The Clothes People Lying in Wait Inside of Us

In Depth

“What is the clothes person you are most scared of becoming?” was the question. I can’t remember how it came up, but my friend Daoud and I were both able to answer quickly. His description of the Asymmetric Belt Problem was so complete. It fell right out, a perfect thing. That’s what made me want to find more Clothes People.

As I surveyed other friends, I noticed that most people were able to answer quickly, with lots of detail. I was asking them to describe a style that they suspected would emerge as they lost self-awareness, stopped caring, or, in a happier scenario, got chiller. It turned out not everyone was scared. Inevitability was deemed the common thread. Of course, some of us admitted, warming to the subject, everyone’s sense of themselves is as mercurial as anything else, so why not consider this feeling of determinism as just another, lighter shade of anxiety?

The Clothes Person question is personal, brushing up against a confluence: identity, cultural affiliations, emotional security, attitudes toward aging and internalized ageism (my only real hangup in working on this cartoon).

Everyone who indulged me — a person with no credentials besides that I am nosy — to draw a caricature of them is credited for their generosity, courage and funniness.

Charlotte Housel:

Cricket Arrison:

Emily Slaughter:

Isabel Martin:

Daoud Tyler-Ameen:

Sarah Jacoby:

Rahne A.:


Emily Gould:

Me, Sara Lautman:

Deenah V.:

Kate Wheeler:

Ariel Schrag:

Sara Lautman is a cartoonist. Her drawings and comics have appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Awl, Bitch Magazine, The Morning News, The Rumpus and elsewhere. She lives in Baltimore.

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