An outfit is repeatedly and obviously decorated with one or more different symbols, signifying something important about the wearer.
Say a girl wears a floral-patterned dress. That wouldn't mean anything. But if she had a Green Thumb
, that would mean the dress is fitting to her nature.
These can be made by choice of the wearer, or be Rule of Symbolism
This trope is Truth in Television
, as some royalty would often wear capes and robes
with symbols adorning them.
A Super Trope
to Star-Spangled Spandex
Compare Chest Insignia
, Wearing a Flag on Your Head
, Color Motif
Now there isn't a hard minimum to count, but it has to be more than just one or two instances of the symbol on the outfit
, even if they are large. One or two does not make a motif.
Anime and Manga
- Fukiko "Miya-sama" Ichinomiya often wears a long and flowing black skirt with a red rose pattern.
- Trafalgar Law of One Piece wears the insignia of the Heart Pirates jolly roger on all of his outfits, including on his own Den-Den Mushi.
- The Riddler of Batman often wears an outfit with question marks all over it.
- Alchemist Smurf of The Smurfs wears a stars-and-moon wizard hat variation of a Smurf hat.
- Empath of Empath: The Luckiest Smurf wears a black Smurf hat and pants with white stars on it, to match the yellow star birthmark on his forehead.
- The mayor in Jaws wore a suit covered with dollar signs.
- Hancock incorporated eagles into whatever outfit he wore, even when he was homeless.
- In Stardust, Septimus has multiple number 7s on his outfit.
Live Action TV
- Many versions of The Secret Garden feature Mary Lennox in a costume that has a floral design on it somewhere.
- This is a recurring element in many books by Mercedes Lackey.
- In her Heralds of Valdemar series, the Tayledras will often have a motif repeated in their clothing, usually something to do with birds or feathers. Given their relationship with birds of prey, this is entirely fitting.
- Kelson Haldane of the Deryni works has in his wardrobe a tunic of red covered with tiny golden Haldane lions. His coat of arms features a single golden lion on a red field.
- The sendings at Abhorsen's House in the Old Kingdom books tend to trot out surcoats checkered with symbols related to the powers of whoever they're intended for. So, for example, Sabriel gets given one patterned with the Abhorsen's silver key motif, crown princess Ellimere gets gold royal towers, Lirael gets a mix of Clayr stars and Abhorsen keys, and Sam gets the Wallmakers' gold trowel.
- In Doctor Who, several Doctors beginning with the Fourth, wore clothing that prominently featured question marks. Sometimes, a lot of question marks◊.
- The Umbran Elder from Bayonetta on her shoulders there is also a crescent moon shape, on its side so the points are facing the sky.
- Nearly all of Rose Berstein's outfits have roses or feature decorative rose flower patterns. Special mention goes to her light blue dress and headband from XIII.
- Cerebella, from Skullgirls, is from the Cirque des Cartes, where each member of the troupe is associated with a type of card. In her case, it's the diamond suit. Her rival, Beatrix, is associated with the clubs suite and so on and forth.
- The skirt of Princess Zelda's gown, in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, is embroidered with a recurring pattern of harps - the same style of harp that was played by her predecessor in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It seems to have been adopted as an emblem of the royal house.
- In Homestuck, some of the ancestors' clothing is drawn with repeating patterns reminiscent of their symbol. For example, Orphaner Dualscar's symbol is the Aquarius wavy lines, and his outfit includes a lot of wavy lines.
- Playing cards, at least the Anglo-American designs popularized by Charles Goodall, sometimes feature the queen, king and jack with their respective suit symbols on their clothes.
- The Fleur de Lis symbol on the robes of French royalty. Napoleon went with eagles and bees.