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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 indexes:
- Black Bra and Panties - "You don't buy black lingerie unless you want someone to see it."
- Graceful Ladies Like Purple - nothing says "lady" like a beautiful purple dress
- Lady in Red - won't be a Shrinking Violet oh no Sir
- Meganekko - a character stereotype: girl with glasses, usually pleasant, smart, and clever
- Pink Means Feminine - or more bluntly: shallow and prissy
- Vapor Wear - the default dress code for The Vamp and the Femme Fatale
- 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
- 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 stock 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
- 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.
- Similar is Gandalf's progress from Gandalf the Grey into Gandalf the White in Lord of the Rings.
- 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.