10 Historically Accurate Details About The Costumes In 'TLOK' That Are Actually Super Interesting
TLOK is set in a much more modern world than A:TLA, and as a result, the fashion is more modern as well. There are more dresses, fewer robes, and there's an increased emphasis on style. Vote up the facts that you find most fascinating about the show's fashion!
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Fashion In Republic City Resembles Chinese Fashion Of The 20th CenturyPhoto: Nickelodeon / Unsplash
Many of the elements of Republic City fashion resemble Chinese fashion of the 20th century. This includes women wearing cheongsams on formal occasions. Cheongsams are typically form-fitting to the body, and often feature some amount of ornate detail, though not always. The 20th century garments make sense, in part because Republic City is clearly inspired by the technologies of the 1920s.
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Water Tribe Coats Are More Complex In Korra's TimePhoto: Nickelodeon / Unsplash
Although they still have one foot firmly planted in the traditions of Native cultures from around the globe, Water Tribe clothing definitely becomes more modern in Korra's era. This is especially noticeable with coats, which are much more form-fitting and stylish in Korra's time than they were in Aang's. As culture evolves, so does fashion, and the fashion of Korra's Water Tribe reflects a move toward less bulky clothing generally.
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Korra Wears More Traditionally Masculine ClothingPhoto: Nickelodeon / Flickr
Korra's clothing is very much in line with what the Southern Water Tribe was wearing when Sokka and Katara were its most famous members. The only difference between Korra's clothes and Katara's is that Korra's clothing is coded more masculine. She wears more sleeveless outfits, and her tight-fitting tank tops and arm bands resemble the clothing worn by male Native Americans. Today, arm bands are often tattoos. The Water Tribes are still based in native cultures, but Korra upends the gender dynamics that were established in A:TLA.
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Formal Wear May Include A Tangzhuang Or A Dress ShirtPhoto: Nickelodeon / Rogue Pictures
Although formal wear still varies somewhat by culture in TLOK, in Republic City, we see that men often wear a tangzhuang, a variation on a garment that's common in China. Men don't have tons of opportunities to don this kind of formal wear over the course of the series, but the inclusion of tangzhuang speaks to the ways that traditional eastern clothing is still very much a part of the world of TLOK.
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Republic City Reflects The Mixing Of Culture Lines, As Do Many Modern CitiesPhoto: Nickelodeon / United Artists
As is the case in cities like New York or America more generally, Republic City features a mingling of clothing and styles in a way that didn't happen during Aang's time. Not only are the clothes influenced by both eastern and western cultures, but individual citizens are much more likely to wear garments that suit them. Mako and Bolin, for example, dress almost identically, even though they bend different elements. Both characters wear shirts with mandarin necks, which are definitively eastern, but also scarves and dress shirts that seem to be inspired by the west. Where clothes come from matters less, even if characters do still acknowledge their culture through their clothes.
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Wealthy Water Tribe Citizens Wear Capes Based In Western TraditionsPhoto: Nickelodeon / Flickr
As western clothing begins to infiltrate the styles of TLOK, one of the places they show up first is among the show's wealthiest characters. Varrick, for example, is a frequent wearer of capes, and those capes have some basis in the kinds of garments worn by royals and other wealthy noblemen from the western part of the world. Varrick may not be an actual king, but he certainly knows how to dress like one.