The events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier may have nearly destroyed S.H.I.E.L.D., but the organization survives as a ragtag group in the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In the second season, Phil Coulson leads the main team of agents on secret missions to destroy Hydra threats and recruit any still-loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to their cause. Their goal of protecting Earth’s citizens may be the same, but with prioritization becoming more important, certain elements from the original S.H.I.E.L.D. need to be put on the back burner. For example, matching uniforms for the agents.
Henry Simmons, who plays Alphonso “Mac” Mackenzie, the team’s mechanic, was asked by Comic Book Resources whether he would like the show to include a version of the S.H.I.E.L.D. uniforms. This was his response:
“No, and I'll tell you why. S.H.I.E.L.D. is disbanded, and with the uniforms, everything would seem together, like we're organized. We're not there right now. We've disbanded. We've broken up and we're all over the place. We're still trying to move forward and continue the fight. If we all had uniforms, that wouldn't be reflected.”
The standard S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform seen in movies like The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a dark blue outfit, although characters like Coulson, Nick Fury and Black Widow typically wore their own unique clothing. Simmons is right, though. The current S.H.I.E.L.D. team has few enough resources as it is, which means making uniforms should be last on the to-do list. If the organization is this fractured, it doesn’t make sense to go for a unified look when they can barely recruit new members.
There’s also a public image problem with wearing uniforms. Because of the Hydra infiltration revealed in Winter Soldier, the world doesn’t trust S.H.I.E.L.D., which is one of the main reasons it’s operating in secret. Imagine what would happen if these agents, many of whom are considered fugitives, showed up at a crime scene wearing uniforms with a S.H.I.E.L.D. logo plastered on the front. The cover is blown, everyone is freaking out that S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are around, and the team would barely be able to escape. This season has focused on the main characters using stealth and subterfuge to carry out their missions, and it has worked well. No need to ruin all that just to make it look like the organization is better off than it actually is. Focus on the tasks at hand, leave the public relations problems for later.
So there you have it. Not only is there no budget for uniforms, there’s also an image issue with wearing them. Stick with the stealth suits and plainclothes for now, team, and focus on acquiring information, tools and weapons for your adventures.