10+ Times the Costumes in Harry Potter Movies Gave Us More Hints Than Joanne Rowling
It’s been 20 years since the release of the first movie about Harry Potter. Within this period, the characters of the magical world became very close to us. And we could keep watching our favorite scenes over and over finding some new detail for ourselves each and every time. For example, how often did you pay attention to the characters’ outfits? Meanwhile, costume designers have communicated with us many times about characters and plotlines with the help of clothing.
We at Bright Side decided to find out what details were hidden in the outfits of our favorite characters from the Harry Potter world.
1. The scarves of Hermione, Ron, and Harry
The costume designers decided to hint at the character of each person with the help of a tiny detail — a scarf. If you’re paying attention, you know that each character ties it in their own way. Hermione tightens it as neatly as possible, according to the rules. Harry throws the end of the scarf over his shoulder. Ron doesn’t tie this accessory at all.
2. The friends’ hoodies
In the 3rd part, the main characters turned from kids into teenagers, which should have been indicated in their looks. According to the costume designer, she wanted to give the wizards’ clothes a modern look so that they didn’t look like magicians but like their fans who were the same age, watching them on the other side of the screen. That’s the reason we start to see Hermione, Ron, and Harry wearing ordinary jeans and hoodies in the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie.
Also, fans noticed that Ron’s and Hermione’s clothes became similar as the characters grew up. For example, they both wear striped hoodies. Perhaps this is to indicate the tender romantic feeling that subtly appears between them. At the same time, Harry’s outfit stands out in this trio. It’s not for nothing because at some moment he distances himself from his friends quite strongly.
3. Molly Weasley’s knitted dresses
As we know, the Weasley family is not the richest around, that’s why Molly doesn’t buy herself trendy and expensive clothing but instead, knits her clothes herself. For Christmas, she presents her loved ones with handmade sweaters. She herself wears a dress knitted from colorful yarn. It’s safe to bet that this yarn is probably from the leftovers of those endless sweaters, socks, and other things that Molly knits for her family.
In order to decorate her dresses, Molly simply adds knitted details to the hem or the sleeves. After all, just like any other woman, she wants to feel pretty despite her financial difficulties.
4. The outfits of other schools’ pupils
In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, we can see the students of other schools arriving at the tournament: innocent girls from Beauxbatons Academy of Magic and macho guys from the Durmstrang Institute for Magical Learning. According to the costume designer, she was looking for inspiration in different cultures and folklore, having created a kind of “melting cauldron” in her head.
That is, the girls’ uniform has a reference to France. First, the blue color traditionally plays a big role in the culture of this country. Second, the guests wear hats, which is also typical for French women. It is also not for nothing that they were dressed in light and airy dresses and capes that are not suitable for a harsh climate. This was to emphasize their airiness and ephemerality. It’s no wonder Ron called them heavenly creatures.
The students from Durmstrang were perfectly equipped: warm crimson robes, fur hats, and capes. In order to create their outfits, the costume designers were inspired by Slavic folktales from the Habsburg epoch. This heavyweight uniform was meant to outline that this is an absolutely different culture.
5. The changing costumes of Dolores Umbridge
In the image of Dolores, it was important to outline that she has power. We see that she, like many other powerful people, is rather conservative. For example, she wears the same hairdo and sticks to the same colors. Umbridge adores the color pink but its hues change as the plot develops.
The costume designer commented on it in the following way, “I started with a lighter pink, and then as the film developed the pinks get hotter and hotter and hotter because she’s getting more and more hysterical.” At the same time, Dolores’ appearance contradicts the stereotypical image of the villain. The designers deliberately played with contrast to make the character more interesting and sinister at the same time: the apparent softness hides absolute cruelty. The costume designer even stated that she had never worked with so much wool and mohair before.
6. Gilderoy Lockhart’s wig
In Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets, attentive viewers can notice that the professor of Defense against the Dark Arts, has a wig lying on his table. As we will later learn, Lockhart is a liar, who was cheating everyone and hadn’t done any feats. That is, he lies about everything and even his golden curls are fake.
7. The medieval outfits of Bellatrix Lestrange
In one of the interviews, the costume designer confessed that Bellatrix is one of her favorite characters and that working on her costumes was a true pleasure. By the way, Bellatrix’s maiden name was Black — that’s why all her outfits are black. It was also important to emphasize that she comes from an ancient noble family. This is reflected in her outfits, which have iconic elements of medieval fashion.
Pay attention to the sleeves — in medieval times they were not sewn but laced up, just like Lestrange’s dresses. Another important detail is the cropped hem of her skirt. At those times, ladies were wearing dresses with a train. Its length depended on her social status. At the entrance to the city, fashionistas were asked for paper to check and see whether they were really allowed to wear trains of a certain length. If it didn’t correspond to her status, it was cut off.
Perhaps, Bellatrix may have over exaggerated her social status a bit. Also, Lestrange constantly wears a corset — the integral part of a medieval outfit.
8. Severus Snape and Gryffindor’s scarf
Severus Snape is one of the most controversial characters. It’s not without reason that we see a striped scarf from Gryffindor hanging on the wall in the scene where he is killed. Perhaps he personifies the true inclination of Severus, and in due time he should have gotten to Gryffindor, not to Slytherin.
In the book, Dumbledore once says the following phrase relating to the distribution of students by faculty, “Sometimes I believe we sort too soon.” Perhaps, the professor was right. Perhaps, the scarf hanging in the closet is saying that people can change for the better.
9. Neville Longbottom’s reminder
Neville is perceived by many as being zany from the very beginning. Yes, he comes from an old family of wizards but he is not good at magic and keeps finding himself in awkward situations.
Thus, in one of the scenes in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, he gets a remembrall that turns red if its owner has forgotten something. Neville confesses to his friends that the problem is in the fact that he doesn’t remember what exactly slipped his mind. However, if we look closer, we will understand that Neville forgot his robes — look, all the students nearby are wearing robes.
However, as he grows up, Neville gains strength and power and in the last part of the saga, he turns into a brave hero. An interesting detail — in the final fight for Hogwarts he seems to have copied a look from an old photo of his father. Perhaps that is what the continuity of generations is all about.
Eventually, it is Neville Longbottom who destroys Lord Voldemort’s penultimate Horcrux — Nagini snake.
10. Number 7 on Harry’s Quidditch uniform
Avid fans of the franchise might have noticed that Harry Potter plays Quidditch as number 7. Actually speaking, the number 7 is a symbolic number in the world of JK Rowling. Moreover, Lord Voldemort has 7 Horcruxes and the last one, as we know, was Harry, which is quite symbolic too. However, the costume designer noted that the choice of this number for the Quidditch uniform is a reference to David Beckham, who played under this number a while back.
11. Hagrid’s pink umbrella
The appearance of the forest man, Hagrid, is quite deceptive: at first glance, he gives the impression of a contented stern and an unkempt giant in a worn-out fur coat. However, there is actually a kind and sensitive soul hiding behind this rather rough shell.
As we know, Hagrid doesn’t have a magic wand — it was broken at the Ministry of Magic when he was a student. However, he has kept a part of the wand and inserted it into an umbrella. The choice of the color pink says that Hagrid is a tender and sensitive person. Moreover, try to remember how he tried to impress Madame Maxime who arrived at the wizards’ tournament — he decorated his old coat with a huge brooch in the shape of a flower.
12. The change of Lucius Malfoy’s wardrobe
Lucius is one of the trendiest characters in Harry Potter’s universe. He is always dressed in perfect outfits and he even uses a walking stick like a true dandy. However, in the last part, before the final Battle of Hogwarts, we can see that the style of his outfits changes. He is no longer an aristocrat but a warrior. His new quilted leather outfit with massive shoulders is somewhat similar to armor.
In the last part of the movie, we can see a tattoo on Lucius’s neck — the number of the prisoner of Azkaban. All in all, it becomes clear that after returning from Azkaban, he became a different person: he lost his gloss, and stopped shaving and taking care of his hair. As a result, by the end of the story, the moral and physical defeat of the villain becomes obvious.
Who is your favorite character from Rowling’s magic world? Which costume did you find to be the most memorable?