Just because they dress a certain way, doesn't mean they are a certain way, but ladies, that is fucking confusing for us. It'd be like me, Dave Chappelle the comedian, walking down the streets in a cop uniform...Clothes make a man in Fictionland too. Many tropes are related to how a character's personality is shorthand coded into their wardrobe. In case of uniformed environments, Custom Uniforms often take the form of this. Especially notable are major changes in personal fashion, which are often related to major mental makeovers. Related to Hollywood Dress Code. Sub tropes and sub indexes:
- Graceful Ladies Like Purple - Nothing says "lady" like a beautiful purple dress
- Lady in Red - Won't be a Shrinking Violet
- Meganekko - A character stereotype: girl with glasses, usually pleasant, smart, and clever
- Pink Means Feminine - Often paired with being young and innocent
- True Blue Femininity - Often being kind and graceful
- Vapor Wear - The default dress code for The Vamp and the Femme Fatale
- Virgin in a White Dress - pure and clean
- Woman in Black - Probably evil or at least dangerous
- Woman in White - Mysterious and ominous
- Man in White - Probably wise and knowledgeable
- Pajama-Clad Hero - He either just doesn't care, or is a hapless everyday guy yanked into an adventure
- Sleeves Are for Wimps - Beware of guys in wifebeaters
- Badass Longcoat - More often than not is a loner and stoic
- Kimono Is Traditional - Wears kimono = is traditional-minded
- Modest Royalty - Likely to be a kindly monarch
- High-Class Glass - Monocle = high class, usually with a stoic personality
- Pink Girl, Blue Boy - used to communicate the level of girlyness and boyishness in characters of both genders
- Red Oni, Blue Oni - stock pair of contrasting personalities, often colour coded with red and blue
- Significant Wardrobe Shift - New wardrobe indicates personality change
- Still Wearing the Old Colors - Wearers uphold the values of their old group
- The so-called "makeover fanfics", where, typically, a canon character befriends a fan character who gives the former a total makeover. Cue the canon character realising her "true" self somewhere during the process. The new self is, of course, everything we could have never imagined of her and likely turns her into a full-fledged Possession Sue.
- Luke Skywalker in the Original Star Wars Trilogy has his primary costume go from white to gray to black as he gets less innocent.
- The progress in reversed in the Prequel Trilogy where Anakin started out as a very caring kid in light colored Jedi robes but went to brown and then black by the time he had gone to the dark side.
- Gandalf the Gray died in Lord of the Rings and was sent into the void for a short time. However, Gandalf was "sent back", resurrected by Eru, returning as a more imposing figure, Gandalf the White. After being found by Gwaihir, he was healed of his injuries and reclothed in white robes by Galadriel in Lórien.
- An amusing example would have to be Torchwood 's Capt. Jack Harkness. Who usually is seen wearing a belt AND suspenders, a subtle Visual Pun about how he can't keep his trousers on.
- Brendan in the movie Brick has a jacket that comes off each time he loses control of his emotions, and his glasses seem to come off each time he expects to get "hit" either physically or emotionally.
- Tom's hat in Miller's Crossing is quite possibly symbolic of his wits: keeping his wits about him or losing them in a card game to a woman, etc.