"I guess our clothes are magic fabric, they grow with us."Limited Wardrobe taken to its logical extreme. This is when a character flashes back to their childhood (or even just their "younger days"), or the program shows a scene from the character's future, and they're wearing the exact same (or almost exact) style of clothes that they wear in the present. Can be Truth in Television for some individual items of clothing, if they're expensive and durable and/or have some sentimental value.
"No, our moms just made bigger ones as we got older. 'I want one just like this only longer!'"
"No, our moms just made bigger ones as we got older. 'I want one just like this only longer!'"
— Commentary on the dub of Soul Eater, Episode 23
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Anime & Manga
- In Hidamari Sketch, Yuno's parents show a photo of her from kindergarten and she has the same crisscrossed Bobby pins in her hair.
- In Pokémon Adventures, if there is a flashback of any of the main characters, s/he will be wearing an outfit similar to his/her first outfit provided by the games.
- Though, Sapphire had a different outfit as a child as a plot point.
- A flashback shows that White wore a dress as a child, though this is probably due to the fact that she was attending a musical at that particular moment.
- A bit ridiculous when it comes to X. He starts his Pokemon journey in his pajamas, as Team Flare burned his house to the ground. Y somehow finds and buys him an outfit that is exactly like the one he wore as a little kid years ago.
- Maya in Occult Academy has apparently had the exact same white dress ever since she was a kid. If it wasn't for the fact that the titular school required her to wear its uniform, she probably wouldn't wear anything else.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's: Yusei apparently hasn't changed his outfit much. Once during a flashback, even though the other characters were wearing different clothes with a similar color scheme (Jack's white hoodie and Crow's yellow T-shirt) Yusei was wearing the exact same outfit as his usual attire, minus the orange 'bubble' guards. Though where he got exact replicas of his outfit in a child's size in a literal wasteland is beyond me.
- In Soul Eater, Stein and Spirit had similar clothing in their youth as they do in the present. Their dub actors provide the page quote.
- Present most of the time child versions of the Pretty Cure protagonists are seen. This is particularly so in episode 38 of Smile Pretty Cure! and the flashback portion of episode 33 of DokiDoki! Precure.
- Kagerou Project:
- Semi-justified examples in Kido and Kano, who are shown wearing the same hoodies, between their early childhood and the present day, ten years later. Given they received them from Ayano (Seto got one too, but he gave his to Mary), the considerable sentimental value (particularly after she dies) is why they're still wearing them at 16 years old.
- The flashback sequence during Episode 8 of the anime also shows that Shintaro has worn a black hoodie like his Route-XX self since he was a baby.
- Near the end of the Outer Science PV as Mary resets time we see younger versions of Hibiya and Hiyori; they're still wearing a blue t-shirt with brown shorts and a frilly pink dress, respectively.
- The pre-Crisis Superboy wore the same costume from his childhood debut through his Superman era adulthood. It helped that the costume's material was capable of stretching over the years, allowing him to keep using it over all that time. A 1980s story showed Superboy once tried to subvert this by changing his costume to an all-yellow one (Clark wanted a more up-to-date look). Unfortunately, the costume's heavy amount of yellow material (versus the small amount on his usual costume) wound up reflecting the yellow portion of sunlight that gives him his powers, thus causing power failures/reductions.
- Peter from FoxTrot got this twice, due to his having the unchanging outfit of the cast. An example most in line with this trope was when Andy and Roger were sorting baby photos and Peter was wearing his usual hat even then. A similar take has Jason wearing Peter's clothes from fifth grade, which are exactly the same as his current clothes.
Jason: It's high time someone asked you a question...
Peter: Lookin' good!
Films — Animation
- The movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs opens with A Minor Kidroduction, showing the main character, Flint, wearing clothes that are similar to the ones he wears in the rest of the film including gaining the spray-on shoes (that don't come off and presumably the same ones all these years) and lab coat that he wears from then on. Played straighter with young Brent, who wears the exact same kind of monogrammed tracksuit and flipflops that he wears as an adult.
- In Toy Story 3, the garbage man featured is actually Sid Phillips, the main villain of Toy Story (you can easily tell that it's him because of the skull on his shirt).
- In the 2001 animated Disney movie Atlantis: The Lost Empire, the outfit Kida wore as an adult is actually a Stripperific version of the very same outfit she wore as a little girl at the very beginning of the film. Averted at the end, however, where she actually ended up wearing a long, flowing dress (as a queen, she is not allowed to wear skimpy clothing), which is colored like her princess outfit, but with the color arrangments reversed (the bodice and train is now colored light blue instead of dark blue with pink and gold stripes like her sarong, and vice versa for the sash, which was originally the same color as her bikini).
- In Meet the Robinsons, Cornelius "Lewis" Robinson's future self is actually revealed to be wearing the exact same outfit as his younger self near the end, as is Bud. Averted by Lucille and Franny, however.
Films — Live-Action
- In Half Baked, when Thurgood has a Flash Back to the first time he and his friends got high (many years ago), they are all dressed in the same style as in the present day.
- The Flash Back opening of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back features an infant Jay and an infant Silent Bob who are both dressed in baby-versions of their usual wardrobes.
- The Live-Action Adaptation of Dudley Do-Right opens with the main characters as kids, with Snidely Whiplash dressed in his trademark black hat and cape.
- In Gun Crazy, Bart's childhood friends Clyde and Dave remain recognizable as grown-ups, as they are still wearing Nerd Glasses and a leather jacket in the style of the ones they wore as kids respectively.
- Three promos done for series 13 of Top Gear show the presenters as children; they all have hairstyles and outfits conspicuously similar to their adult selves. There is also a mini white-clad Stig.
- Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, as well as most sports spin-offs that feature the characters' younger selves, depict them wearing more or less the same type of clothes that they wear as adults.
- Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World has the original cast looking exactly the same as they did two years ago, including Genis and Presea, who were only 12 (at least, Presea was 12 physically.) The only real exception to this is Regal, who starts off wearing his original outfit from the first game when he's in jail in Izoold, but then changes into a fancy suit when he gets out.
- Something*Positive has a few examples, like Davan's shirt with the red dot (though apparently he just has several copies of the shirt) and Aubrey and her choker-and-blouse outfits.
- Lampshaded in Concerned, where Gordon is seen wearing the default male jumpsuit of Half-Life 2 in his flashback during the time of the original Half-Life. He quips that he expects it to to become fashionable.
- When the 9-year-olds on South Park flashback to when they were 4, they're wearing the same style parkas.
- Also invoked in the episode "My Future Self 'n' Me," where actors are hired to portray older versions of kids, usually wearing the same kind of clothes.
- The cast of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo are wearing little kid-sized versions of what the teen cast of the original Scooby-Doo wear.
- The Flintstone Kids: They stayed together as kids, they remaind friends as adults ... and all through the years the main foursome — 10-year-olds Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty — wear the same outfits as as adults. Fred in his orange and black diamond-spotted shirt with blue tie, Barney in his dark brown pullover, Wilma in her white dress with pearls and bow-tied Betty in her light blue dress.
- Not only did Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory have an entire wardrobe filled with black boots, lab coats and purple gloves, it was shown in the Made-for-TV-Movie original series finale Ego Trip that he would continue to wear this attire for the rest of his life.
- Subverted in Totally Spies!: When Jerry was younger, he wore loud shirts and a ginormous afro, whereas these days he's always in a suit.
- During the song "Little Brothers" from Phineas and Ferb, Candace flashes back to her younger days and is wearing the exact same outfit, as do her parents. Phineas and Ferb themselves are more subtle: when shown as babies both wear overalls the same color as the pants they wear in the present (blue for Phineas, purple for Ferb). Both wear plain white shirts, though, while Phineas' present shirt has orange stripes.
- In the Distant Finale episode "Act Your Age," teenage Phineas is wearing a different but similar shirt than usual, mostly yellow but with one orange stripe (as opposed to multiple pale-yellow and orange stripes), as well as pants instead of shorts. Ferb, meanwhile, is actually wearing a far more normal outfit than usual, including black pants, but his purple vest recalls the purple pants of his present-day outfit.
- Danny Phantom episode "Maternal Instincts" shows a picture of younger Danny wearing the exact same clothes as his present self, only with shorter pants. However, this is completely subverted in the Christmas Episode where he gets a number of different outfits (Jazz, however has a slightly altered outfit version of her current counterpart's wear).
- Doug wore the exact same thing he does now when he was a little kid.
- Used with some characters in Recess when they were younger (the flashbacks show them from kindergarten to second grade). T.J. wore the same thing, though he used to wear his hat forwards in his early kindergarten days and also didn't have a jacket, Vince wore the same thing in second grade, and wore a slightly altered version of his shirt in kindergarten, Gretchen wore the exact same thing in kindergarten, but wore a pink sweater with it in the second gade, Spinelli wore a completely different outfit in kindergarten and didn't wear her jacket in second grade, and Mikey used to have buttons on his shirt in kindergarten.
- In a flashback sequence from the Mike, Lu & Og episode "Flustering Footwear Flotsam", a younger Mike is seen wearing a similar red shirt, skirt and sneakers. The only difference is that she wears a red hat, something she doesn't wear now.
- Averted with most of the Muppet Babies characters (some of whom don't wear clothes at all as adults), but Baby Fozzie wears his spotted necktie, and Bean Bunny wears exactly the same outfit he always does (see above under Puppet Shows).
- In Clerks: The Animated Series, Dante tries to get Randall to remember the time they first met when they were children. In the flashback, the two are dressed the same as they are in the present, with the only notable difference being Child!Dante doesn't have a beard.
- In the episode "Freeze Day" in Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Marco's five-year-old self wears a red sweatshirt and blue parts and his middle school/early teen self has his red hoodie replaced with a red sweater.