YA Pet Peeve

It really annoys me when YA authors confuse clothing with characterization.  For example, telling us the character wore an Abercrombie sweatshirt and Lucky jeans does not tell me what they are like.  I think this is more prevalent in YA fiction because adult authors assume that teens are hyper-conscious of their looks and pay attention to brands.  They do.  But that doesn’t mean that they need it (or want it) in their literature.  The exception would be a single piece of clothing that really does characterize someone and is linked to other character traits.

For example: Every day he wore the same black hooded sweatshirt with the frayed cuffs and the broken zipper.  The dark color hid the saliva marks where he nervously chewed his sweatshirt strings, hoping the teacher wouldn’t check their homework.