HomeOur ObsessionsDCHow Wonder Woman’s costume has changed over time

How Wonder Woman’s costume has changed over time

The Wonder Woman costume has been controversial since the 70s. Here’s our brief guide to some of Wonder Woman’s changing costumes over the years.

How Wonder Woman’s costume has changed over time

Post-production has begun on Wonder Woman 1984. Last year we finally get our first glimpse of Diana (Gal Gadot) embodying the unabashed pizzazz of 80s fashion in her full costume. Though it isn’t all that different from the one we saw in the 2017 movie, it’s definitely been spruced up a little and is looking shiny AF.

This is a woman diving fist first into war and coming out without a single scuff on her gold and we’re loving it. Plus that hair is one salon session away from a perm, honey! We definitely hope to see at least one wild perm in Wonder Woman 1984 when it’s released in 2020.

The Wonder Woman costume is a huge deal and has been the center of various controversies and high praise since the 70s when the comic book hero first appeared on screens. Here’s our brief guide to some of Wonder Woman’s changing costumes over the years.

Super Friends (1973 – 2011)

Voiced by Shannon Farnon, the depiction of Wonder Woman in the original iteration of the iconic animated series is one that holds similarities to the character of the comics but with a few extra flourishes.

Speaking to CBR, Farnon explained how important it was to figure out how strong, powerful, feminine, and masculine the superhero should be, explaining, “through the years occasionally we’d soften her up a little, occasionally we’d toughen her up a little.”

Delving into how the character has changed over the years, Farnon speculated that creators have failed to grab “a hold of that character like they have other super-people” due to how radically different she appears in various projects. However, in Super Friends “she had innocence, more open-faced instead of tough and firm and muscular.” As a result, her costume is simple, strong, and not too risque.

Wonder Woman (1974)

Definitely the least impressive of all the Wonder Woman costumes there have ever been, that of Cathy Lee Crosby’s depiction of the superhero in the 1974 movie is probably the one we’d also be most likely to wear on an everyday basis.

Crosby recently described the costume as being simply “interesting” and “colorful”, which is frankly all that can be said about it. It’s more of a flashy gym outfit than it is the apparel of a semi-immortal goddess with superhuman strength.

The New Adventures of Wonder Woman (1975 – 1979)

Hot damn! Now we’re talking. Designed by Donald Lee Deld – who received an Emmy nomination for the costume in 1978 – the 70s TV show saw Lynda Carter wearing the most bombastic Wonder Woman costume seen on screen yet.

However, Carter herself has revealed the costume had some shortcomings – literal ones – in how much flesh it revealed and how unfathomably tight the fit of it was, telling US Magazine in 1979, “I never meant to be a sexual object for anyone but my husband. I never thought a picture of my body would be tacked up in men’s bathrooms.”

Wonder Woman (2011)

Easily the least popular Wonder Woman costume of all time – probably even less popular than the 1974 version – the divisive newly designed costume for the failed Wonder Woman TV pilot looks cheaper than something you’d grab off the discount rail after daytime drinking and losing all sense of taste of dignity.

Failing to see how abominable those vinyl blue pants are – and impractical for a superhero who presumably doesn’t want to squeak every time she kicks ass – a DC Comics spokesperson praised the look by suggesting, “The latest evolution of Wonder Woman’s iconic costume is a central part of the latest comic book storyline. All of the classic symbols – patriotic (stars, eagle) and heroic (lasso, bracelets) – are ever-present.”

That’s a polite way of saying, “Yeah, they really screwed this one up. But at least they kept it patriotic!”

DC Nation Shorts: Wonder Woman (2012 – 2014)

Robert Valley’s animated short recast Princess Diana of the Amazons as a low-key badass who’s neither a ferocious warrior nor a regal envoy. The casual dressing down of the iconic ensemble adds a fresh twist on the look but somehow still retains much of the swagger and power of the character.

As ComicsAlliance said of the look, “Valley’s aesthetic twists seem completely at odds with what we think of as Wonder Woman and yet what we see rings absolutely true.”

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

The first incarnation of Gal Gadot as the legendary hero caused waves of debate across the internet – was she seriously wearing wedges?! As CinemaBlend also reported, “early fittings of the costume weren’t exactly the most comfortable. The outfit proved so form fitting that the actress almost passed out because she couldn’t breathe.”

Darker and far less star-spangled than we’re used to seeing from the character, the costume maintained the basic familiar structure of what we think Wonder Woman should look like while abandoning the classic symbolism of it.

Wonder Woman (2017)

Designer Lindy Hemming made some much needed changes to the costume for Patty Jenkins’s exploration of the character, arguing that “the process of becoming Wonder Woman” means that “color-wise, design-wise, you can bring a different color palette into play.”

However, ultimately it was the change in the movie’s tone that gave Wonder Woman her new look. “This is a film with humor . . . we need to have a sense of heightened reality among the principal actors’ costumes so that Diana’s costume doesn’t seem so outrageous or out-of-place.”

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Amy Roberts is a freelance writer who occasionally moonlights as a hapless punk musician. She’s written about pop culture for websites like Bustle, i-D, and The Mary Sue, and is the co-creator of Clarissa Explains F*ck All. She likes watching horror movies with her cat and eating too much sugar.

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