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Clothing Reflects Personality

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"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..."
Dave Chappelle

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:





Assorted examples:

  • 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 is mirrored in the Prequel Trilogy where Anakin starts out as an innocent kid in light colored Jedi robes but goes to brown and then black as he loses his innocence (the difference is that Anakin goes all the way to the dark side, while Luke doesn't.)
  • Gandalf the Gray died in The 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.
  • In one level of Alan Wake, Sheriff Breaker has a hard time believing Alan's killing her deputies because "he wears a tweed jacket!" She's half right; Alan's tougher than his tweed jacket implies, but her deputies were killed by the Eldritch Abomination stalking the forest. Alan's become more badass by the time of Alan Wake's American Nightmare, and so swaps out the jacket for a flannel shirt, better suited for getting down and dirty.