Eidos: Lara Croft's New Look For Practicality Rather Than Sex Appeal

Crystal Dynamics art director Brian Horton has described Lara Croft's revamped looks as more about "practicality" rather than about "sex appeal".

Horton explained the decisions on the publisher's official forums, from Croft's looks to her clothing;
“The idea behind the grey was something that the team debated for a while,” Horton explained. “As a fan of the classics we wanted to nod to the original outfit in some way, and our first concept was of a light blue tank. We lived with that for a while and decided that a more neutral color was more fitting the personality profile we are building for her in this origin story.

“We wanted to allow Lara to look understated. She’s not interested in standing out because she hasn’t yet achieved the confidence in herself. The grey also had an interesting side effect; depending on the lighting it changes color. For instance, in the Den her top reads as blue, which I really liked. We use color in the lighting throughout the game to express emotions so Lara’s outfit seems to change based on these color shifts."
Horton stated that Croft's clothing adds the "right balance of attractiveness and practicality."
“We didn’t want her to have a uniform, so designing clothes that could be purchased in a store seemed like the correct choice,” Horton added. “Layered tanks, khakis and boots felt right for her, and if you look at the original Lara it’s very close to that vision.

“The shorts were never a part of the equation for us, nor being an icon of fashion. It just didn’t feel right in context to her character or as a crew member on this expedition. If you feel this detracts from her sex appeal I understand, but that was not our main goal. Our goal was to create the most believable, grounded version of Lara we could, younger and more emotionally rich.”
Tomb Raider is due out next year for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.