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No yellow/brown or yellow/blue spandex.

No tight shorts worn over the rest of the costume.

NO Capes!

 

Have these and other costuming decisions brought to the big screen over the past 2 decades dramatically affected your choice of character costuming?  I remember capes being a big thing early on in COH, especially since there was a mission to earn the right to wear them.   Now I see fewer of them and more leather-type looks probably than classic spandex.  Did X-Men movies and Edna Mode really get into our collective superhero costume psyche?  Or have there been other influences, like say anime & manga, or even just real-life fashion changes?

 

What drives people's superhero costuming tastes, and what, if anything has changed for your approach to costume design over the years?

 

Bonus Question:  Does any change in your thinking affect your decision making when viewing a costume contest?  

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Posted (edited)

IMO a bright clashing colored player characters is unfavorable because that particular player has to look at them while s/he is playing the game. Imagine staring at the backside of a bright yellow/blue spandex for hours.

 

--edit--

This is based from personal experience back then. I designed a complementary color (blue/yellow) on my character. It seemed OK at first. I changed my mind after staring her running around for several hours.

 

9qlUlP9.png x8PZ7Et.png

 

Maybe it's just me. 

Edited by huang3721
adding image

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Posted (edited)

MakeitsoB.PNG.4d467e17b034c4a774448e046affa751.PNG

Makeitso.PNG.d4507a32183972c657546ed831d05fb7.PNG

Edited by Troo
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You probably don't want to see my characters. I like old school costumes (spandex, capes, and colors for the win). 🙂

 

Okay, I have more variety than that, but they are still among my favorite costumes.

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I tried to do a couple of scarf-like things on one or two characters, but other than one very specific case, I heavily dislike capes and find them to be massively impractical. Also have never favored the spandex look, ever. I feel a character should have mass, texture, detail. Designers even acknolwedge this both in movie/series adaptation of comic-based characters, as well as the artists developing the books. Having layers in the costume gives more presence to the character, more depth, and makes them more dynamic than something running around in spandex. This impact has occurred on every comic line in the last 20 years from Superman to Spider-Man. It also helps acknowledge that a simple fabric isn't really going to hold up on the regular, and doesn't protect the wearer for anything, nor does it truly allow them to hide gadgets and tools of any sort.

 

image.png.f7f377797debb65baea7d1615ceb9a77.png

 

Just going from the 70's to early 00's the 'S' symbol and the belt and even the cape of Superman were theatrically detailed, and by the time Cavil wears the suit its been given layered/armor definition and a material that's definitively not spandex (although hilariously it's the one costume that probably would've been better favored to rely his physique instead of fake it).

 

This is the reality of a spandex suit: 🤣

image.png.e9b3bde0787b17879036a6061eae212c.png

 

And this is what we know, deep down, it really should be:

image.png.cc1dd1408893308f1508353c8134cbd3.png

 

 

Edna Mode didn't have anything to do with that.

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Posted (edited)

I base costumes on concept.  Always have.  For example, my "street level" characters, like Acrobattle (Staff/Ninj scrapper) are typically capeless, and use the leather-y costume pieces. The King's Row Devil totes an assault rifle so he's got bands of ammo around his chest, a tech-belt, a quiver on his back. King's Row Angel is clad in a leather jacket and wears combat boots. Pretty much it. On the other hand, Major Viktory (a silver age, SJ/WP Scrapper) is red, white and blue, with the Police helmet. Skorpios (Arachnos Soldier), a sort of bronze age character, has a red cape as something of a legacy item pointing to his Arachnos origin [though not arachnos symbols). 

 

I tend to place capes on characters with fly. I also like my capes to pop against the rest of the costume (which means I tend to use a bright red). 

 

I use colors to accentuate origin. For example, Mighty Mike the Mighty Mite plays up the whole "dust mite" BG through murky, brown colors (via Dark Armor). The only thing that's sorta changed on colors is that I more readily use "minimal FX." When we first got control of color options, I went a little crazy at first.:-)

Edited by cranebump

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I put my characters in practicle and appropriate clothes.   Spandex is for fetish night. 

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21 hours ago, Sir Myshkin said:

I tried to do a couple of scarf-like things on one or two characters, but other than one very specific case, I heavily dislike capes and find them to be massively impractical. Also have never favored the spandex look, ever. I feel a character should have mass, texture, detail. Designers even acknolwedge this both in movie/series adaptation of comic-based characters, as well as the artists developing the books. Having layers in the costume gives more presence to the character, more depth, and makes them more dynamic than something running around in spandex. This impact has occurred on every comic line in the last 20 years from Superman to Spider-Man. It also helps acknowledge that a simple fabric isn't really going to hold up on the regular, and doesn't protect the wearer for anything, nor does it truly allow them to hide gadgets and tools of any sort.

 

image.png.f7f377797debb65baea7d1615ceb9a77.png

 

Just going from the 70's to early 00's the 'S' symbol and the belt and even the cape of Superman were theatrically detailed, and by the time Cavil wears the suit its been given layered/armor definition and a material that's definitively not spandex (although hilariously it's the one costume that probably would've been better favored to rely his physique instead of fake it).

 

This is the reality of a spandex suit: 🤣

image.png.e9b3bde0787b17879036a6061eae212c.png

 

And this is what we know, deep down, it really should be:

image.png.cc1dd1408893308f1508353c8134cbd3.png

 

 

Edna Mode didn't have anything to do with that.

Really enjoyed this discussion of the topic, Sir Myshkin, though all contributions so far have been good.   

 

(Nice looking costume, Troo, though I'm confused how that makes an answer to the OP.  Still, great balance of white, gold, and pastels.)

 

Happy to hear more views on the OP, and the bonus question is still out there:  Does a shift in anyone's costuming tastes since COH premiered now affect how they judge others costuming choices during costume contests?

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I like capes, but I often get the Jet Pack as my flight power and capes don't look great with the Jet Pack, so I often opt out of a cape.

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23 hours ago, Techwright said:

What drives people's superhero costuming tastes, and what, if anything has changed for your approach to costume design over the years?

I may catch some flak for saying this, but, to be honest, I never liked the superhero genre.  One factor that drove me away was the "traditional" costume that was so tight that it might as well be painted on, with heavily contrasting colors and showy (almost corporate) logos.  If superhero movies or TV shows had stuck with the "four color comics" style outfits, I probably would not have watched a single one.

 

I'm not saying this to dismiss the genre - frankly, I just don't know the genre well enough to criticize - but I'm wondering if "modern" cinematic superhero costumes were designed to attract non-fans like myself.  If so, it worked, at least for me.

 

In-game, my character's costumes are either variations on modern plain clothes, or quasi-military or spec-ops gear, or evocative (I hope) of a past culture.  Once in a while I'll try to make a full-on, comic-book style costume, but I always back off from doing so one way or another.  And I don't think I've ever gotten a cape to work to my satisfaction.

 

As for costume contests, you can imagine that I was just never on the same frequency as any judges when the game was live.  It seemed to me that the best way to predict who would win was to look for the most complicated and/or most brightly colored costume.

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I have one super hero costume but I never use it 

 

I stick to stranger things 

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I have very few spandex/tights costumes on my characters because it wouldn't exactly stop bullets or swords.

  • The Invul/SS wears spandex because he's supposed to be immune to bullets. and most everything else.
  • the Spines/Regen tends to wear biker vests and chaos leather because he's redside. But there's a good deal of exposed skin because he's REGEN.  He's the unkillable man. shoot him, stab him, burn him, he just heals and gets back up again.
  • The Energy Aura character has a tank top and spandex pants along with tech looking gloves/boots/faceplace, because he's got Force Field Armor.
  • The /SR has some spandex, because bullets were never gonna hit her anyway.
  • Most other Natural / Mutant characters, I at least want something with the look of a flak jacket. 
  • The tech characters tend to have full suits of armor.  (except for the ones that are just human looking cyborgs)
  • The Magics have Magic Trinkets, so I can justify anything as keeping them alive vs incoming damage. But I tend to do more suit jackets or robes.
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13 hours ago, TheOtherTed said:

As for costume contests, you can imagine that I was just never on the same frequency as any judges when the game was live.  It seemed to me that the best way to predict who would win was to look for the most complicated and/or most brightly colored costume.

I'm usually not on the same wavelength as judges either.

Which is why I was surprised that this guy won a costume contest back on live.

1272049671_SearingDynamic.jpg.b449f2c0ea08f723a864d8b290082df9.jpg

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Short answer, no.

 

Longer, I don't care what's on the big screen. Or streaming or whatever. I make costumes for what the character is supposed to be.

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Primarily on Everlasting. Squid afficionado. Former creator of Copypastas. General smartalec.

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1 hour ago, ImpousVileTerror said:

um,@Twisted Toon?  That character looks exactly like the sort of thing which I see winning all the time.  Why were you surprised?

Because, at the time, everything I saw that was winning, had practically every accessory that could be applied at the time (before level 20). Spines, chains, fiddly-bits, you name it.

 

Mine was practically a guy in a simple pair of pajamas by comparison.

 

That was also the only costume contest I ever won.

 

Most of my costumes are along these lines...

 

Tanker Belle

Belle.JPG.d035d00e58a9d85c8dc24b36d32bceca.JPG

 

Serenity Dark

Serenity_Dark_1.jpg.5dcbe783ef901e5fd34c12ecd42c163a.jpg

 

Anime Fan Cat-girl Alex

catgirlalex.thumb.jpg.1de2b8ef165974051c4dbf6f1963d37e.jpg

 

Agent Standin

standin.jpg.d8a32f7e5f668edb073729fc6b850d70.jpg

 

Needless to say, I don't really make a lot of...complicated looking costumes.

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meh Im old school capes and tights a few new modern aesthetics here and there but SIlver age wih a mix of steel agae all the way

 

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My Dear you deserve the services of a great wizard but youll have to settle for the aid of a second rate pick pocket

~Schmendrick

 

So you mean you'll put down your rock, and I'll put down my sword; and we'll try and kill each other like civilized people?

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I like me some silver age tights-capes-folded boots. But most of the time, my toons demand a more practical and realistic approach: some sort of armour padding for the chest, easy to move in pants, practical --but stylish-- footwear. I tend to lean towards tech, albeit low-tech, stuff like the Crey pieces. If I were to choose between Frank Miller's Dark Knight and Batfleck or Arkham Knight, I'd go with Frank's. But between Batman Beyond and Red Hood, I go Red. That said, and while we're on DC analogies, I think the DC Injustice games have forced tech into costumes unnecessarily.

I say "demand" earlier because I usually have a concept and costume to fit that concept. But at around level 10ish, the character often becomes self aware and develops a personality of his/her own... and they demand a change in their costume. Sometimes it's a minor colour or set piece alteration, sometimes it's a total overhaul.

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I tend towards classic comic looks, but with more modern textures.

 

The Olympian Guard top and bottom have a nice base texture complete with actual seams and the very basic retro-sci-fi gloves and boots are basically updated versions of the original gloves/boots.

 

Similarly, my archer got good use out of the Circle of Thorns costume while still looking like a fairly classic superhero.

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The majority of my favourite superheroes have tended to be "no capes." Storm and Banshee had them, but the rest of the X-Men? Nah. IMO, they only work on certain types of characters, mostly fliers, and my characters tend not to fly. On live, I went through the mission, but only one or two characters ever had capes. It fit my Dark/Dark Scrapper. It didn't fit my Wonder Woman-style Inv/Strength.

 

For colours, I tend to stick close to the basic 6, plus black; very, very rarely white. Most of my characters don't have blond hair, but a few do.

 

Some are in spandex, some aren't. It all depends on the concept, and the concepts are all over the map. I tend to associate spandex with a Silver/Bronze Age feel. Golden Age used more "real" fabrics. Dark/Modern uses a lot more street attire. Also more modern costumes seem more intricate with details than past eras. Whenever the character seems to fit best is what I go with. Practically none of my characters use hats, because I don't like how CoH does hats.

 

About 90% of my characters are female, even though I'm not. I have exactly 2 huge characters (out of the dozens I've made).

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On 7/25/2020 at 6:59 PM, TheOtherTed said:

I may catch some flak for saying this, but, to be honest, I never liked the superhero genre.  One factor that drove me away was the "traditional" costume that was so tight that it might as well be painted on, with heavily contrasting colors and showy (almost corporate) logos.  If superhero movies or TV shows had stuck with the "four color comics" style outfits, I probably would not have watched a single one.

 

 

As for costume contests, you can imagine that I was just never on the same frequency as any judges when the game was live.  It seemed to me that the best way to predict who would win was to look for the most complicated and/or most brightly colored costume.

The superhero shows and movies figured out soon enough that the spandex simply doesn't work well for live action. In print, that "painted on" look works because that's exactly what it is. The artists draw a naked figure with the appropriate musculature, and then just add the lines and colors for the costumes afterward. Real spandex on a real human body just doesn't work that way unless you actually do paint it on, so it just looks stupid.

 

As for costume contests, back on live I only got to play for a year, since I only discovered the game about a year before it got shut down. And in that time I think I only participated in one, and was rather unimpressed when the winner they selected was a straight-up Captain America clone. I've participated in a few on Homecoming, though I don't make a specific effort to win them. I only really participate if I happen to be in Atlas Park when there's one going on, and I just join in on whichever character I happen to be playing at that moment (I'm pretty proud of most of my costumes anyway, so...). The only exception was when somebody announced a "Goth Girl" costume contest in Kallisti Wharf, and I just so happened to be playing my one villain who looks kinda goth, so I headed over there to enter (didn't win).

 

As for capes ... I don't use them on most of my characters. I think that's largely influenced by my years of playing WoW, where they've never managed to fix the graphical clipping issues with cloaks on characters that carry their weapons on their backs. That, and cloaks/capes look awful on certain WoW races due to hunched postures (male orcs and trolls) or tails (mainly draenei, and tauren to a degree) causing the cloaks to hang badly. In CoH, it's mostly my male characters who wear capes, partly because I don't like the male run animation and a cloak hides it.

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13 minutes ago, RikOz said:

As for costume contests, back on live I only got to play for a year, since I only discovered the game about a year before it got shut down. And in that time I think I only participated in one, and was rather unimpressed when the winner they selected was a straight-up Captain America clone. I've participated in a few on Homecoming, though I don't make a specific effort to win them. I only really participate if I happen to be in Atlas Park when there's one going on, and I just join in on whichever character I happen to be playing at that moment (I'm pretty proud of most of my costumes anyway, so...). The only exception was when somebody announced a "Goth Girl" costume contest in Kallisti Wharf, and I just so happened to be playing my one villain who looks kinda goth, so I headed over there to enter (didn't win).

FYI, there are weekly costume contest on Discord.

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On 7/26/2020 at 11:29 AM, Twisted Toon said:

I'm usually not on the same wavelength as judges either.

Which is why I was surprised that this guy won a costume contest back on live.

1272049671_SearingDynamic.jpg.b449f2c0ea08f723a864d8b290082df9.jpg

I suspect the "clean lines" look is what sold the judges.  I know from past discussions that some prefer there to be more than 2 colors in a costume, so in that sense I'm surprised, but I've pulled off a couple of 2-color costumes and still get stopped by gawkers.  I think those also appeal due to "clean" lines.

 

 

There's some great feedback on this thread.  Were this still the "live" game, I'd be pointing out the thread to the costume developers saying something like "See?  Take note: Less spandex, more leather, and up-to-date fashions."

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