Trenchcoats and Superheroics

Editor’s Note: This post is from the original Genderplayful Community Blog, back when we were also a marketplace.
a child dressed as Wonder Woman mid-jump, reaching for the sky

We’re all toting super powers.
Some of us just reach higher with them.

In a flurry of black leather capes and jumpsuits, the superhero summer of 2012 is sadly over. Reading through The Fashion Harbinger’s rundown of the Avengers costumes, I was pleasantly surprised to realise that superheroes can be very reasonably dressed, especially compared to some of the more outrageous costumes that comics have inflicted on the world.

One staple of the superhero wardrobe is the trenchcoat ensemble. Trenchcoats hang comfortably on the frame of the body, don’t connote any particular expression of gender, and yet can be tweaked across styles to fit any sartorial preferences and gender presentations.

“Tintin in DC” by oinonio

Plus, they look badass.

Case in point: Nick Fury. Samuel L. Jackson really knows how to work that look.

Another superhero who is fabulous in trenchcoats: Renee Montoya, the Question. The Question is a noir-ish sort of character, and Montoya was a police detective in Batman’s Gotham City before becoming a superhero.

The cinched belt and flared trousers offer a very different sort of silhouette from Fury’s military profile – not to mention the snazzy fedora.

a cartoon with long hair and a trench coat, standing in front of a question mark

Renee Montoya as The Question

two women comic book characters, one with long red hair and a cape, the other with a fedora and a trenchcoat

Last but not least, there’s the X-Men member Jubilee. A plastic yellow overcoat paired with hot pink shades, a pink tank top, short shorts, and fishnets? There’s no way that could go together – but it does, as this fan’s cosplay shows.

a fan at a conference dressed in a yellow trench coat with fishnets and blue fingerless gloves


It’s a jumble of kitschy, mismatched items that get up in your face with aggressive self-confidence.

The best part is, you don’t need a proper trenchcoat to pull this off. A long shirt, a shirt-dress, even reincarnated lab coats and bathrobes — these can all convey an air of genderplayful superheroics.

6 thoughts on “Trenchcoats and Superheroics

  1. Betty Nikia

    I love that there was a blog about superhero clothing, and not done in a totally cheesy way. Another show I really, REALLY loved for clothing was La Femme Nikita. I wanted everything that Michael wore and was in love with their fieldwear. M-Mmmmm. Good stuff.

    Here’s kind of a fun article talking to Laurie Drew who worked wardrobe on the show:

  2. scarlettraces

    Edit button is back!
    I also love this post :) One of my fave coats is my trusty trenchcoat, and now i’ve read about the superhero connection i love it even more!

  3. Betty Nikia

    Yay for the edit button! Also for the link thing. I thought I used that when I posted the link above, but something went wonky. *shrug*

  4. JD

    My best friend back home collects trenchcoats, but sadly I am rather too short to find them in thrift stores for decent prices. They are a lovely gender neutral-yet-badass way to battle the cold, though.

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