There are high school shows like Gossip Girl which showcase an endless stream of different costumes each episode as characters barely repeat an outfit. The world of Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen is one where new clothes are at their disposal and part of Gossip Girl’s charm (which it did possess at one point) revolved around what these characters would be wearing each week. The characters on Freaks and Geeks are not interested in high fashion; one of the points of accuracy is the costuming repeats and despite the lack of McKinley High uniform certain clothes are worn daily.
With Lindsay and Kim it’s all about their coats; Lindsay changes her look and starts wearing her dad’s old army jacket, whereas Kim obtained her signature item with an elaborate price ticket scam (it only cost her $10). With all that effort it’s no wonder Kim wears it all of the time.
Lindsay and Kim shouldn’t be friends on paper and it starts off in a hostile place as Kim thinks Lindsay is a phony. Lindsay’s drastic new look in the pilot – drastic only to those around her as we don’t get to see ‘old Lindsay’ until mid-way through the series – is part of that assumption.
Here’s snapshot of how Lindsay dressed pre-army jacket and existential crisis; a look she briefly returns to in “Looks and Books.”
Kim is all about a blue jackets with stripes as you can see in this shot from the pilot and this is long before one of the great friendships of our time. Lindsay is already “dressing so weird” as Neal so delicately puts it.
Despite their very different backgrounds (showcased in the excellent and heartbreaking “Kim Kelly is my Friend“) and Lindsay’s position of privilege there’s very little that sets them apart in the wardrobe stakes. They both wear a variety of the standard jeans and t-shirt look; plaid shirts and awful shell chokers are thrown in for good measure.
What this is a celebration of Lindsay and Kim’s staple wardrobe pieces showing that character consistency in costume design is just as valuable as variety and in the gallery below you can see a snapshot of the evolution of this friendship and the faithful jackets that were there for each step of the way.