“How come Gibbs is wearing a coat in Arizona in the summer?”

I was talking to Garry. It was an NCIS rerun. We watch a lot of reruns, though this new fall season of TV is shaping up better than I expected, so maybe there will be new shows to watch.


The question about costumes comes up often and on various shows. One of the more common “duh” moments is when the male lead is wearing a coat and the female lead is skimpily dressed. No explanation needed for that one.

More weird is when each cast member is dressed randomly, apparently without regard for the plot. One is wearing a heavy winter coat, another a light denim jacket. A third is in shirtsleeves. Some are clothed in jeans or other casual stuff while others look ready for Wall Street … or a cocktail party. Women are supposedly hiking. Or running from or after serial killers while wearing 4-inch spike heels. My feet hurt looking at them.

75-feet shoes-BW- 3

Garry and I have done a tiny bit of movie “extra” work so I’m guessing it goes like this:  “Go find something that fits in wardrobe and be on set in ten.”

Everyone hustles off to wardrobe, which looks like a jumble sale or the clothing racks at the Salvation Army store. Most of the clothing in wardrobe probably came from some second-hand source or other.


Everyone dives in looking for something that fits. As soon as they find an outfit … any outfit … they head for a changing booth, then off to be on set before someone yells at them. Stars get slightly better wardrobe or wear their own clothing. Wearing ones own clothing, both on TV shows and movies is quite common. I understand why.

The real question is not why everyone on a show is poorly or inappropriately dressed. It’s whether or not the people who produce the show think we won’t notice.

My theory is they don’t care if we notice or not. They don’t want to spend money on wardrobe. They figure if you and I notice, we won’t care. In any case, we’ll keep watching. And they’re right. It’s a bottom-line  world. Wardrobe is an area where corners can easily be cut.

The thing is, we do notice. You don’t need to be a professional critic or especially astute to see the incongruities of television costuming.


It’s not just costumes, either. Sloppy editing, crappy scripts, stupid plots that include blatant factual and continuity errors. Ultimately, we do stop watching. Because it’s obvious they don’t care so why should we?


You notice it on long-running shows that had good scripts and editing, but not any more. Quality slides. Producers are baffled when loyal fans stop tuning in. Obvious to a normal person, but apparently incomprehensible to network executives. Disrespect for viewers is at the root of much of the illness besetting the TV industry.

They should be nicer to us. We’re, after all, the customers. Aren’t we?

Categories: film, Humor, Media, Shopping, Television

Tags: , , , , ,

25 replies

  1. Whatever happened to wardrobes being sponsored by some fashion company? I remember Botany 500 seemingly clothed every game show host during the 80’s. There is always money to be made in corporate sponsorship… and I’d imagine Goodwill doesn’t find that to be a wise expenditure of its money…


    • I think they still sponsor individual actors, news and sports anchors on TV, but otherwise, it’s a free for all. I was surprised. I thought the quality of clothing would be better than the Salvation Army. Frankly, I think Salvation Army is where they buy the wardrobes.


  2. Costuming is one thing that really spoils a movie for me. When you watch the reruns of the old spaghetti westerns from the sixties the women are dressed in ridiculous clothes – and their hair styles are definitely 1960’s and I won’t mention the make up – mascara or eyeliner was not worn out west much – there was no money or time anyway. I do have an eagle eye for period clothing and it can really spoil the movie for me when I see this – sorry Garry – I know you are a big fan of those westerns.


  3. Most of the stuff I watch involves super heroes or period pieces. Or Westerns. No danger of mismatched wardrobes.


    • At least, not that you can tell 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • This is really an interesting one. Watching “Meet Me In St. Louis” again for the zillionith time (and still loving it), I was reminded of how people used to dress up for dinner at home in the movies and old TV shows. As a kid, I wondered why we didn’t. Once, I even asked my Mom why she didn’t dress up like Donna Reed. I truly regretted asking that question.
        As for differences in the way characters dress in TV shows, I think the ladies wear the least for obvious reasons. Gibbs is Gibbs and you’re a fool for questioning his clothing.
        I love some of the old Randy Scott westerns where he’s wearing a jacket to protect against the wind. One of his frequent co-stars, Karen Steele, has no coat and is quivering in her thin blouse. Her ample bosom makes it clear why she isn’t wearing a jacket.
        That’s the way it is — give or take a lie or two.


        • Women are ALWAYS cold when we dress up. It’s a longstanding tradition. Men get to wear their woollies. We get to stand around shivering in open shoes, low cut silk, and corsets. No wonder we get crabby. Our feet hurt, we’re freezing, and we are laced up so tight we can’t breathe! Ah romance!


  4. So that’s what’s going on. One gets the feeling that TV has lost its way.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I guess I should look more at the TV and not just use it as a radio with pictures 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I often do the same think and figure I’m not missing much.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ladybug, “it’s just radio with pictures”, is the way an old timer sourly described TV when I was a brash newbie. Quien sabe?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I love to read, TV is entertaining at times, but I still can’t watch too much. I guess I am an old time or should I say a classic 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ladybug, whatever works for you. I buy one or two papers daily. Usually sports, then entertainment, the obits and, finally, a quick perusal of current news. Just the opposite of my working day reading habits. I have a couple of books going include the new one from Harper Lee. But I cannot read for long periods as I did a few years ago.
          I ENJOY watching television. Yes, the old movies and often repeats of series like NCIS. Why? Much of it is comfort for me. Time spent with old friends. It’s why I often prefer old stuff over new TV series which frequently lack pacing, scripts, credibility or characters I enjoy.
          Last night, we watched another old Sinatra TV variety show (on TCM) and then an encore viewing of “That’s Entertainment–Two” with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, the hosts for two and a half hours of classic MGM musicals, comedies, etc. Marilyn and I were laughing and singing along with them. Marilyn was recalling how her Mom sang many of the old songs. Same with me.
          So, I guess I’m also an old timer.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I love good movies, but I can’t sit there for hours if that makes any sense. I can’t watch one after the next, especially not if I really enjoyed a show. I want to talk about it or at least think about what I just saw -if that makes sense. I love old movies and TCM is one of my favorite stations in my workshop. It’s gets lonely when you work alone, so it’s just really a noise box.

            I speak a few languages and read the news in the original languages at least 3 or 4 times a week. I although love to read books that haven’t been translated. So I am busy with reading. I love music, love operas, jazz, classic rock and stuff like Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra.
            Between all of that there is just not much time for TV.
            You are not an old timer, you are a classic 🙂


  6. It’s just lazy isn’t it that producers of TV shows can’t be bothered to coordinate the extras wardrobes? Surely when they get the script and plan the episodes it would not be hard to decide what season it is at the very least. David was very fond of Law and Order and one thing I did notice about that when I’d watch it was that the characters did dress like it was cold in winter with woolly hats and gloves over high fashion. I liked that. I’ve often thought that the people who make the soaps think the audience is stupid with the repetitious plots. My mother used to like Days Of Our Lives and my sister and I found it hilarious how many times they ran the same plots, characters supposedly dying and coming back after plastic surgery so that their own spouse didn’t recognise them, the “evil twin” story and how many castles in Europe can one man own? Apparently even now, nearly twenty years after mum passed away they are still running the same old stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If it were just extras, it wouldn’t be so bad … but half the time, it’s the main characters too. It’s as if they simply don’t care. I think they really DON’T care and figure either we don’t care (too), or won’t notice … or, if we notice, we’ll just shrug and ignore it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • During my brief time as an extra or “background actor” (as some vets call it), I was sometimes asked to wear my own clothing. I did. I figured it was a compliment. I looked classier than Tom Cruise on one “job”. That’s another story.


  7. so interesting- I can’t say I have noticed what they are wearing, but now will. Garry looks mighty serious with that badge 🙂


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