Whether or not you’ve read the popular Archie Comics, there’s no way you’ve escaped stories about the core group featured in it. Redhead heartthrob Archie Andrews, blonde and blue-eyed Betty Cooper, rich and vivacious Veronica Lodge and the loner with a large appetite Jughead Jones. These characters first appeared in Pep Comics in December 1941 and have proven to be popular enough to remain in print for over 80 years. Set in the town of Riverdale, the comic books focus on the lives of these teenagers and the adventures they embark on. From love triangles to the zombie apocalypse, the material in this comic strip never runs out of entertainment.
In 2016, CW adapted the Archie comics in a series titled Riverdale where the characters are far darker and deal with deeper challenges. The names and characteristics of the protagonists mirror the comics, but the storyline is twisted and goes beyond the everyday teenage troubles. Adding another rendition to the mix, Indian filmmaker Zoya Akhtar is all set to present her version of the comic through a Nextflix film ‘The Archies’ starring half a dozen of Bollywood star babies in the titular roles.
While all the depictions of this story have a common foothold in terms of the background and forming of the characters, the fashion across all platforms is surprisingly distinctive. Although it’s all rooted in the same narrative, they dress differently in each of these narrations. Betty’s style in Riverdale is evidently different from the ’90s comic high schooler, and Veronica Lodge is much chicer on TV, as opposed to her in the graphic novel. With a fresh new batch of players joining the field, let’s decode the fashion across the Archie universe.
1. Archie (Comic)
In the comic book, the characters dressed more flamboyant and vibrant, since the content of it wasn’t as noir as the show. Betty’s style was inspired by the image of the American girl-next-door—dressed in florals, polka dots, checkered prints in low-waist bell-bottoms, skirts and pinafores with that signature blonde ponytail. Veronica, on the other hand, wore everything form-fitting in solid hues like reds and pinks—mini dresses, tiny skirts with collared shirts layered under a vest. Archie was given the typical jock look in varsity jackets, t-shirts layered with tartan shirts and single toned sweaters. Jughead in the comic is slouchier and lazier, hence his wardrobe is mostly striped jackets and monotone layering with little or no effort—except for his accessory, which is always a burger, shake and his iconic cap.
Leaving the ’90s behind, CW’s Riverdale takes inspiration from the strip but adapts it in a modern and contemporary way. Betty, played by Lili Reinhart does much more in the show other than chasing Archie, she is fighting demons (inside and out) and protecting the town from all sorts of terror. For a job like this, she is mostly dressed in tea pink turtle necks, collared cropped sweaters in pastel hues, pleated skirts, dungarees and denim for the days she’s on the run. Veronica may have left New York, but she still dresses like a true New Yorker in LBDs, pearls, tweed sets and embellished collars comprise her signature style. Archie’s closet revolves within the range of blues, maroons and greys with a hint of yellow added through his sporty jacket. Jughead in the show still loves his food but not more than he loves solving mysteries, with betty of course. Played by Cole Sprouse, Jughead has a uniform-like style with his fur-detailed denim jacket and tartan overcoat being his go-to. Let’s not forget the lumberjack shirt tied around his waist, sling back and the infamous cap from the comic.
3. The Archies
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Zoya Akhtar’s ‘The Archies’ is set in the ’60s, while much has to be decoded about the ensemble cast’s style once more promos are out—but from the first look, it gives a nod to the ’60s. Costume designer/stylist Poornamitra Singh has dressed the Gen-Z girls Khushi Kapoor, Suhana Khan and Dot in upholstery-like vintage printed dresses, with pinafore and sweater layering, along with some subtle ruching detail in the hem and sleeves. Puffy sleeves and broad collars for the win. Boys have been layered in prints-on-prints (checks on stripes) and folded-hemmed denim—accessorised with suspenders, sweater vests and newsboy caps.
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