This Gotham has style — and you can have it, too

in Potpourri by

We’re pretty much obsessed with the new superhero show Gotham, airing Mondays on FOX. Full of gritty heroes and even grittier villains, it takes everything we love from the Batman universe and makes it feel even rawer and more realistic (which isn’t an easy feat when you’re dealing with super villains like The Penguin and Poison Ivy). But Gotham sets up its world before Batman comes of age—in this Gotham City, Bruce Wayne is only a kid, and Catwoman is still just a teen with a proclivity for hanging out in alleys.

Ever since Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight series, superheroes have lost a lot of the camp we used to associate with men wearing bright costumes and fighting crime. These days, superheroes are portrayed as darker, more flawed and therefore more relatable. Even their outfits have changed. Where Batman once wore tights and visible underwear, now the Batsuit looks fit for a warrior: leaner, sleeker, with extra mobility for all those fight scenes.

This sense of realism is certainly celebrated in Gotham with its city grit, crooked cops, and everyday street-wear. In fact, the style in Gotham might be the best part of the whole show. From well-fitting suits to dresses with artful cutouts, the looks are modern, true-to-character, and just disheveled enough. In honor of that realism, we created our own Batman-related superhero outfits inspired by the understated fashion of Gotham:

Catwoman, aka, Selina Kyle

In the TV series, Kyle is a leather-wearing waif who skulks around alleys and watches Bruce Wayne’s parents get murdered. She’s far from her future Catwoman status, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take style tips from this unlucky street kid. Leather pants and jacket are a must, with a few awesome cat details thrown in—like the rings and the detailed flats. The colors need to be understated—she is hiding in alleys after all—but the striped top and bright lipstick keeps the look stylish and up-to-date.

The Penguin, aka, Oswald Cobblepot

Like Catwoman, Gotham’s Penguin is pretty far from the Danny DeVito baddy we meet in Batman Returns. In this world—at least in the beginning—he’s young henchman for Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith’s evil mobster) and living on the fringes of society. But we know he’s on the path to becoming the famous Penguin, and regardless, we love the color-blocking outfits a penguin-inspired character might wear. Here’s our female take on the look, complete with a warm structured coat, a charming penguin bracelet, and a rosy blush to imitate the pink color of cheeks on a cold day.

Poison Ivy, aka, Ivy Pepper

Ivy’s just a child in the Gotham world, the daughter of a henchman accused of killing Bruce Wayne’s parents. But we love the thought of dressing her future self in a fit-and-flare green dress with a matching clutch and chic ankle boots. The ivy-inspired headband is a subtle nod at her powers, while the Alexandra McQueen ring showcases her poisonous nature.

Martha Wayne, aka, Bruce’s Mom

Sure, she doesn’t get much screen time, but the deaths of Bruce’s parents haunt him for the rest of his life. Much is made of Martha’s pearls, which fly off dramatically right before she’s killed. And overall, the Martha Wayne look is sophisticated, uptown, society-pages lace and silk.

Who would you dress like in the Gotham universe? Let us know in the comments!

Rachel Carter grew up surrounded by trees and snow and mountains. She graduated from the University of Vermont and Columbia University, where she received her MFA in nonfiction writing. She is the author of the So Close to You series with Harperteen. These days you can find her working on her next novel in the woods of Vermont.

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