Spandex costumes, undergarments and "private" areas

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pandatrooper

Well-Known Member
OK, I know - this might be a weird subject, but I'm sure most people have seen / dealt with this in some way.

Obviously for male superheroes, in the films everything looks "perfect". There's no underwear "panty lines", and the crotch area always looks smoothed out.

But most of the spandex replica costumes I have seen from fans (and often they are done very very well), I can sometimes see panty lines, and in regards to the crotch - well, you can "see" that the privates are often well defined.

So how do they approach this in the films? I haven't researched the recent Superman films, but I know for Raimi's Spider-Man films, there was an undersuit with sculpted foam muscles, and a smoothed out crotch area. Would that be the best approach? Some kind of foam appliance to smooth things out for that comic book look? I read in the 60's they used gaffer tape for Batman and Robin but that seems impractical and uncomfortable.

And for the undergarments (surely the actors and stunt guys wear something underneath the spandex from a hygene standpoint?) what's the best approach? I know tighty whities leave panty lines. Maybe women's Spanx? I understand the whole point of those is to have a seamless look even under form fitting clothes.

Any feedback would be great, looking for a good solution here. :)
 
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pandatrooper

Well-Known Member
Well, that was easy! Thanks for the speedy reply. Totally forgot that ballet dancers run into the same issues (and why some of them have huge padded crotches...)

Now I just need to go into my local dancestore and explain that this isn't for ballet... :)
 

clayslinger

Well-Known Member
Whoever suggested that they used gaffers tape on Batman was pulling your leg!!

Dance belts are good. A swimmers jock strap.

Chris Reeve wore a cup in Superman after continuity asked if he was " dressed to the left or the right in the last shot". Or so I read in one of the "Making of" books back in the day.

The doubling up of tights and leotards/ unitard works too. That went a long way in making the Spiderman suit look as smooth as it did too.

Chuck...
 

Harry Bardwell

Well-Known Member
I used a cup for my Robin suit, and when adjusted "properly" everything is smooth and all. Also if you doing something like Batman, or Superman with the underwear on the outside of the suits it can defiantly help hide any lines from briefs.
 

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mothmonty

Sr Member
For my Damage costume I used compression shorts (it's what runners wear) and for my Deadpool costume I wore a cup under a pair of boxer briefs.
 

indiefilmgeek

Sr Member
On the same subject... what type of garment do the spandex superheroes costumer's use for those 'Underwear on the outside' piece? I mean, ACTUAL men's underwear won't work as they have the noticeable 'gate' in the front.

Do they just fabricate the piece from scratch? Do they use women's panties (as they don't have the male 'gate' section)? A co-worker mentioned looking into 'bloomers' undergarments for Cheerleaders...

I'm working on a tiny spandex superhero costume for my 3yr old (Cyclops), so any info on this would be really helpful.

Thanks!
 

siqclothing

New Member
I have come across this quite a few time in the costuming I have done for men especially with pro-wrestling costumes. The way that I chose was a pair of spandex shorts with no front crotch opening (very bottom of the page photo). This might sound kinda of funny but I took a foam bra insert and cut it to shape properly and hand stitched in to the front of the shorts, creating a flat look. Hope this is helpful for you.
MensShorts.html
 

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CadetTK2386

Well-Known Member
\ This might sound kinda of funny but I took a foam bra insert and cut it to shape properly and hand stitched in to the front of the shorts, creating a flat look. Hope this is helpful for you.
MensShorts.html

I do almost the same thing with my Spider-man. Jo-Anne's Fabrics always has foam inserts for swim suits or bras, and when I was first looking into doing Spider-man, I had the same concerns, and my seamstress friend recommended getting a foam insert cup from Jo-Anne's and using that. Lacking sewing skills, mine is glued into place on a pair of dance briefs, not a dance belt, but pretty much the underwear on the outside for Superman. Worked fine for me for the past four years.
 

clayslinger

Well-Known Member
On the same subject... what type of garment do the spandex superheroes costumer's use for those 'Underwear on the outside' piece? I mean, ACTUAL men's underwear won't work as they have the noticeable 'gate' in the front.

Do they just fabricate the piece from scratch? Do they use women's panties (as they don't have the male 'gate' section)? A co-worker mentioned looking into 'bloomers' undergarments for Cheerleaders...

I'm working on a tiny spandex superhero costume for my 3yr old (Cyclops), so any info on this would be really helpful.

Thanks!
Check out dance wear companies for nylon trunks worn by cheerleaders for a quick pair of trunks.
I don't know if they come small enough for your 3 yr old.
Brief Trunks

I suppose you could check out the whole "Toddlers and Tiara" set, but you're on your own !! Can't stand that crud!
 

indiefilmgeek

Sr Member
Check out dance wear companies for nylon trunks worn by cheerleaders for a quick pair of trunks.
I don't know if they come small enough for your 3 yr old.
Brief Trunks

I suppose you could check out the whole "Toddlers and Tiara" set, but you're on your own !! Can't stand that crud!

That's a great resource -- I'm bookmarking that... and then explaining to my wife WHY I'm bookmarking it. :lol:thumbsup
 

AJMeow

New Member
I've noticed dance belts give you a lot of... definition in the backside. =D If you're not comfortable with that, you can try the compression shorts that athletes use (like in football).

Those wrestling ones are pretty awesome! Must remember if I ever have a guy I need to shove into a spandex suit.
 

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