When researching a costume to wear or make for Halloween, Comic Con, your bedroom fantasies, or whatever your jam is, it can be a real pain to find out that one character has had countless different outfits in comic book history. Lucky for you, this article will help simplify the process by helping you identify which Supergirl costume works for you. This is not an exhaustive list, since there were many instances of minimal variations, such as a stylish red head-band during the 80s. Don’t worry, no spandex tights will be necessary to portray The Girl of Steel.
While looking at these outfits and deciding which one suits your personality, consider seeing what is available on Amazon. (Affiliate link) This will save you the trouble of trying to find red boots or a yellow belt. For the skilled seamstress, many of these clothing arrangements can be made from typical patterns that you can purchase from craft stores.
Kara Zor-El’s Original Costume: When Supergirl arrived at Earth from Krypton to greet her cousin, she wore this outfit from Action Comics #252, which remains one of her most iconic. She wore this particular dress for over a decade. It’s basically just her cousin Superman’s outfit, but as a dress. Even the boots are the same. She still has the same yellow belt as well. This is the one you want if you are looking for a modest, simple dress that is easy to sew. The skirt portion remains blue, contrary to later designs that used red to contrast the over-use of a single color. If you are going to use this one during a convention in cold weather, I would recommend adding leggings. Nobody is going to care, trust me.
70’s with Red Hotpants: In order to update the dated outfit that Superman’s cousin had been wearing for years, she was given red hotpants (short-shorts), a smaller S-symbol, and a blue shirt that often has a deep v-neck. She usually has a red band around her neck, likened to a choker. The sleeves of this shirt are baggy, completing the 70s fashion look that this character needed. This strange combination of clothing, surprisingly, served to be the costume of choice for several years.
Matrix Supergirl: In 1988, Supergirl was killed off in Crisis on Infinite Earths. But she was soon replaced by a new Supergirl, who was actually a shapeshifting protoplasmic blob from another dimension. This new Supergirl, who went by the name Matrix, had a very different garb than from the original Supergirl. Her attire consisted of a long-sleeved blue bodysuit, a red skirt with a v-shape, and a yellow belt. This outfit is similar to the one in the 1984 movie. This is probably the outfit you are looking for, since it’s the red-and-blue attire that we equate to Superman, only altered to match the attire of a grown woman. If you’re looking for a more mature look, this is it.
Linda Danvers Supergirl: In 1996, DC Comics decided to bring back the original Supergirl. But instead of bringing back Kara Zor-El, they created a new character named Linda Danvers. Linda was a human girl who merged with a protoplasmic angel named Matrix to become Supergirl. Linda’s costume was a white crop-top with a blue skirt and a red S-shield. She also had short red boots and white gloves, as well as a blue headband. This is one of the outfits that is drastically different from the others. The outfit is based off of popular fashion that could have been found in a shopping mall. (This is where Danvers gets her outfit in comic book issue 51 of Supergirl volume 4.) Artist Ed Benes popularized a short, tight, leather-like skirt that has become closely associated with this outfit. Don’t forget to wear black Spandex underwear or boyshorts when wearing this to conventions to protect your modesty.
Blue Crop Top and Yellow Belt Costume: In the early 2000s, Kara Zor-El wore a costume with a blue crop top, yellow belt, and blue skirt. This attire was designed by artist Michael Turner, sometimes referred to as “Kara 2.0”. You could liken this outfit with her original outfit, but with her midriff showing and with a shorter skirt. This is one of the more popular variations, despite its sensual appeal not exactly being appropriate for a teenage superhero. If you are the type of person who likes to show off their flat stomach and other physical attributes, this is the outfit of choice for your next Halloween party.
New 52: In 2011, DC Comics relaunched their entire line of comics with the New 52 initiative. As part of this relaunch, Supergirl was given a new costume. Her new apparel was a blue bodysuit with a red skirt and a red S-shield. This costume was designed with the assistance of artist Mahmud. The bodysuit has lines that imply metallic-like sections of armor. The cape is arranged around her neck is a more majestic manner compared to her other outfits. Near the bottom of the bodysuit is a patch of red coloring that is similar to the iconic “red underwear” look that Superman had been known to have for many years. She also dons tall red boots with exposed knees. She continues to keep her signature long-sleeve coverings as well.
When thinking about which of these possible Halloween costumes to pick, consider using a combination of common accessories. It’s hard to deny the iconic red cape, for example. The gold belt (or at least yellow) is another must-have piece to your ensemble. Perhaps the most important piece, however, is the character emblem itself. It’s not terribly hard to find an image of it by making a simple internet search, then printing it out. You may have to print it on multiple sheets of paper and piece it together, depending on how big you would like it to be. Then it’s just a matter of applying the image where you want it.
The simplest way to apply the emblem to cloth would be to use printable iron-on transfer sheets. These are easy to get, and if you are just going to make a simple Halloween costume to be used for a single day, perhaps this would be the best route. This could also work well for the cape, which I would recommend the emblem being entirely yellow. An alternative would be to make a stencil from the printout, then apply cloth paint. (If you have a laser cutter or a Cricut machine, this should be a snap if you are familiar with these machines.) The best part about using cloth paint is that you can use golden or metallic colors to give the costume an especially alluring sheen.