Well now since I'm older it is a lot easier to draw consistently without much of the pressure. ^^ And I actually never thought of looking in military catalogs, that is a rather amazing idea! Thank you! ^^
TBH it all comes down to forgetting about being 'unique' and 'original' and forgetting what YOU want to wear and thinking about the character as a human being.
Who are they? If they walked into a fashion store/tailors/armourers (whatever setting you have) what would they pick to wear. Or do they make their own clothes in which case they look a little DIY? or are they a Thrift store shopper who wears whatever they find? Do they care about how fashionable they look? (whatever fashion they aspire to, Vogue, Goth, Punk etc) Do they want to look sexy or sexually appealing? Do they just not give a damn? What's their job/role in your story? Ie It's rare to find a lady who would spend hours doing her hair and make up just go out and mess it all up again because they're a fighter or a racer or something. (but not impossible of course) They might even have a uniform style outfit as they might be militaristic in nature or even a store worker or coffee shop person.
Also watch DVD Extras about costume, the designers tell you why they chose certain things and you can learn from them. Such as Aragorn in LOTR might look scruffy but they put fancy embroidery on his shirt before aging it, to make it look like it was once a rich garment but now it's worn in, which describes who he is down to a T.
In the end a good story and solid characters with costumes that make sense will be more 'memorable' than a set of costumes that make no sense at all. Even Princesses don't wear ballgowns all the time. The Webcomic Questionable Content has everyone dressed in Jeans and T shirts most of the time, but yet it's a great memorable work for other reasons.
Thank you. I ended up going simple for a girl with a simple personality, and weird clothes for a weird guy. If that makes sense. With the hair, is it better to keep a consistent hairstyle or change it up, do you think?
tbh it comes down to what you fancy and again, down to the character. In my comic some characters change from having tied up to down hair and some change outfits a lot and some stay the same, I hope that they're idetifiable enough as people to not confuse people with things change, ie same body type and face shape. This is more difficult if you use a similar face shape and eye/nose/mouth combo on all characters.
Think about your friends and family. If they were all bald and wearing the same clothes you'd still be able to recognise your mother from your friend due to unique facial features and body types. Drawn characters should be the same