Wednesday Wonderings: What A Character

book dress illustrationI think the thing I love most in the world is storytelling. Books, movies, tv shows, anecdotes from friends, runway shows—I love anything that tells an intriguing story. And central to storytelling are the characters the story follows. Lately I’ve been thinking about how characters I like influence the way I dress. Of course, my manner of dressing has been influenced by real people (bands I’ve liked through the years, family members, etc.), but I think fictional characters have been just as important in shaping my style.

I find myself referring to clothes by character names: my Snape boots, my Narcissa coat, my Violet Harmon dress, my Veronica Sawyer sunglasses. They’re not even things the characters are explicitly shown or mentioned wearing, they’re just things I imagine the characters would wear. I didn’t think about it, I just naturally started calling my clothes these names. I’ve realized this means that, at least to a certain extent, I dress in the style of these characters. People we respect (or maybe are just intrigued by), whether real or fictional, influence the way we think, act, and, yes, even dress. We dwell on the characters we find most captivating, we give them a space to occupy in our minds and because they’re always lurking there somewhere, they sometimes influence aspects of our lives we wouldn’t expect.

Maybe this is becoming a little too Freudian—“our favorite characters are lurking in our subconscious.” But I think it’s true that we’re shaped by what we expose ourselves to, what interests us, and what we enjoy. It’s like how a book you read growing up really sticks with you, or a speaker you went to see makes a large impression on you. We shape ourselves based on what we see in the world and who we want to be. To be honest, a lot of the characters I see popping out of my wardrobe are not the most mentally stable, respectable characters, so it’s not that these are people I want to be, exactly. But I think expressing a bit of them in my clothes is another way to think about them and explore them as characters. I don’t want to be these characters, but I want to be someone who fully engages with these characters and realizes how they’ve influenced me. So I dress myself accordingly.

I’m thinking of posting in the future about some specific characters I’ve noticed traces of in my wardrobe. While this is more of a personal musing post, these will be more “Style Icons” type posts with a lot of pictures and some explanation of how they’ve influenced me. But now, classes have started, so off to do some homework! Happy Wednesday.

Note: The image is not mine, but I found it on Tumblr and am not sure who to credit.

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