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“Fashions fade, style is eternal.”
Yves Saint-Laurent

Authors want their characters to stand out, and there's various tropes that can be used to make their look distinctive. One such way that says a lot about a character's... well, character... is for them to purposely use an Outdated Outfit in everyday life. Rather than a suit and tie, they'll wear finery from London in the 1850s. Instead of a dress, how about a ceremonial Kimono? Instead of business attire, go to meetings decked out in pompous regal clothing from the Renaissance. Regional chic from past times works as well: a character wearing 1800s cowboy gear is sure to look cool and stand out. Values Dissonance will often determine how this trope applies: berets are pretty cool in North America, but in France and Spain they are more often thought of as old-fashioned.

This isn't just a distinct visual look, but a subtle (or very overt) statement that this character is enamored with the bygone style and perhaps even time period. They have a different world view than most contemporary people (though not necessarily the one from their chosen period of dress) and aren't afraid to defy convention by dressing unconventionally. When done well, this trope shows it's not the clothes that make the man or woman, but the wearer who gives what ought to be a desperately out of place Halloween costume a natural style and appropriateness. Somehow, it seems natural that the man in a cowboy suit is opening a bank account, and the woman in the Kimono is working at a particle physics lab, or the man in a bowler hat is slaying zombies.

Often the cause is a character is Really 700 Years Old, and doesn't care to keep up with the changing fashions.

A Sister Trope to Disco Dan (a character's whole personality is stuck in a bygone era) and Fan of the Past. Sub-Trope of Anachronism Stew.

See also Kimono Is Traditional, Gorgeous Period Dress, Elegant Gothic Lolita.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Agni's Philosophy: In a setting with cars, firearms, and futuristic cityscapes, Agni wears an elaborate ceremonial robe (as do her compatriots, and the Prime Minister, for that matter).
  • Ayakashi Triangle is set in the modern day, but ever since Matsuri became an exorcist Ninja, he's favored traditional Japanese clothes (his casual outfit is a jinbei, loose shorts, and sandals). Matsuri also wears a fundoshi as underwear with any outfit, even underneath his school uniform and battle suit, and he specifically considers it a tradition of the trade. Seigen and Muga likewise wear kamishimo, the former also with a fundoshi, though the latter only while training. Amusingly, Soga is an exception, as his outerwear is contemporary at all times, and despite Matsuri's expectations, so is his underwear.
    Matsuri: You should be careful [of gear malfunctioning] or you might end up showing off your fundoshi underwear, too!
    Soga: Not that it's any of your business, but I'm a boxer briefs guy.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Played with by Alphonse Elric. Though he doesn't wear it by choice, Al walks around in a full suit of medieval battle armor, much to the surprise and commentary of others. Due to his naive, idealistic, chivalrous worldview and nobility (one character even envisions him as a literal Prince Charming), the armor is surprisingly appropriate, and no one disputes that he pulls it off with considerable awesome, to the point that he is frequently mistaken for his famously talented in-universe Memetic Badass brother Ed. Of course, most people don't realize Al isn't wearing the armor; he's a disembodied soul bonded to it, and the armor is his body.
    • Inverted with several characters, like Winry and Ed, who dress in modern fashion by default. They'll occasionally switch to period-typical attire. In Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), people on our side of the Gate dress in 1930s fashion that contrasts with the brighter and more modern clothes from Amestris.
  • Fushigi Yuugi:
    • Inverted with Miaka and Yui (and presumably the other two priestesses as well), who are both dressed in their modern-day school uniforms. These wouldn't stand out ordinarily, but when you consider that most of the book is set in ancient China, then you get the picture. At one point, Tamahome plucks at Miaka's bra strap and says "What's this?" Miaka's reaction is to call him a pervert and give him an uppercut.
    • When Tamahome is in modern-day Tokyo, everybody stares at him as he's in his battle armour, trying to get back to help Tasuki and Chichiri, after finding that Mitsukake and Hotohori have died.
  • Ryougi Shiki of The Garden of Sinners wears a kimono (usually light blue) under a bitchin' red leather jacket with fur fringe.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • Roderich/Austria generally dresses in rather anachronistic suits, among the few constants being a cravat. No one else notices.
    • Grandpa Rome meanwhile still manages to look badass in centurion armor.
    • America meanwhile still tends to wear his World War II bomber jacket well into the present.
  • Inverted in Inuyasha, with Kagome wearing modern day clothes in feudal era Japan.
  • Goemon from Lupin III always wears a traditional kimono wherever he goes, despite the series being primarily set in the late 20th or 21st century. Sometimes this is addressed by other characters and Played for Laughs.
  • Inverted in Mushishi, where the main character wears modern clothes in a feudal setting for no reason other than that it looks cool. According to the author, Mushishi is originally set in the modern day, but they forgot to change Ginko's clothes when the comic changed to the feudal era. And, no, nobody ever says anything. The fact that no one says anything might just well be justified given his career — he's a drifter that deals with ethereal beings. His clothes are the least interesting character trait he possesses. Not to mention, seeing some of the technology that shows up every now and then, it's not hard to believe Japan has been introduced to western fashion.
  • Discussed in Princess Jellyfish; everyone from Amamizukon gets a makeover except Chieko. Kurako explains that while her traditional Japanese dress style is unfashionable when surrounded by the otaku style of the others, it becomes stylish when surrounded by stylish people.
  • In Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, our main character, his sister, and his devoted stalker all wear old-fashioned kimono. But not just kimono, vintage and seasonally appropriate designs from the early 20th century. The accessories are no exception: the author will knot the obi differently on different occasions, and always matches the characters up with classic outerwear in winter, like Inverness coats and kakusode gaitou. If you know much about traditional Japanese clothing, it can be quite the sight to behold. To be frank, in that universe Japan's era name is still Showa (aka Emperor Hirohito), not Heisei.
  • In Snow White and Seven Dwarfs, which takes place around ~2015, Souichi and Souji wear old-fashioned Japanese-styled clothing. That said, as the revision explains, it's for practical reasons, rather than fashion. They respectively de-age and age rapidly, and so need clothing that's easy to adjust when their body changes (though Souichi goes as far as to wear an appropriate decoration over his ear, so perhaps fashion is a slight factor there as well).
  • The titular Kongming from Ya Boy Kongming! is hardly ever seen outside of his trademark Three Kingdoms era blue robe, hat and fan, even in modern-day Japan, which is understandable since he came from that time period. Everyone else thinks he's just a really enthusiastic Cosplayer. That said, he's not averse to wearing more modern clothes, like an LED message visor at a party or a tracksuit while his robes are in the wash.

  • Roman statuary from the Imperial period frequently depicts emperors and high-ranking military officers wearing Grecian muscled cuirasses and Attic helmets centuries after they went out of use among rank-and-file soldiery. In fact, little if any archaeological evidence has been found for actual armor of these sorts still being produced by then. The trope was probably meant to liken the statues' subjects to historical and mythical heroes.

    Comic Books 
  • On a more general level, certain commonly used items of superhero wear, such as musketeer-style boots (e.g. Captain America, Hawkeye) and flowing capes certainly apply.
  • The DCU:
    • The Shade and the Gentleman Ghost are both supervillains who dress in old fashioned finery. Justified in that both men were actually alive when these clothes were first being worn. Especially the Gentleman Ghost — being a ghost, he's nothing but a walking set of late-19th century finery, with top hat and monocle.
    • Batman's nemesis The Penguin has sported white-tie-and-tails, top hat, and monocle ever since his first appearance in the early 1940s, when that look was already becoming old-fashioned. He did ditch the top hat and tailcoat in the 1990s, switching to the more practical tuxedo, but even this is on its way out as dress becomes more casual and men increasingly opt for business suits on formal occasions.
    • Green Arrow's costume is patterned after the popular image of Robin Hood.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • The Hellfire Club, enemies of the X-Men. The men typically wear 18th century clothing, while women typically dress in leather bustiers, lingerie-style underwear, and boots. Explained in the comic as symbolizing the Club's elitist rejection of modern concepts of morality. It was inspired by The Avengers (1960s) episode "A Touch of Brimstone", which actually featured a "Hellfire Club" with a very similar visual style.
    • The minor villain Turner D. Century dressed in clothes appropriate to, well, the turn of the century.
    • The Black Knights typically wear medieval type-armor, regardless of the era of their activity. In their case they are Legacy Characters of an original knight who was active in the court of King Arthur.
    • Captain America villain and founder of the Thunderbolts, Baron Helmut Zemo, occasionally invokes this when he tries to style himself after his father. The mini-series Baron Zemo: Born Better, had him thrust back in time and slowly shifting to each generation of his own family tree. After each temporal jump, he would briefly invoke this trope until he finally had more time appropriate clothing made to replace his current attire.
  • Black Canary's outfit hasn't changed much since she debuted in the 1940s. The most that tends to change is her hairstyle.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Parselmouth of Gryffindor, Barty Crouch Jr. manages to invoke this trope in spite of the Harry Potter Wizarding World at large arguably already being an example — he shows up to the Frost Fair wearing a ruby-colored Conquistador's helmet on top of his iconic crimson robes.

    Films — Animated 
  • Eva from the Memories segment "Magnetic Rose" dresses in gorgeous dresses that are decades, if not centuries, out of date, as do her lover Carlos and their peers. However, Eva's opera career was from the 2000s-to-2030s. She even lived long enough for holograms and space travel to become commonplace.
  • The Snow Queen (1957) takes place in the mid 19th century, but the garden sorceress and the prince and princess are dressed in mid 18th century styles. Even the white ermine muff the princess gives Gerda is in a style from a few decades before (though it would become popular again in a few decades).
  • Word of God has it that Mother Gothel of Tangled was intentionally designed with clothing from approximately 400 years before the movie's time period, which hints at her true nature...

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Avengers (2012), Steve's hair and uniform are reminiscent of the 1940s. Justified, since he was frozen in 1944 and thawed out in modern time.
  • Sam in Benny & Joon is first seen on a train reading a book entitled "How to Dress Like Buster Keaton". He seems to be succeeding at this. (Sam also embodies the other part of this trope, because of his odd personality and fondness for Keaton's style of comedy.)
  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension: The half-Japanese Buckaroo Banzai, although commonly dressed in the height of contemporary (1980s) fashion, was just as likely to be seen wearing a kimono and hakama.
  • In Casino Royale (1967), Sir James Bond (David Niven) was a holdover from an earlier, more genteel age of espionage, and underscored it by wearing a series of smart Edwardian suits.
  • The wizarding world in the Harry Potter films has some of this, though somewhat less than the books. It's mostly seen in aristocratic "pure-blood" families like the Malfoys.
  • The yellow jumpsuit with the black stripes down the sides originally worn by Bruce Lee in Game of Death, but used again in Kill Bill Vol 1. True, it's not exactly "anachronistic", but more "nostalgic" and "intimately associated with its era."
  • The very jarring appearance of a pair of pink Converse All-Stars during a Shopping Montage in Marie Antoinette (2006). (This is said to have been a deliberate choice by the director, Sofia Coppola, who was trying to show how the young queen was really just an ordinary teenage girl underneath the crazy wigs.)
  • Downplayed by Stoker's protagonist, India, who wears pretty dresses (never pants) that would be in style in the 1940s and 1950s, and saddle shoes. This isn't particularly noticeable until you see her next to her classmates, all of whom dress in clothes that are popular in The New '10s.
  • In-universe in The Time Machine (2002), where in 2037, Hartdegen's Victorian outfit, worn because he really is from Victorian times, is praised by a passing woman as being "retro".
  • By the time of Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, the UniSols have forgone the awesome firepower that they're used to, along with the advanced body armour and combat rags, and have gone completely old school. They look less like a professional army, and more like a guerrilla army, with clothing and equipment taken from different time periods, ranging from World War II to Operation Desert Storm. Their weapons even reflect this as well, with lots of Vietnam War Era M16s and AK-47s. Scott 3.0 runs around wearing clothing components from infantrymen in World War II, along with combat boots from The Vietnam War Era. Deveraux himself goes the route of Colonel Kurtz by wearing an M65 Field Jacket, along with matching pants and combat boots.
  • Willy Wonka dresses in a top hat and frock coat of the sort worn in Victorian times, though somewhat more colourful and gaudy.

  • In Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon, when Calvin Malvern describes his King Wlifrid's Faire he specifically says the point of it is to enjoy a fantasy, rather than a stickler-for-detail re-enactment. To that end, he encourages the residents to attend in costume, and lets it be known that anything vaguely like medieval- or Renaissance-era clothing will do. Lori and her neighbours quickly get in the spirit, doing library research, taking one of Sally Pyne's sewing classes, or hiring costumes from a theatrical supplier. Even Bill dons an ensemble from Calvin's stores that he calls a "cool medieval dude" outfit; Lori is particularly taken with the way he fills his tights.
  • In the Mercy Thompson series werewolves, while immortal, will change their clothing with the clothing style to avoid becoming stuck in the past, while vampires will keep the style of the era they or their leader were turned in.
  • Willy Wonka's outfit of tailcoat, top hat, etc. brings a classic Stage Magician or circus ringmaster to mind. The book was written in 1964, and with the passing years, it looks more and more anachronistic in both the book and adaptations.
  • Original woodcuts in Romance of the Three Kingdoms (from the Ming Dynasty, or roughly 14th or 15th century) depict the characters in Tang Dynasty (7th or 8th century) clothes and armor, not those from the 3rd century, when the story is set. Almost all adaptations retain the anachronistic costuming.
  • In Rivers of London, DCI Nightingale dresses in elaborate Edwardian suits. Justified in that he's from that era.
  • The Shadow of the Wind takes place in The '50s, but Barceló is said to dress like a gentleman from the XIX century, including a pipe and monocle just for show.
  • William Kraft in Victoria dresses in archaic 1930s suits, and his mannerisms, car and furniture also reflect his fondness for the period. Then it turns out he also wears a WWI-era Prussian uniform in times of war, complete with pickelhaube, and styles himself a subject of the Prussian Kaiser.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • Several Doctors have tended to late-Victorian or Edwardian clothing:
      • Doctors One (Edwardian-style frock coat, waistcoat and cravat), Two (a shabbier and slightly more informal version of One's look, with a bowtie, jacket instead of frock coat, and no waistcoat), Three (velvet smoking jacket, ascot, and ruffled shirt with lace cuffs, sometimes with a huge opera cloak), Five (Edwardian cricketer's costume and Panama hat), Eight (frock coat, waistcoat and cravat, but with a more transatlantic cut than One), and Eleven (tweed sports jacket with leather elbow patches and a bowtie, later replaced with a fully neo-Victorian three-piece suit and velvet-trimmed overcoat). Doctors Four, Six and arguably Seven subverted this trope with bohemian outfits that were never in style. Nine, Ten and Twelve avert this with a leather jacket (Nine) and contemporary suits (Ten and Twelve) which become anachronistic to their surroundings, while Thirteen wears an eccentric but fairly current ensemble described by one fan as "looking as if she raided a Uniqlo". Nine dealt with it in "The Unquiet Dead", and tends to end up in situations where his jacket is very out of style — although its most ill-advised outing was to Blitz-era London, as it is actually a WWII German Kriegsmarine jacket. Jack openly mocks him for going around in the Blitz dressing like a U-Boat Captain!
      • Five really mixed this up with his choice of an Edwardian-era cricketer's outfit combined with (at the time) modern-day sneakers.
    • Others:
      • Something of a running joke with Ian and Barbara in the First Doctor's tenure — while being both ordinary humans from modern-day Earth, they would pick up various items from their travels, and the Doctor giving them permission to raid the TARDIS wardrobe is a significant point in his Character Development from a total Jerkass into a much more reasonable Eccentric Mentor. As a result, they tend to wear incredibly inappropriate clothing everywhere, usually just for fun, with Barbara usually preferring alien clothing and Ian historical clothing. Barbara spends "The Edge Of Destruction" dressed like a male Thal (from "The Daleks"), Ian wears an ancient Chinese jacket while running around Marinus, and he selects a silly-looking Victorian greatcoat to wear outside in "Marco Polo", insisting he just fell in love with it. The Doctor compliments him on his taste and tells him he got it from Gilbert and Sullivan.
      • Dodo raids the TARDIS wardrobe (without permission, much to the Doctor's irritation) before her first adventure, set aboard a Generation Ship around the time of the sun going supernova. She spends the whole story wearing Ian's Knight of Jaffa tabard, for which both the Doctor and Steven criticise her — Steven's reasons being because it's inappropriate, and the Doctor's being in case she ruins it and they need it later. In her case, it's less to emphasise her coolness and more to emphasise just how utterly weird she is.
      • Missy always wears Edwardian clothes, reminiscent of a female version of earlier Doctors, despite largely appearing in stories with contemporary settings.
  • The Badass Longcoat, especially as worn in Firefly. Practically everyone on the show is wearing clothes from either the 1860s or the early 1990s. Or the Roman Empire, for the Companion. And Jayne, who uses a Lemat Revolver, which would be a very anachronistic gun in a show set today, is constantly seen in T-shirts and jeans. The best clothes to imagine having in a Western.
  • Captain Jack Harkness of Torchwood. It's more subtle than some of the other examples on this page, but he consistently dresses in 1940s style, complete with Royal Air Force greatcoat and suspenders. It's worth noting that his timeframe of origin is the 51st century, so he presumably just likes the style. And when he has to wear more normal and contemporary clothing for a time in Children of Earth, he is NOT happy about it (and spends the entire time pouting until Ianto finds replacements).
    • It has been speculated in-universe that Jack's fashion sense has a Freudian Excuse of some sort. Owen probably put it best:
      Owen: Period military is not the dress of a straight man!
      • His sense of style seems to be something he picked up on his second trip through the 1940s as when he joined up with The Ninth Doctor and Rose, he opted for jeans and t-shirt. It could be that he currently favors vintage-style garb because that's the clothing he met the Doctor and Rose in, and it reminds him of good times.
      • In Miracle Day, Jack attracts the attention of a gay bartender with his signature greatcoat. Yes, he's wearing it while everybody is on a lookout for someone who looks like him (and he's also the only mortal man in the world).
    • Jack's evil ex-boyfriend, Captain John Hart, favors a '50s-style greaser outfit, cowboy boots, and a Hussar jacket (both him and Jack are pictured above).
  • Seinfeld's Cosmo Kramer wears casual clothing from roughly The '60s and '70s throughout The '90s. At one point, Kramer's regular clothes, while still casual, made it appear to office employees that he was working with them in an office with '90s formal business wear. On another occasion, his flashy outerwear — which included a multi-colored fur coat (actually the titular costume piece from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat') and a white fedora — had him mistaken for a pimp. Michael Richards, Kramer's portrayer, once rationalized this by explaining that his character developed a severe case of agoraphobia as a very young man and never again went out to buy new clothesalthough this goes against many episodes where Kramer is perfectly fine with being outside (one episode has him walking around on a highway'').
  • The dentist in M*A*S*H loves Japan, so he wears a kimono in his spare time.
  • Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger: The rangers wear color-coded garb from their ancient time when untransformed, and it looks pretty damn cool.
  • White Collar: Neal Caffrey started out dressing in old-fashioned suits he got from his landlady (they belonged to her late husband, a bootlegger during The Roaring '20s), but later switches to modern-day suits. However, he still loves hats of that style, to the point where this allows Peter to easily track him down in a foreign country.
  • Family Matters had Steve Urkel. However, his costume is less "anachronistic" and more "no one outside of a circus would ever wear that."
  • Kolchak: The Night Stalker: Carl Kolchak's seersucker suit would be vaguely appropriate in the heat of summer in the early 1950s, but made him stick out like a sore thumb in 1975. Darren McGavin once said he figured Carl bought the suit for his first job interview and never bothered getting another.
  • Supernatural: Many of the ghosts and residents of purgatory are still wearing clothes from the times of their deaths. In addition in the episode "Devil May Care" (S09, Ep02), Abaddon wears a well fitted vintage bus drivers uniform with a billed cap.
  • The Avengers (1960s): Aside from Steed's slightly dated "British gentleman" look throughout, the episode "A Touch of Brimstone" features a bunch of prankster villains, the Hellfire Club, with a taste for 18th century styles.
  • On Hawaii Five-0, Max's taste in formalwear is decidedly not 21st century. His various outfits have included a pastel suit with a ruffled front, and a tie-die vest with matching bowtie. As the resident medical examiner, he's more commonly seen in scrubs than anything, and his casual clothes are fairly normal, but when it's time to put on the fancy pants he goes all-out.
  • The Good Place: Michael wears a bow tie despite it being more than a little outdated, and defends it to both humans and celestial beings. It also comes up obliquely when the humans discover he is a demon who has put them through an Amnesia Loop eight hundred times, and now he wants to team up.
    Jason: We team up with Michael.
    Eleanor: Okay. Hot take, but I like your confidence. Tell me why.
    Jason: He has a bow tie.
    Eleanor: Oh no.
    Jason: I always trust dudes in bow ties. Once, this guy in a bow tie came up to me at the gun range in a Jacksonville bus station and said he'd give me six hundred dollars if I put these weird turtles in my duffle bag and brought them to Daytona Beach. So I hotwired a swamp boat to Daytona, and the guy paid me the six hundred dollars. [Tahani facepalms] My point is, you always trust dudes in bow ties.
    [Eleanor slaps Jason]
  • Schitt's Creek presents an interesting case with the Rose family. Since they lost their wealth in 2015 when the show began, they have not been able to buy new clothes. All four members of the family, however, have retained their lavish wardrobes, which have become more and more anachronistic as the series progresses. Alexis, in particular, wears clothes that would be the height of fashion at Coachella circa 2007. Showrunner Dan Levy and costume designer Deb Hanson make sure that the Roses wear real high-end designer pieces from pre-2015, which they obtain on resale sites.
  • Ichabod Crane on Sleepy Hollow wears an outfit that more resembles the 18th century he was originally from than modern fashion. When he crosses over to Bones, Brennan definitely takes note. He tells her that he wears it to honor those who died in the revolution.


    Pro Wrestling 
  • Los Romanos of CMLL, Méssala and Calígula, took the soldier thing a little too literally and missed it by a good fifteen centuries as well. Not many complained though.
  • This is clearly what Thunderkitty aims for in her outfits, to show how great things "used to be". Opinion is, divided. but the crowds seem into it at least.
  • Deuce 'n Domino dressed like Greaser Delinquents out of the 2007. Their female companion, Cherry, wore roller skates — which, while currently making a comeback, are no longer unself-consciously cool.
  • The Highlanders wore kilts...and nothing else. (Well, nothing else except for black-colored shorts-style underwear.) It was justified in Kayfabe by the explanation that Rory and Robbie McAllister really did still think it was the Braveheart era and didn't understand the concept of civilized clothing.
  • In Progress Wrestling there's Jack Gallagher who looks like a circus strongman, wearing leopard-print trunks and a weight-lifting belt and sports a magnificent moustache.
  • CHIKARA manager Sidney Bakabella wears bow ties and suspenders, which are guaranteed to draw negative reactions from wrestling fans.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Apparently, in the 2070s of the Shadowrun world, Steampunk is in-fashion. Not entirely this trope until you remember that a lot of the steampunk look comes from the Victorian/Edwardian fashion of the late 19th-early 20th centuries. Meaning you could have an elf walking down a Seattle street, casually chatting to a friend of his in Berlin via Augmented Reality while decked out in a fine waistcoat, top hat, boots and so-on with an assortment of clockwork mechanisms scattered here and there, maybe even an honest-to-God pocket watch just to complete the look. Oh, and a pair of goggles, naturally.
  • The villain Retrograde from the Champions supplement High Tech Enemies dresses like an early Victorian dandy. This fits as he has a hatred of modern technology and possesses the power to transform high tech devices into low tech, non-functioning equivalents.
  • Some Elder Vampires in VtM or VtR are known to prefer their Outdated Outfit than more contemporary ones, especially in Elysium. It's subjective whether it makes them ridiculous or dignifiedly old-fashioned, but it's well-accepted not to make fun of them because they're Elders.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney:
  • Many outfits in the Fallout series, especially more evident since the game made the jump to 3D. The game's Zeerust aesthetic provides a double-whammy of this — fashion never advanced beyond the 1950s even before the apocalypse in 2077, and those pre-War park stroller clothes or trench coats and fedoras certainly look weird against the radioactive ruins of America a century later.
    • Several characters in the Fallout 3 "Mothership Zeta" DLC can at least be justified using this trope, as they have just been thawed out from the Human Popsicle state in which they've been since their abduction. This includes a Combat Medic from the Sino-American War (the one that escalated into a Nuclear Apocolypse), a genuine cowboy from the Old West, and an 18th-century samurai (speaking untranslated Japanese) in full battle armor.
    • Fallout: New Vegas has Caesar's Legion, which tries to recreate the look of classical Roman armor by using scavenged American football gear.
    • Fallout 4 takes place around the ruins of Boston, and features a faction called the Minutemen who wear colonial-era coats and tricorn hats, wield "laser muskets," and obviously are taking some cues from their ancestors who fought in The American Revolution. And the ghoul mayor of Goodneighbor is strutting about in the actual clothes once worn by John Hancock, and has even adopted the man's name.
  • While the Final Fantasy series doesn't normally do this, some of the extra DLC costumes in Final Fantasy: Dissidia do have some strange costumes as a Shout-Out to either their own games or others. Laguna can wear a knight's armour from his temporary film role in Final Fantasy VIII, Tifa can wear a cowgirl outfit from her days as a mountain guide in Final Fantasy VII, and for the sake of a cross-reference, Lightning can wear Aya Brea's 20th-century jeans and black T-shirt from Parasite Eve.
  • The major point of uniform customization in Star Trek Online (assuming you're willing to spend real money). You (a 25th century Starfleet captain) can walk around in everything from the Starfleet uniform of the time to the Earth Starfleet uniform of the NX-01 tour — and that's just the actual uniforms, the off-duty clothing includes the option of 21st century clothing.
    • Even if you aren't willing to spend real money, the default clothing options includes the TNG movie-era uniform (which is at least two uniform-changes back).
    • There are even two uniforms that can be acquired that in-universe invert the description of this trope while taking the anachronism one step up: future uniforms.
  • Tex Murphy in the eponymous series of games dresses as a typical noir-style detective with a trenchcoat and fedora... in a post-World War III world. However, many other characters dress in '30s and '40s styles consistent with the Raymond Chandler-inspired setting.
  • As part of a promotional with Dragon Age, Commander Shepard in Mass Effect 2 can wear Blood Dragon armour, apparently designed in-universe by an urban combat outfitter to resemble that of a futuristic medieval knight. Here's a comparison of the two.
  • Onmyōji inverts this with most of the cast dressed in kimono way ahead of the Heian period the game is set in... except maybe Seimei who vaguely resembles a government official of the time.
    • A particularly egregious case is Shoyō and his post-Awakening High-Class Glass, which is incorrect on oh so many levels –- first for not yet being invented in the first place, second for appearing in pre-Edo Japan despite being strictly Western –- but gets accepted anyway due to its adding to his sex appeal.
  • Many, many examples in the Soul Series. The most glaring example is Setsuka's alternate costume in IV, which references her European origins but is in an Edwardian style dress. A woman in an early 1900s dress walking around 16th Century Eurasia. Yes, really.
    • Nothing about Sophitia's dressing like she's from the Theme Park Version of ancient Greece despite being from the Greece of the 16th Century which was occupied by the Ottoman Empire? This is at least mitigated a bit by her worship of the old Greek gods being an anachronism which is noted in-universe.
  • In The Sims series, some anachronistic outfits are already included (especially for wizards and witches, and with custom content you can have your Sims be dressed like they're from whatever time period you like. The Townies, and the setting itself, will remain in early-21st-century stasis, and nobody will ever comment on that Sim with an '80s, '30s, or Renaissance outfit.
  • Story of Seasons uses this in most games. Almost all are set in a Retro Universe, yet the characters individual fashions differ greatly from person to person. Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life takes place in an era featuring cellphones and televisions, yet characters like Nami, Rock, and Gustafa dress straight out of the 1960s and almost everyone else looks early 1900s.
  • The flower seller in the fourth Detectives United game dresses like an extra from the Renaissance faire, which makes a cute gimmick as she goes around with her basket of blue roses to sell to people. Except it's not a gimmick — she dresses this way as a hint that things are really not right in the town they're investigating, and she is one of the residents who has been most heavily affected by the hallucinogenic pollen of the roses she sells.

    Web Animation 
  • Downplayed with Caboose from Red vs. Blue. Since the show was originally filmed in Halo 1, everyone started out with Mark V Armor and an Assault Rifle, and upgraded to the Mark VI and Battle Rifle as the show went on. For whatever reason, Caboose prefers the original setup and doesn't upgrade with everyone else. It's originally implied that he was just too stupid to realize he needed an upgrade, but after being forcibly upgraded he gets excited when he gets to switch back to a Mark V helmet.
  • While the exact date of Mystery Skulls Animated may be unknown Arthur has a laptop and most characters dress in modern fashions, or are noted to dress strangely, save Lewis who used to wear an ascot and waistcoat. In death he wears a suit with a fuchsia necktie.

  • Wil of Questionable Content and his "several cloaks".
    • The Horrible Revelation is a bar that rents Victorian suits and dresses (which appears specifically because the author loves drawing them).
    • When Wil goes to interview for a job at said bar wearing a hilariously outdated suit, he's hired on the spot and is seen wearing it in every subsequent appearance at work.

    Web Original 
  • Despite the existence of futuristic city in Noob, anyone not wearing a medieval fantasy style outfit qualifies due to sheer rarity. The recurring hacker is the only character wearing a futuristic outfit up to Season 3.
  • WarpZone Project has Eve Bones, an immortal who is just coming out of a century in jail and favors styles from the time at which she got in.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Animated Series. With a few exceptions, the Rogues Gallery never strayed far from their sartorial roots.
    • The Riddler always had his green bowler hat (which, contrary to what most people think, is from the 1960s TV series, not the comics).
    • The Penguin kept his top hat, bow tie, monocle, and cigarette...although for some reason he let his hair grow a bit longer than you'd expect someone trying to break into high society to do, to resemble Danny DeVito's portrayal from Batman Returns. The post-Superman TAS retool has him losing that long hair.
    • In addition to his usual mauve-colored double-breasted suit, The Joker also went around in a boater hat and raccoon coat on some occasions — an ensemble that hasn't been cool since the early 1930s at the very latest.
  • In an episode of Daria, Jane dates a guy who has a thing for dressing up in styles from the early half of the 1900s, and by the end she gets fed up with how seriously he takes all of it.
  • The Scooby-Doo gang, overlapping with Clothes Make the Legend, are better remembered and mostly appearing in their late '60s outfits. Possibly this is why they came back to them in Mystery Incorporated. Notably, Velma is the only one who's never changed from her orange sweater/red pleated skirt/orange knee socks/red strap-on shoes combo. Shaggy's outfit, however, is probably the one that least needed alteration, although the cultural connotations of it have shifted from Surfer Dude to… well, something a bit less kid-friendly. Then again, Mystery Incorporated may take place in some kind of Retro Universe, as it seems '60s-'70s style clothing is the norm for just about everyone.
  • In Hoppity Hooper, Fillmore the bear is (half-)dressed in an American Civil War uniform.