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Geek Chic: Fashion Inspired by the Dark Knight Trilogy


Fashion inspired by The Dark Knight trilogy
Photo credit

Here on the Geek Chic column, we’ve given Marvel characters a lot of love (See: The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man), so it’s only fair that DC Comics gets some, too! Unless you’re allergic to summer blockbusters, you’ve likely seen at least one of the films in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises, starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Gary Oldman.

For more Geek Chic, check out previous articles: The Amazing Spider-Man-inspired fashionDr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog-inspired fashion Star Wars Prequel-inspired fashionLost-inspired fashionThe Avengers-inspired fashion,Sailor Moon-inspired fashionDoctor Who inspired fashion (plus Part 2 and Part 3), Sherlock-inspired fashion,Star Wars Original Trilogy-inspired fashionThe Hunger Games-inspired fashionThe Big Bang Theory-inspired fashionthe Lord of the Rings-inspired fashion, and Star Trek-inspired fashion.

Know Your Geek: About Batman

  • Batman was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger of DC Comics in 1939 and has become one of the world’s most beloved superheroes.  Beyond comics, the Batman franchise includes several movies and television shows (both live-action and animated).
  • Christopher Nolan’s gritty, dark reboot of the franchise is the most successful of all Batman productions: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises have grossed $372 million, $1 billion, and $745 million, respectively.
  •  You probably know the story: Batman is the second identity of billionaire Bruce Wayne, who fights evil in the fictional Gotham City (which is basically New York City). As the title suggests, Batman Begins explores his origins, while The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises depict Batman’s continued struggle for justice.

Outfits Inspired by the Dark Knight Trilogy

Ready to channel Gotham City inhabitants, both good and bad? All righty then, CF Readers…To the Bat-wardrobe!

Bruce Wayne

Photo credits: 1, 2, 3

Bruce Wayne, played by Christian Bale, is the billionaire owner of Wayne Enterprises and a resident of Gotham City. He was orphaned at a young age when his parents were murdered in front of him by a small-time criminal. He was subsequently raised by his faithful butler, Alfred Pennyworth (played by Michael Caine). Bruce is tormented by lingering feelings of guilt over his parents’ death.

After receiving both a formal education and intensive martial arts training, he returns to Gotham City. Horrified by the rampant corruption plaguing his home, he recruits his business manager, Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), to help him harness the technology of Wayne Enterprises to fight crime and restore justice.

Bruce Wayne outfit
Product Information: Jacket, Top, Trousers, Loafers, Bracelet, Scarf, Earrings

When Bruce Wayne suits up, he suits up. I mean, we’re talking bespoke Giorgio Armani suits here, people! Costume designer Lindy Hemming collaborated with the Italian designer for all of Bruce’s snazzy, super-sharp suits. However, this outfit takes inspiration more from Bruce’s softer side, and the clothes that he wears at home or around the people he cares about most.

When he’s not in the public eye, Bruce wears simple but well-tailored pieces that still look luxe. Even if you’re not a billionaire (and if you are, call me, let’s be BFFs), you can pull off Wayne’s understated elegance with pieces like a draped top and crisp trousers. A great suit jacket will take you places, so make sure you find one that fits you perfectly. (This is one case where it’s worthwhile to spend a little more for quality.) Suede loafers and a monogram bracelet convey that old-money feel.


Photo credits: 1, 2, 3

Batman is Gotham City’s resident caped crusader, a dark knight who lurks in the shadows. Woe to those who worship evil’s might and cross his path! Although he does not have any inherent superpowers, he relies on his vast intelligence and technological prowess to defeat his enemies.

Unfortunately, as is the case with many masked vigilantes, Batman is eventually declared a threat by public officials. Lt. James Gordon says it best:  “He’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight.”

Product Information: Cape, Top, Jeans, Boots, Earrings, Bag, Headband, Gloves

He’s not called a caped crusader for nothing: Batman’s billowing cape and bat-shaped cowl are iconic pieces. Since his getup is so recognizable, I kept the outfit subtle to avoid having it look costume-y. Batman is always clad entirely in black, which can get a bit boring in real life. A great way to keep a monochromatic outfit interesting is to play with various textures. Here, the soft jersey material of a cowl-neck top tempers the hard sheen of waxed jeans, while knee-high boots in suede also contrast with the leather look of the pants.

Now it’s time for the finishing touches. Luckily, cape-style coats like this charcoal tweed one are still a hot trend this year. Add some fun details with cool half-gloves, a spiked headband, stud earrings, and an adorable bat-shaped bag.

Rachel Dawes

Photo credits: 1, 2, 3

Rachel Dawes, played by Katie Holmes in Batman Begins and Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Dark Knight, is Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend and primary love interest. She eventually becomes an Assistant District Attorney, dedicating her career to eradicating the crime and corruption in Gotham City. Before she discovers Batman’s true identity, she is upset with Bruce, whose public persona is that of a carefree playboy. Rachel is frequently targeted by crime lords due to her job as well as her connections to Batman and Harvey Dent.

Rachel Dawes outfit
Product Information: Trench, Top, Skirt, Shoes, Purse, Earrings, Necklace

Rachel is an up-and-coming attorney fighting the good fight. She needs to be taken seriously, so she’s typically seen in courtroom-appropriate business wear.  Nevertheless, her wardrobe always maintains a feminine aura, heavily featuring silk blouses and tailored pencil skirts.

Get Rachel’s authoritative but pretty look with a silky wrap top and hunter green (big fall trend!) skirt. Suede pointy-toe pumps with a mid-height heel and a structured satchel always look professional, as does a classic trench coat. Coin earrings represent her relationship with Harvey Dent, who later goes on to become the villainous Two-Face. Finally, a delicate envelope charm necklace refers to the sealed letter that Rachel gives to Alfred for Bruce.

The Joker

Photo credits: 1, 2, 3

The Joker, played by the late Heath Ledger, is the terrifying villain of The Dark Knight. Unlike most big bads, he isn’t really motivated by power or money. Instead, he revels in creating chaos and anarchy in Gotham. The Joker also takes immense pleasure in tormenting Batman with difficult morality judgments.

As portrayed in the Nolan trilogy, The Joker is whimsically demented and highly unpredictable. This psychopathic baddie doesn’t discriminate when it comes to choosing his victims: he’ll murder anyone, even his own henchmen.

Product Information: Dress, Coat, Vest, Shoes, Earrings, Rings, Lipstick, Eyeliner

The Joker wears an eccentric mix of pinstriped pants, gray patterned shirt, chartreuse vest, and violet overcoat. Get his bold fashion sense without all the crazy by pairing an olive shirtdress with a menswear-inspired vest and patent Mary Jane pumps. Then throw on a bright purple trench coat that will make you stand out in a crowd of black and navy.

While I wouldn’t recommend Joker’s full clown makeup and Glasgow smile as an everyday look, kohl-lined eyes and red lips are always in. (This particular eyeliner and lipstick are named BadGal and Funny Face, respectively. Quite appropriate, no?) Complete the look with Joker-inspired jewelry like playing card rings and lip-shaped earrings. You’ll have folks asking “Why so serious…ly well dressed?”

Selina Kyle

Photo credits: 1, 2, 3

Selina Kyle, played by Anne Hathaway, is a master jewel thief nicknamed “The Cat” and a major player in The Dark Knight Rises. Although she is never actually called “Catwoman” in the film, it seems pretty safe to refer to her as such. The popular character was developed as a sort of sparring partner/sexy foil for Batman: although she’s a criminal, she’s not really interested in killing or in evil for evil’s sake.

While she may be under the occasional employment of truly evil people, in the end, Selina’s loyalties are to one person: herself. (She’s like the Irene Adler to Batman’s Sherlock Holmes. And I rather suspect that Gwen Raiden from Angel was meant to be a play on Catwoman.)

Product Information: Jacket, Dress, Shoes, Earrings, Necklace, Lipstick, Eyeliner, Sunglasses

Selina Kyle is the quintessential femme fatale. Dangerous curves, smoldering gaze, seductive red pout, snappy repartee: you name it, she’s got it. Make like Selina and steal some of her style (please note that College Fashion does not advocate jewel thievery) with a formalwear look that’s classic but definitely not stuffy.

Shimmy into an LBD with a strapless neckline that shows off a great necklace: in this case, the intricate pearl collar references the Wayne family heirloom that Selina steals. Add feline details like cat-eye sunglasses, leopard print pumps, and fierce earrings for a look that’s positively purr-fect. (Yes, I went there with the awful puns.)

Selina as the Cat

Photo credits: 1, 2, 3

Ah, the infamous catsuit! As with the Batman-inspired outfit, there’s a thin line here between inspiration and imitation. Look chic, not costumey, by keeping the sleek lines of the catsuit but losing some of the spandexy goodness. For a classy night out on the town, pair an understated ponte top with opulent velvet pants, then slip on a quilted leather jacket that’s glamorous but not in-your-face.

Although I have no idea how Catwoman can kick butt in those dizzying stilettos, you probably won’t need to fight off any evil henchmen/minions, so go for a pair of classic black ankle boots. Accessorize with a geometric necklace that’s reminiscent of cat ears and a pair of cobalt studs to add a pop of color. Finally, no Catwoman-inspired look would be complete without a winged cat-eye. A thick marker-like liner is ideal for foolproof application.

Product Information: Jacket, Top, Pants, Shoes, Necklace, Earrings, Eyeliner

What did you think?

Would you wear these outfits? Are you a fan of Nolanverse Batman? And did you have incredible difficulty understanding anything that Bane said in TDKR? (Please tell me I’m not the only one! I caught maybe 40% of his lines. Plus his mouth was covered so I couldn’t even guess.)

What other geeky inspirations would you like to see? (Next time we’ll be heading to my home state of California to visit a Sunnydale girl who saved the world. A lot.) As always, let me know in the comments!

Posted on on August 18, 2012 / Filed Under: Inspiration / Tags: , , , , ,

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56 Responses to “Geek Chic: Fashion Inspired by the Dark Knight Trilogy”

  1. 1
    August 18th, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    This is great, you picked some cool outfits – I especially love the Bruce Wayne one :)

  2. 2
    August 18th, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    This is great! I’d really like to see a Merlin post! There is literally so much you could do for any of the characters!

  3. 3
    August 18th, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Interesting choices. I may feel adventurous to try some soon.

    I understood Bane just fine…guess I’m in a minority. Of course I have a Batman encyclopedia for a best friend and she had pretty much given me every single ounce of information about Bane(besides his Batman and Robin counterpart *shudder*) about a year or so before the movie came out so… I wikipediaed everything I could also to get the whole story. But that’s just me :)

    Loved the movie. Brilliant end to a brilliant franchise.

  4. 4
    August 18th, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    I loved the third movie, I thought the second was the best but I was wrong, the Selina Kyle outfits are the best!

  5. 5
    August 18th, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Thank you thank you THANK YOU so much for doing a post on these movies!!!! The outfits are great!

  6. 6
    August 18th, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    LOVE. I absolutely adore nolan’s batman trilogy, truly some of my favorite movies ever. This post is so awesome!

  7. 7
    August 18th, 2012 at 8:01 pm


  8. 8
    August 18th, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Could you guys do outfits inspired by Jurassic Park?

  9. 9
    August 18th, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    I love love LOVE this!! I would wear every one!

    Geek inspiration – Jane Austen? Literature geek here :P

  10. 10
    August 18th, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Great post! I love the Geek Chic series.
    I would love to see one for Supernatural!

  11. 11
    August 18th, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    I LOVED the Dark Knight Trilogy. I would love to see another Doctor Who post for the new season, and a Supernatural post! :)

  12. 12
    August 18th, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Love this post! Surprised you didn’t do one on John Blake though.

  13. 13
    August 18th, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Wish you had done Bane fashions! TDK trilogy’s Bane lends himself to some great chic leathers and combat boots. Could understand almost everything he said, too. I love me some Tom Hardy. And I agree with Kelli! Supernatural style!

  14. 14
    August 18th, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Love the Geek Chic series!!! =) although I do wish you included Bane! I am really looking forward to the Buffy post! It’s one of my favorite TV series =D

  15. 15
    August 19th, 2012 at 12:35 am

    BUFFY! And lots of Willow-y and maybe some Tara and Anya too goodness? :D

  16. 16
    August 19th, 2012 at 1:32 am

    He is no doubt my favorite superhero of all time <3

  17. 17
    August 19th, 2012 at 3:34 am

    I love it when you post these kinds of articles. Be it the geek chic ones or the random movie ones. Keep it up – it’s awesome!

  18. 18
    August 19th, 2012 at 4:40 am

    This was FANTASTIC. Thank you so much for doing a Batman trilogy post, I was hoping you would! I think it’d be great if you did one for Supernatural, it’s a great show if you haven’t see it already. Or Criminal Minds.

  19. 19
    August 19th, 2012 at 4:57 am

    I too woulda loved to see one on bane as well ….. but great stuff over all :) i actually have a leather pepulum shirt i wore with my black shiny pants and heeled boots for tribut to selina when i went saw the movie………I have to second @Shelby I WANT LOTS OF WILLOW AND TARA OMG id love to see that quirky boho style they had reamped for times now…. and Id love an Angel one too that would be awesumeeee ive always had crush on angel willow and tara :)

  20. 20
    August 19th, 2012 at 5:00 am

    OMG PLEASEEEEEEE do one on Supernatural I love that show oh so much I want dean and his fashions lol but in girly status lol and yes Criminal minds done in a way wearable for college students so its not coming off as business attire would be above and beyond awesume !!!!!!!!

  21. 21
    August 19th, 2012 at 5:02 am

    Sorry last post for tonight lol but if you could even do one on anime like Bleach or Full Metal Alchemist that would be above and beyond awesume or even Inuyasha omg (squeals like a lil girl) hehee that would be soooooo awesume Im a hugeeeee anime fan been watching it since 3yrs old in Japan love love love it

  22. 22
    August 19th, 2012 at 8:52 am

    i love the post, nicely collage pictures. I love the whole concept especially Geek series. thanks for posting.

  23. 23
    August 19th, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Bale is the best batman, keaton i liked as well
    but congratulation, these outfits are so awesome

  24. 24
    August 19th, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    would’ve liked to have seen talia, two-face, scarecrow or bane!! and ia with supernatural fashion

  25. 25
    August 19th, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I liked it. I wish you guys would’ve done Blake, Bane, The Scarecrow, Alfred, and Gordon though… Part 2 maybe? Also I would love to see Moulin Rouge inspired fashion!

  26. 26
    August 19th, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    What about Bane? Would love to see what accessory you guys would come up for his face mask!

    Also for geek chic inspiration: Dexter, How I Met Your Mother, Criminal Minds, Black Swan, or even Se7en (seven deadly sins would be interesting).

  27. 27
    August 19th, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Love the Selina Kyle look (and the rest)!! I’m a huge superhero fan and I’d have to say that this is by far my favorite trilogy (sorry hunger games). Fantastic post!!

  28. 28
    August 20th, 2012 at 12:47 am

    OMG. and i agree with fashionfreak–PLEASE do one on jpark!!!

  29. 29
    August 20th, 2012 at 12:54 am

    I was kind of hoping for Talia Al Ghul (sp?) to be here, but overall this is an awesome post. I would wear every single outfit!

  30. 30
    August 20th, 2012 at 1:35 am

    Hey… just a correction… it was an unsealed letter :)

  31. 31
    August 20th, 2012 at 2:48 am

    GEEK chic is my favorite column of College Fashion. and this post is my favorite one so far!!!

    you should do one from House, or any of the USA network shows (ESPECIALLY Suits or White Collar)!

  32. 32
    August 20th, 2012 at 2:49 am

    LOVED this post. I have been on a Batman kick, he’s always been my favorite super hero, but with the new movies, adore him even more. Wonderful outfits, I think I;m gonna try a few. Thanks!!

  33. 33
    August 20th, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I come check CF everyday. As soon as I saw the words: BatMan, I started uncontrollably fangirling! Awesome outfits, by the way! :)

  34. 34
    August 20th, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    this is your best geek chic post!

  35. 35
    August 20th, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Bane outfit!!

  36. 36
    August 20th, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Love this! I just saw Dark Night Rises for the first time this past weekend and I’m in love with Anne Hathaway as Selina! You picked out the perfect outfits for her! :)

  37. 37
    August 20th, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Agree with Chloe M and Jenny in Jacquard(:

  38. 38
    August 20th, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    All of these are great suggestions! I would love to see all of these in the future, especially a Merlin post and other Batman characters.

  39. 39
    August 21st, 2012 at 10:16 am

    I would’ve LOVED to see Miranda/Talia because Marion Cotillard is just inspiring and such a muse (anyone else drooling at her look for the movie premiere?) but great post — as always — nonetheless! Geek Chic posts are the one I’m always anticipating for whenever I go on CF! ;)

  40. 40
    August 22nd, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Great Outfits! I especially loved Selina Kyle/Catwoman.
    I liked the movies but I accidentially started laughing when Bane was chocking Batman, because it reminded me so much of Darth Vader… Please tell me I’m not the only one who did that. All my friends that i watching it with looked at me like i was crazy.
    PS. please excuse my english, it’s not my first language.

  41. 41
    August 23rd, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    I personally did not like this post, though I was impressed by most of your post, it must be because i am a huge bat-fan. I think Batman is harder to symbolize in clothing than normal superheroes, still i think you could have done better.

  42. 42
    September 5th, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I absolutely love the geek chic posts! It makes me proud of my geek-dom. I’d love to see some Game of Thrones inspired outfits.

  43. 43
    September 10th, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    I second the Jane Austen request!!

  44. 44
    October 7th, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    No Alfred? I’d love to see some more takes on traditional, tweedy style. All this slick stuff is great, but what is more ‘college’-y than British public-school geek chic?

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