Bad Fashion Nineties strikes again

For people my age, the 1970s are the touchstone for bad fashion. We saw a rare confluence of bad fabrics (shimmery polyester for example), bad incidentals (huge collars, wide ties), and unfortunate color sense (paisley browns, electric orange shag carpeting, white shoes).

But with the benefit of hindsight, the 1990s mounted a serious challenge to the King of Bad Fashion Decades, at least for super hero costumes. This Wonder Woman ensemble from an issue of DC Comics’ “Elseworlds” serves as a great example of that; allow me to give you a tour.

Let’s start with that Fauxhawk, which tries to combine the long-haired Penthouse pinpup look (required of all female comics characters) with a Punk sensibility. But let’s be honest, no Punk would ever go out in a tiara. It’s just not done.

You then get to that staple of the Nineties Costume, the popped collar. On, of course, a short-waisted leather jacket with rolled-up sleeves. I can never figure out what it was about the climate in the 1990s that made people get cold only on their upper arms and shoulders. I keep watching “The Weather Channel” hoping to see some sort of explanation, but alas, I watch in vain.

The torso’s fairly traditional Wonder Woman fare, though with a French-cut bikini line that would shame even the French. (I’m kidding, of course — the French are shameless. And I should know, I’m one quarter French!)

Interestingly, though, she has on a short-sleeved turtleneck covering the swell of her Wonder Bosoms, which makes you kind of wonder why she’s bothering with a bustier in the first place, since swelling Wonder Bosoms is kind of the point of that particular bit of fashion.

Hang on, though, while I reiterate — she’s wearing a short-sleeved turtleneck. Again, what is the temperature gradient that would result in such a thing?

Whatever it was, it also led to multiple boots, something I have never understood. She’s got on leggings, thigh boots, kneepads, and regular super hero boots. That’s some serious legwear, folks.

I’m forced to wonder at the puke-green eyepatch-wearing Mullet Man With Thigh Pouches she’s accosting in this scene. Is he from the Fashion Police, sent out to arrest her for crimes against humanity? Does it take an alternate Elseworld to finally bring sanity to the fashion-challenged Nineties?

We can only hope.

(Image and characters ©1994, DC Comics.)

10 Responses to Bad Fashion Nineties strikes again

  1. I doubt the fashion police would match their kneepads with their jackets – or wear thigh pouches with belt pouches.

    I’m more impressed by Wonder Woman’s proportions. Her thighs are as long as her torso.

  2. Mister Hebert, “Wonder bosoms.”

    Yea, that about says it. Just paraphrasing you makes this day complete. I think I found a winner for “Epic Quote of the week.”

  3. Pray tell, Jeff: just what Elseworlds comic does this hail from? The art seems oddly Liefeldian in design, but I was unaware that he ever took up the chores on any issue of Wonder Woman.

    On a side note, as a personage of advance age, Jeff– bad 70’s fashions are a guilty pleasure. Be gentle. :)

  4. Guys she decided to wear her underwear on the outside just to fit in, but usually you don’t wear leather underneath, its either nothing or leggings.

  5. Love the jacket. It serves no purpose except to provide a collar to pop. It’s obviously too small to zip up over the Wonder Bosom anyway.
    And Jeff, you should know better. No self-respecting member of the fashion police wore lime green with pouches on his calves. The gentleman in question is just as much a ’90s fashion victim as Diana is. Real fashion police wear tailored dark suits with two-button jackets and power ties. Even back in the ’90s.
    Trying to remember, but in ’94 I think I was wearing plaid flannel shirts with the sleeves rolled up, over top of long sleeved t-shirts, because I was trying to be like Kurt Cobain and Eddy Vedder. So the ’90s weren’t a mecca for high fashion either.

  6. Minor nitpick. Haven’t seen the comic this is from, so I could easily be wrong, but to me the appearance of the right sleeve on the turtleneck indicates that it was rolled up to that point. If I’m right, then it’s not naturally short-sleeved.

    Of course, that means that Wonder Woman intentionally -chose- to make that bizarre fashion statement…

  7. And don’t forget the six-inch stilleto heels–perfect for running and climbing!

  8. I dunno, I don’t think it’s a turtleneck. It’s kind of my impression that she’s wearing something on the order of a black latex fetish suit/ catsuit under her “Wonderoos”. Hmm, maybe during this time period she was moonlighting as DCs Catwoman, and just forgot to take off the catsuit?

  9. Something about this wardrobe feels awful familiar…

  10. The only costume I liked that came out of the ’90s was Rogue’s pea-green and yellow costume with the brown jacket and belt, which became a classic when the FOX X-men TV series was aired world-wide. I watched that show! Even now I am still a fan of both classic and Evolution Rogue.