“Photo Credit: Skitter Photo”

We’ve gone through candy. We’ve gone through scary movies (I mean kinda.) And now…we’ve gotta talk about costumes. Or rather, about how characters’ costumes (aka clothes) reflect their silly selves. Because that has something to do with Halloween?? (If you were hoping I would tell you what to dress up as for Halloween, then the answer will always be Count Olaf.) But I swear to you that this will be great.

1. First, characters dress like their personalities. 

Take The Doctor. (For example. Don’t kidnap him. That’s rude.) With every regeneration, he’s obviously a different human being with different likes and dislikes, but before you know any of them, you get an idea of who he is by what he chooses to wear.

Nine wore black and leather jackets. He was still mourning the death of his entire planet which made him edgier and more sarcastic than the other Doctors (just imagine him with Donna.) Ten wore pinstripe suits and high tops and occasionally 3-D glasses. He was brilliant and goofy and his hair was magnificent. Eleven wore suspenders and bowties and fezzes. He was like a Golden Retriever puppy. Twelve wore navy suits without ties and sunglasses everywhere and he had a guitar with him for no reason. He was more refined and somewhat crotchety. And not as good. Whoops, I don’t know how that got there.


But The Doctor isn’t the only person with self-reflective clothes. In Spider-Man Homecoming, Peter Parker wears shirts with science puns on them which are not only brilliant but also totally suitable for his character.

Even in Psych, you can instantly tell that Gus is more professional than Shawn because he wears button-downs and dress pants instead of polos and jeans.

2….This also applies to super suits.

Tony Stark’s dramatic flair and, well, arrogance shines through the red and gold of his suit, while Batman comes off brooding and mysterious in black. And sometimes very, very dark gray. (Standing on top of tall buildings looking over Gotham at night also helps.)

3. Characters’ clothes are based on their needs.

Rey, from Star Wars, lives on Jakku (a desert planet), and thus she dresses accordingly. She wears a head wrap with a visor as protection against the sun and sand and the rest of her clothes are light enough to keep her from overheating while still being protective. Apparently, no one had sunscreen a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Most superheroes wear masks to protect their identity, but Stan Lee has said that Peter Parker also wears a mask so bad guys can’t see when he’s afraid. 🙁

4. How they wear things matter.

Specifically concerning uniforms. For instance, in Harry Potter, Harry and Ron are more slack in their dress robes than, say, Hermione or Percy Weasley, because they aren’t taking the classes (or themselves) as seriously.

Similarly, Captain Kirk is careless in how he wears and takes care of his uniform (read: shirt ), and he rips it in every. other. episode.

Also, there was something else I wanted to say, but I decided that I’d be able to remember it without writing it down. Good job, Past Grace.

5. What they’re uncomfortable or awkward in also matters.

Like David in King Saul’s armor before fighting Goliath, some things don’t work for some people, and it’s exactly the same for characters.

Edmund was uncomfortable wearing a furry girl’s coat, no matter how cold it was in Narnia.


In the first book, Katniss didn’t know how to walk in heels, because she was used to wearing her hunting boots.

And Artemis Fowl was more concerned that his mom would buy him jeans than the fact that he was about to die.

6. Characters’ outfits can be complete liesssssss.

I’m mostly thinking of Saruman the White for this one because white is generally considered to be a good guy color, but no. (I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have to look up his name first because Saruman is pretty darn close to Sauron. Why Tolkien?)

7. But characters’ outfits are also symbolic sometimes.

Frozen did a great job displaying this with gloves. Yes, there’s the whole “conceal, don’t feel” thing with Elsa when she put on her gloves, but who else had a strong connection to gloves? Hans. If I’m remembering correctly, he had gloves on throughout the whole movie, taking them off only when he was revealing his true self to Anna.


So, these are my thoughts. Bobbled and slightly scrambled, like eggs. But eggs are good.

What’s your opinion? Do you even pay attention to character’s clothing, or are you like “Yay, they have clothes on. That’s good”? Bonus Question: Are you dressing up for Halloween? And if so: What’s your costume? And if no: Okay, then.



2 comments on “How Costumes (…Clothes) Reflect Characters’ Personalities (With Examples Because Duh)”

  1. I guess I don’t typically notice clothes unless the characters aren’t wearing any! That is definitely NOT family friendly! But I would love to see Doctor Nine try to out-snark Donna! And Doctor Ten? Swoon! Thank you for The Incredibles reference…you know how I love that movie.

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