"Following that unseen sauna, we get to see the women with nipples poking through their towels, which apparently operate like shrink wrap, and conform to their bodies perfectly."
In comics, and some other drawn and animated media, clothing is often drawn fitting around the body far better than it reasonably should in Real Life
All clothing will fit tightly around an animated woman's 15 inch waist
, even if it's dropped
. Men too, will have an apparent narrow waist even in jackets that wouldn't show that in real life. Of course, the most common form of this is spandex outfits, which nowadays wrap around every curve and muscle (especially prominent since the late 1980s) but as the picture shows, any piece of clothing can wrap around better than it should if the artist so chose, whether it be an overcoat or the bodice of a Pimped-Out Dress
The reason this is done is likely a combination of Rule of Cool
, Rule of Sexy
and Reality Is Unrealistic
, with a heaping bushel of Fanservice
for good measure. If the character has a good figure, the artist likely wants to show it off, to advertise the beauty or natural athleticism.
Another reason, particularly where superhero comics are concerned, is that artists are trained to draw human figures. It is faster and easier to add colors that imply spandex clothing than to actually draw the folds and wrinkles that come with wearing realistic clothing. In other words, most of the time (and this goes for male characters as well as female), what you're seeing are nudes with strategic coloring.
Some Live Action Adaptations
try to sculpt the outfits to simulate the look in the comics. Some of you might know a particularly infamous
example, which can often look ridiculous, which is why superhero costumes are frequently changed for live-action adaptation. That, and the fact porn stars and bodybuilders - two types of individual who are most likely to possess physiques similar to that seen wearing said costumes - are rarely cast in these sorts of films and TV shows.
of Impossibly Cool Clothes
A Super Trope
to Chainmail Bikini
Compare Most Common Superpower
, Sensual Spandex
(which shows some skin as well as conforming to the skin it covers), Sweater Girl
(although the sweater is designed to be form-fitting), Painted-On Pants
, Superheroes Wear Tights
Can be averted with Unmoving Plaid
in order to "flatten out" logically form fitting clothes and reduce the fetish appeal of things like a Panty Shot
Not to be confused with Clingy Costume
, Body Paint
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Anime and Manga
- The armor worn in Saint Seiya
- The plug suits in Neon Genesis Evangelion, justified as necessary for synchronization and as a life-support system for the pilots. We're also shown how they get so tight: a vacuum-sealing button at the wrist to make them skintight.
- Dragon Ball Z has the combat armor worn by Vegeta as well as several other characters in Freeza's employ. It is a skintight bodysuit with shoulder and breastplates over top, but the actual armor pieces get continually smaller until they're done away with completely in the Buu arc. Somewhat justified as it's designed to accommodate several different species, some of whom can transform.
- Good God, History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi. Miu's clothing is so formfitting that she might as well be wearing Body Paint. Even her apron is form fitting. Must be a family trait, Grandpa Fuurinji wears thick robes that somehow manage to show off all his abs and arm muscles.
- In YuYu Hakusho, whenever Yusuke is shown wearing blue jeans, they always look far too tight to be comfortable. This combines with some serious Clothing Damage to create a sizable female fanbase (with a little help from Kurama). His other clothes aren't nearly as bad, though.
- Excel♥Saga: All of the female characters, most of the time, no matter what they're wearing (including the Daitenzen suits, and the ACROSS girls "uniforms"). Of course, this is all Author Appeal, as Rikudo Koshi is known for his many Doujinshi.
- Lampshaded in Volume 15, between Missions 2 & 3. A single-panel image of Excel and Elgala being held prisoner, where, among other comments, the guard asks: "Purple-haired prisoner! Have you been tailoring your uniform again?" Elgala's prison uniform is unusually form-fitting. Even Excel's is needlessly tight around the bust and midsection.
- Gantz deserves special mention here. Not only do the full-body suits hug every curve so tightly that they're impossible to put on while wearing any undergarments whatsoever, the breasts actually seem to grow when the suits are put on. They're custom-made for each wearer and may use additional alien tech to fit so perfectly. It's equal-gender-opportunity, though, and partially subverted when some characters (mostly men) insist on wearing street clothes outside their suits.
- Death Note: Mello's leather wardrobe.
- Rurouni Kenshin frequently has bad guys wearing what appears to be 19th Century spandex, even to the point of having vacuum-fitting bandages.
- Bleach: Any of Orihime's shirts or outfits seem to be tailored to her large bust. Of course, she is a member of the sewing club.
- In Darker Than Black, Amber's clothing are really really skin-tight. It gets odd when you realize she'd have to get new clothes in progressively different sizes every time she ages back as remuneration for her powers.
- BattleVixens covers routinely feature women wearing cheongsams which somehow conform to their navels.
- Hellsing: Seras Victoria's uniform really shows her figure: thigh-high stockings, a really short skirt and a military coat so skin-tight, it wraps around her breasts.◊
- It would be easier to list superheroes with outfits that don't follow this trope. A popular derogatory phrase is "boob socks", for costumes that define and separate a woman's individual breasts in a way that could only be achieved in real life if the costume were glued to her skin or made with bespoke breast pockets.
- A notable example would be Iron Maiden of Earth X, though. She's wearing a suit of Vibranium (fictional metal) armor which molds to her attributes. All of them, apparently—the style of art in the original series makes it hard to see, but a concept drawing shows nipples, navel, and cameltoe. Only the armor's head, which looks like Iron Man's original helmet, is an exception.
- In the Golden and Silver ages spandex usually wasn't so tight, and fit much more realistically. As time went on clothes got tight, to the point where a hero in spandex was essentially naked save for a few choice areas. Then it got even crazier and muscles just started appearing everywhere, reaching an apex with Rob Liefeld and his followers. Nowadays things tend to be more subdued, thanks to colouring techniques having enough depth to render all those muscles through subtle shading rather than hard lines.
- In many renditions of muscular males, you could even see their veins through the material of their sleeves.
- Just about everything the girls in Archie Comics put on will wrap far better above the waist than they would in reality. Perhaps a way of Getting Crap Past the Radar?
- Liberty Meadows. Brandy and Jen's jeans look more like they were painted on. In one strip, Brandy has difficulties with putting her jeans on.
- Almost continually averted for female pilots in the Rogue Squadron comics; the outfits pilots and other characters wore sometimes hinted a little, but were seldom overt, and their pilot jumpsuits were all baggy and heavily pocketed. The most notable exception was the one time a character got into a formal gown which clung tight enough to reveal her abs - and rather than being an Unusually Uninteresting Sight, the pilot she was dating saw it and said "Wow!"
- In Twenty Two Brides, it showed two of the heroines dressed in bath towels that managed to shrink around their bodies to the point that their nipples show.
- Justified for the sake of Fanservice in Empowered - her semi-sentient suit is thinner than Real Life lycra and actively forms itself to her skin. According to which rules it's actually less revealing than it should be...
- Specifically, it doesn't show camel toe — which, if it was really a few molecules thick and more or less a superpowered form of bodypaint, would definitely be visible. This is lampshaded in comic and by the author several times, and both characters and author promise to explain it in a future chapter. Every volume.
- Despite the above, Emp notes in one issue that she has to keep shaved because the stubble shows through the suit.
- The comic book adaptation to Splinter of the Mind's Eye puts Luke and Leia into "miner's uniforms". On Leia this outfit actually avert this trope, being tight but not apparently painted on. On Luke◊...
- Ironically, the original novel (and the cover art) describes Leia's outfit as being considerably more form-fitting than shown in the comic.
- Fara Phoenix from the Star Fox comics note wears one of these, flavoured Future Spandex, and contrasting above example one can occasionally identify...anatomical details.
- Dust from various X-Men-related titles is supposedly a devout Muslim who wears a full abaya and niqab. Certain artists, however, completely miss the point of modest Islamic dress for women and draw the abaya as virtually skin-tight.
Films — Animated
- In Anastasia, Anya changes into a flapper dress, which still hugs her waist and breasts, even though the point of that style was not to do that.
- Likewise Tiana from The Princess and the Frog lives in The Roaring Twenties. Her blue gown has a belt where the correct waistline should be, but the top is completely form fitting.
Films — Live-Action
- The Batman films did this, leading to the most extreme form yet of this trope: the bat-nipples in Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.
- David Bowie's pants in Labyrinth.
- The GI Joe suits in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra have this effect especially on Scarlet◊
- James Bond always wears bespoke suits. While these are tailored in the English (fits at chest, drapes from there) rather than Continental (strongly darted to be at snug at possible for the whole body without pulling or puckering) style, they're still quite form fitting compared to the off the rack (needs to be larger to hide the minor inconsistencies with the wearer's body) and American Sack (fits at natural shoulder and drapes from there, has wide armholes with extra fabric in the underarm so the suit doesn't pucker when arms are up) styles most audience members are used to.
- Everything on screen is tailored, if not bespoke, including t-shirts.
- Viperís clothes in The Wolverine are this.
Live Action TV
- Various episodes of The Mighty Boosh have Vince in skin tight latex jumpsuits.
- Star Trek: Enterprise, T'Pol has a jump suit that is not only more form fitting than the uniforms, but also for Vulcan clothing.
- Explicitly stated as being Fanservice in-universe.
- Star Trek: Voyager, Seven of Nine wears mostly suits that are far more form-fitting than the regular uniforms.
- Handwaved as she is a former Borg and needs the form-fitting clothing to keep her body from... Borg stuff.
- Justified in Bunheads since much of the story revolves around the dance studio so the students both male and female (although we see much more of the girls than the boys) spend a lot of time in leotards.
- Some Eldar armor in Warhammer 40,000 molds to the user absurdly well in the regions not covered by the stiffened overplates, especially noticeable with the Guardian model's easily visible abs.
- Justified in that it's Psycho-sensitive plastic, so it conforms to the form for maximum protection while simultaniously affording maximum mobility.
- Depending on the Writer this may actually be averted. In some of the less humanlike interpretations of the Eldar their armor is just as bulky on them as a Space Marine's is on a human, it's just that they're inhumanly thin.
- In Transhuman Space, memswear is clothing laced with infinitesimally small motors, sensors, and radio transceivers. If ordered to do so, a memswear garment can fit this way.
- Most games avert this unless based on comic books, given that more curves mean more complex sprites if 2D, and more complex models if 3D, both of which mean more RAM, processing and ROM that could be better allocated elsewhere.
- Inverted for a long time in the case of of some games -especially wrestling titles- where most create-a-character options involved applying new textures to a basic character model, since it's much easier to just draw a new pattern than it is to render lifelike clothing. The only exceptions would be some jackets and pants that flared out at the sleeves and legs, but otherwise looked "painted on."
- The Metal Gear series follows this trope with main characters' spy suits.
- Ditto with Sam Fisher's gear in the Splinter Cell games.
- Both of these are justified in that tighter attire are better suited for sneaking.
- Unlike most examples, Snake remarked how 'uncomfortable' the Sneaking Suit was until he 'breaks it in'
- Solid Snake has pecs, abs and intercostal muscles visible through a padded bulletproof vest in Metal Gear Solid. In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Big Boss's bulge (in his Battle uniform) is visible in alarming detail through a padded plate more than an inch thick.
- Often happens with badly made custom clothing for The Sims 2: Women's shirts actually do not cling between their breasts, but it's easier to design skintight clothing.
- Ladies' swimwear is basically painted onto the nude body mesh. Which is frustrating because there is one that is meshed correctly— the unflattering blue one-piece suit with the flowers.
- Armor in Mass Effect. The same suit that fits on a human male will have no problem fitting a human woman.
- In Mass Effect 2, most of your squadmates: Miranda, Samara, Jacob, Thane, Kasumi, and Tali. The second downloadable appearance pack gives Miranda a suit of more sensible-looking but no-less form-fitting armor.
- Mass Effect 3 as well, especially EDI (although slightly lampshaded by the fact she's basically a sentient android who can change her appearance at will, i.e. she's technically naked, and there's a particular close-up of Miranda's "assets" in one cutscene that indicate an outfit that would be physically impossible (or very uncomfortable) for a real person to wear.
- Rubi, the protagonist of Wet, wears a surprisingly form-fitting jacket.
- Metroid, Samus Aran's "Zero Suit".
- F-Zero, Given all of that spandex and latex, it applies to almost all of the racers, Squick or no.
- Parasoul and Valentine from Skullgirls wear outfits that hug their bodies something fierce. Parasoul is justified, seeing as she's wearing a turtleneck. It's a miracle that Valentine can even move in her barely-there shirt.
- City of Heroes: While both justified or averted for a lot of costume choices (such as spandex and hoodies), some materials can be surprisingly formfitting.
- In the Soul Series, Taki usually has at least one costume that's so tight as to look like body paint.
- Considering it has over one hundred playable characters and the various skins for all of them, it should come as no shock at all that League of Legends has a few of these.
- In the Final Fantasy VII spin off Dirge of Cerberus one of the Tsviets named Shelke wears a suit that fits this trope.
- On the subject of Final Fantasy, Princess Garnet has a particularly well-defined set of...assets, which are clearly visible, much to Zidane's delight.
- In Dragon Quest III, both the female and male Cleric / Pilgrim class members wear a very tight-fitting orange bodysuit under their churchly attire.
- Jarringly done with armor and clothes in Drakensang: no matter what, armors will fit perfectly both men and women alike without problems. Even odder with plate-mail armor.
- Played oh-so-straight with all the girls in Roommates. While it's somewhat believable that everyone's light summer clothes are form-fitting, their heavy winter coats and sweaters are just as tight.
- The blazers worn in Little Busters! must be very thin, because Kurugaya's jacket curves perfectly around her rather large breasts.
- In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, Jean's outfits are all extremely form-fitting; once in a blue moon, she does wear a skirt, though. Voluptua's costume is basically a one-piece swimsuit. Thanks to her fur, Molly revels in nudity.
- Uryuoms in El Goonish Shive often wear form-fitting clothing because they transform into many different body shapes on a regular basis. The clothing even changes size!
- Grace, who is (normally) a humanoid, sometimes wears Uryuom clothing because she likes it.
- Doctor Voluptua (no relation) has a similar situation with her suit.
- Visarah from Uncreation has some seriously tight jeans, if the ass-cleavage is any indication.
- Not only does Florence Ambrose have a visible bellybutton, despite being technically a wolf, she frequently wears a jumpsuit tight enough that it still leaves the indentation visible.
- Spinnerette takes Superheroes Wear Tights and Sensual Spandex and plays them for their full Fanservice potential. Spinny's costume is easily the most form-fitting one, pretty much resembling one that's painted on.
- Katt O' Nine Tails' costume is also quite fit, consisting of a navy uniform, Thigh-High Boots and tight pants.
- Sahira's jeans are really tight and her outfit wraps around her (big) breasts quite nicely.
- The various Booru sites generally use the "Impossible Clothing" tag for this.
- Almost every character in Matt n Dusty is victim of this. Then again, it's part of the art style so it's forgivable.
- Many adaptations of comic books actually avert this trope to save the animation budget.
- The first X-Men series did follow this trope.
- In an episode of Justice League where Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern chased a Mad Scientist back in time, they decided to blend in by stealing clothes from some bandits they beat up. The clothes Wonder Woman stole fit her curves perfectly, despite the bandit having a figure similar to that of Batman.
- To further highlight this problem, Wonder Woman's taller than the rest of the team. She might be able to wear the thug's socks comfortably; everything else couldn't possibly fit.
- In Batman: The Animated Series, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy lounge around in oversized shirts that still manage to show every curve.
- In ReBoot, Dot's season 1 outfit didn't show the contours of her cleavage, because ABC would not allow it. When the series was cancelled by ABC but continued on different networks, this changed. In fact the main reason The Game had Dot as Elvira in the first episode on the new network is to show that they could show off her chest now. It was also after the departure from ABC that Andr A Ia changed from being a little kid into a voluptuous woman (in appropriate tight-fitting outfits). Hexidecimal and Mouse are also worth noting.
- The Legend of Korra: Korra seems to wear a reasonable outfit for a waterbender, although it is apparently custom fitted and just about skin tight. It doesn't only conform to the shape of her breasts like a female superhero outfit. From the back, even her scapulae are visible.