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X-Men Fashion Friday: Emma Frost

It’s X-Men Fashion Friday and our panel of fashion judges are evaluating the White Queen’s many costumes.

Since their debut in 1963, the X-Men have sworn to protect a world that hates and fears them. But you know what? Here at AiPT!, we’ve got nothing but love for Marvel’s mighty mutants! To celebrate the long-awaited return of Uncanny X-Men, AiPT! Brings you UNCANNY X-MONTH: 30 days of original X-Men content. Hope you survive the experience…X-Men Fashion Friday: Emma FrostIf there’s one thing superheroes usually aren’t, it’s ordinary. Their over-the-top flair extends not only to their powers and morals, but to their fashions as well. There are few super teams where this is more the case than the X-Men. Each Friday during Uncanny X-Month, we’ll be discussing the best and worst fashion moments of one of Marvel’s merry mutants. This week, we’re discussing the many looks of Hellfire Club member turned X-Man turned Hellfire Club member again, Emma Frost. Which of her many costumes is the best? AiPT!’s panel of fashion judges, Manga Editor Eric Cline, contributor Jason Segarra, Media and Content Manager David Brooke, contributor Trevor Richardson and Movie Editor Nathanial Muir decide.

The Hellfire Club costume

Art by Bill Sienkiewicz

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X-Men Fashion Friday: Emma Frost

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

David: If Emma is really trying to use her sexuality as a weapon, then you can call this look a complete success. As far as a costume is concerned, this looks hella trashy, though, and it’s certainly not leaving much to the imagination. I do like how she’s wearing fur as it shows it’s at least a little functional (it has to be freezing wearing this). Score: 6/10

Nathaniel: I’m not sure if I’d go so far as to call it trashy, but if she were to describe this to me as her planned costume, I would probably tell her to strongly reconsider. Here’s the thing, though: it’s not what you wear but how you wear it. Obviously, it allows her to use her sexuality, but she also looks like she is the one in control. It’s a great, if risqué, choice for a powerful queen. Score: 8/10

Jason: I never really dug Emma’s dominatrix getup, but it’s certainly her most iconic look. Thing is, it’s got the same issues as most female characters in fantasy, in that it’s a sexual fantasy for the hetero male gaze and in no way practical for super-combat with people who can shoot lightning out of their hands or punch holes in the side of mountains. As such, this outfit may have been an important part of the sexual awakening of a lot of teen X-Fans, but it’s just kind of tacky. Points for the cape and demeanor alone. Score: 4/10

Eric: I hate this. It just… does nothing. It looks like something a contestant would wear on RuPaul’s Drag Race, just to be told that they didn’t actually do anything creative and then they’d get sent home. Like, points for the all white (on theme) and cape, but that’s about it. Score: 4/10

Trevor: The only things this outfit has going for it is that it mostly fits the mood of a Victorian sex party that the Hellfire Club gave off. Not only does it not look comfortable, but it’s just boring. It’s over-sexualized without conveying Emma’s personality at all. Boot. Score: 3/10

Overall score: 5/10

The Generation X pantsuit costume

Art by Chris Bachalo

X-Men Fashion Friday: Emma Frost

Image Credit: Marvel Comics and

David: I like the mix of sexy but conservative (due to the blazer). It keeps the sexuality of the character prominent, since that is such a big part of the character, but it also maintains a level of cuteness. The choker is probably a bit much for school attire, but it adds to the baby doll look. Score: 8/10

Nathaniel: Remember when you were younger and you knew that person who would always talk about their cool mom that would go to the club? I know what they were going for but it just doesn’t work. Score: 5/10

Jason: I had a similar joke to Nate but it was about your fun aunt. I like that she definitely looks more like a teacher and she still has some sex appeal with the corset, but this outfit may be the complete opposite of the Dom gear in appeal. While that was too risque, this is too conservative for the character–even if it is a bit of an improvement. Score: 6/10

Eric: This is cool. It’s nothing fantastic and out of this world by any means, but it’s chic and stands out from Emma’s other looks. I can dig a white pantsuit. Score: 7/10

Trevor: This outfit conveys Emma’s whole deal much better than her Hellfire Club look (which I will excuse as the kind of thing you wear to your kinky Victorian power party). One of Emma’s strongest qualities is her role as an educator and she dresses the part well, but one of Emma’s other strongest qualities is that she does and wears what she wants, when she wants. Sure, she’s ready to teach a class, but Ms. Frost is still gonna have her fun, especially if it’s for her own sake. Score: 8/10

Overall score: 6.8/10

The New X-Men costume

Art by Frank Quitely
Note: Some variations of this outfit replaced the shorts with pants and added a long coat.

X-Men Fashion Friday: Emma Frost

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

David: The cups that defy gravity and hold Emma’s breasts remind me of that famous Janet Jackson Rolling Stone cover. The top on this costume certainly leaves a lot less to the imagination. I rather like the pants with the X’s on them and when paired with a coat she looks ready for battle. Score: 7/10

Nathaniel: Someone had an idea for a good costume then just seemed to decide, “Does Emma really need a top?” The pants are a great start and the coat adds to Emma’s dominating personality, but the lack of a top just seems lazy. Score: 6/10

Jason: This was Emma’s first real “super-heroey” costume (barring a few issues in a white Generation X jumpsuit) and I’m not a fan. Particularly of the shorts look. The top makes no sense, her hair was pulled tight in a way that didn’t flatter her face (something I KNOW Emma would never do) and it just felt like it existed specifically to serve as a foil for the far more modest X-uniform on Jean Grey. I was glad when she ditched this one. Score: 5/10

Eric: I have such mixed feelings about this “costume.” Obviously it’s extremely iconic, but also… look at it. There were a few variations on this look, and I think it looked best when she had a long jacket with it. Score: 7/10

Trevor: OK. This is my problematic fave. On one hand, a hand named Objectification, conveying the “X” using the flesh of her torso absolutely plays into the male gaze and uses her sexuality in a way that makes her unpractical outfit only cater to that gaze. On the other hand, a hand named Aesthetic, it’s low-key genius and is totally the kind of ridiculous move that almost reads as couture??? Plus this whole ensemble absolutely hollers early-mid 2000s pop star, which is exactly the kind of mode Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly were operating in with regard to X-fashion. It’s problematic, but it’s one of my faves. Score: 9/10

Overall score: 6.8/10

The Astonishing X-Men costume

Art by John Cassaday

X-Men Fashion Friday: Emma Frost

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

David: There’s something about long gloves, especially if they are white, that looks good. This costume covers more of Emma than most which is nice and it doesn’t use any gravity-defying clothing either. I like how the cape comes from the bust line as it accentuates her neck and shoulders. I can’t help but think this is a great way for a villain to wrap you up easily, though. This is the first cape for Emma which suits her dignified nature. Score: 9/10

Nathaniel: Now this is a costume fit for a queen. Whereas her original costume focuses on sexuality, this costume really exudes a regal stature. I agree with Dave about the cape and gloves and the pants are perfect for the outfit. This costume really highlights the main problem with Emma Frost; artists either over-sexualize her or pull back on it to a ridiculous degree. This is the only costume that captures her power and sexuality perfectly. Score: 10/10

Jason: Yep, three for three with the judges. This is Emma’s best look, as it’s still a sexy and eye-catching affair, which is at the heart of Emma as a character, but has more of a “leader of a super-team” feel to it. It’s definitely not what you would call modest, but it’s such a colossal step up from the G-string and thigh-high boots. It’s the costume that made her a player in the Marvel Universe, and her best purely heroic look. Though part of me is trying to figure out if tube tops with attached capes and full-arm gloves would ever catch on as a fashion movement. Score: 9/10

Eric: I think I’m the lone voice that doesn’t love this outfit. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike it, it just doesn’t have any sort of edge to it, and I think Emma needs some edge. With that said, the long gloves are dramatic, and I like how the top folds into the cape. It’s a solid look, just not particularly exciting. Score: 6/10

Trevor: For better or worse, this outfit is essentially the standard Emma Frost look to me. I agree with Eric that Emma should have something going on in her #look with a bit more flair for the dramatic (see the Morrison-era outfit for the hyperbolized version of that). This to me is the “running to the store” outfit for Emma and her X-Men-ing. Score: 7/10

Overall score: 8.2/10

The Marvel NOW! costume

Art by Chris Bachalo & Tim Townsend

X-Men Fashion Friday: Emma Frost

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

David: We’re back to gravity-defying cups for Emma’s breasts I see. This is clearly riffing off of Frank Quitely’s design. I’m a fan of the cape/jacket, but the hot pants have to go. This costume has more of an S&M feel to it, which suits her turning back to evil. Score: 7/10

Nathaniel: She looks like some biker’s “mama.” The jacket screams Hot Topic and the top looks like something Madonna would have worn in 1991. Totally ruins her commanding presence. Now, this is a trashy costume. Score: 2/10

Jason: Emma’s My Chemical Romance look isn’t without it’s charms, but it loses points with me because it’s basically just a reworked version of Magik’s costume with Lady Mastermind’s top. I don’t believe that Emma takes anyone’s sloppy seconds (Scott Summers not included), so Emo Frost is a pass. Score: 5/10

Eric: Man, for such an iconic character, Emma’s had real mediocre luck in costumes, huh? I kind of like that this one shifts to black instead of white. With that said, the proportions of the fabric just don’t work together. Side-long black on both sides of her torso as well as a cape, but then paired with shorts? The pieces just don’t gel together. Score: 6/10

Trevor: This outfit definitely fit the mood of Bendis’ Uncanny X-Men with regard to Cyclops and his crew of revolutionaries, but this outfit does as much for Emma as Bendis did for her during his run. She’s got a few good lines/scenes here or there, but otherwise she just kind of sits around in the background and that’s about as much impact as this outfit has. Magik did this look better and no one should be stealing the spotlight from Ms. Frost. If I have anything good to say, it’s that the black is a change of pace from usual so… points for variety? Score: 4/10

Overall score: 4.8/10

The Inhumans vs. X-Men epilogue costume

Art by Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan & David Curiel

X-Men Fashion Friday: Emma Frost

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

David: I hate this costume. The crosshatched leather across her chest, the studs running down her arms and legs… it’s not a good look. I guess she’s full evil now what with the helmet and black with red in the costume. Score: 2/10

Nathaniel: The studs definitely have to go, but I actually like this costume otherwise. Black and red are power colors that look great on anyone. A corset is never the best idea for a costume, but for Emma it works fine. My biggest complaint is that it lacks the regal presence that Emma deserves. Score: 8/10

Jason: Woof. I know Emma was in a rough place emotionally when she threw this thing on, but what the hell was she thinking here? The studs, the piping garters, THE STUPID ASS MASK! This thing is a trainwreck, and even Emma seemingly knew it as she wore this outfit in exactly one panel of one issue before retreating to more familiar ground. Villain or no, Frost knows better than to be seen by anyone in this monstrosity. Score: 1/10

Eric: Some designs look a tad busy, and like they could have benefited from having a detail or two removed. This design, meanwhile, looks like it had every single possible villainous design element incorporated at once. Mostly black, with blood red accents? Check. A helmet, a cape. Weird bondagey straps/paneling. Everything covered save for her cleavage and thighs. Spikes on the sides of her legs?! This is something that would excel in a satire setting, but that when played straight is just unbelievable. Score: 3/10

Trevor: When people have a bad day, sometimes they let off that steam with video games. Sometimes they drink. Sometimes they break out the old punching bag and vent the rage there. Emma, apparently, chooses to wear this. The only reason she gets a point for this is because she had the sense not to go outside in it and leave it in the “Bad Day Look” box where it belongs. I guess I’ll throw another point her way for sympathy. She had a bad day. Score: 2/10

Overall score: 3.2/10

Final Verdict: The Astonishing X-Men costume

X-Men Fashion Friday: Emma Frost

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

The Astonishing X-Men era suit is our favorite, with a total score of 8.2/10. This look was featured in one of the most beloved X-runs this century, and that love clearly extends to the costume itself. Simple but dramatic, this look befits a queen.

What’s your favorite Emma Frost costume? Let us know in the comment space below!

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