The new outfit is nothing more than a temporary marketing ploy to draw attention to a character whose merchandising and "intellectual property" still has universal appeal, but whose comic book title sells far worse than any other with comparable "brand awareness." It's a particularly odd paradox in that the character is still so familiar and well-thought-of in huge swaths of American society, while her comic has limped along as a major or minor failure ever since her first heyday in the 40s. Sales on all comics are dismal these days -- the publishing arms of the two major companies have been slowly dying for about 15 years now -- but with very rare exceptions, WW has always sold far worse than most.
Brandon, I'd be curious to hear from others if they agree with your remarks characterizing broad historical trends in feminism. You sound fairly knowledgeable and cite some personal anecdotal evidence, but your generalizations still struck me as suspect, or at least heavily oversimplified. I've forgotten everything I ever learned about history, however, so I can't provide any kind of evidence or even anecdotal support for those criticisms. Maybe someone else can. (Any feminists lurking around Elliquiy? Does anyone even claim the title for themselves openly, anymore?)
The costume change is sure to be rescinded as soon as a little time has passed. The return to the classic look is a sure thing because after a short while, that change will promise another brief boost in attention and sales -- the same goals that inspired the current change. (There's one rumor going around that, if true, may give the new outfit a bit more longevity, but not much: some people have speculated that the costume is part of a secret scheme to test public response for using a similarly non-traditional outfit in a big WW movie. Seems unlikely to me.)
Superhero writers have been trying this kind of gimmick forever. Temporary, dramatic changes to well-known superheroes are the only thing other than media tie-ins that gets anyone in the general public talking about those characters anymore. For just that reason, all the familiar characters have gone through multiple storyline reboots, outfit redesigns, and silly death sequences, none of which ever become permanent or register long with anyone outside the remaining comic-book readership, which now includes only a small fraction of society.
The astonishing thing to me about the costume change is how successful it's been in generating mainstream media coverage, far beyond the wildest hopes of DC Comics' marketing department, I suspect. Why does anyone suddenly care about this cynical corporate publicity stunt masquerading as a news item? My guess is it has something to do with the high representation of nerdy former- or current-comics fans at many internet sites, combined with the nonstop modern news cycle's voracious appetite for something new to report about every few seconds. (Senseless, but interesting, I say.)
By the way, Lynda Carter gave the new duds the thumbs-up, and I'll gladly defer to her about fashion choices -- or anything else, for that matter. *pant pant* :)