Hey, guy driving the black-with-blue-detail-on-the-doors-all-suped-up 2001 Toyota Celica? The driving gloves really necessary? At rush hour on the 15 South? Yeah, I know you’re wearing your Live Strong wristband. But your car is going about 10 mph at it’s fastest in this kind of traffic. I mean, I didn’t even see your face. I just saw your hands on the steering wheel. Wearing those black driving gloves. See, I easily noticed them because we were going about 5 mph for most of our journey together, me about a half a car length behind you after I got off the 52 East. You must have very soft, sensitive hands. I’m not even sure you moved the steering wheel. You couldn’t change lanes. It was bumper to bumper. I guess you just like wearing the gloves. The look. The feel. The….what? I don’t get it. But then I’m not you. I don’t wear driving gloves. I think they’re pretentious. You think they’re cool. At least that’s the impression you gave. ‘Cause you were wearing them. In rush hour traffic. That was at times at a standstill. So….
It’s really not fair. My assumption that you are some kind of person that I wouldn’t like. Someone who’s basically a dork. A pretentious dork. Actually, you are just pretentious. It’s an insult to dorks to even associate you with them.
But it’s weird the way one article of clothing can completely brand or label a person as a type. A kind of character.
Shorts that are too short. Pants worn high-waisted. Or cut too high above the ankle. Or too tight. Or a shirt with an unidentifiable stain just below the collar.
Or a perfectly polished pair of dress shoes. A crisp, freshly pressed dress shirt. A carefully tailored suit jacket.
One seemingly minor detail can forever impact the way that others perceive you. And so few actors seem to take advantage of this because so many of us, myself included, are more occupied with appearing attractive or cool or appealing. We tend not to think about what might permit the audience the greatest opportunity to perceive your character in a way that suits the story best. Or perhaps a way to deceive the audience in a way that suits the story best.
It has been said that clothes make the man. I don’t know about the truth of that. But I do know that the clothes we choose to wear create a perception in the eyes of others.