|Carmine Infantino's cover for 1967's Detective Comics #359|
When she first appeared, she was waring the costume above, and it changed little over the 20 years between her debut and her 1988 retirement.
|Mike Mignola and Karl Kesel's cover for 1988's Batgirl Special #1. I bought this comic from a back-issue bin specifically for the cover, and all I remember about it was that its insides were not as good as the cover.|
A few more Batgirls eventually followed in the comics. In 1999's Batman: Shadow of the Bat #83, part of the "No Man's Land" storyline, a mysterious new Batgirl in a new, all-black costume that hides her entire face appears. She's eventually revealed to be The Huntress, having adopted a bat-costume in an attempt to fill the void left by Batman, who was MIA from Gotham at the start of the story.
Here's what her new, New 52 costume looks like.
The inside of her cape is also purple now, and, on that first cover at least, she seems to have her cape affixed with some sort of bat-brooch...that, or she's just wearing a bat-pin on her cape.
It seems that the design has ben finessed a little big already, as the underside of her cape eventually became yellow, rather than purple.
Here's how artist Art Baltazar dresses Batgirl, in the pages of the DC Super-Pets Character Encyclopedia:
Baltazar's main innovation here is that he changes her tunic into a dress—that, or she's wearing a skirt and a tunic. Baltazar's artwork is so simple and flat that it doesn't really suggest textures, so it's difficult to say exactly what material she might be wearing or how thick it might be, and therefore I can't tell if she's wearing tights or leggings under the skirt (good), or wearing pants under her skirt (bad...and weird).
As un-Batgirly as the skirt or dress might be, I actually kind of like it in the way it evokes the original Bat-Girl costume, and the way it differentiates this look from the original Batgirl costume (The costume from The Batman that I like is actually a dress over tights).
I don't think this is the best possible Batgirl costume, and I don't think the design is quite the home run that Baltazar's Animal Man costume is, but I don't like it any less than I like The New 52 design and, with some tweaks, I think Baltazar's basic design could make for a far superior costume than The New 52 costume.