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Details Of Famous Movie And TV Costumes You Probably Missed

It speaks to the level of effort costume designers put into their craft that we tend not to pay all that much attention to the outfits worn by characters in our favorite movies and TV shows and simply accept them as a part of that universe without question. A downside to this however is that we can sometimes overlook some of the details costume designers include when outfitting fictional characters, minor details that can reveal more about the character than you'd think.

Superman's costume in BvS has a message of hope in Kryptonian

For eighty years now, Superman has stood for truth, justice, and the American way, and most interpretations of the character go out of their way to show that the Last Son of Krypton is not just a superhero, but a symbol of hope. In typical fashion, Zack Snyder wanted to make this painfully obvious to viewers by literally weaving the following quote about hope into the Man of Tomorrow's iconic suit in Batman v Superman.

"Where we had thought to stand alone, we will be with all the world." (Joseph Campbell)

BvS costume designer Michael Wilkinson thought the inclusion of the quote was a neat idea but decided to be a little more subtle about it. He had the film's expert on the Kryptonian language translate Snyder's chosen quote into Superman's native Kryptonian. The quote was then digitally transposed onto Superman's suit and woven within the chain mail pattern.

Orcan armor reveals how powerful they are in Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a triumph of practical effects made possible by literal years of work by armorers at the famous Weta Workshop and sword smith Peter Lyon. Thousands of individual pieces of armor were forged to outfit the Orcs and Uruk Hai in the film.

Weapons were artificially aged with acid and then cleaned, thus giving them the appearance of an older weapon that had been used but well maintained. Countless minor details were also added to the weaponry and armor of both minor and major characters, much of which Weta representatives and Lyons admitted would be lost on a typical viewer. For instance, much of the armor was designed specifically to look as though it had been scavenged from battlefields. Also, a select few Orcs can be seen wearing crudely fashioned helmets that are distinctly more ornate than those of their allies—something that gives us, the audience, a subtle visual cue about that particular Orc's standing in Orcan culture, even though that never comes up once in the trilogy, and the Orc on which you notice this detail will likely killed by an arrow three seconds after appearing onscreen anyway.

Professor Umbridge's outfits reflect how evil she is in Harry Potter

Few fictional villains are as instantly unlikeable as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter series, a role masterfully played in the films by Imelda Staunton. A minor detail about Umbridge's character that few people noticed is that Umbridge's outfit, and the outfits of those around her at any point in time, is a visual indication of how powerful she is.

In short, as the series goes on, and the more power Umbridge consolidates, the deeper the pinks of her wardrobe. In addition, as her influence grows throughout the series, Umbridge's subordinates similarly become more pink, with pink highlights and accents reportedly being added to the outfits of those in Umbridge's orbit whenever she's on screen—a nod to the character's growing influence over those around her. 

Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid's Tale is wearing a vagina

According to costume designer Ane Crabtree, an insane amount of effort was made to include "little f*** yous" to the oppressive, misogynist society displayed in the show in nearly every piece of clothing worn by female characters in The Handmaid's Tale. One of the most obvious, at least to Crabtree, is a broach worn by Aunt Lydia designed to look like a stylized representation of a vagina.

A less obvious detail is that of the petticoats and undergarments worn by female extras, all of which feature "triplicate folding," are a sort of jab at the Holy Trinity and the fact religion is used to justify the treatment of women on the show. Crabtree doubled down on this, making the number three an ever-present theme in the costumes of most female characters, even though she herself admitted that it's difficult to notice this most of the time.

Daenerys is always wearing pants in GoT

Few characters in Game of Thrones have had a wardrobe as diverse as that of Daenerys Targaryen. As the show has progressed over the years, numerous details have been added to the Mother of Dragons' costume to represent her growing power and confidence. During seasons 3 and 4, for example, Daenerys wears a blue dress that slowly develops a distinct, dragonscale pattern as an indication that she is becoming more comfortable in her role as a queen with sick-awesome dragons.

Perhaps the most unusual addition to Daenerys' costume in the laterinside seasons is one that never actually appears on screen—pants. According to costume director, Michele Clapton, The Breaker of Chains always wears a pair of sensible boots and some pants below her dresses that we the audience never see. When asked about this decision by The Telegraph, Clapton explained, "There's always a fear in her that she will have to leave, so it gives her the freedom to always escape and run. If she had silly shoes on, she'd lose all her strength."

Hopper is wearing his daughter's hair tie in nearly every shot of Stranger Things

Throughout both seasons of Stranger Things, Jim Hopper—played by dad-bod ambassador David Arbour—wears a small blue hair-tie around his wrist in nearly every single scene he appears in. Eagle-eyed fans noticed that it's the same one worn by his daughter in flashbacks, and although it's never mentioned in the show itself, the assumption is that Hopper wears it as a reminder of his little girl.

Harbour later confirmed the theory himself via Twitter and explained to The Insider that the meaning behind this minor detail is deeper than most fans realize. Although Harbour was wary of revealing any spoilers about Stranger Things season 3, he did note that if you watch the show over again and observe him carefully, you'll notice that Hopper uses the hair tie as a security blanket of sorts. Harbour went on to explain that Hopper's general mental state can be deduced by observing how he interacts with the hair tie in any given scene and also pointed out that his character eventually stops wearing the hair tie and gives it to Eleven, suggesting Hopper's finally forgiven himself for the role he played in his daughter's death.