Batman is one of the most fascinating characters in pop culture. Since his inception, hundreds of books have been written about him, and thousands of films have been made. When it comes to the character’s look, all we can say is that his style is unique and always on point.
It seems that the fashion industry has benefited from Batman’s popularity too. We can look back on the past few years and see style influences from the Dark Knight all over the runways. From oversized trench coats to bold print swimsuits, the fashion industry has kept up with the super sleuth’s fashion trends. But how has he been able to do this? What is his secret wardrobe, and how does he style all of these strange and crazy outfits?
Here, we’re going to run down some of Batman’s most iconic looks and how you can implement them into your own wardrobe.
Over The Top
Batman’s style has always been characterized by its practicality and functionality. It’s no secret that the majority of the movies were shot in winters, so the costume had to be extremely warm and protective. This is why Batman has always favored big, thick coats that he wears over his costume, which is usually a simple black or white t-shirt with a stylized Bat symbol on the front. These oversized coats are perfect for snowsweaters and keeping the chill off during a frosty autumn walk. We can also safely assume that Batman wears the coat because he feels it improves his overall intimidation factor.
One of Batman’s most memorable looks was the trench coat. This was first seen in the 1966 film, where Batman and Robin were called to deal with a bizarre murder-suicide. As part of their investigation, they must locate the killer’s partner, a man named Harvey Dent. When they confront him, Batman uses a clever ploy to get the answers he needs, and in the process, earns the admiration of the cop and the public alike. The killer’s partner is so impressed by Batman’s tactics that he wishes to enter into a partnership, promising to give Batman and his friends $50,000 to protect his business interests. The partnership proves to be short-lived, however, as Harvey later betrays Batman and Dent to Talia, the Joker’s right-hand woman. In response, Batman retrieves his trusty trench coat and heads to the nearest dry-cleaner, where he has it cleaned and pressed before returning to face the music.
The trench coat is such an important look for Batman. It’s not only about style, but it also provides him with some warmth in the winter months and the ability to look snazzy during the day. If you want to try and pull off a similar look, go for an oversized trench coat and wear a white shirt and tie with it.
Aside from embracing the practical side of fashion, Batman has also been known to favor classic and handsome looks. We can see this especially in the later years of the character’s existence, when he was portrayed by British actor Michael Keaton. This is also the era when fashion began to influence Batman’s style, most notably in the early 1990s. With his square jaw and regal bearing, Michael Keaton brings a level of sophistication and attraction to Batman that was rarely seen before on-screen.
Michael Keaton’s Batman is often credited with influencing fashion throughout the 1990s. One of the most prominent styles of that decade was the double-breasted suit. There are hundreds of styles of double-breasted suits, all with their own unique name, but the majority of them have two shapeless slabs of material, one on the outside and one on the inside. Batman was originally seen in a double-breasted suit in the 1989 film, Tim Burton’s adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel, The Dark Knight. When he is forced to dress as a joke for a Gotham Children’s Hospital benefit, the Joker convinces the butler, Fish, to summon an old suit of Batman’s, which the butler does, much to the amusement of the children.
The double-breasted suit was so popular that it even seeped into the off-screen world too. During the 1990s, the suit became such a prominent fashion statement that women began to ask for ‘Batman sleeves’ or ‘Batman blazers’. The suit still remains one of Batman’s most recognizable looks, and if you want to try and incorporate it into your wardrobe, go for a dark tan or brown hues and wear a cream-colored shirt and tie with it.
A Bit Of A Retro Feel
Although Batman has always been a fashion icon, the 2000s marked a shift in his style as we’ve never seen before. With a focus on practicality again, Batman began to favor looks that were a bit more retro in feel. The early 2000s marked the beginning of a golden era for Batman movie fans, with a string of successful films that paid homage to the style of the classic 1960s Batman TV show. With his cowl and cape pulled back, we can see a more streamlined, athletic look for our hero. This is still practical and functional, but with a more stylish and fashionable twist.
The show itself was an exercise in style. It featured the sharp suits and crisp white shirts that made Mike Mignola’s artwork pop, as well as the colors and shapes of the printed shirts, ties, and neckties. Costume designer Michael Kaplan mixed the muted yet vibrant colors of the show with the dark hues of the character and created a look that was unique to the Batman of the 1960s.
The same can be said for the 2005 film adaptation of the iconic comic book, Batman Begins. This is where we see Batman’s classic blue and white suit, which he has sported since the 1930s. Over the course of the film, we see Bruce Wayne develop from a brash young man into a devoted father figure, ready to put his wealth, education, and power behind the protection of Gotham City.
With the success of these films, it was only a matter of time before the fashion industry paid homage to the Caped Crusader. From oversized hoodies and beanies to hooded parkas and winter coats, the fashion industry began to reinterpret the Dark Knight’s style, paying homage to the period he spent as a vigilante in the early 1900s.
Now, however, it’s 2019, and Batman is once again redefining style. Gone are the days of big and brawny, and in their place we are seeing slim, athletic, and sophisticated heroes and villains, inspired by the classical art of the Renaissance period, all while maintaining the essential core elements that we’ve come to know and love about the Dark Knight. This is the perfect opportunity for you to try out his style, and we bet you’ll become a fan of his fashion too.