May 30, 2014 Prompt #30
Do you have a favorite item of clothing that you wear for a particular task? A gardening shirt, a well-loved apron, a pair of road trip blue jeans? This item of clothing will be your touchstone for the following prompts. If you don’t have a particular garment that fits this description, choose something that is meaningful to you in another way.
Ann Brashares wrote an entire series of books that revolved around a pair of blue jeans — The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Of course, the books are not really about the pants; they are about friendship, loyalty, and growing up. What larger themes will emerge from your writing?
- For five minutes, write a physical description of your clothing choice. Describe its style, fabric, and color. Does it have tears or stains? Where and when did you acquire it?
- Put on the item of clothing. Do you feel connected to the task for which you generally wear it? (Time to bake raisin oatmeal cookies! Time to weed around the stoop or feed the horses!) Write about your connection to the piece of clothing, how it came to be your painting, hiking, or “clean the gutter” garment. Write for 15 minutes.
- Write about someone else’s “go-to” clothes. For instance, my father had a pair of frayed blue shorts he gardened in for twenty years, until my mother decided they so worn-thin they were “obscene.” She tossed them.
Variations for Writing Groups
- Each member brings in a piece of clothing they associate with a particular use. For a few minutes each, talk about your clothing choice with the group.
- Next, for 15 minutes, write about how you feel when you wear it.
- Fictional turn: write about someone who panics when they cannot find a specific piece of clothing. Can they not go out on a date because they can’t find their green high-tops? Do they give up on working in their studio because their perfectly worn, perfectly paint-splattered Oxford shirt is missing?
What did you think of this writing prompt? Share your thoughts.