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The significance in the way the characters are dressed serves to set up the historical setting of the story. Mr. Summers is clothes in blue jeans and a white shirt, the women wear faded house dresses. Thus, we expect that Mr. Summers carries a role of importance in the town (gentlemen always dress in white shirts). Because of this, we can see that clothing helps to denote the significance of characters, and the presence of house dresses sets us a ways back in time.