Film Costume: Reno 911!: Miami (2007)

By Jenn Liu

The costume for Lieutenant Jim Dangle, designed by Mary Ann Bozek, takes a modern day police uniform and plays with the traditional codes of a policeman’s outfit to alter the connotations that usually come with that symbol of authority. The Lieutenant still holds serious symbols of authority through adornments like his badge and his accessories belt that holds weapons like his gun, however, other aspects of his uniform are changed to reflect his character. The most obvious differentiation from a traditional uniform is his pants. Opposed to the usual long trouser, he wears extremely short and tight shorts that add a blatant comedic effect on his character as well as questions his sexuality more immediately than other the characters’ would be. His shirt also has subtle differences like his rolled up sleeves, the opened collar as opposed to a fully buttoned up collar that would otherwise give his character a more stern look, and also the blue flaps on his shirt pockets that are bigger than the ones on his shoulders takes away from the shoulder area which takes away from a sense of masculinity that usually highlighting the shoulders does on an uniform. This less serious take of an officer’s uniform effectively communicates Lieutenant Jim Dangle’s character by illustrating him as a figure of authority but one that is not taken as seriously due to aspects of femininity that exude from his costume. The costume then in that sense, takes away from the character’s power. A police man is usually to be viewed as an authoritative and serious figure but his costume’s ridiculousness takes away from that instant power of authority associated with uniforms.