It's easy to think of impractical superhero suits and go directly to the 90's. While there are a good amount of 90's-era outfits on this list, it also has some select pieces that showcase how unintelligent tailoring has persisted throughout all generations of DC's time telling stories.
From the Golden Age to the Modern, DC's heroes have proven time and time again that they can protect a planet, but not themselves. Either that or they'll just throw on an ammo belt or other aesthetic feature that either does nothing or could seriously encumber them. Here's our list of the 10 most impractical DC outfits in order of their absurdity.
10 Superman (Reign of the Superman)
There isn't one element of the black-suit Superman from the 90's that fans don't consider distinctly un-Superman, though the one that stands out is probably his guns. Though incredibly silly, this isn't what makes his costume at this time impractical. After all, this Superman wasn't at full power, having just died and come back with dampened powers, so narratively it made sense. What makes this suit so useless is the hilarious amount of ammunition hanging off parts of Clark's body that would be very difficult to reach in battle.
Also, while he does seem to have armored bracers and a S-shield made of the same material, the rest of his body is covered in fabric: not a great idea for a man who isn't at full strength.
9 John Paul Valley's Knightfall Costume
If John Paul Valley was the Batman Who Taught Advanced Geometry to Goth Kids maybe his costume from the famous Knightfall arc could be forgiven.
Seeming to show an appreciation for both the creepy-bizarre aesthetics that even subtly defined some children' cartoons at the time, as well as angles--- sweet sweet angles--- this costume seems like it could trip its wearer in a thousand different ways, which are just about as many as Bruce Wayne could, but never would kill a man.
8 Wonder Woman's Golden Age Outfit
Not much needs to be said here. There are plenty of obvious reasons why fighting a war in a skirt of any length is impractical. While it isn't a constrictive piece like some later female heroes would don, Diana's freedom of movement is offset by the likelihood that her long, flowly bottom piece would likely get caught on the debris around any major battle.
This says nothing of the mental energy she'd need to expend reminding herself to pull it down every time she had to run somewhere really fast, or risk exposing herself to the armies of at least two countries.
7 Wonder Woman (Diana Prince) In 70's British Club Gear
Speaking of restrictive skirts, remember the 70's? This outfit may have not been as ridiculous if Wonder Woman was taking on a more background role like when Barbara Gordon became Oracle, but the fact that she was still doing all of her normal Themyscirian ass-kicking in her role as a secret agent made this outfit an incredibly poor choice.
Though there's a tendency for artists to draw female characters in impractical garb, a lot of the male secret agents of the time weren't exactly wearing gear meant for combat either.
6 Ambush Bug's Suit
It's actually hard to tell if this suit is really impractical because it's hard to tell how it works. Is it even a suit? If so, why do the mouth and eyes move? What can be concluded is that any suit that requires the user to wear more clothing over it probably isn't great for... well anything. Considering Ambush Bug is a character who can do just about anything, that's kind of an issue, no?
The answer to most of what Ambush Bug does is that he's a gag character and none of it matters, so maybe this suit can be written off as another piece of nonsense that at least some writers are aware of when taking him on in a book.
5 Jay Garrick's Golden Age Outfit
A long-sleeve tee and jeans? Bad guys usually don't give heroes time to apply ointment in battle, so the fact that Jay Garrick was running at superhuman speeds in this get-up is concerning.
He's definitely getting picked last when the Justice Society is forming patrol teams, and he has nobody to blame but himself. Forget Barry Allen racing Clark Kent, the real question is whether those size-29 dungarees constrict Jay's movement more than Diana Prince's club attire described above. The world may never know.
4 Jim Gordon's Batman Suit
To be clear, Jim Gordon's 12-foot robot exoskeleton seems pretty practical, even if it does look more like a bunny than a bat. What isn't practical is the completely unprotected lycra bodysuit that he exposed to gunfire a little too much during his time as Batman (a little too much meaning any time at all.) Yes, yes: he's more mobile when he's out of the mech suit, but no protection at all? Even cops wear bulletproof vests.
3 Aztek's Post-Crisis Suit
What is going on here? There could be a whole article alone about the helmet that defies all physics and is more likely to skewer the wearer accidentally than an enemy. What's even crazier is in his time wearing it, Aztek never uses his helmet as a weapon.
Can you say missed opportunity? Moving on to the bracers and shoulder pads bout completely exposed internal organs, this suit is not something that should be worn to stop anything more than a crime of infidelity by a disgruntled housewife's tax lawyer husband.
2 Khalid Nassour's Doctor Fate Costume
Being a magic-user, you're not as concerned with protecting your physical body with armor as you are with evoking status in your look. Robes and other garments often hold some societal weight, meaning that even from a distance, another member of the magical community knows you mean business. A hoodie and sneakers don't do that, and when you're the vessel for a force like Doctor Fate, that's a problem.
Sure, it may be enough to scare street criminals, but this Doctor Fate isn't intimidating the likes of Klarion or John Constantine any time soon.
1 Starfire (Most Outfits)
Starfire has gone through several costume changes since being introduced, but most weren't deserving of the warrior princess she is. Even her outfit on the Titans streaming show doesn't seem like it would hold up for long faicng some of the more airborne activity that's associated with the character in the comics, but might be harder to showcase in a live-action format.
The fact that she's kind of become synonymous with impractical costumes is why she tops the list, and why DC should continue to make efforts to correct the character's wardrobe choices in the future.