DIY Supergirl Costume Ideas from TV’s Supergirl

Supergirl on the CW
Supergirl on the CW

The Fall 2015 CBS show Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) introduced Kara Zor-el, cousin of Superman, to a new generation of women and young girls.

These tweens, teens and women have been inspired by a female super hero, so that Supergirl is one of the most popular costumes for girls and women in 2016.

This Halloween even more young female fans will want to dress up as their own girl superhero.

With this new television female hero (now on the CW channel for 2016), adult female fans will also want to dress up as Kara with the more wearable Super Girl costume, her crime-fighting suit.

To help you make your own super attire, we have gathered ideas, resources and patterns in time for the premiere of CW fall show.

You’ll have to work quickly to get one done by this Halloween, but we have ideas to modify or mash-up your own empowered empowered crime-fighting, female super hero costume for girls, tweens, teens or adults. (This page has the teens and adults, the other, girls and tweens)

Image from CW Supergirl

Who is Kara Danvers (Zor-El)?

Supergirl on Demand
Watch on CW or Amazon

A New Hero will Rise.

Kara Zor-El is the cousin of Kal-El, better known as Superman. They are both from the planet Krypton. This trailer for the new show on CBS show the background of Superman’s female cousin, who has been repressing her superhuman abilities for years.

Kara is being called a “beacon of heroism” and a role model for a new generation looking for empowered female characters on television. So far, Melissa is being an amazing role model, embracing her additional super hero duties.

Catch up on the first season of Supergirl in time for the October season premiere on CW or on Amazon.

Superstar Award Winning Designer

Supergirl Costume Design
Supergirl Costume Redesign by Colleen Atwood

The show producers brought in three-time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood to improve on the iconic DC Comics superhero costume. Atwood is familiar with the DC Comic characters having designed outfits already for “The Flash” and “Arrow” characters.

In coming up with a redesign Atwood wanted to “embrace the past, but…thrust her into the street-style action hero of today.” Atwood did away with the plunging necklines and skimpy outfits from the comics and created a wearable look.

In an interview with New York Magazine, Atwood shared some of her thoughts for the design process. She used an athletic fabric called Sensitive® Fabrics designed by Eurojersey from Italy to create her action hero clothes. The four-way-stretch fabric makes it an ideal choice to use for clothing worn during action scenes.

She considered how the costume, the cape and the logo would look as Melissa Benoist would be wearing it and in particular flying in it, making sure that the cape would not through her off in the action scenes and the “S” logo could be seen and recognized as she flies overhead.

If you look closely you will notice that the “S” logo has been layered on the Sensitive® Fabrics with a fabric ink to give it dimension, instead of the typical applique done in the past.

Supergirl Logo
View of the Superman/girl Logo

This new cape looks to be done in a faux leather and when she turns around you do see the big “S” logo in the back the way her cousin, Superman’s does.

With the exception of the thigh high blue socks, the sketched version looks very close to the final show version, even down to the red contrasting stitching on the top and the thumb holes to keep the sleeves in place when flying.

Of note, Colleen Atwood is one of my favorite designers, who created the amazing costumes for “Into the Woods,” “Snow White and the Huntsman,” and “Alice in Wonderland” for which she won a Best Costume Design in 2010.

Comparing Colors

One of the first images released for the revise costume (below on the left) created quite a stir, because the colors were in darker hues than traditional brighter DC Comics Characters.

Supergirl from CBS
Comparing Costumes – Early and Later

The image to the right is one of the later promotional images for the show, where the colors are a bit brighter, but the reds are a deep red, almost burgundy, not bright Superman red and the blue looks to be more of a deeper blue rather than a brighter blue.

When making your own take a look at the different images and decide on the best colors for your version.

Images from CBS Supergirl

DIY Super Girl Crime-fighting Suit Basics

This new design is more costume-wearing friendly for girls and women of all ages and sizes than versions in the past, especially those in the comic books. This version has a reasonable neckline and no bare midriff showing.

This new crime-fighting attire consists of, from top to bottom:

Blue Athletic Top from Amazon
Blue Athletic Top with Thumb Holes
  • Red Cape
  • Blue top with thumb holes
  • S Logo
  • Red Skirt
  • Yellow Belt
  • Boots and stockings

Getting separates and putting them together is a very easy way to mash-up a super outfit. The royal blue top and red skirt are items that can easily be reused after wearing them for Halloween, a party or a Cosplay event.

My favorite shirt (above to the right) that I found looking for clothing supplies was this royal blue athletic top that comes with built-in thumb holes, making it a perfect top to use for the crime-fighting suit. Add the logo (see below) and you’ve got the top done.

Other separates to look for include the blue top and red skirt. Skater skirts are useful for this superhero suit and for wearing again later.

The length of the skirt could vary from mini to a bit longer, for older fans. Instead of a skirt one could wear pants or even athletic capris.

Cape and Boots

Of course the costume would not be complete without a red cape and reasonably heeled over-the-knee deep red boots. This new cape looks to be done in a faux leather, without the big “S” logo in the back that Superman’s has.

She also wears red over-the-knee boots with reasonable heels and slightly shaded tights not just a nude tone. Atwood wanted just a bit of color in her legs, as seen in the original sketch.

Modify a Supergirl Costume

Supergirl Cape Costume T-Shirt
If you need to get a costume together quickly, one of the easiest ways is to create the illusion of a costume by using one of the officially licensed one from DC Comics.

These tee shirts that come with the logo and detachable cape, like the officially licensed one from DC Comics. What a fun idea to make the shirts with a removable cape.

All you need to do is add a skirt and red boots, capris or pants and you are all set to go.

SuperMan/SuperGirl “S” Logo

The costume would not be complete without the S logo, which in the clip above we discover from Kara, it is her family’s code of arms from the House of El. This explains why the S logo works for her cousin Superman costume as well as her own costume. (His “S” is use with a yellow background, where as hers is with a blue one).

The “S” logo here has been adjusted to reflect the darker, richer red tones from the new show. Click on the image to get the largest size.

Download and print, or use as a template to cut from a deep red fabric, felt or foamie to create the S logo. Cut out the white areas in the image, so the blue color of the top will show through, then glue, sew or applique the image in place.

You could also use this template to trace on the logo with red dimensional fabric paint, so it looks more like the actual version worn by Melissa.

Supergirl "S" Logo
Supergirl “S” Logo

Superman “S” modified from Logo Superman, free clipart. 

Make a DIY Supergirl Costume

If you decide you want to sew your own costume you have more flexibility in choosing the colors and customizing your final outfit to look even more like the new costume like including faux red leather for the cape or spandex athletic fabrics and twills for the costume.

Fortunately there are several patterns available to make it easier to sew your own. Simplicity is carrying the official DC comics superhero patterns for adults with Simplicity 1035 (adult).

McCalls has patterns M701 for women or M7002 for men which could be used too, use the  Superman top costume and add a red skirt.  Adult sewing patterns are sized down to a size 6 which will fit many smaller teens.

A good pattern that I couldn’t find on Amazon to include in our list was on older Simplicity 2565. You may be able to find this one for sale elsewhere. Search on Amazon or check on eBay or even Etsy for other patterns.

Before making your pattern purchase double check that you are getting the size that you want either child or adult. McCalls Mp371 is the children’s version McCalls M701 the adult, Simplicity 1035 is the child version, Simplicity Simplicity 1036 or 0223 are the adult versions.

Premade SuperHero Costumes

Supergirl TV Premade Costume
Of the premade costumes the best ones have been for younger girls. The older teen and adult costumes usually fall into the sexy, role-playing versions with plunging neckline, bare midriffs and super short skirts instead of an empowered version.

Fortunately Rubie came out with a premade costume for this Halloween based on the television show. The costume comes with the top and skirt as a dress, removable cape and a belt. You need to add your own boots.

I have also included one premade costume idea on the DIY Supergirl Costume Ideas for Girls & Tweens, since the girl version, like this new superhero one is an empowering costume with an appropriate neckline, waistline and hemline for young superhero female fans.

You can find all kinds of other earlier skimpier versions of this super hero costume by searching on Amazon and various Halloween stores.

More Costume Ideas

To make it easier to find the costume we split ideas for the adult and teen from the child and tween versions. If you are interested in making a child or tween costume see the other page for ideas and resources.

Our Pinterest Board for Supergirl Costumes

We’ve pulled together ideas and images for making your own empowered, crime-fighting, female super hero costume as a Pinterest board, DIY Supergirl Costume Ideas for TV’s Female Superhero.

Visit the board on Pinterest and follow us for more ideas.

Follow The Costume Detective’s board DIY Supergirl Costume Ideas for TV’s Female Superhero on Pinterest.