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Almost everyone has seen or at least heard of the Avatar series. No, this is not about James Cameron’s Avatar with the blue alien people in it, but Nickelodeon’s Avatar series. Co-created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, the series is highly praised for its superb world-building, character development, and overall storytelling. You have a wide variety of characters with villains sometimes having amazing character arcs (case in point, Zuko). Welcome to our Ty Lee Cosplay ideas guide.
The first series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, follows a young boy named Aang who is born as the Avatar, someone who is tasked to bring balance to the world. In this world, people can bend one of four different elements: water, earth, fire, and air. The Avatar, however, can bend all of these elements with the proper training. After he had frozen over for a hundred years, he trains himself to defeat the Fire Nation who has wiped out his people, the air nomads.
He is accompanied by: Katara, a water bender; Sokka, Katara’s brother; and Toph, an earth bender. He constantly faces threats such as Zuko, the fire lord’s son, although he, later on, joins the Avatar’s side. Another threat he faces is Azula, and with her are her friends Mai and Ty Lee. All of them are cute and adorable, but one of them stands out for being bubbly, charismatic, and charming: Ty Lee.
Who is Ty Lee?
Ty Lee is a cheerful and energetic fourteen-year-old teenager who is the daughter of nobles in the Fire Nation and a childhood friend to Zuko, Azula, and Mai. She has six sisters who look very similar to her in terms of appearance; because of this, she has tried her hardest to stand out among her sisters so that she can have an identity of her own. So, she joined a circus band and performed acrobatics for entertainment.
Since she was part of the circus, she is extremely agile and skilled in acrobatics. Most of the time in the show, she is wearing her red acrobatics attire which gives her a lot of space to move freely. She is also a skilled martial artist and an expert in chi-blocking, which is the act of hitting precise points on a person’s body to prevent them from moving. She uses chi-blocking a lot in the show because these moves prevent her enemies from moving, and so they cannot bend their element.
She has long brown hair that she ties into a long, braided ponytail. She has big, brown eyes and is mostly seen smiling. Her acrobatic attire consists of a pink short shirt similar to an Indian choli top which reveals her midriff, pink knee-length baggy pants, and a red split skirt around her waist and over her baggy pants. She also dons a red accessory around her neck resembling shoulder pads, as well as red wrist cloths over her wrists and a red tie to tie her braided ponytail.
Ty Lee is known to be a bubbly and outgoing individual who is always smiling even despite facing her enemies. She is also slightly airheaded. Her bubbly attitude is a direct contrast to Mai’s melancholic views and Azula’s cold-blooded cruelty. She values individuality a lot since she separated herself from her family to join the circus. Her values stem from the fact that she has six sisters who look identically similar to her.
She is loyal to her friends and holds no grudges against her past enemies since, after the Hundred Year War, she joined the Kyoshi warriors. However, one of her iconic moves in the show was her betrayal against Azula, wherein her respect and friendship with Mai overpowered her fear of Azula. Even after the Hundred Year War when Azula was imprisoned, Ty Lee still fears her because of her cold-blooded cruelty.
She has shown great affection towards animals throughout the show. When she, Azula, and Mai invaded the Earth Kingdom, she was shown bonding with Bosco, the Earth King’s bear, by teaching it acrobatics. She is also a strong believer in aura affecting a person’s disposition, as shown when she warned her friends that fighting among themselves causes a negative aura and that negative aura causes blemishes on the skin.
To get to know Ty Lee a bit more, it is better to know her memorable lines to get a glimpse of what she is like in the show. Despite appearing on Book Two of the show, she still has memorable quotes. This is useful for cosplayers who do not know much about Ty Lee yet still want to cosplay as her. When Ty Lee fans meet you, you would be inclined to know her iconic sayings and quotes. So, a select few are listed down below:
- ” I joined the circus because I was scared of spending the rest of my life as part of a matched set. At least I’m different now.”
- ” My aura has never been pinker!”
- “Okay, look, if you want a boy to like you, just look at him and smile a lot and laugh at everything he says, even if it’s not funny.”
- “These boys won’t leave me alone. I think they all just like me too much!”
- “Oooh, it’s like we’re dancing together!”
What you need to cosplay as Ty Lee
It is important to recognize that cosplay is done to have fun as a certain character, so aiming for perfection is not something you should focus on a lot. With that being said, if you want to closely resemble Ty Lee, you need to be a slim female with brown hair and brown eyes. If you are a male, you can still cosplay as Ty Lee; you can try doing a gender-bent cosplay, or a standard Ty Lee cosplay. As for the hair and eyes, you can wear a wig or contact lenses for that.
Listed below are the things you need to cosplay as Ty Lee in detail.
For most of her appearance in the show, she is wearing a short shirt resembling a pink sleeved crop top or a pink Indian choli top. So, these attires will suffice. To aim for accuracy, take note that her sleeves are slightly loose and have a wide opening for her arms. In the show, this ensures that she can move freely and fight in comfort since she is a martial artist. Her attire also has pink collars on her neck.
If you want, you can also make one yourself; just be sure that you have the appropriate tools to make them. If you are making one yourself, take note that her top resembles loose cloth. Silk or satin is good for this purpose. If you do not have the time to make one yourself, but you do not have an existing one in your wardrobe, you can shop for something similar, or alternatively, you can buy a premade Ty Lee costume.
Red “Fire Nation” shoulder pads
In the Fire Nation, the royalty seems to wear an accessory like shoulder pads around their collar. It is said to be inspired by an element of traditional Burmese royalty clothing, which fits well for the Fire Nation since they closely resemble that of East and Southeast Asian cultures. Unfortunately, these accessories do not seem to be popular or common in the modern-day wardrobe. So, you might be compelled to make your own.
Ty Lee wears her red shoulder pads over her top, and they are sturdy, unlike cloth. So, it might be studded or is made of a hard-like material to keep its form in place. If you want to aim for accuracy, you can use hard materials such as cardboard paper to make them. However, you can also make one out of cloth. Be sure to take notice of the size. If you do not have the time to make your own, you can buy a premade Ty Lee costume on the internet.
Pink knee-length baggy pants or harem pants
Since Ty Lee relies on her acrobatic skills to fight, it is appropriate that she wears loose clothing. In the show, she wears pink knee-length baggy pants, which may also resemble pink knee-length harem pants. They can be commonly found in many clothes shops, although you can also make one yourself. At the end of the pants are red sleeves that fit tightly on her legs. The waist end of her pants is not visible because a red split skirt is worn over it.
Red split skirt
She wears a red split skirt over her pink baggy pants just below her midriff. In the show, the splits on the skirt are long, reaching towards the waist but below the skirt’s waistband. If you wish to aim for accuracy, the split skirt is a much darker red compared to the waistband. You can make one yourself if you cannot find this in shops, but you can also buy a premade Ty Lee costume on the internet for accuracy.
Black or brown acrobatic shoes
In the show, Ty Lee was a part of the circus before joining Azula’s hunt for the Avatar and Zuko. So, throughout the show, she is wearing acrobatic shoes with a dark color such as black or brown. Acrobatic shoes are very simple and can be commonly found in shops. If you cannot find out, closed sandals will suffice. Her acrobatic shoes help her move freely and fight in comfort as she relies on her dexterity.
Red wrist wrap
Arguably one of the easiest to assemble in her attire, she dons red wrist wraps over her wrists. In martial arts and even boxing, they are used to protect the wrists from injuries. Since Ty Lee is a martial artist, she finds these wrist wraps useful to avoid injuring herself. A simple red cloth wrapped around your wrists can do, but you can also buy a red wrist wrap yourself. If you are buying a premade Ty Lee costume, inquire if the red wrist wraps are part of the set.
Red hair tie
To complete her red and pink look, she ties her braided ponytail using a red hair tie. Keep it simple and keep it clean, as you do not need extravagant designs on the hair tie.
Brown braided ponytail wig
If your hair is not as long as Ty Lee, or if you do not want to braid your hair, you can acquire a braided ponytail wig to cover over your head. Ty Lee’s braided ponytail is an iconic element for her look. If you have the hair, however, you can braid it into a long singular ponytail.
Brown contact lenses (optional)
Ty Lee has brown eyes, so if you want to aim for perfection in your cosplay, then it would be best to wear brown contact lenses to change your eye color if it was not brown, to begin with. Still, this is optional as it is a very minuscule detail.
Ty Lee alternate costume designs
“The Beach” bikini attire
Throughout the show, Ty Lee wears the same outfit except for one episode: The Beach. The Beach is the fifth episode of Book Three: Fire and the episode revolves around Zuko, Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee being sent to Ember Island as a forced vacation for them. In this episode, they open up more about their pent-up feelings on the world, giving the viewers a deeper understanding of their character.
Here, Ty Lee is wearing different attire. Below are the things that you need to complete the look. Note that she still wears her hair in a braided ponytail, so keep that in mind when completing this particular look. If you are not a fan of buying these items separately or making them out from scratch, you can also buy this attire on the internet.
White bikini top and round fire nation emblem
In this attire, she sports a simple and clean white bikini top. On the middle of her top is a round fire nation emblem. You can make your own by making it as a round pin.
Red swimwear shorts
While her top is a bikini top, she wears red swimwear shorts as her bottom piece. This can also be commonly found in shops. You do not need extravagant designs; simple, plain, and clean red swimwear shorts will suffice.
White short skirt with long side slits
Over her red swimwear shorts, she wears a white short skirt with long slits on the side. The waist end of the skirt is a red, thin sleeve. If you cannot find a white short skirt with a particular style like this, you can modify it to look like it.
Ty Lee: Character Trivia and Mannerism
If you are cosplaying as Ty Lee, you might want to give out character trivia to people who ask about it. If you do not know much about the character, the trivia down below can help. This trivia is also useful if you want to act out something that is not usually visible in plain sight of Ty Lee’s personality. That way, you can fully commit to being in character other than her appearance.
- As already mentioned, Ty Lee is one of seven daughters and they all look identically similar to each other. She also has similar names with her sisters: Ty Lin, Ty Lat, Ty Lao, Ty Liu, Ty Lum, and Ty Woo. Since she comes from a royal family, she and her sisters are well taken care of.
- Before joining Azula, she joined a Fire Nation circus to separate herself from her sisters and to form a unique identity for herself. She joined the circus not because she needed to but because she wanted to. Because of this, she enhanced her acrobatic skills.
- Ty Lee is a skilled martial artist who knows chi-blocking, a technique used to bruise parts of the body to immobilize the enemy. This way, they cannot move properly and bend their respective element.
- During her time in prison after betraying Azula, she bonded with the imprisoned Kyoshi Warriors. After the Hundred Year War, she became part of the Kyoshi Warriors, which is a seeming fit for her acrobatic fighting style.
- She is considered the first Kyoshi Warrior that came from outside of Kyoshi Island. Although Sokka was trained and honored by Suki, he is not a female and therefore not a full-fledged Kyoshi Warrior.
- It has been heavily implied that she fell for Sokka’s looks when she was with Azula hunting for the Avatar and Zuko.
Frequently Asked Questions about cosplaying Ty Lee
Question: How old is Ty Lee?
Answer: Ty Lee is a fourteen-year-old teenager born from a noble family in the Fire Nation.
Question: How does Ty Lee take away bending?
Answer: Ty Lee is a master of chi-blocking; chi-blocking is a martial art of bruising certain parts of the body to temporarily immobilize the target. By paralyzing the body and preventing fluid movement, benders cannot move properly to bend their respective elements. Thus, they cannot bend when their chi is blocked by Ty Lee.
Question: Does Ty Lee get married?
Answer: Ty Lee’s fate is unknown as she is not mentioned by the next installment of the Avatar series, Avatar: The Legend of Korra. However, it is known that she was still part of the Kyoshi Warriors even when she became an adult.
Question: Who are Ty Lee’s sisters?
Answer: Ty Lee has six sisters who look identically similar to her. They even have similar names: Ty Lin, Ty Lat, Ty Lao, Ty Liu, Ty Lum, and Ty Woo. In the comics, Ty Lee meets them in a circus; they also join the circus and practice acrobatics.
Question: Why did Ty Lee betray Azula?
Answer: During the part in Book Three: Fire when Sokka escaped with his father and Suki with the help of Zuko, Mai helped them out escape the clutches of the prison. This effectively became an act of treason against Azula, who did not want them to escape. Ty Lee treasured her friendship more with Mai than with Azula. So, she sided with Mai and betrayed Azula.
Final thoughts about the Ty Lee cosplay
Ty Lee is a very fun and bubbly character in the Avatar series. Her attire throughout the show is very simple and elegant, which reflects her noble background in the Fire Nation. Furthermore, her attire is overall very loose, which complements her acrobatic fighting style and martial arts. Her attire can be found in shops, but certain elements might be something that you should make yourself.
The difficult part about the Ty Lee cosplay could be her chest accessory similar to shoulder pads, as it is not something that people wear daily. You might not be able to buy it in shops, so you might need to create one of your own. However, to make it easier, you can just use cloth, or you can buy something similar online.