Symmetrical vs Asymmetrical

loki, loki's army, loki of asgard, loki laufeyson, loki of jotunheim, fashion
loki, loki's army, loki of asgard, loki laufeyson, loki of jotunheim, fashion

Though this might be viewed as a question of simple fashion, it seems that we’ve found something far more complicated. While Thor and Odin show up quite a symmetrical fashion on their costumes, Loki’s have a tendency to be more asymmetrical. The whole thing was discovered by someone in Tumblr who noticed that the sleeves of Loki’s shirt in Thor the Dark World in jail were different, and that the difference in pattern point at the “blue arm,” the one that makes him know that he is a Jotun.

If we take a closer look to Loki’s fashion, we’ll discover that he has more than one outfit in each of the films. In Thor he has symmetrical and asymmetrical garments. While his combat outfit and King outfit are symmetrical, his “casual” garments are asymmetrical and resemble what his normal outfit will be from the Avengers onwards.

loki, loki's army, loki of asgard, loki laufeyson, loki of jotunheim, fashion
loki, loki's army, loki of asgard, loki laufeyson, loki of jotunheim, fashion
loki, loki's army, loki of asgard, loki laufeyson, loki of jotunheim, fashion

We can see two outfits which are symmetrical: the one that he brings to Jotunheim to fight the Jotuns and the one for special occasions (coronations, becoming a king). However, the third one is a previous of what Loki’s outfit will look from the Avengers onwards. It is quite asymmetrical, and each of the arms are different. Pay a closer look. However, we cannot say that he uses this outfit from the moment he does know about his true origins, since he already used this one when talking to Thor, before going to Jotunheim.

loki, loki's army, loki of asgard, loki laufeyson, loki of jotunheim, fashion

We know that his fashion is becoming more him, more asymmetrical. Let’s take a closer look:

loki, loki's army, loki of asgard, loki laufeyson, loki of jotunheim, fashion

However his outfit with a cape, in the Avengers looks quite symmetrical, while his casual outfit does resemble the one in Thor, the first movie.

loki, loki's army, loki of asgard, loki laufeyson, loki of jotunheim, fashion

Thor remains as symmetrical as always…

loki, loki's army, loki of asgard, loki laufeyson, loki of jotunheim, fashion

So, what’s going on here? We could argue that symmetry is subliminally sending a message to the subconscious of “I am the good guy,” while asymmetry is sending the opposite message “I am the mischievous one.” Symmetry also echoes order, beauty, balance, equilibrium. However, asymmetry is echoing chaos, hiding something, being out of balance. Symmetry is simple: at a first glance we know about the figure in front. Thus, symmetry defines Thor perfectly: he is a simple guy, who understands simple statements. However, Loki is far more complex: he knows magic, he does tricks, he hides his true nature, he creates illusions, etc. Complexity is what Loki’s fashion is showing up. His outfit is as complex as his own personality.

So, we can conclude that, fashion is giving us hints about the personalities of the characters in the movie. While Loki had both symmetrical and asymmetrical outfits in the first movie, and then he became more and more asymmetrical in his fashion, Thor has remained as symmetrical as always. Loki’s personality has evolved, has matured, is far more complicated than it was in the first movie, and fashion reflects that.

That his sleeve differences in Thor the Dark World coincide with the blue arm of the first movie, might be a coincidence. But the fact that the characters’ personality is shown also through fashion can be taken as a fact. Symmetrical echoes simplicity, and thus, a clearer character. Asymmetrical echoes complexity, and thus, a multilayered and deep one.

  • Angrboda Ironwood

    Okay, I am so glad some other people noticed this! I don’t know how many times I’ve looked at Loki’s outfits (all the way back to 2011 when I was watching ‘Thor’ several times a month) and thought, “wtf is up with the asymmetry in his outfits?” I love those bits of “chaos”, because doesn’t it fit him? ;D I’m actually a little OCD about things, and it bothered me at first glance, but now I just think of it as “Loki being Loki”.

    This is a bit off topic, but I find it, quite oddly, more difficult to draw his more symmetrical outfits. The ones closest to his ‘Avengers’ outfit are so much easier to deal with, lol. Nothing to do with anything, I’m just going off on a tangent. 😀

    • xDDDD Yeah, the dresses also express the character of the characters :p Besides, when Thor is to become king, they place Loki with the women, and the warriors 3 together, making a male/female dichotomy. If you add this to Loki’s clothing… well… you get a lot of why he is not as welcomed in Asgard ^^;

      • Angrboda Ironwood

        Oh yeah, that is so true about where they placed Loki at the coronation! I knew there was something odd about that placement, but I didn’t give it further thought. Nice catch. ;D

        • I know it might be too much… BUT. If you take a look at the movies, scene by scene, and watch each scene several times (alone, not at once the whole movie) you’ll catch up more details. Note: include the cut scenes as well. You’ll be able to see what our subconscious mind took at first sight 😉

          • Angrboda Ironwood

            That’s definitely true. I might have to try that sometime, lol. Kinda seems tedious but I watch those movies pretty frequently anyways, so why not? 😀