In A Raisin in the Sun, with certain exceptions, the characters wear everyday American attire. For the most part, there is nothing remarkable about their clothes. For instance, in act I as we are introduced to the family, the stage notes say about Travis:
“The child, a sturdy, handsome little boy of ten or eleven, drags himself out of the bed and almost blindly takes his towels and 'today’s clothes'”
That is all the description we are given of Travis's clothes, which likely is because they are not special. They are the clothes that most young boys his age wear: jeans, a sweater and sneakers perhaps. A few minutes later, Travis appears on the stage fully-dressed and the stage direction again says nothing special about his clothes.
The one character who does dress differently from most Americans of the day is Beneatha, who is interested in her African heritage, particularly after she meets Asagai. He gives her a Nigerian dress as a gift, and she is thrilled. When her mother notices the attraction between Asagai and Beneatha, she teases Beneatha about her interest in Africa:
“Yes, I guess I see why we done commence to get so interested in Africa ’round here. Missionaries my aunt Jenny!”
“picks up the Nigerian dress and holds it up to her in front of the mirror again. She sets the headdress on haphazardly and then notices her hair again and clutches at it and then replaces the headdress and frowns at herself. Then she starts to wriggle in front of the mirror as she thinks a Nigerian woman might.”
The dress reinforces the notion that the rest of the family wears ordinary American attire. In fact, when Travis sees his aunt admiring the Nigerian dress in the mirror, he says, “What’s the matter, girl, you cracking up?”
The stage direction even makes the point of how out of place the Nigerian clothing and accessories seem on Beneatha, who seems not to know how to wear them and use the fan:
"She parades for Ruth, her hair completely hidden by the headdress; she is coquettishly fanning herself with an ornate oriental fan, mistakenly more like Butterfly than any Nigerian that ever was"
It seems that Beneatha is beginning to think that much of what the family listens to, watches, reads, eats and wears is "assimilationist junk.” Nevertheless, in the next scene, she is wearing a cocktail dress, so it seems that she is not sure which culture to emphasize.
Other than Beneatha, the only other character whose clothing is described in any detail is George Murchison. Walter looks Murchison
“over from head to toe, scrutinizing his carefully casual tweed sports jacket over cashmere V-neck sweater over soft eyelet shirt and tie, and soft slacks, finished off with white buckskin shoes)” and says, “Why all you college boys wear them faggoty-looking white shoes?”
Towards the end of the play as the family is moving, Mama says,
“Ruth, put Travis’ good jacket on him … Walter Lee, fix your tie and tuck your shirt in, you look like somebody’s hoodlum!”
There is nothing unusual about this. The play was set in the 1950’s and people were more formal then. It is not surprising that a mother would tell her daughter-in-law and son to make sure that they all look neat and well put together, and to make sure that their son does as well.