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Costume Evolution

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Astrid's new outfit reflects advances in fabric and fur rendering... and also her character growth.

"In the four months since the last episode aired, I've created a brand new, ultra-efficient, technologically advanced Duel Disk System! And that's not all. I also have a sexy new outfit."
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A character's main outfit can change over the course of a series, often when it's a new season or new installment. Whether it's a superhero's costume (even if those characters wear an Unlimited Wardrobe otherwise), a military uniform, or a character's Limited Wardrobe, the original outfit will often be radically different from what the characters are wearing later.

The changes can include an entirely different outfit, where only the basic form is kept over. Say a Princess's main dress in the next season is still a Pimped-Out Dress but doesn't share colors, form, fabrics, or decorations. The changes can also be very minor, to the point of being barely noticeable. Say a set of Powered Armor just has a few small vents and fins added. Small changes are more likely when Clothes Make the Legend.

The reasons for this can be due to the creators just liking the new designs, or them feeling the current costume is So Last Season, to them trying to reflect cultural changes (which is one of the most common reasons for uniform updates in Real Life), to needing new content in a Merchandise-Driven show. In live action works, changes can be to make a costume more comfortable and easier to work with for the actors wearing them (so it's an Enforced Trope to avoid actors risking physical harm). In computer animation and video games, it could be due to increases in processing power allowing for greater detail than before.

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The larger changes may give a justification for the change, while the smaller ones will just assume audience will either not notice or accept that the costume was tweaked in the time between installments. Though even after an upgrade a previous outfit may become the Iconic Outfit.

A Super Trope to Frilly Upgrade (as this trope happens a lot to Frills of Justice), Significant Wardrobe Shift (Character Development shown through costume changes).

A Sister Trope to Beta Outfit (where a different costume is depicted as an early short-lived experiment), Fanservice Pack (where a character's look becomes increasingly sexualised), Earned Stripes (when it's directly tied to rankings and tiers), Early Installment Character-Design Difference (where a character's costume changes early on in a work's history, but then stays stable).

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Compare Good Costume Switch, Evil Costume Switch.

See also Art Evolution, Adrenaline Makeover.


Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Naruto: Over the Time Skip, some characters (mainly the Konoha 12) start wearing new clothes. The title character went from wearing a complex-looking jacket and pants with some accessories added to a simpler, black and orange jacket and pants with little to no add-ons. Sasuke's went from a simple collared shirt, arm warmers, headband, simple pants and boots to looking more like a samurai without headband. Sasuke would later change his clothes again, but Naruto kept the same design until The Last: Naruto The Movie set a few years later.
  • Pokémon has its main party members switch outfits whenever they go into a new region.
  • Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!: After their Lovracelets are destroyed by the Sand Clock Monster at the start of season 2, the Battle Lovers get the new True Lovracelets from Wombat who lampshades their frilly upgrades.
    Wombat: "In season 2, your items and designs always change. That is the law of the universe! The providence of nature! And it's not just how they look! You've also powered up, and you boast a far more vivid design, invoking the taste of the 'now' and the 'young'!"
  • Lina Inverse in Slayers goes through three similar, but slightly different outfits (one in the prequel OVA and movies, one in Season 1 and one in later seasons). The main changes are the accessories such as boots, gloves and pauldrons; the basic silhouette (form-fitting tunic and pants, and a large cape with Shoulders of Doom) remains constant.
  • Bleach: Ichigo originally possessed a standard Soul Reaper uniform with a belt strapping his Zanpakutou sheath to his back. His Shikai transformed the belt to a red strap and his Bankai turned the kosode into a tattered longcoat. Awakening his Fullbring gave him a uniform made of black flame that eventually transformed into a black body suit with white skeletal armour. The restoration of his Soul Reaper powers merged with the remnants of his Fullbring to add neck armour and X-shaped straps to his Shikai and Bankai uniforms. After training with Squad Zero, he obtains a tattered, black-streaked, white waist cloth and shoulder armour that crosses his chest in an X-shape.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Goku's gi constantly changes over the course of the series. It changes from blue to red/orange after he starts training under Master Roshi, then he adds blue weighted clothing underneath. He adds Master Roshi and King Kai's symbols to it when he starts training under then, then removes them again when he surpasses them. In Dragon Ball Super, he changes to a different orange gi for the Resurrection F and Tournament arcs, then changes back to the gi he wore in the Buu saga. Vegeta's outfit also changes, starting with a full set of Saiyan armor, and gradually ditching pieces of it, symbolizing his very slow Heel–Face Turn.
    • Gohan makes slight changes to the Great Saiyaman costume over the course of the Buu Saga. While he initially wore an orange-and-black helmet with a visor to hide his Secret Identity, when he participated in the World Martial Arts Tournament, he swapped out the helmet for a white bandana and sunglasses. After Kid Buu's defeat, he also discards his Badass Cape.
  • My Hero Academia uses this a lot, since the protagonists attend a Superhero School and are constantly improving and adjusting their costumes over time. A prime example is the main character, Izuku "Deku" Midoriya: his original outfit was conceived largely out of his admiration of All Might, so it has a cowl that resembles All Might's ludicrous bangs (which just looks like rabbit ears on Deku) and a facemask that has All Might's trademark grin across it. Over time his costume becomes more practical, including gaining armor and shock absorbers on his legs once he switches to a fighting style based on Shootfighting, and gauntlets that focus the force of his "finger flick" attack. The All Might cowl and mask never really go away, mainly out of nostalgia,note  but he stops wearing the cowl and the mask loses the grin, instead looking like an emergency gas mask.
  • In Sailor Moon, the team goes through this twice, particularly in the manga. At the end of the Infinity Arc and into the Dream Arc, the team upgrades their costumes into the "Super" styling. Moon and Chibi-Moon gain flared see-through shoulder guards, multi-colored skirts and rear bows with longer tails; the other Guardians gain the rear bows and the shoulder pads only have one flared see-through guard. They get more uniformed looks once they all hit Eternal.
  • In both Futari wa Pretty Cure MaX Heart and Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GO!GO!, the heroines gain brand new outfits and powers as they surrendered their powers at the end of their respective series. Cure Black and White's outfits are similar to their old ones, but with added gear for protection, but the Precure 5's costumes took a more uniform look with what looks like colored jackets over their old uniforms (though whether they were wearing their old costumes under them or not is never really seen.)

    Comic Books 
  • Batman started out with gray tights and a black cape with blue lining, that was shaped like bat wings. The biggest change changes from this were swapping the cape for a standard cape with a jagged hem and swapping the purple gloves for spiked black gauntlets. Changes since then have been various coloring changes, such as adding yellow to the mix, mostly for his Utility Belt and the outline of the bat symbol.
  • Daredevil: Matt's costume was yellow and red before it became all red.
  • Iron Man started out with a gray, bulky suit of armor before it changed into the sleek, red and gold armor it is now. This is noted in the first Iron Man movie where the prototype armor was based on the one in the first years of the comics. Beyond that, smaller details are regularly in flux since Tony is always tweaking and enhancing his armor.
  • Superman has had several tweaks to his outfit over the years, many involving the coloring and form of his Chest Insignia. During his brief time in The '90s as Electric Superman, he had a white and blue outfit, but he inevitably reverted to form. The New 52 relaunch brought a major change in that he lost the red Underwear of Power and his suit was now Kryptonian body armor. When the pre-New 52 Superman returned to the DCU for DC Rebirth, his new costume no longer had the red Underwear of Power either.
  • Wonder Woman has gone through several minor costume changes, but she tends to return to her red and blue leotard. Other outfits give her pants or battle armor, or just add darker colors.
  • Tim Drake's Robin costume did away with the short shorts of his predecessors after wearing a version of Jason's costume once to have a armored short sleeved ensemble with green pants, steel-toed tabi boots and a black cape. He then got rid of all the green for a red and black long-sleeved outfit and further modified that by eventually trading the tabi boots in for more generic steel toed boots all before he switched to the Red Robin costume.
  • Every member of the X-Men has had major upgrades. Even Professor X exchanged his wheelchair for a gold hover chair powered by alien tech.
  • Spider-Man:
    • His first costume, as drawn by Steve Ditko in 1962, was red and black with under-arm webbing.
    • In 1966, John Romita Sr. changed Peter's costume to what is considered his classic look: red and blue with no underarm webbing.
    • In 1984, Peter acquired the black suit but returned to his classic look.
    • In 1989 he became the host of the Uni-Power and became Captain Universe, with the lower part of his mask staying the same.
    • In 1990, Todd McFarlane made the blue parts of Spider-Man's costume darker and re-added the under-arm webbing, though in the wake of the Clone Saga he returned to his classic look.
    • His 2004 Secret War outfit was black with blue spider-leg like stripes, his 2006 Iron Spider costume was red and metallic gold with a large spider-emblem, and his 2010 Future Foundation outfit was white with black sides, eye-pieces, and spider-emblems.
    • His 2011 "Big Time" Stealth Suit was black with green/red Tron Lines.
    • At present (2015) he's wearing the Spider-Armor Mark IV, which is metallic red and blue with underarm webbing and a glowing outline around the spider-emblem.
  • Doctor Strange wore a dark blue cloak when he was first introduced. The Ancient One granted him the red and gold cloak in recognition of his dedication and heroism.
  • Power Girl has gone through a number of different costumes during her run. Her most well-known and original costume consists of a white leotard, blue boots and gloves, and a red cape. She's also worn outfits that either had no cape or changed the amount of blue fabric, as well as several full-body suits with white and gold. Only two of them lack her infamous Cleavage Window, however.
  • Sonic the Comic: Amy started out with a green plaid skirt and white t-shirt (whose design changed every issue). After she became more action-oriented, she was changed to blue jeans and a grey sweatshirt (whose designs also almost never stayed the same). In the final arc, which was based off of Sonic Adventure, Amy stopped wearing her quills up and put them into a bob.

    Film - Animated 
  • Lightning McQueen from Cars starts out having headlights and taillights made out of sticker decals, but from Cars 2 and onward, he’s replaced them with actual working lights (though that didn't stop Sally from calling him "Stickers").
  • Frozen:
  • In How to Train Your Dragon 2 the kids had their outfits changed from the previous film, with one reason being they're now young adults instead of teens (which can be seen in the poster above). Hiccup still has a green undershirt, but instead of a furry vest over it, he now has leather armor. Astrid still has her armored shoulders, fuzzy boots, and Lady Legionnaire Wear, but has even more Pelts of the Barbarian added.
  • In The Incredibles Edna Mode patches up Mr. Incredible's outfit a couple times and then makes him a new outfit, this time Red instead of blue. She also makes matching outfits for the whole family, which also updates Elastigirl's costume.
  • Master Shifu gets a new green robe in Kung Fu Panda 2 to reflect his position as the new Grandmaster, as well as his growth into a more calm and relaxed individual. Master Tigress also gets a new tunic in Kung Fu Panda 3, though this doesn't seem to have any special significance outside of the passage of time.

    Film - Live Action 
  • In The Dark Knight the studio updated the costume from Batman Begins with sleeker design, most notably separating the cowl from the neck, allowing Batman to finally turn his head.
  • Costumes are frequently updated between Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. One change that had attention called to it was Captain America getting a modern replacement for his old WWII uniform in The Avengers. Other especially noticeable ones were War Machine getting a red, white, and blue paint job, along with a name change to "Iron Patriot" in Iron Man 3 (and then reverting back afterwards) and The Falcon painting his wing pack red and white by the time he joined the Avengers.

    Live Action TV 
  • Arrowverse shows often update their heroes' costumes near the start of a new season. For instance, for the 2015 season (Arrow's fourth and The Flash's second), the Flash got a new white Chest Insignia and Green Arrow got a whole new sleeveless suit closer to the source material.
  • Red Dwarf: In the first two seasons, Rimmer wears a smart khaki Space Corps uniform and Lister a stained, shabby version of the same uniform. In season three, Lister is given his biker leathers and Rimmer a shiny green suit that fans dubbed "Captain Emerald". Rimmer's look changes to a red version of a similar suit in season 4, then a quilted version in red or blue from season 5 onward (later retconned with the explanation that blue means Hard Light), back to the Space Corps uniform in season 8, and eventually a blue version of the "Captain Emerald" suit in season 10. The Cat is the exception, as he gets a new suit in every episode.
  • In the first few seasons of Power Rangers, the members would get their suits updated along with their powers, to keep up with the concurrent Super Sentai. Power Rangers in Space was the last series to do this. The series past that just had different teams, with the exception of Power Rangers Megaforce which had a suit change due to briefly returning to adapting multiple Sentai into a single storyline.
  • In Star Trek the Starfleet uniforms have had lots of changes over time.
    • This started with the primary color shirts and mini dresses in Star Trek: The Original Series.
    • Star Trek: The Motion Picture had Space Clothes, while further movies had the maroon jackets and slacks in most of the movies (which would remain the standard until about a decade or so before The Next Generation takes place).
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation had black and primary colors tights and jumpsuits. Also the red and gold color coding was switched from the original series.
      • The jumpsuits went through some changes between seasons as well, mostly for the comfort of the actors: The original one-piece jumpsuit was notoriously uncomfortable to wear, to the point where Patrick Stewart ended up suffering from back pain and was almost forced to leave the show; his subtly different variant of the standard officer's uniform (explained away in-universe as denoting a vessel's commanding officer) is even looser-fitting than the reworked standard uniforms as a result.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager have mostly black jumpsuits with primary colors on the shoulders.
    • In Star Trek: Enterprise the original Starfleet uniforms were blue jumpsuits with gold trimmings.
    • Star Trek: Discovery keeps the blue uniforms, but they're now two-piece and have a gold or silver trim.
  • In late-series Smallville Clark Kent finally becomes a bona fide superhero instead of a guy helping people out, and he starts out with the moniker "The Blur" (from his Super Speed) with an all-black ensemble that includes a black T-shirt with the House of El insignia in white, black pants, and a black Badass Longcoat. In season 10 he transitions to a version of this uniform colored blue and red. The classic caped uniform and "Superman" moniker don't show up until the Grand Finale.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The most significant example in is the Cybermen, who have had a succession of very different designs over the years. Major redesigns occurred in "The Moonbase" (replacement of the original Body Horror-inflected look from "The Tenth Planet" with a cleaner robotic appearance), "The Invasion" (introduction of the "square-headed" or "earmuff" head design), "Earthshock" (replacement of the skin-tight appearance of the outer suit of earlier designs with a baggier look reminiscent of military combat fatigues), "Rise of the Cybermen" (the cloth-like outer suit of earlier designs replaced with a segmented, hard-shelled armor), and "Nightmare in Silver" (now looking almost like knock-offs of Iron Man).
      • This is lampshaded in "The Doctor Falls", in which the independently-created Cybermen on the Mondasian Generation Ship evolve over the course of the episode from a version of the original "Tenth Planet" design, to the RTD-era "Cybus" design, to the Moffat-era design.
    • The Doctor's examples have been more subtle but have frequently been associated with tonal shifts in the series and characterisation:
      • In the Third Doctor's first season, he wore a black jacket. The various jewel-coloured velvet jackets that the character is more usually associated with were introduced in his second season, as part of the general Lighter and Softer switch at the time.
      • In the Fourth Doctor's final season, he moved to a more subdued all-burgundy version of his iconic woolen overcoat, scarf, and hat. This was largely due to the tastes of the new producer, but also fit with the sombre tone of the season.
      • In the Seventh Doctor's final season, he occasionally switched his cream-coloured jacket for a dark brown one, which again fit the darker tone of both the stories and the characterisation.
      • In the Eleventh Doctor's final half-season following the departure of his long-term companion Amy, he switched his previous tweed jacket and shirt for a more elaborate and more serious-looking Victorian style three-piece suit and overcoat. Again, this marked a shift in characterisation.
  • Daredevil (2015): Matt Murdock's outfit in season 1 is all black, with a black mask pulled down over the top of his head. After getting cut up by Nobu, he gets a new armored suit courtesy of Melvin Potter, in time for his final takedown of Wilson Fisk. Over the course of season 2, Matt gets some extra additions from Melvin, such as finally getting his billy clubs in the season 2 finale when visiting to get a new armored suit for Elektra.
  • Wonder Woman: Despite the material being "indestructible" ("The New, Original Wonder Woman"), Diana's Wonder Woman outfit changed dramatically from her WWII adventures to modern times.

    Video Games 
  • BlazBlue: Starting in the third game, Noel ditches her NOL army uniform (back-baring minidress with detached sleeves and a beret) for a more casual one (a back and midriff-baring tanktop under a capelet, hair freely down with hairpins, gun holsters on her back).
    • Like Noel, Makoto also gets a new outfit to replace her NOL uniform. Unlike Noel this outfit is only visible during story mode and in one pre-fight intro. For actual gameplay she sticks to her regular battle outfit.
  • Since the companions in Dragon Age II are restricted to their personal (upgradable) outfits, their appearance only changes after significant events in their respective character arcs.
  • Dynasty Warriors features this in spades. There's been a total of 9 main iterations of the game, and every returning character gets a redesign for the next game. This also extends to the other sub-series and spinoffs that have more than one entry, such as the Samurai Warriors games.
  • The King of Fighters: Many outfits are era-specific; e.g. Orochi Saga Kyo wears a school uniform with headband while NESTS Kyo wears jeans and white jacket without headband. Other examples include Ralf and Clark, who at first just look like headswaps of each other, but later evolved in different ways; King and Benimaru, who has the same case as Kyo; and Robert and Athena, who change clothes practically every installment.
  • Klonoa wears a new outfit in nearly every game in his series. The Video Game Remake of the first game, through use of And Your Reward Is Clothes, allows the player to choose from most of his past outfits to wear in-game.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Remakes of the 2D games will often update the designs of the characters to go with the updated graphics, in many cases bringing them in line with their official artwork. Examples include the Black Wizard, who goes from having a long robe and exposed face to a more ornate version of the face-obscuring Black Mage outfit; Firion, who was originally a slightly changed Fighter from the first game before getting redesigned to something closer to his official art; and Cecil, whose Paladin form got a design based on his official art...except for his in-battle sprites in the PSP remake, which for some reason stick mostly to his design from the SNES original, creating inconsistency with his field sprites.
    • Every returning character in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years gets an updated design. Some modifications are minor, such as Cecil getting a slightly different hairstyle; others are more major, such as Yang who looks like he's wearing half of a coat.
    • In the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, several characters have updated designs, such as:
      • Zack in Crisis Core after Angeal's death
      • Cloud, Tifa, Barret in Advent Children
      • Yuffie in Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus
    • While changing costumes is a gameplay element in Final Fantasy X-2, Yuna and Rikku both have new default outfits, Yuna's being particularly notable for being both a Significant Wardrobe Shift and a Fanservice Pack.
    • In Dissidia: Final Fantasy, many characters, especially those from the 2D games, are designed according to official artwork rather than their original in-game appearances, which are sometimes relegated to alternate outfits.
    • During the course of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy, Lightning, Serah, Snow, Hope, Vanille, and Noel undergo noticeable costumes changes that are closely tied to the respective game's plot, and their character development. Some changes are minor such as Noel's darker color scheme and Vanille's new headdress in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII; while other changes are major such as Lightning and Snow, who get a new design for each game. Major changes also apply to Hope and Serah in Final Fantasy XIII-2, with the former becoming the 24-year-old leader of the Academy and the latter being upgraded from schoolgirl to time travelling warrior.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Sora, Riku, and Kairi each go through design changes as the series progresses and they get older. However, Sora has the most designs to date as his appearance changes accordingly depending on what world he visits in order to "protect the world order."
    • The Final Fantasy crossover characters get less drastic, but still noticeable changes as well, such as Leon's jacket getting swapped for a vest.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Despite being different characters, each of the Links' outfit changes have been very minor compared to the others, with one of the biggest alterations being chainmail under the cloth in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. The biggest change was in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, where his tunic is blue and he has no hat.
    • Princess Zelda originally had a pink dress with puff sleeves, and a wide bell skirt that had white ribbons and bows near the hem. This only lasted the first couple of games. In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past she had a white dress with some purple trimmings and gold accessories. This would be the first form of her standard dress, which would evolve over further games.
  • Mega Man Zero: Zero in the Mega Man X era has enlarged forearms and forelegs, Power Crystals on his chest, white gloves, and shoulderguards. This era's Zero is slimmer, black Fingerless Gloves, different helmet design, and no shoulderguards.
  • In the Monkey Island series, main character Guybrush Threepwood has undergone several costume changes throughout the games. In the second game Guybrush grew a beard and added a slightly oversized blue coat to his standard breeches and shirt ensemble, in his attempt to look more mature. In the third game he lost the coat and the beard. In the fourth game he changes to a red coat. Tales of Monkey Island returns to the blue coat, but he has a goatee instead of a full beard.
  • Persona 4: Arena and Ultimax take place a couple years after Persona 3, so the characters from that game have different clothes. Yukari now is an Toku actress, so she wears pink tights, while Mitsuru wears a white fur coat to reflect her status as the head of a major company.
  • In the Street Fighter games Chun-Li started out with a blue Mini Dress Of Power, while some later games (notably, the prequel series Street Fighter Alpha) swapped it with blue tights (though still had some of the trimmings of the original outfit).
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • In the first game, Mario had a brown shirt and red overalls and Luigi had a green shirt and white overalls, though promotional artwork showed both with red and green overalls with blue shirts, respectively. Later games took the promo art and swapped the colors, starting with the cover and instructions for Super Mario Bros. 3, though Super Mario Bros. 2 previously used those colors in-game.note  Super Mario World was the first game to give Luigi darker blue overalls than Mario, though here, Mario's were light blue, while Luigi's were indigo. This didn't happen again until Luigi's Mansion, where Luigi had navy blue overalls, while Mario's were the usual shade of blue, and this time, it stuck.
    • Princess Peach has always had her pink dress with the tiny puff sleeves and bell skirt (though the limitations of the first game made it appear white with red trim). Just graphical increases allowed more details to be shown, and then added.
  • Super Smash Bros. games after the first frequently add more detail to characters than the original games showed. For example, Peach's outfit became a full Pimped-Out Dress with extra overskirts and lace trimmings. It was at its peak in Brawl. The collective fourth game with its deliberately more stylized look than Brawl's regined it back in, though it was still lacier than in her home series.
  • In the Japanese version of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Isabelle wears a festive kimono on New Year's Day (in the localized versions, she just contiues to wear her New Year's Eve tuxedo). Then Happy Home Designer and amiibo Festival (which feature the kimono in all versions) came along and updated that kimono to be bigger.

    Web Animation 
  • In the Time Skip between the end of Volume 3 and the beginning of Volume 4 of RWBY virtually everyone went through this trope, showing their change through those events.

    Web Original 
  • In Worm Taylor starts her cape career with a mask, body armor, and black bodysuit. She later substitutes a skirt when her legs are burned and keeps it alongside the leggings once healed. Later still she adds a shawl rather than going for a full cape.
  • Nick Klein, the narrator of Legion of Nothing inherits powered armor from his grandfather along with the identity of the Rocket. He keeps on tinkering and improving the armor throughout the series, with stuff from weaponised lasers and nanotechnology to futuristic alien tech.

    Webcomics 
  • The Legend of Maxx uses this extensively. Almost all of the main characters have gone through at least one costume change since the comic began:
    • Maxx changes out of his plain purple shirt in favor of a set of Shadow armor as part of his (fake) Face–Heel Turn.
    • Cyril acquires a fancy blue robe, made for him by Maxx, upon becoming a wizard.
    • Hannah changes from her nurse's outfit into a set of fur armor after being taught how to fight by the undead vikings.
    • Even Aley arguably goes through this when his/her fairy fuzz layer is torn off by Hannah early in the comic.
  • The Order of the Stick has Elan swap his bard armor and tunic for a blue swashbuckling ensemble when he takes up the dashing swordsman class, and Haley switches her brown Bare Your Midriff outfit for some leather armor to spruce up her look after her Traumatic Haircut.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius every main character kept the same outfit except for Libby, who switched from a ponytail and blue dress to dreadlocks and a pink shirt to coincide with her Promotion to Opening Titles. The change occurred in the episode where she impersonated an Egyptian queen and decided to the new look and change her clothes with it.
    • Jimmy went from a red and white striped t-shirt, blue shorts, and brown shoes in the pilot shorts, to a red t-shirt with a yellow atom symbol in the tv shorts and the movie, and finally long blue jeans and white sneakers in the tv show.
  • Code Lyoko redesigned the battle outfits of all of the Lyoko-Warriors halfway through. The most drastic change was Yumi, whose outfit went from geisha-inspired to ninja-esque.
  • The third season of Avatar: The Last Airbender has the gaang go undercover in the Fire Nation wearing their mostly-red clothing, as opposed to the outfits that reflected their place of origin that they wore previously.
  • In the fourth season of The Legend of Korra, Tenzin and his family have traded their traditional Air Nomad robes for modern wingsuits designed by Asami, which lets them glide for longer distances. This also reflects Character Development on Tenzin's part, as during previous seasons he tried to hold up all the Air Nation traditions his father told him about, even when they didn't seem to fit into in the modern world anymore.
  • In later seasons of Static Shock, Static trades in his white t-shirt with black Chest Insignia for a sleeveless black tee with a yellow insignia, which he wears without the jacket in warm weather. He also ditches his yellow goggles for blue-tinted Cool Shades. The overall changes make his costume look Darker and Edgier. Static also used to fly around on manhole covers and various round objects before Richie developed a retractable flight disc for him.
    • Richie wore a simple t-shirt in the first season, but switched to a hoodie with the same design afterwards. Later, he reached superhero potential like Virgil due to realizing he had slowly developed Super Intelligence and designed a costumed identity, deeming himself Gear.
  • In Steven Universe, when gems regenerate their physical body after it's damaged, their new form can include a change to their otherwise Limited Wardrobe. For the Crystal Gems, this has resulted in one of them changing outfit Once a Season (twice in the double length first season): first Pearl (shifted several colors, changed from a translucent to a solid skirt, added a Giant Waist Ribbon), then Garnet (changed her primary color from red to purple), then Amethyst twice in a row (first switching the white and purple halves of her clothes, then changing to a white shirt with purple and black pants). This also causes more subtle changes to the fusions those gems make up—Opal (Pearl+Amethyst) changed outfit once when Pearl did, and again after Amethyst did.
  • Since it is Merchandise-Driven, Ninjago will periodically update the look of the characters to reflect their new outfits for every season in the show.
  • In the fourth season of ChalkZone, Rudy and Penny's outfits changed slightly, though the same color schemes were utilized. Rudy switched from his olive and light green shirt to an all-olive green shirt with a pocket in front, and his pants became longer. Penny switched from a shirt to a tank top and switched out her sneakers for loafers, also losing her socks.
  • When Doug switched from Nickelodeon to Disney, some of the characters' outfits were changed slightly. Justified as the Disney incarnation takes place a year after Nickelodeon's. Doug wears a slightly different green sweatervest (though it's near identical to his first one), his shirt has longer sleeves, and his sneakers are blueish-black instead of red. Skeeter went from wearing a red t-shirt with a yellow lightning bolt on it to a red long-sleeved shirt with a yellow "O" on it, as well as adding a purple vest. Patti wears a longer version of her shirt from the Nick version, swapping her skirt for pants the same color, as well as switching out her sneakers for loafers (also the same color). She also got a haircut and began wearing earrings. The trim on Beebe's dress went from pink to white, and she began wearing dark purple leggings underneath. She also went from wearing yellow shoes with pink socks to white high heels with no socks (or white boots in the movie and most episodes taking place in the wintertime). Roger went from wearing a leather jacket to a leather vest and has a slightly different hairstyle. Judy switched her purple sweater dress and black long-sleeved shirt for a purple button-down shirt.
  • Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie has all of the main ensemble featured in slightly updated and spunkier-looking versions of their classic appearances, because the movie takes place one year after the original series and they're all embarking on a major adventure.
  • Oddly enough, this happened in reverse to Bonkers when the titular character got his tail stuck in a patrol car's grill during his switch from being Lucky's partner to Miranda's in "New Partners On the Block". When he finally pulled it loose, the fur had peeled back like a banana, and that look remained with him for the rest of the show, signifying his change into a bumbling fool. The really odd thing about all this? The episodes where Lucky is partnered with Bonkers were made after the ones with Miranda, and the show retroactively bridged them.
  • Donald Duck's sailor hat was originally white with a blue rim before switching to the more familiar blue hat with black rim. As time went on, the four buttons on his shirt disappeared and his bowtie switched from black to red.
  • The main Winx Club characters, the Winx and the Specialists, wear the same thing every day but get a new outfit almost every season, and for special events like a dance or beach day. And of course, after Charmix, which just adds a little charm and purse to their transformation, all subsequent Frills of Justice are completely new outfits and wings. The Specialists also get an upgraded battle outfit after season 5 or so.
  • Popeye: In the theatrical shorts, Popeye and Bluto's old-fashioned captain outfits were replaced by Navy whites with the coming of World War II, and they lasted well beyond the war. Also in the 1940s, Olive's saggy shirt and skirt became more prim, and her galoshes were replaced by high-heels.
  • The Loud House: Lori's rival, Carol Pingrey, initially wore blue in "Picture Perfect" to highlight how similar she and Lori look. When she reappeared in "Selfie Improvement", her outfit became purple.
  • Invader Zim: On the show, Gaz wore a black dress and a skull necklace, but in the comic continuation wears a light green shirt with an 8-bit bunny skull and a black skirt. This is to reflect attempts to flesh out her character a bit, with focus on her gamer habits, and move away from making her look Goth (which was apparently never the original intent).

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