Tessa Thompson’s Outfits In 'Sorry to Bother You' Are Making a Huge Statement

New film Sorry to Bother You stars Tessa Thompson as Detroit, a politically minded artist and girlfriend to a African-American telemarketer who succeeds at his job by using his “white voice.” The movie centers around how people of color have to adopt a sort of white identity in order to be successful, and has so far been called shocking, political, dizzying and surreal – but that’s what makes it so great. Even better are Thompson/Detroit’s politically-charged outfits appearing throughout the film.

From Detroit’s statement earrings that also make a statement – reading “Tell Homeland Security We Are the Bomb” and “Murder, Murder, Murder, Kill, Kill, Kill” to her slogan tee shirts, and one that states “The Future is Female Ejaculation” across the front – her outfits are the most memorable in the movie, and it's for good reason. 

Deirdra Govan, the costume designer for the film, wanted Detroit’s clothing to send the same message as her politically-minded artwork. Govan told Nylon: “What I really wanted was for her clothing to be her whole business card." She continues, "[Detroit] is definitely a strong female, very self-aware, not willing to sell out by any means necessary to obtain [a high] level of success.”


Sundance here we come! #SorryToBotherYou — shirt by @feedmyfeelings via @otherwild

A post shared by Tessa Thompson (@tessamaethompson) on

According to Glamour, Detroit’s clothing and her art spread the same political message, mostly against the patriarchy. To create the character’s outfits, Govan took inspiration from her teenage years in the '80s and '90s and the political movements of the past to create the perfect look for Detroit. Glamour also notes that she did a lot of scouring through thrift and army surplus stores, but some of the most memorable pieces were designer by her. The penis and electric chair earrings (yes, you read that right) were made by the costume department, and the middle-finger bikini bottoms and hand-shaped bra top (you read that right, too) were all created by Govan.

But simply describing the costumes really doesn’t do it justice - they’re way more powerful than you’d expect. So if you’re looking for a mind-blowing movie with an ever more intriguing set of costumes (the men’s outfits are just as great, we promise), definitely tune in to watch Sorry to Bother You RN.