|Fashion in the World of Avatar|
By the time of the foundation of the United Republic of Nations, fashion began to diversify and depart from traditional styles of clothing by using new western concepts. Nevertheless, these unique styles still partly carried the appearance of traditional East Asian dress.
A notable fact of fashion in general is that each nation wears the color that symbolizes their native element. The Air Nomads dress in orange and yellow, the people of the Water Tribe wear blue, purple, and white clothing, the people of the Earth Kingdom wear brown, yellow, and green attire, and the people of the Fire Nation wear various hues of red, brown, black, pink, and gold.
The Air Nomad attire is as simple as the way people of the nation live their lives. Nomads tend to wear an assortment of loose apparel, including cloaks, robes, and shawls. In addition, monks also wear beads depending on their position in the council. Generally, it appears as if the clothing becomes more layered as a monk increases in position and improves in skill.
The senior monks who have become master airbenders wear much longer robes than the children. These monks' robes are in shades of yellow, orange, and brown, which again links back to the art of airbending. Their robes are designed with a yellow collar and are worn underneath flowing brown robes. The armlets are loose and opened wide at the wrist. Women of the same rank generally sport the same style. However, there is usually a yellow lining that extends over the bust and meets a long underskirt of the same yellow color.
Senior monks wear necklaces made of wood, displaying their rank and superior skill. The necklaces usually consist of wooden beads and a number of round, wooden disks carved with the Air Nomad emblem. In addition to the basic components, necklaces may also rope small knots of leather tassels.
Young Air Nomads
Young Air Nomads learning airbending wear loose, orange shawls over long-sleeved yellow shirt-like robes that extend to the knee, cut at the crotch to leave it draping only over the outside of the legs. The orange shawl overlaying the shirt acts as a parachute, catching air as the young bender falls. Air Nomads also wear an orange belt-like wrap around their waist, keeping the yellow robes tight against the wearer. Brown pants are worn under the yellow robe, and long red boots that reach the knees are pulled over the main robe, also acting as a parachute, catching air during a fall.
Shaving one's head is a tradition in Air Nomad society. Young nomads who are in training to be master airbenders shave their heads, while elders grow beards and mustaches, while keeping their heads shaved. Female Air Nomads only shave the front portion in order to reveal their tattooed arrow and thus identify themselves as nuns. Air Nomads utilize shaving tools, which can be curved blue and white razors decorated with the symbol of the nomads. Much like washing, shaving is considered part of the morning ritual to prepare for the day ahead.
The arrow tattoos that run down an Air Nomad's chi paths signify their mastery over airbending. This is an emulation of the natural arrows on the heads of flying bisons, the original airbenders and animals revered by the Air Nomads. Apprentice airbenders have no tattoos, as they receive their markings after passing the thirty-six levels of airbending, or slightly earlier if they create a new airbending technique.
As the cultural successors of the Air Nomads, the people of the Air Nation largely follow the same fashion trends as the extinct nation, though with some differences.
The outfits of the Air Nomads and Air Acolytes have stayed more or less the same as what the Air Nomads traditionally wore, although the Air Acolytes wear fewer bright colors, reflecting their less prominent role in Air Nomad society. The young airbenders – Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo – wear clothing similar to that of the young Aang, while elder airbenders incorporate layers in their clothing, most noticeably the long capes which Tenzin and the elder Aang wear in addition to their shawls, and both are a vivid shade of scarlet.
Air Nomad formal wear
A new phenomenon in Air Nomad attire is the appearance of formal wear. This has appeared at the gala held by Tarrlok at his mansion and incorporates bright, expensive colors, such as scarlet and gold. Tenzin is shown wearing dark red robes which cover the shoulders and legs and open at the front to reveal the dark red and gold dress shirt he wears underneath, while Pema wears a dark red dress with a bright red cape and shawl. The young airbenders wear similar attire to their everyday dress, only their orange shawls are replaced with a scarlet shawl and cape. Pema, Jinora, and Ikki have their hair specially arranged for the occasion: Pema wears her hair down, while the girls wear ribbons in their hair.
Sometime between 171 AG and 174 AG, Asami Sato designed and had Future Industries develop wingsuits that enable airbenders to fly without the need of an airbender staff. With fabric attached to the legs and arms that flares open due to the wind, the airbender wearing the suit is allowed more maneuverability and aerodynamic movement, enabling the user to have greater control over their motions in the air. While unused, the wings are attached to the hips and torso with press snap buttons.
The members of the Foggy Swamp Tribe, on the other hand, utilize natural materials from the swamp to craft clothing and accessories. These materials may include wood, leaves, and tree bark, which are later fashioned into leaf skirts, leaf hats, shirts of bark, and wooden necklaces. The people of the Foggy Swamp Tribe sport various greens, browns, and whites.
Water Tribe clothing is typically a set of tunics, covered by thick over coats to counter the cold arctic weather. Styled in blues, purples, and whites, the colors represent the nation's cultural heritage and the practice of waterbending.
When out in the cold, people of the Water Tribes wear thick fur coats with hoods. The coats are lined with soft fur, meant to keep the wearer warm. Their armlets often show designs resembling waves, linking to waterbending and the general culture of the Water Tribes. These thick, traditional coats can be found in an array of styles. Women's coats are usually shown with a fur or leather belt-like wrap tied just below the chest, while men's coats tend to have no tie at the waist and display three string-like fur hangings.
There are multiple styles of gloves in the Water Tribes. Several gloves have the index finger and thumb separate from the rest of the mitten, with the purpose of providing extra grip to the wearer. Another design is the classic five-fingered glove. Usually, men in the Water Tribes wear a three-hole mitten, keeping their index and middle fingers separate from the ring and pinkie fingers, and the thumb by itself.
This type of clothing is generally used when traveling to warmer regions. It resembles a kimono-like tunic, with split sides for leg movement and fur trimmed leggings underneath. Lighter clothing comes in various styles. Princess Yue's lighter clothing is shown as a light purple dress covered by a kimono-like tunic in a darker shade of purple. Her attire had no split sides, like those of Katara's and Sokka's. The tunic was lined with white trim, displaying the Water Tribe emblem in the lower corner.
These strips of cloth are wrapped around the woman's chest and worn under clothing as undergarments and/or swimsuit. Men can specially wrap a sarashi as a loincloth, serving as alternatives to briefs or boxers. Katara wore the sarashi as a bathing suit. The sarashi can also be used to wrap injuries and can be wrapped around one's arms or legs to prevent sprains.
- Main article: Hair loopies
Hair loopies are a traditional hairstyle worn by the female members of the polar Water Tribes. Two locks of hair on either side of the head are fastened with clips onto the back of the head, hanging down more loosely than the rest of the hair. In the Southern Water Tribe, these loopies are usually plain, however, in the Northern Water Tribe, they are often braided into elaborate designs.
Warrior's wolf tail
- Main article: Warrior's wolf tail
A warrior's wolf tail is a hairstyle used by male Water Tribe warriors. This style requires younger warriors, like Sokka, to shave the sides of their head, only growing the top. The hair is pulled back and tied, resembling a wolf's tail. As the warrior gets older, the sides of his hair grow and remain uncut. The hair grows out with age, eventually reaching a length to the warrior's mid-back. Sokka and the rest of the Southern Water Tribe warriors can be seen sporting the style in the invasion of the Fire Nation.
- Main article: Headpieces
Princess Yue was one of the few members of the Water Tribe known to wear hair ornaments. These ornaments consisted of blue bands bearing lighter blue ornamental Water Tribe insignias. They were used to hold up, tie, and decorate her hair.
Other members of the Water Tribes generally wear a variety of ties, hats, and beads rather than ornaments and other such decoration. Katara, for example, employed hair ties to hold up her hair loopies and tie up her braid.
Water Tribe warriors wear a traditional face paint during battles, It is believed that the purpose of the face paint is to allow other warriors in the tribe to distinguish their own members as well as serve as a type of camouflage in the ice-filled tundra of the poles.
In the Northern Water Tribe, women also employ cosmetics; Princess Yue, for example, wore makeup of various pink/peach shades on a regular basis.
- Main article: Betrothal necklace
In the Water Tribes, it is essential for a man to give a special necklace to the woman whom they wish to marry. This betrothal necklace signifies the marital joining of the couple and subsequently also tells other men that the woman is taken. Both Princess Yue and Katara can be seen with these blue chokers, though Katara did not initially know the significance of her necklace, as she received it as a family heirloom passed down from her grandmother. Sokka can be seen wearing a white choker necklace, and this may have been traditionally worn by male Water Tribe members, though it has not been seen on other males.
While people residing in rural areas often wear clothes similar to those of peasants, royals and the wealthy, as illustrated by Toph Beifong, as well as the rest of the Upper Ring of Ba Sing Se, usually wear more fancy robes. They dress in an array of greens, browns, golds, yellows, and many other earthy colors. Kyoshi Islanders, however, dress in blue attire.
Outside Ba Sing Se
Outside Ba Sing Se, there are mostly farming communities. People wear dark green and brown, representing the color of crops; however, Chong and his nomad group were an exception to this, as they wore multicolored clothing in wild styles. Another notable exception was Jet and his Freedom Fighters, who wore stolen scraps of clothing from a variety of sources, including pieces of Fire Nation armor.
Consisting of green robes and metal jewelry, the clothing of the Metal Clan is a modern update on traditional Earth Kingdom garb. The citizens of Zaofu don their uniforms with a great sense of pride for their city state.
Inside Ba Sing Se
Ba Sing Se is split into three different rings, so there is a much greater variation in attire. The lower class citizens wear darker colors, while the middle and higher class wear lighter colors. This is done to segregate the people and to indicate an individual's wealth.
In the poor and crime-stricken Lower Ring, women and men wear brown and dark green clothing, putting emphasis on their low position in society. The style is anything but elaborate, as most wear raggedy kimono-like tunics and, if lucky, a reasonable pair of shoes.
Hair is not usually styled in the Lower Ring. Women tie their hair back or in a bun, but not to an extravagant degree, and men almost universally use queues. However, some exceptions do exist, due to the number of refugees from other parts of the Earth Kingdom.
In the Middle Ring, clothing is fashioned in more elaborate styles, usually in various shades of light green. Women have dresses lined with hints of gold and yellow, and men sport more extravagant tunics.
Middle-class families are adequately secure, financially. Therefore, men can afford to braid their hair or pull it back in a top-knot wrapped in a green band. Women have more elaborate and decorated hairdos.
Due to the great wealth of the Upper Ring, women and men wear the most extravagant styles of all. Their clothing consists of various light shades of green with gold trimmings, fashioned into elaborate designs and patterns. Men wear longer and more embroidered tunics.
Accessories and cosmetics
Women in the Upper Ring are often seen with accessories. In Ba Sing Se, both Team Avatar girls held an elaborate fan of dark green bordered with gold and with a frame, and many women wore elaborate headpieces, usually gold and mostly adorned with flowers. Chartreuse parasols made of a similar wood to the fans are also used. Higher class women apply cosmetics. Several wear white powder but a large amount of the populace wear pink on their cheeks and a portion of them wear blue, green, or white around their eyes.
Women of the Upper Ring typically wear an elaborate hairstyle known as a qitou, originating with the Manchu nobility of the Qing Dynasty. They wear their hair long, often with bangs, and collected in a bun at the base of the neck. Generally the most noticeable feature of this hairstyle is the large hairpiece which is inserted into the hair, the shape of which can range from thin and strait to broad and fan-shaped. This hairpiece is usually accessorized with pins, tassels, beads, and large fresh flowers. Men, as in the Lower Ring, almost universally wear a queue and keep the front of their head shaved. A few exceptions do exist, however: the generals on the Council of Five wear the more general Earth Kingdom fashion of a top-knot and coronet.
Peasants and farmers tend to wear conical straw hats, developed to keep shade as large in area as possible, thus being practical for working in the sun. Thicker hats made from faux fur are sold in Kaya's town; one cap has a decorative striped raccoon tail attached to the back, and as such, it is mainly intended for use as an ornamental accessory. The upper class of the Earth Kingdom mainly wear coronets known as guan; these vary in style immensely and indicate social rank and wealth. Chin the Great wore an especially elaborate piece called the tongtian guan. Mayor Tong wore a fangjin, a rectangular hat for lower officials, while Pu-on Tim wore a putou, a rounded black hat used by scholars. The festival robes for male citizens of Chin Village include wushamao, large hats with two oval flaps protruding from the sides. The women of Ba Sing Se wrap their hair around elaborate supports and ornament them with flowers.
Select citizens wear glasses, such as Earth King Kuei. Some citizens also sport headpieces, mostly generals and military officials. Earth Kingdom necklaces can also be found worn by various people, often made of flowers, gold, jewels, or wood. Eloquent faux fur products, such as coats, scarves, and dead animal skins draped around the neck, are available at Kaya's town.
- Main article: Body markings in the World of Avatar
The Earth King wears a green and yellow formal robe known as a chaofu with distinctive horse-hoof cuffs. It is worn with a green ceremonial collar known as a piling, and jade court beads. On his head he wears a black hat with red trim and a gold finial on the top decorated on the front with the Earth Kingdom symbol. Around his waist he wears a green sash fastened with a gold coin-shaped ornament.
King of Omashu
Fashion in the Fire Nation mimics traditional Asian elements. Layers of various colors, coats, and traditional pieces of armor are common elements in their style.
Along with their clothing, Fire Nation citizens also wear many accessories. Royalty and nobility wear elaborate headpieces and golden necklaces, while the less well-off wear headbands and less elaborate headpieces. There are also head-crafts available in the Fire Nation, different from the ones in the Earth Kingdom in the sense that they are mostly gold in color.
Fire Nation people wear outfits mostly of red accented with black, though colors ranging from yellow, gold, gray, brown, and even as far as white can be seen. There is a major gap between the rich and poor, and the different social classes in society wear different clothes based on their wealth and power. One style popular with young women is midriff revealing tops. A common footwear is sandals.
Commoners and peasants
Commoners and peasants tend to wear simple clothing, usually a faded shade of red. A prime example of this is the river village of Jang Hui, where extreme poverty has engulfed the town. At the Boiling Rock prison, the prisoners wear uniforms of simple reddish-brown tops and bottoms.
The Fire Lord is the ruler of the Fire Nation. He wears an ornate robe as a sign of his power and rank. The shape of his robes is quite distinctive, with spiked shoulders akin to Thai theatrical costumes and aids in making the Fire Lord look powerful and imposing. In addition to his unique robes, he also wears the Fire Lord headpiece, an ornament in the shape of the Fire Nation insignia.
Nobility wear clothing similar to the Royal Family, with some exceptions. Mai's clothing, for example, is similar to a Vietnamese Ao Dai. Her outfit features a loose robe over wide pants allowing for increased mobility. Ty Lee's clothing also varies from the typical Fire Nation nobility to allow her to perform her acrobatic tricks. Ty Lee wears a short shirt similar to an Indian choli top that reveals her midriff and knee-length baggy pants covered with a split skirt.
When Ozai proclaimed himself the Phoenix King, he wore an elaborate helmet and armor. The helmet was gold and black, with a large jewel in the front. The armor Ozai wore was also decorative, resembling twin phoenixes with a cape that extended down to his feet.
Prince and Princess
The clothing of the Prince and Princess of the Fire Nation is also elaborate. For military matters, such as war meetings and battles, Zuko and Azula wear formal armor that resembles traditional Thai armor. This armor is black and deep red with gold trimmings. Zuko and Azula both wear gold flame ornaments in their hair top-knots when they wear this armor. While not in public or in a war meeting, the Fire Nation royals usually wear more comfortable robes.
The Fire Nation Royal Family is the richest and most powerful family in the Fire Nation. They wear the most elaborate clothing, which is usually a shade of red, and also sport royal armor. However, in times of mourning, white formal clothing is worn, white being the symbol of death in China. Ozai, Zuko, and Azula were seen wearing this attire at Azulon's funeral which was also Ozai's coronation as Fire Lord.
Fire Nation schools follow strict uniform guidelines. The Fire Nation school that Aang joined has a uniform consisting of brown pants or a skirt, a shirt, a black and red vest, and a red sash marked with the school's logo.
As with all Fire Nation clothing, the style is linked back to their native element. Azula, Zuko, Mai, and Ty Lee were wearing the Fire Nation insignia on their bathing suits in Ember Island. Two-piece bikinis are popular with female Fire Nation citizens. While Azula, Zuko, and Mai wore red bathing suits, Ty Lee sported a white bathing suit. Zuko wore bathing shorts while on Ember Island. The beachwear that they later wore to Chan's party was similar to the clothes that they wore to the beach.
- Main article: Top-knot
In the Fire Nation, cosmetics appear to be a luxury, as only royalty and nobility have been seen wearing it. Azula's cosmetics and lipstick have more of a reddish color.
The red and gold necklaces are common among women and men of the Fire Nation. Both Azula and Ty Lee wore necklaces to Chan's party, and Suki and Katara also donned Fire Nation styled necklaces while masquerading as Fire Nation citizens.
- Main article: Headpiece
Headpieces are worn by many people in the World of Avatar to adorn their otherwise bare top-knots. These headpieces range from the humble headpieces worn by normal citizens to the golden five-pronged headpiece worn by the Fire Lord, which resembles ancient Chinese fashion.
Fire Nation citizens often wear decorative headpieces in their top-knots. The headpieces are only decorative, however, and are in no way a rank of royalty. Zuko and Azula have both sported three-pronged headpieces in the traditional flame shape. While in the Earth Kingdom, however, Azula wore a simple red headpiece, but later replaced it with a golden one upon returning home.
Crown Prince headpiece
- Main article: Crown Prince headpiece
The Crown Prince headpiece is an ancient royal artifact of the Fire Nation, meant to be worn by Heir to the Fire Lord, who can be male or female. The crown has two prongs, as opposed to the five pronged headpiece of the Fire Lord. The headpiece is crafted into the shape of the Fire Nation insignia. The headpiece was passed down from generation to generation, until it was inherited by Prince Sozin, who gave it to his friend, Avatar Roku. Roku kept it and wore it for the rest of his life. Years later, it was shown to be kept by Iroh, who passed it on to Zuko. It is worn by placing it around the topknot, and it is held by a hairpin.
Fire Lord headpiece
- Main article: Fire Lord headpiece
The Fire Lord's headpiece is an ancient royal artifact of the Fire Nation, meant to be worn by the Fire Lord, the absolute ruler of the nation. The headpiece is shaped like the Fire Nation insignia, except it possesses two additional prongs to make it appear like a crown. It is worn in a top-knot. The royal headpiece has been passed down for many generations of the nation's history from each Fire Lord to the next. The Fire Sages initiate the crowning ceremony. The crown has been worn by at least seven Fire Lords: Sozin, Azulon, Ozai, Zuko, Izumi, and two whose names remain unknown.
United Republic of Nations
As the United Republic of Nations and Republic City, its capital, grew, fashion shifted from the traditional clothing of the four nations to a trend that reflects modernity and the cosmopolitan nature of the new nation.
Both sexes wear a variety of hats and gloves, and scarves are often worn, such as Mako's trademark red scarf, which belonged to his dead father. Asami once bought him a new one, noticing that his was old and frayed, although the young firebender refused to wear it. Hiroshi Sato is seen with a pocket watch that contains a family picture taken before his wife's murder. Bracelets are worn by more wealthy members of Republic City such as Shady Shin. Necklaces are also worn by various people in Republic City.
Makeup seems to be worn mostly by wealthy associates such as Asami Sato. There are various colors of lipstick, from Asami's dark red to Lin Beifong's light pink shade, and eye shadow and makeup powder are also available.
Unlike most other citizens of the United Republic of Nations, whose outfits are inspired by 20th century clothing, the outfits of the Equalists take on more of a steampunk appearance. Nearly all members of the Equalists wear outfits that completely cover their bodies, albeit allowing for unencumbered movement while performing chi blocking. In addition, they all wear black gas masks with the Equalist insignia, red neck gaiters, and their iconic weapon, the electrified glove. Members of the Equalists who were not chi blockers yet or were under the guise of being a civilian wore neck gaiters that covered their mouth and nose, and during the Attack on the Pro-bending Arena, the Equalists in the audience also wore a black hood to further conceal their identity. The Lieutenant's outfit differs in that he wears shoulder pads, his mask only partially covers his face, revealing his mouth and distinctive mustache, and he wears brass goggles instead of a gas mask. He also carries an energy pack on his back with his trademark weapon, his electrified kali sticks. Their leader, Amon, wore a sleeveless gray trench coat with ornate shoulder pads, a black shirt and arm braces, ornate gaiters over his footwear, and the most distinctive aspects of his attire, his hood and distinctive mask. Introduced later in the revolution, Equalist airmen wear a leather skull cap with goggles to protect their eyes. Their uniform consists of a light gray shirt and gray pants, their footwear being a durable pilot's boot. They also have a parachute on their back at all times in case of being shot down.
The only seen factory workers were the laborers at Future Industries. Their outfits consist of a green shirt with a brown vest and brown pants. They wear white knee-breeches over brown shoes. Their final piece of clothing is a green hat with a yellow ring around the outside.
Like every day wear, men wear suits, although generally of a more elegant style than usual. Formal wear consists of either two-piece or three-piece suits, with the two-piece suits featuring a cummerbund or belt and either variety having a tangzhuang or a dress-shirt which is usually white, with ornate fastenings, such as knot buttons, and a mandarin collar. Cravats, neckties or scarves are worn, and trousers are always worn with knee-breeches and shoes. Women wear different varieties of ball gown, and hair is worn in varied styles. For both men and women, color and variation depends on the wearer's taste and heritage: for instance, perhaps reflecting his Water Tribe heritage, Tarrlok wore a sporran-like garment at his gala, while Korra's ball gown was sleeveless, and she covered her ponytail with a cap that matched her trademark armlet, and Mako and Bolin wore red and green respectively.
Male citizens of the United Republic often wear outfits closely resembling either a changshan or a tangzhuang, incorporating a jacket or longer coat with a wide variety of lapels, a shirt with a mandarin collar, and trousers, tucked into knee-high boots, as sported by Amon, as well as commanders in the United Forces, such as General Iroh and Commander Bumi. Another fashion is to wear knee-breeches over black shoes, such as those worn by Mako, Bolin, Yakone, and Tarrlok. These were available in various colors and styles, with the jackets of wealthier people, such as Hiroshi Sato and Tarrlok, featuring a round pattern on the shoulders. Waistcoats are also worn on occasion. Capes or duster-type jackets are seen being worn by Water Tribe members such as Yakone and Varrick. Hiroshi Sato wore a brown leather jacket during a speech to Equalist supporters in Republic City Park and while he observed his new weapons destroying the fleet of the United Forces' First Division. Men's hairstyles range in style, from normal short hair to having a swirling ribbon of hair hanging in the front like Tahno. Men with longer hair are rare, but those that do usually have it in a ponytail or other various styles.
Athletes in the sport of pro-bending wear clothing that protects them from hard hits, but is stylish as well. The uniform appears to be made of a cloth that is durable enough to take direct hits from the three playable elements. The footwear appears to be thin and lightweight, allowing increased agility. The helmet is made of a durable material to protect a player's head. It has a glass face mask to allow protection from debris during a match. However, only waterbending players can aim for the head, and any other element bent at the head is illegal.
Men wear one-piece bathing costumes, as worn in the early 20th century, a close-fitting waterproof garment which covered the entire body from the torso to the upper thighs, leaving the arms and legs bare, and decorated with broad black and white stripes. Women also wear one-piece bathing suits.
United Republic Council
The five members of the United Republic Council wore expensive clothing to indicate their prestige and dressed in the colors of the nation they represent. They all wore a badge bearing the insignia of the United Republic of Nations, indicating their position on the council.
Women and men dress rather similarly in the United Republic, sporting jackets similar to men, but often wear a dress with tights and leather stockings. Women will opt to wear more fancy dresses on more formal occasions. Additionally, women will tend to wear long overcoats in cold weather, such as those sported by Asami and Lin Beifong in the South Pole.
Women's hair is usually kept long and styled in a variety of ways—with ponytails, braids, and other updos being common. Bobbed haircuts, however, are not unknown, as the captain of the Red Sands Rabaroos and the White Falls Wolfbats fangirls have donned them. A recent development has been the invention of hair dye by Varrick, leading to one of his employees, the actress and showgirl, Ginger, dying her hair a unique shade of red. Although the product was not yet on the market, Varrick anticipated that sales would escalate once Ginger was seen using the product in his weekly serial The Adventures of Nuktuk: Hero of the South.
Theater and film
Actors and entertainers in the Avatar world would often make use of distinctive costumes in their shows, like in the theater or in the movers. A key aspect of costumes in the entertainment industry is their comical and exaggerated appearance; for instance, the actors of Unalaq and Ozai were dressed in over-the-top parodies of the ordinary clothing of the people they were imitating, causing them to closely resemble pantomime villains. Sometimes these costumes are also sexualized to appeal to the crowd - for example, Katara's costume was low-cut and had a split skirt, revealing the actress' bare legs. Similarly, both Ginger and Bolin wore costumes that showed off their bodies, baring far more skin than would be comfortable in the climate of the South Pole.
Traditional theater employed many stagehands to move in the background, rearranging scenes or otherwise adding to the theatrics. To minimize the attention drawn to them, they dressed entirely in black.
The use of masks and face-paint was also prevalent in many performances; the popular tragedy Love amongst the Dragons, which had spirits among its characters, employed masks to make the actors resemble their supernatural roles better. Likewise, in The Boy in the Iceberg, makeup is used to a great extent to enhance the facial expressions of the characters, making them visible for every spectator in the theater.
- Clothing in the Avatar World is influenced by several real-life cultures, such as Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, Japanese, Native American and a few Indian clothing.
- Fashion of the Air Nomads closely resembles that of Tibetan Monks.
- Fashion in Republic City is reminiscent of Chinese styles found in the early 20th century especially from Shanghai, while incorporating extra articles of clothing to resemble western fashion, rather than some Asian styles and fashions of earlier dynasties in China that is observed in the other kingdoms in ATLA. With the exception to some attire such as fedora hats, pea coats, neckties, and the white 'stockings' often worn by Republic City dwellers are similar to the knee-breeches used in Europe from the late 16th century up to the early 19th century.
- The attire of the Ba Sing Se aristocracy is similar to the Manchurian-Chinese qipao, especially the clothing worn during parties and important public events. However, the nobles in Gaoling exemplify the hairstyle and clothing of the Chinese Tang Dynasty. Toph and Poppy Beifong are seen dressed in traditional robes called hanfu, also seen in many Fire Nation styles.
- Ursa's wedding dress was based on the styles of old-era Korean nobility.
- Song and her mother wore clothing derived from a traditional Korean garment known as a hanbok.
- Female hairdos in the Upper Ring of Ba Sing Se are reminiscent of wealthy women during China's Qing Dynasty. Women wrap their hair similar to the fashion of the Manchu Qing Dynasty of China.
- The Earth King's attire is based on real Chinese Manchurian emperors of the Qing Dynasty.
- Many hats, headdresses, and headgears found in the Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom are similar to topknot-held headpieces known as "guan".
- Pro-bending uniforms were based on early football equipment and uniforms according to the creators in Korra: Making of a Legend.
- The design of the gloves used by many members of the Water Tribe was inspired by the real world split mittens that are commonly used in snowboarding.