Spencer Shay from 'iCarly'
Among the reasons to love Nickelodeon's iCarly, airing Saturdays, is that it doesn't stoop to cliches in writing, acting or wardrobe. Spencer (Jerry Trainor), Carly's guardian and older brother, is an artist.
And he dresses as a 21st century Seattle-based artist in his 20s would. In this case, that means jeans and funny T-shirts, layered with thermal and Western shirts. He looks like a guy whose profession requires him to weld, paint and sculpt.
"Lets get crazy," Trainor says, describing Spencer's look. "Let's call it nouveau abstractionist northwestern splashy."
Costume designer Kris Dangl based Spencer on a Nickelodeon set designer, Josh Inch. "We used to call him the millionaire playboy," she says. "He is the sexiest, ruggedest -- a real guy. There's nothing feminine about him. He's a real dude with that low-key boyish quality."
Since clothing logically needs to reflect where we live, Spencer's are "totally northwestern," Dangl says. "It's kind of like that rugged, unrefined intellectual thing that John Corbett used to have on 'Northern Exposure.' And it allows his goofiness to just shine through."
To stop Trainor's natural goofiness from seeping through, she would have to garb him in a lead suit. Instead, Dangl shops in the small funky shops of Venice, Calif. But she also buys at Nordstrom and Fred Segal.
Jeans are vital to Spencer's look. "He doesn't mess around with his jeans," Dangl says. "He has one style of jeans until he is done with them, then tosses them in trash. I started with Lucky jeans and now it's Diesel."
"I just really make sure his T-shirts are something an artist would appreciate," Dangl says. "I recently got him a T-shirt that said, 'Get some exercise,' and it shows a stick drawing of a human being chased by a T-Rex. There's a whole part of the script this week where Jerry is obsessed with the 'beavcoon,' a beaver raccoon. I found a T-shirt of an armadillo with a bull's head."
Western shirts come from Urban Outfitters. As for shoes, Spencer is a loyalist.
"He has never not worn a pair of low top Converse," Dangl says. "Just always Converse -- black."
Spencer's wardrobe hews close to Trainor's own choices, he says.
Like many actors, he's tempted to borrow from the wardrobe department. "I do. I try not to because I know I'll steal it if I take it out. Occasionally I will have worn something really lame to work and we will all be going out and I just need a cool shirt to wear out, and I swear I'll bring it back and they never see it again."