Creative Writing


Clothes Make the Man

According to an old proverb, "Clothes make the man." The meaning of this saying is that you can tell a lot about a person by how they dress.

If it's true that "clothes make the man", what can you say about a person who is wearing:

  • a diamond ring
  • a fur coat
  • a baseball cap
  • a tailored suit
  • greasy overalls
  • a leather jacket
  • polished white shoes
  • 3-inch heels
  • a low-cut blouse
  • a garish tie
  • a flowing cape
  • a track suit with a Nike logo

In the short story "A Scandal in Bohemia", the famous detective Sherlock Holmes meets the following gentleman:

22 Best A Scandal in Bohemia - Sherlock Holmes images | A scandal ...A very large man entered the parlor. He was over six feet tall and very muscular. He wore a fancy coat and a deep blue cape. The cape was fastened at his neck with a large gemstone. His boots were high and topped off with fur. He held a large hat in one hand. With his other, he adjusted an eye mask that covered the upper part of his face.

Sherlock Holmes immediately infers that this man is a nobleman who is afraid of being recognized.

Now read the following descriptions. What can you infer about the following people?

From "The Perfects" by Jennifer Allison:

You've got to hand it to Mrs. Perfect: On first impression, she really lives up to her name. She wore a neatly tailored pantsuit, designer shoes with tiny heels, and black leather gloves. Not a hair was out of place. She smiled with approval, as she swiftly eyed me from head-to-toe.

From "Welcome to the Club" by R.L. Stine:

He also recognized the dude everyone called Bony. He was good-looking in a tough kind of way—long, wavy hair; a tight smile; steely gray eyes, cold eyes; and a tiny stud in one ear. He dressed tough, too, in black T-shirts with heavy-metal-band logos and straight-legged black denims, a frayed leather jacket with the word KILLERS in red across the back.

In this lesson, you're going to describe the clothes of a person whom you have just met.

Your description should give me a good sense of your character's status, occupation, or personality. In other words, I should be able to say, "Oh, I get it; this character is _________. (wealthy, sick, greedy, kind, innocent, etc.)

Note: Only describe what you can observe with your eyes or ears.

Can't think of anyone to describe? Try describing one of the following characters:

  • a flamboyant magician
  • a tired waitress
  • a sailor on shore leave
  • a mean teacher
  • a haughty chef
  • a hard-working construction worker
  • an innocent schoolgirl
  • a cynical street rat
  • a greedy businessperson

Lesson Steps

  1. Open your writing portfolio.
    • Level 14
      • Clothes Make the Man
  2. Describe the clothes of a person whom you have just met.
    • Minimum word count: 150 words
  3. When you are finished, return to this page and take the quiz.

Instructions for the Quiz

Answer the questions