Dan in casual clothes has me REELING. This has happened a couple of times on the show, but what do you think it means for season 7?
Dear anon, have you ever read the Boyfriend Candle post? Because, if you haven’t, I suggest clicking that link immediately – you will be taken on a journey.
Slightly more seriously, the big, strong man who smells nice, can lift heavy things with ease and is gentle with his girlfriend is evidently an extremely seductive fantasy for a lot of people – and in the post I linked to above, it is explicitly linked to wearing casual clothes, and especially plaid. (I, of course, am entirely above such notions).
In other words, I’d be willing to bet the costume designer knew exactly what she was doing when she dressed Reid Scott like that. The plaid shirt (I’m using plaid out of deference to American readers, though it’s obviously a tartan – possibly Black Watch Tartan judging by the colours) is also a lot more… I’m not sure what the word I’m looking for here is…textured? In comparison to his usual suits, all crisp lines, blocky shapes and sharp angles, Dan looks far more like someone you could reach out and touch – it softens him up a bit.
As for what it means, my best guess is that it marks some kind of divergence from Amy – she wears formal office wear even for a walk by a lake, so Dan wears more casual clothes than we usually see him in. (Though he’s still Dan – note the enormous watch). There’s also an odd thing where… I swear Reid Scott looks bigger than he does in suits – maybe because suits are all one colour, and jeans and a shirt invariably aren’t? – which is another way of underlining the difference with tiny little Amy. (I also note that the permastubble is making another appearance).
All told, I don’t think they’re communicating well here, if the costuming is anything to go by. (That or Amy has a lumberjack fantasy and Dan knows about it, and is trying to manipulate her).
amy is wearing so many prints in s7 so far, and you pointed out that the brighter colors seem to be a good thing… but prints tend to hint at certain emotional turmoil… does that seem conflicting, or exactly where you thought she’d be after the pregnant reveal in the finale?
Do bear in mind at this point, my costume readings are far from being infallible, especially when I don’t have the context of what’s going on in the scene to guide me. If I seem oddly tentative in what I’m saying, that will be why.
Regarding the colours, based on the previously established Veep Style patterns, there does seem to be a little bit of a story going on. To whit:
Amy starts off wearing lots of blues, ranging from classic navy blue through to that fabulously bright print dress, as though her mood is gradually shifting. There’s also a shot of her in the classic Tee Shirt of Sexual Frustration, but in pink. And remember, pink and red, for Amy, generally signals vulnerability of some kind (usually but, and this is important, not only, romantic in nature).
Because of all the blues, she matches or complements Dan extremely well when she’s in a scene with him – and remember, based on past experience, blue is more Dan’s colour than Amy’s. She’s also still dressing in the very ‘covered-up’ style she favoured with Buddy (we’re not seeing any of the more body-conscious sheath dresses in bright colours she wore in seasons 3 and 4, when her confidence seems to have been higher), and sporting prints that are, if anything more emphatic than when she was with him.
So all told, I think your guess that there’s some emotional turmoil going on
and the prints are a sign is probably on the money.
But come episode two, a change has occurred.
Firstly, Amy and Dan don’t match – at all. Their colours are clashing if anything. I find the dress Amy’s wearing in the ‘stone-skimming’ scene particularly interesting – it’s got both red and pink in it, as well as blue, and covers her up almost completely, as though the entire dress is summing up all the romantic yearning for Dan that Amy has been trying to hide for such a long time… in a shot where he isn’t looking at her (and if he’s trying to skim stones the whole time, presumably he doesn’t…turn around or something).
Also, look how formally she’s dressed compared to everyone else. Even Selina is wearing jeans, but there Amy is, in her formal, covered-up shirt and wrap dresses. Dan and Kent and Ben are wearing comfortable relaxed shirts and jeans (complementing each other rather well, it should be said – and that dark blue is a good colour on Kevin Dunn), in natural blues and greens that tie them in with the landscape, but Amy looks like she could be attending a political meeting in DC.
The only person wearing a colour that matches Amy is Selina, who is adorned in a similar shade of pink. So, things may not be going well with Dan (if the costume analysis tells us anything, which… take all of this with a large pinch of salt), but perhaps she and Selina are developing a less fractious relationship. Which would definitely be a good thing.
As for whether this matches what I expected…kind of?
I suspect for Amy there’s a strange kind of doubleness going on. She is happier, most likely, because she’s finally been able to exert some control over her life – she’s the one who’s chosen to have a baby, she’s the one changing her future – whereas before she was at the mercy of Dan’s or Selina’s or Buddy’s whims. Lack of control over one’s life can be enormously stressful, so if Amy feels like she’s regained that a little, I don’t think it’s surprisingly that she’s started to dress in a more ‘Look at Me’ fashion, instead of trying to hide all the time.
But at the same time, deciding to have the baby means she has to deal with a lot of changes, really quite quickly, and that she has to deal with Dan and the fact that terrible though he may be, he still gives her so many FEELINGS. Not only that, but depending on how he handles the situation, that hard-won sense of control may be under threat – I have faith that Dan could make himself extremely hard to ignore, perhaps even insufferably so, if he wanted to.
She may want to have him in her life, but the fact that as the father of her baby he can assert the right to at least some interest in her decisions, means that his mere presence undermines her ability to control the situation. Dan wasn’t wrong when he called her a control-freak.
I don’t claim to know how things are likely to play out between them, but if my costume reading is at all right, I think it’s safe to say that Amy is desperately trying to cover up some pretty intense emotions – hence the seemingly mixed messages of what I call her ‘bad-relationship’ style and all the vibrant colours.
TLDR: Amy both longs for Dan and fears what will happen – what he might do – if she lets him get too close – which has been their status quo for…how long now?
It seems like they’re coming back fairly shortly after the end of season 6, so Amy can’t be much more than 3/3.5 months along, I don’t think – which is around the time when most women start showing. And Amy is so small that I would expect her to start showing fairly early on in the process – I have a close friend who I can generally tell is pregnant at two months, because she’s so tiny.
So it would make sense if they were starting to pad Anna Chlumsky just a little bit.
But at the same time… maybe Anna Chlumsky just had a really big plate of pasta or something right before the photos were taken (and good for her if so, I wholeheartedly support the eating of pasta because it is delicious, and we should all enjoy it when we can). More noteworthy to me is that Amy is wearing a lot of very loose fitting shirt dresses in all the behind the scenes pics, which makes me wonder if she’s trying to hide an incipient bump. She may want to delay Selina – or other people, such as her family – finding out for as long as possible. (Amusingly, if you look at Amy’s costumes for the end of season 2 – when I believe Anna Chlumsky was in the early stages of her first pregnancy – there are a LOT of shirt dresses, usually with full skirts, so obviously it’s a tactic that works).
I’m a little aware that this is the kind of speculation that could be hurtful if the actors saw it – and since we know they browse fanfiction (which still horrifies me on a deep level) it doesn’t seem beyond the bounds of possibility.
To add to @wecouldstillbegreat’s great point about Amy possibly using patterns to hide her bump, I’d just point out that that is probably the brightest, most saturated colour we’ve seen Amy wear in a long time – quite possibly since season 4. That said, we’re still look at a high neckline and long sleeves, so there’s a definite defensive element at work.
And she is wearing a LOT of blue in these scenes – possibly to coordinate better with Dan, possibly to tie her to him because it’s usually his colour, and possibly, of course, because blue is traditionally associated with expectant mothers (though it’s usually lighter than this). They really are perfectly coordinated here (and I’m liking the new trend for Dan to skip a tie…though not the America pin, heavens no, he’d never skip that, people might think he wasn’t patriotic).
Continuing the pattern – the navy in Amy’s dress matches Dan’s suit, but look how covered up she is. There’s no chance of anyone accidentally brushing against her skin. The geometric print and the size of the dress (looking at where the shoulder seam is sitting, I think it may be too big) obscure the shape of her body – possibly dressing to conceal a very early stage baby bump?
Reid Scott’s eyebrows in this pic really remind me of Spock for some reason.
I said blue was Dan’s colour, and oh how right I was. Also, seems like the flat shoes were part of the costume, because look at how LITTLE Amy is beside him. It’s particularly noticeable because Dan is centred in the shot – he’s kind of pushing her off to the side a bit.
I remember a post on twitter calling sudden hair changes a “white lady distress signal,” (which was one of those observations that made me laugh like a drain, because it is painfully accurate, but I’d never heard it expressed in those terms) so between that and the “bad relationship” style, I think it’s safe to say Amy is having a lot of FEELINGS. Note that she has her handbag placed between herself and Dan – a small block is better than none.
Dan’s 6.10 permastubble seems firmly in place – I wondered if they were going to keep that (and even eventually give him a beard) as a kind of sign that, at long last, Dan is being forced to mature.
I seem to remember that this scene was potentially on the chopping block (@casliyn?) – I assume they know the fandom will riot if that is the case.
I’m not sure this bodes well. Dark colour, high-neckline, and a shirt dress. Throw a flash of red in there and she could have worn it when she was engaged to Buddy (check out the Veep Style tag for proof).
Flat shoes are usually a sign that she’s more at ease – but they may not be part of the costume, just more comfortable to wear behind the scenes. She also has a more open neckline and I think a slightly shorter skirt than at she did at the end of season 5/beginning of season 6 – a sign perhaps that she’s slightly more comfortable and doesn’t feel the need to aggressively cover up (that is, protect herself) in the same way.
I note that even the polka dots of the dress are blue, which is usually DAN’s colour.
It’s a very neat illustration of how different Selina’s colour palette is from Amy’s – it’s heavily dominated by red and black, with yellows, oranges, grey and royal blue making up the rest of it.
Note that even in season 6, when Selina is visibly depressed, her clothing continues to be vibrant and colourful. Some things never change, and Selina wanting to be the centre of attention is one of them.
Whereas the use of colour in Amy’s wardrobe seems to be directly linked to her level of confidence – when she’s riding high and sure of herself we see her in a range of blues and greens and pinks and purples, with the occasional black (which is to be expected – EVERYONE wears black sometimes) – but when she isn’t, when she is withdrawing into herself (for whatever reason), we start to see a lot more black, navy blue, grays and browns.
One way in which they are similar is that they don’t tend to wear patterns very often – there’s only printed dress on that rail, and it’s the dress Selina wore for her interview with Dan, her first attempt to put herself out there after losing the election, and one it’s safe to say she had mixed feelings about. Compare it to Amy wearing patterned blouses and dresses at moments of emotional turmoil (albeit, turmoil that is often repressed, at some cost to Amy’s emotional well-being).