- Insider asked stylists, designers, and other fashion experts for their thoughts on superhero and antihero suits.
- The style pros praised Superman’s classic outfit and the one worn by Chadwick Boseman in “Black Panther.”
- Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn outfit (as seen in films like “Suicide Squad”) was ripped apart for its sloppiness.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories .
Superheroes may be known for their powers and plot lines, but they are also known for their iconic looks.
That said, not every high-flying suit is practical and stylish.
Here are the heroes (and antiheroes) who have legendary looks and the ones who could use a few wardrobe changes, according to fashion experts.
Worn by Michelle Pfeiffer, this suit from the 1992 film “Batman Returns” is quite iconic and it’s been replicated many times.
Fashion stylist and publicist Symeon Oshea praised the skin-tight outfit’s practicality.
“Catwoman’s outfit is one of the few superhero costumes to combine the sexiness of female form with the effectiveness of tactical gear,” said Oshea.
Unfortunately, this fierce feline’s getup didn’t rank as highly with every expert. Stylist and fashion blogger Lindsey Puls called the tight suit visually unappealing and uncomfortable-looking.
“I’ve never been a fan of the Catwoman costumes, but this is by far the worst one. It looks like they vacuum-sealed poor Catwoman into a black trash bag. The face mask eye holes are also far too large. It looks odd,” said Puls.
Experts thought Iron Man’s suit was visually appealing but probably not comfortable.
Millionaire and crime-fighter Tony Stark doesn’t keep his superhero status hidden, and that’s definitely reflected in his flashy red and yellow suit.
Fashion-trend analyst Carly Ettinger told Insider that Iron Man’s suit, as worn by Robert Downey Jr., looks like it was made to last, but might not be comfy to wear.
“Talk about armour aesthetics. Minimalist yet mechanical, this design is all about durability. The exoskeletal shell is heavy-duty and probably pretty hot inside – but this red and gold gear is as glorious as it gets,” said Ettinger.
Superman’s iconic suit earned top marks for its classic design and vibrant colours.
Unsurprisingly, stylists couldn’t find fault with this recognisable outfit, particularly the one worn by Christopher Reeve in the 1970s.
“Clark Kent’s iconic costume is so sharp. Complete with an oversized ‘S’ logo, muscle-accentuating blue bodysuit, and red cape, Superman’s style saves the day,” said Ettinger.
Everything about this costume is bold and bright, and certified personal stylist and image consultant Jenny Applegate said she loves the flair that Superman’s cape brings to the outfit.
“The cape is a great addition and makes such a statement whether coming or going. Also, the colours of blue and red really convey trust, power, and strength,” Applegate told Insider.
Wonder Woman’s outfit was praised for its gorgeous balance of form and function.
The experts told Insider that the look Gal Godot sported in the 2017 “Wonder Woman” film seemed to be fit for royalty.
“This outfit just screams badass and is so stylish. The details in the bodice are so perfect and the gold accessories are really the star of the look. Being strapless might not be the most practical element, but it really helps to highlight the beautiful features of Wonder Woman,” said Applegate.
Puls was also a big fan of the outfit, which she said struck a perfect balance between showcasing Diana’s strong physique without being too revealing.
“Wonder Woman’s suit is utter perfection. This costume is feminine without being overly sexualized. It also looks strong, yet beautiful. I can’t get enough of this one,” she told Insider.
Batman’s outfit earned points for style, but experts felt it had some design flaws.
Stylists loved the aesthetic of the sleek suit Christian Bale wore in 2005’s “Batman Begins,” but questioned its practicality.
“The black of this outfit evokes mystery, power, and strength. The monochromatic look is super stylish, especially with the practical yet sophisticated gold utility belt. The cape adds a dramatic statement piece to an overall streamlined and chic look,” said Applegate.
As fashionable as the dark ensemble may be, Puls said she had misgivings about this vigilante’s constricting headgear.
“Batman’s face mask looks wildly uncomfortable,” she said. “How are you supposed to fight crime if you can’t breathe properly and have almost no peripheral vision?”
The experts said Black Lightning’s suit was trendy but kind of forgettable.
Black Lightning’s suit, as worn by Cress Williams on The CW show of the same name, received high marks from Applegate, who told Insider that she approved of its colours and trendy vibes.
“The Black Lightning outfit hits on so many current trends, including neon colours and fibre-optic lights. The black and blue suiting is practical yet stylish for fighting crime,” said Applegate.
Puls agreed that the suit had flair and seemed practical, but noted that it might not have what it takes to reach iconic status.
“His lightning bolts are a nice nod to his name but aren’t too ‘in your face.’ It also looks like something you would actually move in, and it’s fitted in all the right spots. However, it’s not the most memorable costume,” said Puls.
Loki may be as clever as they come, but this Norse god might still need some style education.
Experts weren’t charmed by the over-the-top helmet design worn by Tom Hiddleston’s Loki in many Marvel films.
“Not the most practical or stylish of outfits. I would recommend that the height and size of Loki’s headpiece be smaller. The gold statement is great, but the size of the headpiece really does not match his stature and creates an imbalance of the outfit,” said Applegate.
Although she concurred that the trickster god’s helmet was a bit much, Puls said she appreciated the suit’s design from the neck down.
“Loki’s horned helmet looks cool, but I can’t help but wonder how hard that is to balance on your head. However, his suit and green cape are phenomenal. It’s an understated yet dramatic look,” said Puls.
Experts loved the cohesiveness of the high-flying outfits seen in “The Incredibles” (2004).
Oshea told Insider that the family’s bright-red suits help emphasise the group’s strength as a family unit, as well as their unique talents as individuals.
“I love that their suits are visually the same but function differently to accommodate the powers of each respective wearer. They prove that you can coordinate a singular, solid suit design for a super team without compromising individuality,” she added.
That signature red hue also scored points with Applegate, who cited the colour’s power to convey strength and confidence.
“Red really evokes a lot of emotions such as power, strength, determination, and energy – which makes it the perfect colour for the suit,” said Applegate.
Harley Quinn’s mismatched ensemble failed to impress fashion experts.
Seen in films like “Suicide Squad” (2016), Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is an antiheroine with a seriously bold look.
Her grungy style and clashing colour palette may be unique, but the superhero’s confused style made experts cringe.
“Her outfit … is not stylish at all. There are so many things going on with the look that its overwhelming and looks sloppy. I would recommend sticking to one standout piece and making that the star,” said Applegate.
Also, Puls said Quinn’s barely-there studded shorts are a major fashion faux pas that seem awfully uncomfortable.
“There is a lot going on with Harley Quinn’s outfit. I’m not sure where to begin with this one, but perhaps pants would be a good place to start,” said Puls.
Wade Wilson is a disfigured mercenary with mutant abilities and a surprisingly good fashion sense, according to stylists.
Basing their thoughts on the suit worn by Ryan Reynolds in the 2016 “Deadpool” film, experts deemed the red and black bodysuit practical as well as aesthetically successful overall.
“The white material around Deadpool’s eyes and the lack of a mouth make this costume rather haunting,” said Puls.
Applegate praised the costume’s look and practicality, though she suggested one minor fashion tweak.
“This is a highly functional look. One thing that I would change is the colour of the brown utility belt. I’d make it a metallic silver or pewter to make it look more regal instead of the rugged style it is now,” she told Insider.
As King of Wakanda, T’Challa brings royal polish to the sleek Black Panther look worn by Chadwick Boseman in the 2018 film.
Overall, stylists fell in love with this suit’s details and on-trend feel.
“This suit is super stylish and highly functional. I love all the details that create visual interest: the collar, gloves, and mask with ‘cat’ ears. I wouldn’t change anything about it. It’s so trend-forward,” said Applegate.
Puls highlighted the outfit’s silver accents and T’Challa’s jewellery as some of the standout elements of the Black Panther’s ensemble.
“I absolutely love Black Panther’s costume. The costume itself is sleek and sexy, but also looks intimidating. The claw necklace is a small detail that makes the look pop, and I also like how there are silver accents on his mask and gloves to tie the whole look together,” said Puls.
Stylists thought Spider-Man’s suit was perfectly functional and fun.
Designers were charmed by the fun pattern and figure-flattering details found in the iconic suit worn by Tom Holland in”Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017).
“This is a classic superhero look, including the primary colours of red and blue. The blue side panels help to define Spiderman’s shape and are a great detail for any outfit. I love the web detailing as well – it’s a subtle print that really pulls the entire look together,” said Applegate.
The suit also earned praise for its practical vibe and athletic cut.
“Peter Parker’s bodysuit is built for performance. The spandex suit is sleek, stretchy and perfect for slinging spider webs in the heat of combat,” said Ettinger.
The most patriotic superhero of them all, Captain America sports a metallic outfit that’s perhaps too clunky.
The suit, worn by Chris Evans in various Marvel films, was praised by designers for its practical details, but they felt the suit could use some modern updates and tweaks.
“A very practical look with a slightly baggy pant that allows for running, bending and flying planes. It has a very retro feel that makes it feel a little dated, but the shield and metallic panels help to make it look more modern,” said Applegate.
Puls also thought that Steve Rogers’ suit could do with a little remodeling, citing its chunky look as the main problem.
“Captain America’s costume looks unnecessarily bulky here. I can’t help but think of a skydiving jumpsuit when I see it. I prefer the more fitted version of this suit used in later films,” said Puls.
Stylists were mostly in favour of the Green Arrow look worn by Stephen Amell on The CW series.
This roguish DC Comics character fights crime in Star City while rocking a dark bodysuit and his signature hood.
“I’m a big fan of Green Arrow’s dramatic hood. His jacket is something that could actually be worn outside the DC Universe as well. I think this is a cool look,” said Puls.
Although Green Arrow’s general sartorial vibe was a hit with experts, Applegate noted that the skin-tight fit of his leather jacket may lead to trouble chasing down villains.
“The black motorcycle-style jacket is right in line with the current leather fabric trend. However, it fits a bit snug. He could easily wear the next size up,” she told Insider.
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