37 Times The Aesthetics In "Stranger Things" Meant More Than Meets The Eye

·4 min read

Stranger Things is known for its stellar attention to detail when it comes to authenticity around its '80s settings and historical accuracies. However, that's not the only area with such dedicated attention to detail.

Read on to find out how everything from the characters' outfits to their hairstyles had secret messages in Season 4, Part 1.⚠ Stop reading here if you don't want spoilers for Season 4, Part 1! ⚠

Read on to find out how everything from the characters' outfits to their hairstyles had secret messages in Season 4, Part 1.

⚠ Stop reading here if you don't want spoilers for Season 4, Part 1! ⚠

Tim Rowden /©Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

1.California and Hawkins color palettes

2.Costuming with military precision

3.Eleven's mish-mash style

4.Mike's long hair

5.Lucas's cool new cut

6.Will's signature bowl cut

7.Eleven's familiar hairstyle

8.Max's simple hair

Max wearing her hair pulled back in a dark blue scrunchie, looking serious

Gone are the days of Max's bright waves bouncing around her shoulders. To mirror the character's darker mindset and fall into depression, Max wears her hair pulled back all season, likely to show how it's just not something she remotely cares about anymore.

On top of this, she wears a scrunchie from Season 3 which has been dyed a darker color to show its age, and look a little unloved and sad — much like how Max is feeling.


9.Dustin's Steve-influenced 'do

10.Hopper's shaved head

11.Nancy's fluffy perm

12.Eddie's hair-rock hair do

13.Chrissy's good girl vibes

14.Jason's Risky Business hair

15.Eleven the clothing chameleon

16.Karen's Jazzercise gear

17.Argyle's eclectic style

18.Eddie's like an onion — he's got layers

19.The Hellfire Club tees

20.Lucas' sporty look

21.Will's time capsule clothing

22.Max goes function over fashion

23.Nancy's mature look

24.Jonathan's found color!

25.Robin's look

26.The sole of the story

Lucas's wearing green and white Converse on the basketball court

Argyle's shoes were custom-made by Vans and paired with custom tie-dye socks, and Converse custom-made shoes in three different colors to match the Hawkins High School color palette. All were designed to be super representative of not only the era, but also the locations of the characters.


27.The meaning of the meanies' looks

28.Clothes sometimes serve as layers of protection

Eleven roaring with emotion, her hand outstretched, wearing a plaid shirt over a grey t-shirt

Costume designer Amy Parris said characters wore darker, baggier clothes and layers to represent when they were mourning or feeling unsure of themselves.

A prime example could be Eleven's baggy dark red and black plaid shirt over a gray t-shirt, which she wears when she's mourning Hopper and tries to tell his story in class.

School is also a place where she hasn't quite figured out where she fits in, and she has negative experiences due to bullying, so of course, Eleven feels unsure and down when she's there.


29.Dustin's DIY fashion

30.Chrissy's blue-tiful eyeshadow

31.Reebok recycling

Eleven holding her diorama, wearing a baggy plaid shirt over a grey t-shirt

Joyce wears Reeboks, said to be her "signature shoe brand." She can be spotted wearing the same Reeboks for multiple seasons, and when El takes her diorama of Hopper and his cabin into class, it's made from a Reebok shoebox.

A small detail, but one that really brings home that Eleven is now without Hopper and living with the Byerses with Joyce as her parental figure.


32.Robin's journey

33.Steve Cruise

Steve wearing Eddie's denim vest

There's been an ongoing connection between Steve and Tom Cruise all the way from Season 1 — from being told he looked like Tom Cruise to going dressed as a Tom Cruise character at Halloween, all the way to seeing Risky Business with Nancy, and Nancy having a poster of Tom Cruise in her bedroom as her crush.

In Season 4, Steve is given Eddie's jacket after he's attacked, and whilst it's a sweet gesture, it also serves as another little Tom Cruise Easter egg, as Steve's outfit looks exactly like Tom Cruise's in The Outsiders!


34.Eleven's jewelry

Eleven pointing, with a ring on her finger

If you look closely, Eleven is wearing a ring in Season 4, Part 1. Apparently, the idea behind it is that Mike gave it to her at some point, likely as a way to stay with her in some way when they are apart.


35.Mike's Cali look

36.There were several wigs per character with slight variations

37.Time in a (perm formula) bottle

School bully Angela with her hair half up in a pink scrunchie atop her head, while the rest sits around her shoulders

We have several distinct locations in Season 4, Part 1, with two main ones being Hawkins and California. Set hairstylist Sarah Hindsgaul told Netflix that they were talking midwest versus coastal US, and there was, of course, gonna be a delay in finding out the trends from the big city back in the '80s — I mean, there was no social media back then, so trends took a while to filter out from their epicenter to the edges of the map.

Hindsgaul said: "In California, we have bigger, looser hair shags, and Hawkins would be sticking to the tighter perms, the shorter hairdos. ... They’re a little bit stuck. There’s still a little bit of that ’70s influence going on in Hawkins, whereas as soon as we go to California, you are just in the ’80s — full-blown."


The attention to detail and the thought that goes into every element of what we see on screen is just astounding.

What's your favorite Stranger Things look?! Let me know in the comments!