By the time Captain America: The Winter Soldier appeared on screen, Rogers had swapped the sequin suit for something less flashy.

The Captain America costume is about more than wearing his colors with pride. Red, white and blue always represented the country he defends, but having a suit that does not make him a target is essential in the First Avenger’s line of work. When duty calls, America can count on its heroic captain to trade bright colors for something less flashy.

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In the first film, young Steve Rogers wears a suit stolen from a traveling theater company on the USO tour. Later improvements made it more durable, but still too conspicuous for covert operations. By the time Captain America: The Winter Soldier appeared on screen, Rogers had swapped the sequined suit for something less flashy. But there is more to this costume than meets the eye.

9 The new costume features less red and more blue

Defending freedom is different in the modern age. During World War II, Captain America’s colors were a rallying cry. Raising his gleaming shield above their heads gave the soldiers hope on the battlefield. The colors were a living flag waving them forward. Being proud on the battlefield as a symbol was more important than mixing.

These days, countries like the United States spend more time fighting behind the scenes. Calling attention and being identifiable is contradictory. The undercover suit Rogers wears on modern missions is midnight blue with a muted silver star and stripes across the chest. Gone are the red on his chest and boots. The difference means that you can do more without attracting attention.

8 Makovsky used multiple materials to create the look of Kevlar without sacrificing range of motion.

Marvel movies benefit from composite suits. This means that many characters only need to wear parts of an outfit knowing that computer generated imagery (CGI) would complete the rest. Because Chris Evans is so busy doing stunts, the costume he wore had to be crafted from hand-sewn materials. He also needed to resist the wear and tear of filming those stunts.

Costume designer Judianna Makovsky used multiple materials to create the Kevlar look without sacrificing the actor’s range of motion. The result was a suit that looked heavy but felt light to the wearer. Evans was so comfortable wearing it that he sometimes kept it on during breaks between sessions.

7 Flexible materials allow Captain America to move in tight spaces

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Cap’s first suit was made of wool and cotton. Its purpose was limited to the stage and the screen, and not to the action. The second suit was a minor improvement using the best technology available in the 1940s. And pockets. Many pockets. A lot has changed since then. Advanced technology and manufacturing, and materials like Velcro, Neoprene, and Lycra offer a stellar range of stretch options that Rogers can wear like a second skin.

Flexible materials allow Captain America to move faster and avoid obstacles in tight spaces. Mixing the muscle fatigue reduction benefits of compression leggings and flexibility makes perfect sense.

6 Kevlar protection added to his modern suit

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The man can take a hit, but even Cap isn’t bulletproof. Kevlar padding is another modern invention that improved upon the original Captain America uniform. The added weight is a minor inconvenience when there’s super soldier serum pumping through your veins. The sparkling costume design lulls the viewer to believe that this costume was designed to keep Cap safe.

The trade-off is that Captain America’s body experiences less trauma when he’s on the field. A super serum works best when you don’t have to focus as much on helping the body heal. When the United States defender is healthy, he is faster and can do his job more efficiently. Since that includes protecting people, the advantage is everyone’s.

5 The newest costume comes with handy magnetic shield holders.

chris evans captain america winter soldier marvel comics featured

First introduced in the pages of Marvel’s Avengers, magnetic accessories keep Captain America’s shield close and your hands free. Using designs from his Iron Man suit, Tony Stark created electronic magnetized ports that are attached to Cap’s left forearm and back.

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Brackets allow Cap to hit the shield on his back for close combat or if he needs to climb, swing or hang. It also means that when Cap throws his shield he can retrieve it on his arm with a single gesture. While Cap is known for defying physics by throwing his shield, having a little help getting him back makes him a bit more like the rest of us.

4 A SHIELD suit is designed to blend in with the background

The stealth suit is a reflection of Steve Rogers becoming a government agent. There’s a reason they downsized the National Strategic Intervention, Compliance and Logistics Division to SHIELD. It’s boring. Boring is easy to ignore. Similarly, boring things blend into the background and become indistinguishable.

SHIELD agents dress up as worker bees. Stripping the stars and stripes disguise to something routine and utilitarian tones close to the philosophy of less is more SHIELD. It also embraces the concept that who a person was before joining SHIELD changes when that person becomes a member of its ranks.

3 The Stealth suit is Chris Evans’ favorite suit

a collage of four separate images of chris evans as captain america on the mcu

Chris Evans has worn every possible Captain America costume in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On occasion, she has even appeared in street clothes. So it is not surprising that you have a favorite. The stealth suit is Evans’ favorite Captain America costume.

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Photos from the set and cast interviews reveal that Evans was often seen taking breaks while wearing the suit. When asked, Evans described the suit as the most comfortable he has ever worn and that was great. Given the number of hours that are generally required on set, being comfortable is a big deal.

two The experience of thirty technicians was needed to weave the complex fibers

Captain America hits everyone in the elevator.

Judianna Makovsky hasn’t been shy about the challenges that came with creating the suit. The legendary costume designer has repeatedly described it as one of the most difficult costumes she has ever had to create. To achieve the desired effect of looking bulletproof without being too clumsy, Makovsky combined numerous materials.

The expertise of thirty technicians was needed to weave the complex fibers. But that also meant that thirty pairs of eyes plus many more were involved in its creation. Perspective can be limiting. Combining prospects, especially from traders with expert skills, is a great way to make something good even better.

1 The costume was inspired by the secret avengers

The Secret Avengers story first introduced the concept of the stealth suit to the public. In that story, Steve Rogers is Commander Rogers and not Captain Rogers. Both Secret Avengers and Captain America: Winter Soldier feature a super soldier under pressure.

That darker shade is expressed in the costume Rogers wears. Unlike the title of commander or captain, it is the disguise that reveals the challenges you face. Moral dilemmas can change the way a person dresses, wears their hair, or wears their body. Choosing darker colors can be a reflection of the conflict a person faces internally.

NEXT: Marvel: 10 Fan Redesigned Captain America Costumes That Are Better Than The Originals

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