Breaking Bad is a special crime drama because it focuses on the small aspects of the filmmaking experience. Sure, a compelling plot and a laundry list of exciting cliffhangers are enough to garner millions of fans. The other elements of the show are what helped it to become legendary, though. The attentive camera angles and the use of techniques, such as montage, helped give the show a different feel from the other prestige dramas on television at the turn of the 2010s. Creator Vince Gilligan accounts for every minuscule detail, especially the wardrobe of the main characters.
You may have heard that every character on Breaking Bad has a color wheel associated specifically with them, but one Reddit user was able to give a full visual display of evidence for this theory. By showing every outfit antihero Walter White wears throughout the 62 episodes of the series, viewers can gain a broader perspective on what these ensembles mean.
Walter White’s outfits are as boring as his existence at home and at work. Most of the color combinations that White dons early on in the series are beige, green, and cream. The earth tones represent the ways he blends in with his surroundings, never willing to change his life for the better or take a chance that will pay off in more happiness. Green in the Breaking Bad universe usually symbolizes greed and envy. It’s clear that White is in a constant state of pursuing cash in the first two seasons of the show when he thinks he’s going to die of lung cancer.
As White is cleared of his cancer at the end of the second season and he joins forces with Gus Fring to increase his meth production, White’s outfits include a lot of yellow and orange lab coats. These colors represent caution, danger, and destruction. Saul Goodman is often seen wearing orange because his role as legal counsel represents entering a world of danger. When he’s not cooking meth, sometimes White wears red. This color has long represented blood and violence in literary terms.
There are some key absences of specific colors in White’s wardrobe that are important to notice. He never wears blue or violet. These colors often represent loyalty and purity. His soul has already been infected by greed in the pilot, therefore, there’s no reason to ever have him wear these colors. White’s wife, Skyler, and his sister-in-law, Marie, often wear blue and purple, respectively.
The careful selection of clothing in Breaking Bad is yet another reason to watch the show again and look for small details. What are the characters wearing during your favorite scenes, and what does this fashion choice mean? The deliberate uses of color are extraordinary throughout the story.
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