Squid Games is Netflix’s next runaway hit, ranking second in demand worldwide on the streaming platform. In fact, co-CEO Ted Sarandos predicts that the series, based in South Korea, may become Netflix’s most popular non-English show ever.
The show centers around several children’s games — think ‘Red Light, Green Light’ or ‘Tug of War’ — where the losers are eliminated and then murdered. Yes, you read that right. People are shot the second they lose the game. On the flip side, the winners of all 6 games walk away with a cool $45.6 billion, a tempting prize for the 456 contestants who are massively in debt.
While the premise is thrilling enough on its own, fans are also enthralled by the casting and costuming of the nine-episode series. Featuring celebrities like HoYeon Jung, a top model who’s appeared on the runway at Chanel and Louis Vuitton, the show relies heavily on fashion to send certain messaging about the characters and the plot.
The fashion most central to the narrative is, of course, the Squid Games costumes for the contestants and guards. Those outfits are quite casual and laidback, yet the color holds a deeper meaning that speaks to the plot’s many twist and turns.
Read on for everything to know about the Squid Games costumes and outfits, and the symbolism behind them.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Where To Buy Squid Games Costumes
For players, the Squid Games costumes look a lot like something you might wear to run errands or head to a movie theater. It consists of a teal tracksuit with the contestant number printed on the front and back in white as well as a pair of white slip-on sneakers.
Much like the idea of childhood games resulting in mass murder, the fashion in Squid Games is used to create tension. A casual outfit seems out of place for a survival game; a military-inspired, armor-like uniform is better suited. But the juxtaposition of a laidback look and a high-stakes game just adds to the thrill of the series.
The color of the Squid Games costumes serves that same goal. Teal signifies peace and rebirth, blending “the calming properties of blue with the renewal qualities of green,” according to Canva. It’s described as a “revitalizing and rejuvenating color that also represents open communication and clarity of thought.”
It’s quite the psychological trick for the costume designer to outfit contestants in such a color, as open communication and clarity is something they’re desperately lacking throughout the series.
The Squid Games Guards Costumes, Explained
The Squid Games guard costumes also play on the viewer’s emotions. Rendered in pink, their hooded jumpsuits seem menacing enough. But the color itself is decidedly not.
Though hot pink is an energetic and provocative shade, pink generally “evokes notions of sensitivity, sweetness, and romance,” according to Canva. Again, it’s not a mood one might associate with a guard presiding over a survival game that could end in mass murder.
Some viewers are interpreting the Squid Games guard costumes as red, and that color may be more fitting for the thriller. Red can symbolize battles, courage, and anger, reports Live Science. It’s also the color of blood, which we see oozing out of gunshot wounds throughout the series.
The black zippers, belts, and masks also serve to emphasize the guards’ authority and perhaps their depravity too.
Where To Buy Squid Games Masks
The Squid Games masks are probably the only fashion item you can take at face value. The black and opaque masks are just as intimidating as you’d expect. But an eagle-eyed fan of the show pointed out one disturbingly playful detail.
The white circle, triangle, or square on the front of each mask resembles the buttons on a PlayStation controller.
While a Dystopian drama isn’t top of mind when one thinks of Playstation, the buttons do speak to how the series is all one big game to the orchestrators.