Quick Tips to be Super-Stylish

The Superlatives’ own Electronica stops by to share a few tips on how to create (or update) your superhero look to ensure visual impact and create a lasting brand.

Quick Tips to be Super-Stylish
by Electronica
September 17, 2016

Wake up today and reach for your superhero costume only to realize that you forgot to pick it up from the cleaners? Find that you’re suddenly not taken as seriously by your rogues gallery of super villains? Walk around a con and notice a distinct lack of cosplay representation of your heroic success? It’s okay, it’s happened to the best of us. Sounds like its time for a quick refresh of your super-look! Here are some quick and easy tips to super size your style in a pinch:

  1. Cover or uncover your face – or at least part of it – if you are trying to maintain a secret life. Your identity is deeply rooted in your own unique face, and according to a 2011 MIT study, your eyebrows are critical to facial recognition. That means, if you don’t usually wear anything to hide your face and also don’t want your friends and family to recognize you as a costumed hero, you’d better throw on an eye mask, face mask, or other eyebrow hiding facial device when you go fight crime. Those eyebrows will give you away every time! Of course, if you’re like me and have become so recognizable that you’ve had to let go of the fantasy of a secret life but have a health condition that requires you to cover your eyes on the regular, I say do it with style.
  1. Dress for your powers. After being incapacitated by complete blindness and overwhelming tinnitus, I found sanctuary inside the Superlatives HQ Farady Cage, where I got my senses back. I knew I couldn’t stay locked up in there forever, so if I was ever to find freedom, I needed to take the cage’s normalizing effects with me. R&D didn’t like my request for a tailored look, but when you’ve got be seen in public dressed head to toe in Farady shielding, you’ve got no other choice than to make it work! So, think about your powers – do you need special shoes because you can run super fast, a crown to shoot your flames in the appropriate direction, a tool belt to carry your alien tech, or perhaps a special watch or wrist band to help you communicate with your robotic system to better focus your energy? Equipment failure is embarrassing and dangerous, so make sure you nail function before you tackle form.
  1. Wear a cape only if you fly. I will never understand why so many solo costumed heroes who cannot fly wear capes – let alone underwear on the outside of their outfits – but, remember, you are your brand. If you tie a sheet around your neck like a cape, the public will think you can fly, and credibility is one of the most important components of a brand. If you wear a cape, are asked to fly, and can’t deliver – your credibility with your public will go out the window. There are also some competing ideologies in the hero world about the potential danger of capes, but I don’t subscribe to that as much as the importance of effectively communicating and repping your brand.
  1. Protect yourself. We tend to think of how we’re going to help others, but it’s important to remember that if you don’t fill up your own tea cup first, there will be nothing in it for you to share. I don’t have to tell you how hard fighting crime can be, but we tend to forget how much safety and tech goes into our regular costumes. So, before you head out onto the streets, think about where you need protection. With a knee-length outfit, I needed to grab a tall pair of boots to make sure I didn’t put my legs at risk. Other heroes find covering their arms helpful so if you’re in a pinch, grab a pair of gloves or maybe an old long sleeve shirt and cut the arms off it. Something is better than nothing, especially if you find yourself in a showdown with the likes of Bot Beast or Dr. Darkness.
  1. Most importantly, tell your story. Don’t underestimate the importance of colors, shapes,  symbols, and iconography. Your regular costume is likely full of brand recognition. If you find yourself without it today or are making an update, make sure you connect your color choices so the public knows who you are. On the Superlatives, we all wear the same bright pop of pink to unify us as a team, but you’ll notice we each have individually cohesive costuming that can stand on its own. In thinking about your own look, consider your origin and power-set so that you can reflect it in your costuming. As a former Manhattan-based corporate executive, you better believe I wasn’t going to let my predominant color be anything other than black. So, what about you? Are you an all American? Quick find some red, white and blue that you can wear. Do you control flames? Grab some reds, oranges, yellows, and maybe even golds. Can you alter the make-up of the clouds? There are plenty of fabrics that can communicate a cumulous. Whatever your story, it’s important you communicate it every time you’re in public because brands must be consistent.

Keep these simple tricks in mind when you design your costumed look and watch admiration for your heroic deeds grow. Keep it up, and maybe you’ll even be a Superlative some day! See you out there on the streets.