Costume Analysis – Wonder Woman in “Dawn of Justice”

Okay. Right off the bat. We’re not addressing the casting. We’re not talking about Gadot or her acting chops or her figure. We’re just talking costume dynamics.

This is a fan-made composite of the three solo character promotional images. From Reddit.

This is a fan-made composite of the three solo character promotional images. From Reddit.

So let’s get dangerous!

Let’s start from the top and move on down the line. The make-up is fine. Not too much, so it could pass for a natural look, as many people from Greece and the Middle East have that nice, exotic contrast of features. But her hair… Is… AWFUL.

Just fucking awful.

It makes me want to invest in a leave-in conditioner and some hot rollers.

It makes me want to invest in a leave-in conditioner and some hot rollers.


I mean, it’s not like she’s a fucking PRINCESS or anything, right? Not like she, if ANYONE would have a little bit of style or effort put into her hair. Additionally, find me just one painting of some Greek broad on a vase with her hair parted down the middle. Find me a bronze statue or a Roman marble reproduction. Scour the fucking British museum. IT WILL NOT HAPPEN. I mean, at the very least, her hair should (statistically) be curly! Have some bounce, for Zeus’ sake!

I also feel like this was a poorly chosen facial expression. Like, she was halfway from neutral to angry smile, and the photography took the photo this way and everyone was too busy staring at everything but her head, so they let this almost vapid expression fly.

And that tiara? Or is it even a tiara? This weird, angular, upside down triangle headband looks like it doesn’t belong with the rest of the design, let alone the fact that it’s a rather ugly piece. Why not stick to something simpler? Or even something from her Amazonian roots. A play on the laurel wreath! SOMEthing besides this mess.

Our suggestion? Simplify it. A subtle golden laurel or, if we’re not specifically ditching the red star, then a rolled gold band with a star motif.

Of course, this is all operating under the assumption that they not going to completely fuck up her origin story even more than they already have in the New 52…

But moving on to her Wonder bra chestpiece.

Wonder boobs!

Wonder boobs!

This part I don’t mind, aside from a couple of things. First of all, the lack of colour in the entire piece is kind of upsetting. I miss the red and blue. Even a sublte hint of it would have been thoroughly appreciated. But this corset business looks cool… Until you think about it. It’s got a lustre. So it’s not leather, but rather metal…So… She cant’s bend or twist or anything. Just like how Batman can almost never turn his head. Because everyone knows that the fighter with the least flexibility is going to win!

Then there is her strap for what is probably the frog for her sword. Compared to the rest of it, it’s like an afterthought. Like she tore it off of a potato sack and just tied it across her shoulders. It looks cheap and almost ridiculous, like they were trying to throw a little bit of Tomb Raider (the survival-y feeling of the most recent game) over the top of the whole Xena look.

Because it really looks like they barely tried here.

Because it really looks like they barely tried here. Aside from shortening her skirt, of course.


Let’s head on down to Wonder Woman’s crotch.

Said every twelve year old fanboy ever.

Said every twelve year old fanboy ever.

This… Is… Really short. I mean, hey, it’s not a batching suit. It’s not a hi-cut pair of star-spangled panties. It’s not a thong! No cheesecake! But also no logic. It is shorter than the tunics the Ancient Greek men wore, and they wore fucking miniskirts. Here we have these leather pleats with apparently no fabric underneath them, as there should be, just long enough to keep you guessing whether she shaves or waxes her bikini area. I mean, yeah, she’s got undies on underneath the pleats, but the fact that I can see that is problematic. And a quick note on that sword? Blood grooves that only go a few inches up, like she’s going to impale every adversary she’s ever going to have right up to the hilt of her sword? And that hilt and hand don’t look terribly authentic to the period or culture from which she’s supposed to be coming.

Again, hoping that they’re not going with that rumoured “Amazonians are descendents of Kryptionians because there was an Easter Egg wherein eagle eyed viewers might have noticed that the one open, unbroken pod was empty and people who got that comic book from Wal-Mart will know that that was Supergirl’s ship” thing.

And, finally, her legs.

Why? So much why?

Why? So much why?

Her knees are covered, front and back. Fine. Knees get scuffed and the backs of one’s knees are fairly vulnerable and have several significant veins and arteries relatively exposed to trauma. Okay. It does look too high in the back for her to move properly, and this looks like it would be awfully noisy. Clanking around on her enemies and shit…

The greaves look alright. I’d like to see them from the back to figure out exactly how this is all done. But I’m alright with them for now.

But, and I want to direct this completely to the costume designer who made this decision and the people who okayed it…



Wedges. I don’t care. It’s still stupid. It’s stupid logistically, and it’s more than a little insulting as a woman.

See, Wonder Woman is a feminist icon. Not because she’s one of very few female heroes in her own right, not just a spin-off of an established male character. Not because she’s an Amazon, from an island of women only, where men cannot tread (and we’ll talk about this later, DC Comics!), or because she is a powerful warrior who can stand her own and scare the nuts off of any dude, while simultaneously showing great intelligence and compassion. I mean, yes because of those things as well, but mostly because of her creator.

William Moulton Marston was a feminist. I’m going to go into this further in another post, but the sexualization of women is insulting to us, and actually goes against a lot of what her creator stood for. So whenever I see a woman who is supposed to be a fighter costumed in an outfit that is restrictive and in high heels just for the sake of making her even more aesthetically pleasing to predominantly male audiences, it’s super irritating.

Especially when that female fighter is the Princess of a group of warriours, taught to fight pretty much from birth.

It’d be like putting little shirtless collars and bowties on Leonidas and the rest of the Spartans. Just a fetish thing and nothing more, and it should have no place in it.

And we’ll never see a male warriour dolled up to fit some stereotypical woman’s fetishes and fantasies. At least, not outside of any specialised niche marketed media. But we very consistently see it in the biggest, most expansive movies and other media because, hey, why not?

Well, because it’s insulting. And it’s fucking STUPID.

This is where you lost me, costume-wise, “Dawn of Justice.” I mean, really. First big-screen adaptation of Wonder Woman and this is what we get?


Le sigh.

Well, I’ll be keeping an eye out for more news and more photos from the filming, so be sure to watch this space!

And somebody get Black Canary out of those fishnets! Fucking stockings get caught on everything.

Peace out.



About pattyinreallife

I'm a graphic artist, writer, film-maker, and avid baker. I sing in the car and laugh at the worst/best moments. I am the coolest nerd you will ever meet. Try not to let your jealousy show too badly.

Posted on July 28, 2014, in 2016 Movies, Batman, Batman vs Superman, DC Comics, Female Perspective, Movie News, Opinion, Superhero Movies, Superman, Wonder Woman and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Looks fairly standard superhero-costume-turned-into-armour movie nonsense. We’ve been stuck with this rubbish since Tim Burton’s BATMAN. Problem is they don’t have to be practical because all the action is done by cgi doubles.

    Much preferred Silk Spectres outfit in WATCHMEN.

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