It is indeed a hideous costume. I don't know how they could think it's less
risible than the classic costume.
And really, the classic costume isn't that bad. It's basically a ninja suit with a domino mask. (And striped trunks, but those can be omitted easily enough.) Okay, it's purple, but you can just make it a deep purple that's almost black, or go with Lee Falk's original intention
and give him a grey outfit.