Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff was known to change up her look with every new appearance she made in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and while it’s largely been for no other reason than aesthetic purposes, Black Widow has offered an in-universe explanation as to why the franchise’s foremost covert operative sports the particular hairdo and costume she wears in Avengers: Infinity War.
The majority of the MCU’s marquee heroes get new outfits each time out, which is largely driven by the need to create a brand new line of merchandise, so there’s an element of that in Natasha’s ever-changing ensemble. However, Johansson’s long-awaited solo movie dives deep into her past and the relationship with estranged surrogate sister Yelena Belova, which directly informed her Infinity War duds.
One of the funniest moments in Black Widow comes when Florence Pugh’s Yelena gushes about how cool her new vest is, and she gifts it to her fellow Red Room survivor at the end of the movie. That connection was established a long time ago, but the Avenger dyeing her hair blonde for the first time could also be seen as a tribute to her sister and the impact reuniting with her old family had on the next adventure with her new one.
Infinity War comes directly after Black Widow in the MCU timeline, and as well as helping her change things up to evade the government forces still hot on her tail after the events of Captain America: Civil War, it’s a further nod towards the profound impact Yelena had on her life, one that continues the saga’s penchant for paying off even the smallest and seemingly insignificant background details years down the line.