One of the ways that Stranger Things cemented its iconic TV status was through its unmistakable wardrobe choices, and the cast can be thanked for some of them.

When Netflix dropped the first season of the hit sci-fi series in the summer of 2016, fans were readying their Halloween costumes for months to come. October saw partygoers take on Eleven’s babydoll dress and blonde wig or don Hopper’s cop uniform. But did you know that some of the wardrobe additions were pitched by the cast members themselves? Here are some of the surprising styling choices that were made by the Stranger Things actors.

Eleven, Will, Mike, Steve, and Argyle stand in a living room
Stranger Things/21 Laps/Netflix/Stranger Things YouTube channel

Iconic Stranger Things costume was inspired by Indiana Jones

Any cinephile knows the importance of costume in period pieces. It is a key way of setting the scene and also offers insight to the characters beyond what’s scripted.

So, when a cast member wishes to add a certain item, it must be because they envisage it developing their character somehow. This was the case in the first season of Stranger Things, when two cast members decided their characters needed some accessories to complete their look.

David Harbour, who plays Hopper in the sci-fi series, took inspiration from none other than Indiana Jones. And this trickled down to the wardrobe styling. Notably, Hopper’s signature hat.

“One of David’s first requests was for Hopper to wear a hat at almost all times. He just had to have one,” the Duffer Brothers wrote in Entertainment Weekly. Wanting his character to have that old-school Hollywood hero feel, Harbour thought this accessory would help get him in the spirit.

“Early on, he even asked if we could have a giant boulder roll after him at one point in the show,” the Duffers continued. “We’re still not sure if he was joking or not.”

More Stranger Things stars influenced their wardrobe

Caleb McLaughlin, who plays Lucas, suggested that he wear a camouflage bandana towards the end of season 1 when the action picks up. Lucas is seen sporting the bandana for the last three episodes, as it becomes a signature part of his character’s style. “Sometimes our kids have great ideas, and this is one of those times!” the Duffer Brothers told Entertainment Weekly about this decision.

Caleb would also direct Lucas’s wardrobe in the fourth season when he embraces more of a quintessential ‘jock’ style. He requested that his jersey have the number eight, as this was Kobe Bryant’s first number in the NBA. “We thought that was a great little Easter egg to pay tribute to such an icon, in such a specific way,” costume designer Amy Parris said.

For season 4, Maya Hawke chose the patches for Robin’s Wrangler jacket. “It was nice to give Maya a little DIY chance to put her own spin on it,” she further explains. “Maya hand-picked those patches. It felt real, it felt like what Robin would do.”

Similarly, Joseph Quinn, who joined the cast as Eddie Munson in the fourth season, added custom touches to his outfit from badges to band pins.

Stranger Things wardrobe was heavily influenced by Hollywood classics

Giving Stranger Things a distinctly Eighties feel meant nailing the vibe of the era clothing-wise. With big bold colors and even bigger hair, this decade is unmistakable. But making the cast look natural to the era and not wearing OTT costumers led the wardrobe team to search for real vintage pieces.

They also drew inspiration from movies and stars of the era when creating the looks. Tom Cruise in Risky Business is both an influence over Steve (Joe Keery) and Jason’s (Mason Dye) wardrobes. Whereas Nancy (Natalia Dyer) was more inspired by the likes of a young Brooke Shields.

In the fourth season, we see a nod to actors of the 1980s that embodied the decade. We see Molly Ringwald reflected in a new cast addition Vickie (Amybeth McNulty), down to her signature red, cropped hair. Ally Sheedy’s character in The Breakfast Club is also included through new character Eden (Audrey Holcomb).

Watch all seasons of Stranger Things on Netflix now

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