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Wardrobe Theory: Claire Redfield from Resident Evil

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Wardrobe Theory: Claire Redfield from <em>Resident Evil</em>

I think my older brother is the most important person in the world to me. In many ways, he’s who I want to be: self assured and studious, funny without ever seeming like he’s trying, brilliant. It seems impossible that a person could be all that at once, but I swear my brother is. Once, when I ran into his friends at a coffee shop, I made a joke about being his inadequate little sister. They looked at me seriously and assured me, no no, we think you’re wonderful, Gita. It’s just that your brother is a genius.

I haven’t played much Resident Evil, but I’m pretty sure Claire Redfield feels the same way about her brother as I do about mine. Would I risk life and limb for my brother? Would I venture out into an infected city for a chance to find him? Is it even a question? Is it even a choice? Of course I would, of course, of course. And, like Claire, I would look amazing doing it.

Claire’s costume has varied over the years; she started out in what appears to be a red denim body suit over bike shorts, which is a bold look, to say the least—but I really love what she’s wearing in Resident Evil: Revelations 2. There’s something undeniably Claire about it, even if she’s a little more serious now. She’s wearing full pants, without bike shorts, and she has eschewed all decorative belts. She’s all grown up—she’s even wearing a sensible white button down. Sure, it’s covered in blood, sweat, and assorted grime, but being kidnapped has never looked better.

claire-jacket.jpg

There’s a popular approach to fashion called French Wardrobe Theory. The idea is that you fill your closet with enough basics for seven days, and then set a budget for Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter for the trend pieces to buy and never buy anything else. I’m definitely too impulsive to follow French Wardrobe Theory, but by limiting your spending habits that intensely, you end up buying things that last longer, both in the quality of construction and in the way they outlive certain trends. The only way for me to be able to stick to that would probably be a cataclysmic event that completely eliminates fast fashion and novelty earrings. Living in the Resident Evil universe would save me a lot of money.

I imagine that Claire buys things to last, especially with her newfound maturity and the whole zombie apocalypse thing. Gone are the days of the denim cut offs from Forever 21—I feel like she’s probably in raw denim. Raw denim—so named because, well, it’s essentially unchanged from it’s raw form—is going to be a little pricier than what I’d normally spend on jeans, but it’s absolutely a better value. When you can afford to, it really pays off in the long run to spend a little more on high quality clothing. If I were living in a post-apocalyptic hellscape where just going out and replacing my pair of BDGs when they get that hole in the crotch after a year wasn’t an option anymore, I’d certainly want to be in raw denim. You can even spend over a year not washing it, which appeals to the laziest parts of my soul. Men have a lot of options for raw denim, because of course they do, while women’s choices are a little trickier. Imogen Willie have a few pairs of raw denim in cuts specifically designed for women, my favorite being the James Rigid. You could also check out the 3sixteen 99BSP Women’s Jean, which feel a bit simpler.

What makes Claire’s various costumes so recognizable though is that lovely, deep burgundy red. That color has been really trending for a while, so if you’re unable to find a burgundy leather jacket—which, if you’re going for accuracy, may cost more than you’d like—you can definitely find plenty of burgundyaccessories to accent your look.

If you’re really going to Post-Apocalyptic French Wardrobe your closet, though, you need to concentrate on high quality basics. The best thing to do is to go to a department store and stock up on well made (read: expensive, most likely) garments that fit perfectly, but in lieu of that, try Uniqlo. Being a little busty, I haven’t tried their button downs for myself, but I can attest to the overall quality of their clothes—especially for the price.

Claire Redfield needs to dress practically, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have preferences. She’s simply living in a world where the Erma Bombeck principle of having “twenty-two pieces that combine to make one hundred and fifty outfits” is totally unavoidable. Claire Redfield shows us that femininity, emotionality and practicality aren’t exclusive from each other. Being motivated primarily by strong feelings or wanting to enjoy a trend even in dire situations doesn’t make you weak or incapable. It just makes you human.

Gita Jackson has dedicated her entire adult life to wading through the marginalia of popular culture and finding gold. As much as she’d like to be called a “fashion expert,” she is more likely a niche fashion enthusiast. She would probably love to talk to you on Twitter @xoxogossipgita.

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