkid seem more real to me. If they have to shift on the fly then the clothes are goners. I don’t know that just seems more realistic to me for some reason. 🙂

  5. Savanna Kougar said,

    That is a tricky question, when you get down to the molecular level of things. If the shifter is jumping into anothing between dimension, shifts, then jumps into the life dimension, the clothing could remain in that state, unil he/she jumps back. If it’s all molecular, then while in one shift state clothing exists to be re-animated when shifting back — if that makes any sense. Heck, right now, mine are just naked, since it’s genetic shifting ability.

  6. Rachel said,

    I am going to say magically. It gets old sometimes reading about all the clothing woes. But that is just me. I am interested in the action piece of the shift. But either way it is okay with me. shredded or magically dissipating them. 😉

  7. Lori Devoti said,

    Hmm. Now that I think about it, I agree Rachel. The whole, he folded his clothes, worrying about it deal does get old. Probably it’s one of those things we writers get hung up on, that can just be glossed over at least some. Like all the other boring little details of regular life that we leave out.

  8. Teresa D'Amario said,

    I read an old anthology years ago, where the woman had a magick spell that let her become other people. When she started, she had no clothes… and had to learn to THINK the clothes onto herself. So yes, her clothes were a part of her at that moment. I think it’s kinda strange too…. But then again, I’ve created a character that’s not so far different. In his case, it’s not clear yet how much is illusion and how much is shift.

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