Jack Veal as Kid Loki and Tom Hiddleston as Loki in episode 5

Loki Costume Designer Christine Wada Explains Why Loki Keeps Wearing Those TVA Clothes

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I spoke with Loki’s incredible costume director Christine Wada and will explore elements of the costumes and characters throughout the week as we enter finale territory. But one pressing question I received from several Loki fans involved the character’s lack of a costume change.

Even though Loki can manifest any sort of look through his magic, he remains in the somewhat grimy and now battle-worn TVA business casual ensemble he began wearing as a “consultant” in episode 2. What gives?

I asked Wada if she could shed some light on that costuming decision. “People were curious as to why in the last episode [“Journey Into Mystery,” episode 5], Loki remained in that TVA costume,” I said. “That he didn’t transform back into fine Asgardian leather when he had the chance. So I was wondering if there was a thought process behind that, or maybe there’s going to be a bigger reveal in the next episode for him?”

The tail-end of that question was wishful thinking I might get a costume/plot spoiler out of her—but the charming Wada neatly dodged any news about a forthcoming costume reveal, saying, “Well, I can’t really speak to that.” She did, however, provide insight as to why Loki appears dressed in a way we’ve never seen him before, and why he stays that way. There was a “deliberate choice” from the start “to take the armor off of him.”

“I can tell you that there is a very deliberate choice from the very beginning episode on to keep him, you know, to take the armor off of him and do some unexpected things for a character that has the magical powers,” Wada told me.

According to Wada, the creative team was reimagining the usual “superhero format” when they imagined Loki. The decision to keep Loki in his TVA office wear was meant to allow more of the actual character to shine through. Thus we wouldn’t have our attention distracted by a dramatic outfit like the ones he has worn in the past—or the sort of over-the-top costuming imagery we so often see as the hallmark of superhero stories. (Think Richard E. Grant’s “Classic Loki” outfit. Even with an actor as accomplished as Grant, the costume takes up a lot of space.)

Though he was sporting traditional clothes, however, it was important that the essence of Loki remained as well.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki in episode 2

After the team got Loki out of his original costume, it was also up to Loki lead actor Tom Hiddleston to make that new, more mundane look his character’s own.

“I think it was really interesting for all of us to reimagine this sort of superhero format—like take the armor away and be able to see the magic coming from the inside of the character,” Wada explained. “What does a Loki, what does Tom do with something so benign? And so as a uniform, and turn it into something that’s so Loki, like turning up the collar. Adding [to the character] without it being some more armor that we’ve all seen.”

And as to why Loki loses that TVA “Variant” jacket pretty quickly, turned-up collar or not: “It was a very deliberate choice to have him get down to that white shirt early on, so we could just see some battle wound,” Wada said, “and just let it sort of feel like you’re taking this internal journey with Loki.” There you have it, folks: Loki, stripped down, so that we can see more of him than ever before. (Get your mind out of the gutter!)

Our internal and external journey with Loki is headed into its last hour this week. Do you think he’ll keep these TVA threads, or show up in something unexpected for the finale?

(images: Marvel Studios)

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.