The evolution of Wonder Woman’s costume

There’s a reason why Wonder Woman’s costume is the go-to fancy dress outfit if you want to be noticed: it screams sexy and strong - empowering any female who wears it.
Yet the costume of Gal Gadot in the blockbuster movie Wonder Woman has had some serious re-working over the years. Hems have been lowered, shorts cut higher, pantsuits introduced, even 60’s style tunics given a run. From suits to skirts, capes to helmets, this is our list of fab and not-so-favourite Wonder Woman outfits through the years...



Wonder Woman
Source: Sensation Comics

We don’t know how practical that flowing skirt was, but in December 1941 when Wonder Woman first appeared, her whole outfit was an attention-grabbing statement. And that was just the way creator Dr. William Moulton Marston wanted it. His Amazonian heroine was inspired by suffragettes and feminism; and with war raging around the world, he dressed Wonder Woman in star-spangled, patriotic colours. Wearing red and gold armour, bullet proof bracelets and a crowning tiara, it was the outfit that, at the time, heralded the arrival of an alluring and fierce female super hero.



wonder woman
Source: Ms. Magazine

There must have been a serious re-think about the skirt, because by later that decade it had disappeared and Wonder Woman was now wearing shorts and brandishing a magic lasoo. Stronger and visually more powerful, this was a woman totally equipped to save the world.



Wonder Woman
Source: DC Comics

It was the psychedelic 60’s so that probably explains why Wonder Woman went all mod squad on us! A shadow of her former character, Wonder Woman was no longer a super-strong Amazonian warrior but a jumpsuit-wearing secret agent trained in martial arts.

Wonder Woman
Source: DC Comics

It was a massive departure from any representation before it but this was the cold war era and with the popularity of Bond films and The Avengers TV series, spies were all the rage.



Wonder Woman
Source: DC Comics

It didn’t last. Within five years the tunic and pantsuit look had been ditched and it was back to familiar territory for the female super hero in the comics. This was clearly what the fans wanted yet in 1974, a pilot TV movie was made that had fans and critics ready to tear shreds off the producers...



Wonder Woman
Source: Warner Bros. Television

Do we need to say more? It didn’t help that Wonder Woman was now blonde and diminutive but the costume was so far from the character fans loved, there was no way this was ever going to be embraced. In this version, Wonder Woman wore a Jetsons-like tunic with riding pants. With no crown or superpowers, no one believed she could save the world looking like that.



Wonder Woman
Source: Warner Bros. Television

Finally in 1975, the fans got the Wonder Woman they had wanted to see in live-action. In the eponymous TV series, Lynda Carter’s goddess-like physique and sexy, imposing presence embodied the original interpretation of the character in the comics.



Wonder Woman
Source: Warner Bros. Television

Costume designer for all three seasons of the television series was the renowned Donald Lee Feld (aka Donfeld) and his efforts earned him an Emmy nomination in 1978. He introduced the cape and brought back the skirt for more formal events, like when Wonder Woman paid Washington a visit.



Wonder Woman
Source: Warner Bros. Television

This was another costume the TV fan base loved!  The star spangled blue wetsuit doubled as bikie gear and underwater wear. Donfeld also created a bikini for Wonder Woman but fans never saw it became it would not stay on Lynda Carter’s body!



Wonder Woman
Source: DC Comics

In 2010, DC decided Wonder Woman needed to look like a heroine for the 21st century and gave her this overhaul.  While there wasn’t blood on the streets, the initial reaction from fans and critics was not a positive one:

“This had BETTER freakin’ end with Steve Trevor stepping out of the shower and it’s all a dream.” – DC Blog

It may not have been popular but it signalled more to come and in 2016, Wonder Woman was given her first-ever live-action cinematic depiction.

Wonder Woman

The jacket & pants had gone and the Amazonian warrior emerged. The look was grittier, stronger and announced  the long-awaited cinema arrival of this iconic superhero. Now with a sword and shield, Wonder Woman had the full armour to defeat evil - including a pair of decent heels.

And this brings us here...

Wonder Woman

...to the latest incarnation of Wonder Woman, in the movie critics have hailed as one of the best superhero movies ever. The costume is the same cut and style as in Batman vs Superman but with a lot more colour in it. The gun-metal finish is now ruby red, gold and with a hint of blue. From where she started in 1941 in patriotic, star-spangled splendour, Wonder Woman has come a long way. She’s now a shiny superhero for the entire world.

We can’t wait to see how Wonder Woman continues to evolve when she returns in Justice League, this November.



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