'Squid Game' Tracksuit: The Hidden Meaning Behind the Players' Outfits

Squid Game, the gripping Netflix K-drama slated to become the streamer's biggest show of all time, has been captivating audiences worldwide with its engrossing plot and the striking outfits of its characters, many of which have inspired ideas for Halloween costumes.

The mystery thriller sees 456 cash-strapped battle each other in an extreme survival competition in a series of six games for the chance to win 46.5 billion Korean won (around $38.4 million), with the losers of each game facing death.

All the contestants wear identical evergreen tracksuits, with their player number being the only differentiating feature on the outfits. They also wear identical white slip-on sneakers and white t-shirts, which feature their contestant numbers across the chest.

The tracksuits are reminiscent of the green gym uniform that Squid Game director Hwang Dong-hyuk recalled wearing in elementary school, he told South Korea's Joongang Ilbo on September 28.

The staff members of the game don uniform hot pink full-body hooded jumpsuits and a black mask that bears either a triangle, circle or square symbol.

The staff uniforms were inspired by images of factory workers Hwang had come across while developing the look with his costume director. He originally intended for them to wear boy scout outfits, Hwang said.

The uniformity of the looks aims to symbolize the erasing of individuality and personality, Cine21, a South Korean film magazine, reported on September 16.

Director Hwang told Cine21 at the time: "We paid attention to the contrast of colors because both groups [the players and staff] wear team uniforms."

A still from "Squid Game" on Netflix.
A still from "Squid Game" on Netflix. Netflix

The two bright and playful color choices were intentional, with both evoking memories of childhood, such as scenes of sports day at a park. The contrast between the uniforms of the players and the staff is similar to that "between school children participating in different activities on sports day at an amusement park and the park guides," Hwang explained.

The "soft, playful, and innocent-looking" pink shade of the staffers was deliberately chosen to contrast the dark, ruthless nature of their work, which entails killing off anyone who has been eliminated from the competition and throwing their bodies in a coffin and into a burner.

"Squid Game" on Netflix.
A still from "Squid Game" on Netflix. Netflix

The other attire seen in the series is the all-black outfit of the Front Man, the mysterious character who oversees the competition.

The Front Man also wears a distinct black mask, which the director said pays homage to the look of Darth Vader from the Star Wars film series.

Hwang said the Front Man's mask, which outlines some facial features, "has a bit more personality" and thought it would be a better fit for his storyline with Jun-ho, the police officer character in the series, the Joongang Ilboreported.

Halloween Costumes Inspired by 'Squid Game'

The striking outfits from Squid Game have inspired Halloween costume ideas, with some cropping up on retail websites like Amazon.

Player Tracksuits

A jacket and sweatpants set donning "456," the number of the show's main character Gi-hun, that look nearly identical to the outfit in the series is available on Amazon.

The same outfit, but one bearing "067," the number for Sae-byeok, the fierce yet vulnerable North Korean contestant who quickly became a fan favorite, is also available on Amazon.

Staff Member Jumpsuits

Costumes inspired by the pink hooded jumpsuits worn by staff members in Squid Game are also on sale on Amazon.

You can also find the balaclava worn by the staffers underneath their hood and mask to complete your look, also available on Amazon.

Masks

Squid Game fans can also buy masks similar to the ones in the series, including the staffers' mask bearing a shape symbol and the Darth Vader-inspired mask of the Front Man on Amazon.

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A still from "Squid Game" on Netflix.
The Front Man character in "Squid Game" on Netflix. Netflix