So you’ve decided you want to be a superhero. Congratulations on your newfound career choice! You’re a professional now, so we won’t talk down to you. You’ve likely already managed to bathe yourself in surprisingly non-harmful radioactive chemicals that have given you super powers, or have harnessed a crippling childhood trauma and turned it into a superhuman drive to better yourself.
All that being said, even professionals can overlook one of the most important facets of any career choice, particularly that of a superhero: Fashion. It’s not enough to walk the walk or quip the quip, you need to look the part. And when it comes to being a superhero, you have the added responsibility of pairing form with function, making sure that you’re not only stylish, but well-equipped to boot. So here’s our list of the things you’ll need in your wardrobe if you’re an aspiring superhero.
An important point needs to be made right off the Bat (Get it?): The days of going mask-less and donning some glasses in your civilian identity are over. Both people and technology today are simply too savvy. Between smartphones and facial recognition, you’ll be found out inside of a week. You don’t want to endanger your loved ones, do you? Of course not. So don a proper mask. And really make a statement here! There’s a near endless variety for you to choose from: A domino mask to give you that sultry Nightwing look, a Captain America-style over-the-head getup to protect your identity but leave your mouth free for shouting commands to your teammates, or a full headsock like Deadpool or Spider-Man to really ratchet up the mystery.
Today’s world is all about branding. You need to sell yourself to the people so that you don’t end up spending all your time fighting slanderous headlines from The Daily Bugle. And there’s no more effective way to brand yourself than with an easily recognizable chest symbol. Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, the Flash—they’ve all got one. And with an endless array of t-shirts, tattoos, belt buckles, and lunch boxes, their fans have an endless way to spread the word about them. Don’t be like The Avengers. Don’t make it hard for your fans to love you.
Unless your powers grant you easy access to a pocket dimension, or you’re, you know, Superman, you’re going to need to take some stuff with you into the criminal underworld. Vials of magic elixir to keep your powers up? Discrete trackers to throw on the bad guy’s getaway car? Emergency beacon to help your trusty sidekick come find you? Snacks on the go? (Little known fact: Batman’s utility belt is, like, 50% snacks.) What about a smoke bomb to make a dramatic getaway and piss off the local police chief? Make sure you’ve got a place to put it all.
I know what The Incredibles said. But are you going to tell me you’re better than Superman? Than Batman? I didn’t think so. Now, that’s not to say that capes are for everyone. But if you’re leaning towards theatricality in your superhero endeavors, it’s hard to oversell the raw drama of a cape. And with modern technological advantages, you can even make it bulletproof, or use it to glide from rooftop to rooftop. Remember: Form + Function = Formidable, Fashionable Crime Fighter.
What NOT to Wear:
It pains my heart to say this, but the days of over-the-pants underwear are behind us. And the last thing you want to do is burst onto the modern scene in a Golden Age look. It’s hard to overstate the importance of this fashion choice in the early days of crime fighting. Everyone from Superman to Captain America favored the look—even the Silver Surfer wore a pair of silver shorts on his way through the cosmos! But it’s equally hard to ignore that this look has fallen by the wayside. Superman, Batman, Captain America, Wolverine and many others have moved their underwear inside their pants. And we strongly suggest you do the same.
Alright, enough talk! You’ve got wrongs to right. Get yourself some spandex, keep the above in mind, and get to work crafting a look that will last the ages! Think of anything essential we left out? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what we missed.
Or, if you’re trying to gearing all of your focus toward justice and putting minimal detail into your look, don’t worry – Costume Discounters has got you covered with our expansive selection of superhero costumes. We also ranked our favorite superhero accessories!