Charlie Chaplin's iconic status has a lot to do with the entertainer's wide-ranging talents, but you have to give some credit to the baggy pants. Clothes may not make the whole man, but they certainly contribute to character as do oversize shoes, twirled canes and derby hats. And, of course, minuscule mustaches.
You won't find the Little Tramp in Chaplin's first Keystone short, the 1914 Making a Living. But by Kid Auto Races at Venice, released the same year, silent film had found what would become its most celebrated symbol. Years later, Chaplin wrote of his alter ego's creation, "I wanted everything to be a contradiction: the pants baggy, the coat tight, the hat small and the shoes large ... I added a small mustache, which I reasoned would add age without hiding my expression. I had no idea of the character. The moment I was dressed, the clothes and the makeup made me feel the person he was. I began to know him, and by the time I walked onstage, he was fully born."
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