Who’s the best-dressed off-duty superhero?

There’s no argument that superheroes have some of the most amazing and spectacular outfits. From brightly coloured latex to complex armour, a superhero’s costume is hugely important to the design process of the overall character. But are these stylish comic-book characters as put together off-duty as they are when fighting in the name of justice? And if so, who’s really got a superpower for sensing style?

5.      Daredevil/Matthew Murdock

Matthew Murdock, a.k.a. Daredevil, has a rugged charm that sets him apart from some of his more slick-styled fellow superheroes. Similar to superhero style icons Batman and Iron Man, he’s a fan of a three-piece suit when he’s not out fighting the bad guys.

His suits are smart, but his colour and pattern choices are often quite minimalistic. Costume designer Stephanie Maslansky explained that this is because since he cannot see his clothes, he needs to know that whatever he pulls out of the wardrobe will pair well together. She also revealed that the majority of his suits came from designer Paul Smith, as these had the best fit for Daredevil.

He does have an array of stylish shirts in his arsenal though. He sports textured Oxford cloth button down shirts, which gives him a more ruffled look compared to those billionaire superheroes such as Tony Stark. His oval sunglasses finish off every look with a touch of style too.

4.      Batman/Bruce Wayne

To be fair, if Bruce Wayne wasn’t able to be fashionable with all that money at his disposal, there’d be something wrong. He adopts more of a reserved style and he isn’t one for flashy suits or garish outfits. But there’s no denying that he knows how to dress. 

The films are a good example of this. He lets his rich playboy persona show when he dons a Giorgio Armani suit in the 2008 film, The Dark Knight. The suit designer reveals that by wearing a made-to-measure suit like this, Wayne can demonstrate his status as a “discriminating and sophisticated connoisseur of fine fashion, while also showing he has individual taste.”

Wayne seems most at ease when his attire reflects his vigilante persona, with black suits to match the Dark Knight. These keep him looking suave and stylish when he’s off-duty. Similar to Murdock, Wayne is partial to a pair of mysterious sunglasses. He opts for wayfarer sunglasses instead, which match well with his conservative image.

3.      Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff

Natasha Romanoff is one of Marvel’s top Avengers, and she has the wardrobe to back it up. When she’s not head-to-toe in low-cut latex, she’s channelling 1950s vibes with feminine frills and sweetheart necklines.

Her off-duty look is just as sharp as her Black Widow attire. In 2014’s Captain America sequel, Romanoff opts for a sleek leather blazer to run her day-to-day errands. Paired with black pants and knee-high boots she still brings a powerful demeanour even without carrying out any of her complex manoeuvres. 

She rocks a number of different looks throughout the movieverse, of course. In other scenes she’s been spotted in pencil skirts, tall stiletto pumps and buttoned blouses, all of which are well-fitted and match her style. She knows how to colour co-ordinate too. Take her meeting with Captain American and Pepper Potts in Monaco in Iron Man 2. Romanoff shows up wearing a fitted red dress and red lips — both of which complement her glossy red hair.

2.      Iron Man/Tony Stark

Tony Stark is Marvel’s very own Bruce Wayne in so far as he has the cash to splash.  Also similar to Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark likes to wear the colour of his costume — red. He’s been spotted creating a bold contrast with dark suit jackets and red dress shirt, showing that he’s confident in what he wears and conveying power with the bold tone.

Stark is a man who is quite happy to accessorise too. From expensive watches and smart inventions to loud sunglasses he likes to spend his cash on items other than clothing. His sunglasses of choice seem to be low tinted aviators, and he’s been seen wearing red, brown, and violet coloured lenses — not your traditional wayfarer styles!

He always looks suave in pinstripes alongside his well-groomed goatee. Take his grey pinstripe suit that he wears before a Senate hearing in Iron Man 2 for example. Of course, Stark pairs it with a chunky yellow tie — he’s not one to be plain! If he’s not rocking a suit though, he’s kicking back in a vintage tee — of course, he still looks the part!

1.      Black Panther/T’Challa  

T’Challa’s wardrobe is a perfect blend of trendy, traditional, and completely unique, which is why he’s the top of our list. All of the outfits were designed by Ruth E. Carter. She said that she based T’Challa’s look on 18th century designs, complete with embroidered panels which resemble a Nigerian style.

The superhero takes on a number of outfits during his titular film, all of which embrace his role as king and military leader. Take the first time he is spotted on the throne for example, his black and grey embroidered jacket stands out from the rest of his look and sets the tone for his fashion sense throughout the rest of the film. In another scene, he wears a white embroidered tunic, crafted with patterns that represent cultures from around the world — something truly unique!

In the parting shots of Black Panther, T’Challa wears a black-on-black suit with a bold printed scarf. This scarf was designed by Wale Oyéjidé who named the piece “From Wakanda, With Love’.

Of course, everyone has haters: his sister Shuri mocks his sandals in the film, but in reality, they were modified Alexander McQueen shoes!

Superheroes certainly know how to keep their wardrobes looking as sharp as their crime-fighting costumes. Which do you think has truly mastered the fickle fashion-sense power?  





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