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Custom Uniform

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Conveniently color-coded uniforms that no-one else in the school is shown wearing.

"Careful, he's dressed weird. That means he's important."
Caerryn army mage, Crimson Flag

Characters who are meant to stand out in some way in a military, school or other place will wear a "uniform" that is different from everyone else. This is separate from rank although it may be implied that they're too badass for anyone to complain. Also different from a practical reason to be dressed different such as fireproof clothing for a pyrokinetic army. When somebody sympathetic is doing this and getting away with it, it's almost certainly a symptom of Mildly Military. In a non-mild military, it's a way of showing the character's contempt for regulations — probably marking them as an enormous asshole who's too connected to discipline, unless the army deserves contempt.

This may also be a reason for most cop shows to center on plainclothes detectives instead of uniform officers, as even high-ranking brass on the detective side only wear uniforms under specific circumstances. On the other hand, detectives in media tend to select "plain clothes" with enough similarities to be uniform, making them easily identifiable before they identify themselves, and justifying enough customization to reflect character traits and investigative style.


Compare Transfer Student Uniforms, where the character still stands out, but from wearing the uniform of a previous school or station, and Bling of War where a military uniform is impractically fancy. Also compare Non-Uniform Uniform, for modifications to a uniform that's still technically within the uniform's guidelines. For a specific variety of Custom Uniform where the differences are intended to point up the wearer's attractiveness, see Custom Uniform of Sexy.

Often the reason behind this is to get Distinctive Appearances for any characters of importance — in reality, the entire point of a uniform is so that everyone's equal and the same, which obviously has undesirable effects for a story's main characters. As a result, it's a common version of Flashy Protagonists, Bland Extras.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Shugo Chara!: Amu has one with a slightly higher skirt, a loosened tie and a black jacket and shirt combination, complete with "x" hair-clips, of course, rather than the usual Seiyo girl's uniform, which consists of a black jumper, a relatively long skirt, and a straighter, less crooked tie. She also wears legwarmers in the same red tartan as the skirt, something everyone else lacks. The other Royal Guardians probably also qualify, as the Royal Cape seems to be the only constant (mostly).
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • In spite of being employed by and holding a rank in the state military, Edward Elric doesn't wear the standard military uniform, instead traveling in a distinctive red coat. This may be because he never actually joined the army as a soldier, so he wasn't issued a military uniform (the confusion arises from the fact that the title of state alchemist is equivalent to major, but they aren't part of the chain of command).
    • The Amestrian military also seems to have unusually lax standards for cutting and styling hair.
  • In Naruto, none of the main and few of the secondary characters wear the uniforms of their villages. The closest thing to uniformity is that everyone does wear a forehead protector with the symbol of their village somewhere on their body. After the timeskip Lee and Shikamaru wear the uniform's flak vest, but have customized the rest of the outfit.
    • Many adults also have custom uniforms to a degree, such as Shikaku's torn sleeves and the Badass Longcoat of the Yondaime.
    • However, when they all go off to battle in the Fourth Ninja War everyone dons the uniform (except for Naruto, who isn't there).
  • Ranma ½:
    • Once he starts attending Fūrinkan High School, Ranma never wears a school uniform in either the manga or the anime — barring the few times his female form wore a girl's uniform as a disguise. He only wore a uniform normally in flashbacks, when he was at his old boys-only junior high.
    • Tatewaki Kunō rarely wears a school uniform, either, opting instead for his kendo outfit.
    • Ukyō Kuonji wears a school uniform, but it's the boy's uniform from her old school, not a Fūrinkan High uniform. (In the anime, she puts on the standard girl's uniform on two occasions.)
  • In The Prince of Tennis, Ryoma Echizen wears black shorts as opposed to the customary white shorts. Tooyama Kintaro also wears a leopard print tank instead of the uniform shirt.
  • The Principality of Zeon in the original Mobile Suit Gundam did not have color-coded uniforms by rank, but the Ace Pilots did get to wear special uniforms, which usually matched their Ace Custom mecha. And each of the ruling Zabi family had their own take on a special purple uniform for formal occasions.
    • This is mentioned to be a serious problem for the Zeon side, as it basically means "individual glory > teamwork" in the worst cases. Specifically, ace pilots can do what they want within limits, and this applies retroactively.
    • The mostly-civilian White Base crew had a few custom uniforms too, mostly because they're handmade stopgaps.
  • It should be noted that the AEUG of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ actually didn't have a dress code (having originated as a rebel group of former Earth Federation and Zeon soldiers, along with whatever civilian volunteers they picked up along the way), so everyone wore a custom uniform, no matter what it was. Bright Noa actually stood out because he wore his standard EFF uniform, as it happened to be what he was wearing when the Argama rescued him and he joined up.
    • Paptimus Scirocco, The Man Behind the Man of Zeta Gundam is not officially a member of the Titans task force, and his uniform shows this off, being the Titans uniform but in white and gold rather than black and red. Two other pilots, Psycho for Hire Yazan Gable and artificial Super Soldier Rosamia Badam, also get their own unique uniforms in yellow/black and purple/red respectively. Two Federation pilots attached to the Titans, Lady of War Lila Milla Rira and Reasonable Authority Figure Buran Blutarch, also get custom uniforms (dark red and sleeveless and black/blue respectively) despite not being full-fledged Titans.
    • ZZ starts out with most Neo Zeon forces wearing standard Zeon uniforms, with Knight in Shining Armor Mashymre Cello the only one shown with any embellishments, and Cloud Cuckoo Lander Chara Soon foregoing a uniform altogether. Once Dragon with an Agenda Glemy Toto ditches his plain uniform for a custom armored one prominently featuring his personal crest, though, custom uniforms start spreading across the officer corps like wildfire.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack trimmed down on the custom uniforms a bit for both factions. Amuro Ray and Kayra Su wear a blue variant of the standard EFF/Londo Bell uniform, as a Call-Back to the blue uniforms from the original series, while Chan Agi gets a miniskirt with her uniform. For Neo Zeon, Nanai Miguel eschews the standard military shirt and pants in favor of a collared shirt and tie and a knee-length skirt. Ace Pilots Gyunei Guss and Rezin Schneider have the standard uniforms in their personal colors, and Quess Paraya receives a uniform in Char's red. Char himself has a custom dress uniform as well as his standard uniform.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, ZAFT uniforms are Color-Coded for Your Convenience to differentiate between their respective wearers' ranks (like, red is for pilot aces, black is for ship captains, white is for squad commanders, etc.). However, very cool pilots receive a special right to use a uniform of any color, like orange or white without being a commander. Andy "Desert Tiger" Waltfeld takes advantage of this to indulge his preference for a tiger motif.
    • More subtle variations appear in the Earth Alliance uniforms. Most of them are white with greyish sides and black or greyish shoulders, but a few officers — most notably the villainous William Sutherland and Natarle Badgiruel following her promotion to captain of the Archangel's opposite number — have black shoulders and black sides, and The Captain of the Archangel is the only OMNI officer to have a uniform with red shoulders.
    • And in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, Lunamaria Hawke wears the red ZAFT uniform with a very short skirt and Zettai Ryouiki instead of trousers. The three Extended pilots wear even further-customized versions of the lowest-rank OMNI uniforms, and Neo Roanoke, as Captain of the 81st Autonomous Mobile Group, wears a version of the OMNI officer's uniform that is dark grey and black instead of white and grey.
    • Also nearly every named pilot has a custom pilot suit of some design. Rey wears a white ZAFT pilot suit for despite being a redcoat, and Heine has an Orange suit of the same color as his Prototype GOUF with a Faith emblem on it. Athrun also has a purple flight suit for some reason but it was just given to him when he rejoined Zaft with no hint that he specifically wanted it. Shinn and Luna wear the Elite pilot suits and Shinn later gets a Faith emblem on his. The only named character with a generic suit is Dearka (in SEED he wore the red "elite" uniform and pilot suit; his now wearing the same uniform as ordinary grunts implies that he was demoted as punishment for having defected during the previous war). On the Orb side Kira, Athrun and Cagalli have a specially colored Orb pilot suit and Mwu gets one with the same markings as his old EA Hawk suit. And Andrew Waltfeld gets a tiger striped pilot suit of undetermined design.
  • Unusually for a Gundam series, Gundam 00 mostly subverts this trope throughout the first season. Only Soma gets a custom pilot suit and that is necessary to stop her Quantum Brainwaves from affecting her in the same way Allelujah's does him.
    • It gets a bit looser in the second series with Graham's "Mr. Bushido" attire and the Innovator's colour coded helmets. Celestial Being also get a uniform but each member has a different colour scheme and some further customise their outfits (Ian, Lasse, Mileina, Linda).
  • In Boys over Flowers, as well as the anime and drama that are based on it, the four richest and most popular kids in the school, the F4, never wear their uniforms.
  • In One Piece, the higher ranks in the Marines have more or less free-form uniforms, as long as the officer's coat is somehow present.
  • Apparently, Joker and Wendy in Read or Die are so powerful they don't need to wear uniforms while ordering people around.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena:
    • In the anime and manga, Utena Tenjou refuses to wear the standard girls' school uniform on the ground the rules don't specify who has to wear which. However, she doesn't wear a boy's uniform either, but a modified jacket from the boys' uniform options plus red bicycle shorts from the gym uniform. In the manga, a teacher tries to call her out on this, but Utena quotes the student handbook back at her: the only formal requirement is that she select from the list of school-approved garments. It doesn't say that she can't combine pieces from different uniform sets, or that approved pieces can't be custom-tailored.
    • At the beginning of Adolescence of Utena, Utena wears a full boy's uniform with close-cropped hair. The uniform is a black-and-white version of the teal boys' uniform with a matching hat none of the boys wear. It may be her previous school's uniform, but what kind of school would have fancier uniforms than friggin' Ohtori Academy? Utena's actually mistaken for a boy until her jacket comes open during a fight.
  • Hokuto from Cromartie High School wears a white uniform instead of the ordinary black due to him having been mistaken about the school he transferred to... He now wears it to stand out of the "normal" people (he gave Mechazawa a white uniform as a birthday gift, too). Freddie and the Gorilla don't wear uniforms either [the former dresses to reference Freddie Mercury, the latter is nude presumably because that's how gorillas usually dress], but nobody knows whether they're actually students or not.
  • Seras Victoria of Hellsing and her blue (or khaki in the manga/OAVs) uniform with that crazy microskirt and black (or white in the manga/OAVs) stockings.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX:
    • Manjoume still wore his North School uniform even after he returned to Duel Academia because he considered the red uniform from the Osiris dorm humiliating.
    • In contrast, Rei wears her Osiris Red jacket even when in Obelisk Blue, instead of Obelisk Blue's original girl uniform. Additionally, although no other female Osiris Red is seen in the series, her entire Osiris Red uniform after she is officially accepted into the school, is different from the standard one seen in Yu-Gi-Oh! Online.
    • The exchange students (Edo, Johan, Jim, O'Brien and Amon) do not seem to wear uniforms at all.
  • Red Garden. The Absurdly Powerful Student Council seems to dictate dress code down to the length of hair, but the main characters seem rather exempt.
  • Team Rocket's Terrible Trio in Pokémon don't use the traditional black uniform that normal mooks use. Instead they made their own white uniform to stand out.
  • Mendou in Urusei Yatsura wears a different uniform just to show off how rich he is.
  • Each member of the Moon/Galaxy Angel and Rune Angels wears a very differentiated uniform, with the only common element being varied pieces of outerwear with a shared color scheme and military-style detailing. Other members of the White Moon militia wear matching uniforms like normal people. The two most notable cases are Ranpha, who wears a qipao and high heels, and Anise, who wears an almost bra-like tube top, pants, and sandals. Both have the quasi-uniform outerwear in the form of vests, but Ranpha usually doesn't wear hers.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Sailors Uranus and Neptune are the only senshi to wear short gloves rather than elbow-length ones. Given their Aloof Ally status, this sets them further apart from the others.
    • Creator Naoko Takeuchi originally intended for all the senshi to have wildly different uniforms, including masks, but this was shot down by anime sentaification considerations. Evidence: Sailor V, Sailor Moon early manga chapters (Moon had a mask for a chapter, Jupiter had a belt, etc).
    • In the final arc of the Manga, all the girls receive a final power up giving them uniforms that are completely identical apart from color and hairstyle (even the unique earrings and shoes that the second set of uniforms let them keep are now consistent, though Jupiter, Venus and Chibi-Moon do get to keep the items worn in their hair) — except Eternal Sailor Moon, whose uniform now has massive bow-shaped angel wings in place of the old back bow, an extra layer to her skirt (all the other senshi have two; Moon has three), a front bow stylized as another set of four wings, a total lack of a tiara that reveals the crescent moon on her head, little wing-like accessories on her gloves, and several heart — and crescent-moon-shaped decorations while all the other girls have stars. Even Chibi-Moon, who in her Super form wore a pink version of Super Sailor Moon's outfit, gets the same uniform as everyone else, right down to her brooch being a star.
    • Makoto/Jupiter wears the uniform from her old school, but unlike a normal Transfer Student Uniforms case, she has the excuse of the new school not having a uniform in her size. Once she enters highschool, however, she's able to find a normal Juuban uniform that fits her.
  • Partial example in Lyrical Nanoha. The Barrier Jackets of most named characters are unique and very different from those worn by the generic Space-Time Administration Bureau combat mage. However, when they're not in battle, they wear the standard military uniform of their branch.
    • Nanoha tends to wear her instructor squad uniform most of the time, and only wears her Section 6 uniform on official business. Signum and Vita occasionally wear the "first class undersuit" as a less restrictive counterpart to the female uniform.
    • After joining the Saint Church, Sister Sein wears a nun outfit with short sleeves, for an unspecified reason relating to the rules.
  • Several characters in My-HiME have customized uniforms, mostly the head members of the student council, who wear different colored uniforms, including Shizuru (khaki) Haruka (green) and Reito (black). Natsuki also wears a hooded white sweatshirt with her uniform instead of the usual blouse, and Haruka's blouse is short-sleeved when she wears it with a vest.
    • In My-Otome, Arika's uniform has pink trim, unlike the green in most Coral uniforms. The top Pearl wears a white uniform instead of gray, with red trim instead of yellow. Mai, however, wears bright orange trim with her Coral and Pearl uniforms.
  • Alice L. Malvin from Pumpkin Scissors wears a yellow uniform while everyone else in the army wears an olive one.
  • In Strike Witches, the 501st Joint Fighter Wing is a temporary multi-national unit, so the characters all wear the uniforms of their home services. This still doesn't explain why Minna, Gertrude, and Erica wear different style uniforms despite all of them being from the same unit, or why in the anime Yoshika just fights in her school clothes.
    • They're all from the same country, not unit. Minna wears the old Model 1936 tunic while the younger Gertrude wears a later M42 with fewer pockets and no pleats, while Erica wears a flight jacket instead.
    • According to the official website, they're all from the Karlsland Luftwaffe, with Minna from JG3 and Erica and Gertrud from JG52.
    • Further explained in fanbook that states Karlsland Luftwaffe does not supply its officers with uniforms but allocate portion of their pay as "uniform fee" as par real life German Luftwaffe. This means most of the officer's uniforms were custom tailored, and so are the Witches' uniforms. On the other hand, Liberion armed forces which supply the uniforms have very consistent uniforms on the Witches regardless of their service branch.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: In the Part 3, Jotaro wears a heavily modified version of his school's male uniform. He even hires a tailor to make an exact copy of it when the original is destroyed in a fight.
    • This carries into part 4, where the main characters all use their school uniforms customized with Bling symbols (with the exception of Koichi).
  • The Imperial Fleet Admirals of the Legend of Galactic Heroes OVA wear capes as part of their uniform. Each Fleet Admiral has his own color.
  • Bleach:
    • Although there seems to be a base design for the arrancar uniform, some of the personal tailoring of the uniforms are so extreme they can look like a different uniform entirely with nothing more than colour scheme in common with the base uniform.
    • Among Soul Society, anyone not wearing a bog-standard uniform is either a captain or lieutenant (barring Yumichika and Ikkaku). Variations range from sleevless haoris or miniskirts to additional accessories such as a scarf or additional kimono worn over their uniform.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Toji Suzuhara is always wearing a track suit instead of the school uniform.
    • Only two NERV personnel are shown to deviate from the standard light-brown uniform with triangular crest: Misato with her red jacket and Ritsuko with her labcoat. Kaji and Fuyutsuki merely wear a dark-brown version, while Gendo has a black jacket (which, unlike the other characters, he habitually wears unbuttoned). Given Kaji and Fuyutsuki are particularly high in NERV command, and Gendo is even higher than they are, it's possible the color change is somehow indicative of rank.
  • In Code Geass, all Black Knights have an identical uniform, except for Zero and C.C., who aren't exactly Black Knight regulars. In R2, Kallen, Tohdoh and the Holy Swords have a unique pilot suit... which has custom colors for each of them. And also, Lelouch and C.C. also don't wear standard pilot suits — C.C. wears her normal dress, and Lelouch wears a special pilot suit of a different cut than Kallen and Tohdoh's, in Zero's black and gold color scheme.
    • Suzaku also possess a white pilot suit which is different to that of regular soldiers. How fortunate he is that the Knights of Round ALSO have white uniforms that are different from that of their subordinates.
    • Viletta's day uniform as a Britannian Knight of Honor probably isn't regulation. Jeremiah also wears a different uniform, although he gets away with it by being nobility.
  • Sket Dance:
    • Shinzou, the Kendo club captain, is constantly cosplaying as a samurai, so that even when he's in school he wears the traditional samurai outfit instead of the school uniform. In one episode he is even seen getting chastised by the martinet Student Council vice-president for doing this.
    • Also, the main character Bossun, who almost always wear knee-length shorts instead of the uniform pants, even in winter. Gets lampshaded when he wear both shorts and boots in the snow, and Switch quickly calls it the Zettai Ryouiki of winter.
  • Blue Exorcist has Paladin Arthur August Angel, who has an extremely fancy uniform.
    Rin: ...when I'm also a paladin, it'd suck to hafta wear such lame-ass clothes [as yours].
    Angel: Unfortunately for you, I had these clothes made-to-order.
  • In Aria the Scarlet Ammo, Riko modified her school uniform to be more Lolita-like.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, the Demon Slayer Corps wear black gakuran with black hakama tucked into their sandals as standard uniforms. Many members add their own flourishes to their uniforms:
    • For the main characters, Tanjiro wears a green-and-black checkered haori over his uniform, while Zenitsu wears a yellow/orange haori with white triangles. Inosuke, on the other hand, deviates a lot from the standard uniform, wearing a belt made from animal furs, toeless and heelless kneesocks with sandles, no shirt, and a boar mask.
    • Kanao wears a knee-length pleated skirt and knee-high boots instead of the hakama and sandals.
    • Muichirou Tokitou's gakuran has wide Japanese-style sleeves and he wears his hakama loose; since he's the Mist Hashira, he prefers wearing long clothing that covers his limbs so his Mist Breathing techniques can be more effective.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • Generally, within any given team, the magical uniforms can vary in (besides just color) shoes, arm wear, skirts, sleeves, earrings, and head wear.
    • Itsuki from Heart Catch Pretty Cure wears a white version of the male uniform, not just to show her status as granddaughter of the principal and Student Council President, but also to emphasize her Bifauxnen nature.
    • In Smile Pretty Cure!, Akane, Yayoi, Nao and Reika all wear differently-colored neckties, along with other additions to their school uniforms that no one else does. Akane wears a sweatshirt tied around her waist, Yayoi wears a large sweater, Nao wears a blazer and Reika wears another shirt. And it's all in their Cure colors.
  • Yusuke Urameshi from YuYu Hakusho wears a green school uniform instead of the standard blue uniform. His reputation as a violent delinquent keeps the staff from trying too hard to enforce the dress code on him.
  • Mysterious Joker: Momo wears a pink variation on what appears to be the standard uniform for policewomen in the setting.
  • In Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!, the Absurdly Powerful Student Council wear distinctive white-and-gold gakuran.
  • In World Trigger, all Border teams have their custom uniforms that range from jerseys, long coats, suits, to catsuits. A-ranked and ex A-ranked teams have their custom emblems. However, trainees are not afforded such luxury and have to wear the same uniform.
  • In Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, several characters make their own modifications to the school uniform or forego certain pieces of it:
    • Tsubaki never wears the mandatory tie.
    • Noa wears thigh stockings instead of knee stockings and way too long sleeves.
    • Rika tries to go Gothic Lolita by adding frills, gloves, and a parasol to her uniform.
    • Inose and Kurosaki wear hoodies instead of the mandatory shirts, vests or sweaters.
    • Chikushi and Amamiya wear tights instead of stockings.
    • Kikuchi wears light-colored stockings instead of black stockings.
    • Nancy goes for the punk style by wearing a collar, stud and skull-related accessories, a double-layered skirt, and fishnet stockings. Sid does the same, though he of course wears pants and boots instead of fishnets.
    • Kaori wears a tie instead of the (for girls) mandatory ribbon.
  • My Monster Secret is an odd example in that there's clearly meant to be some kind of uniform since all the girls wear the same kind of skirt (red/blue plaid) with matching ties, but otherwise no two people wear the same outfit.
    • Youko wears a blue jacket, a bowtie, shows a fair bit of cleavage (but due to her utter lack of sexiness it's easy to miss), high heels, and has Proper Tights with a Skirt.
    • Aizawa wears her blouse with no jacket, has a necktie, and knee-high socks.
    • Mikan wears an orange jacket, bowtie, knee-high boots and a wide belt slung unevenly across her waist.
    • Shiho basically just added the student skirt to her regular clothing, which consists of a white jacket with a violet leopard-print strip running down the shoulders, a low-cut crimson top, and a collar and bracelets with broken chains.
    • Akane (who's the Principal but looks like a student) wears a pink sweater vest, necktie, and thigh-high stockings.
    • Rin wears a yellow jacket, a purple turtleneck, a low-hanging talisman, Modesty Shorts, knee-high ugg boots, and a belt slung around her waist, which has a loop for her sword (it's implied she got the boots and belt from future Mikan).
    • Karen wears a white jacket, an orange brooch, proper tights, a shin-length solid-colored skirt, and high heels.
    • Among the male students, Asahi has the closest thing to a standard uniform with a brown jacket, khakis, and a necktie (worn loose). Between his friends, Okada wears a black jacket and a wallet chain, Sakurada wears a cherry blossom-patterned shirt, and Shimada wears a light green vest; none of the three wear ties.
  • Yuki from School-Live!'s uniform has a blue sailor collar and skirt, while the other three girls' uniforms have green sailor collars and skirts instead. It has yet to be explained why Yuki's uniform is different.
  • Snow White with the Red Hair: Kirito's Ririmasu uniform has all of the components of any other, but the fact that he never claps it at the neck and wears it all loose and baggy mean he can't be mistaken for another messenger even at a distance.
  • In Yuri Kuma Arashi, Ginko and Lulu wear very different uniforms from other students at Arashigaoka, who wear blue and white uniforms with loafers. Ginko's uniform is pink and white and she wears high-heeled boots, while Lulu's uniform is green and white and she wears lace-up boots and a bow instead of a necktie. This represents how, unlike most of the students who are hypocritical closeted lesbians, Ginko and Lulu have accepted their identities and aren't ashamed of them.
  • The Rose of Versailles and its sequel Eikou no Napoleon — Eroica, as part of the work the author put in researching French history, features this trope:
    • During The Rose of Versailles, the various officers of the French army all wear different clothes, with Oscar having four outfits during her career (her initial white uniform as a lieutenant of the Gardes du Corps, a red one after being promoted to colonel, a white dress uniform, and a blue one after transferring to the French Guards), the only constant being her sword and the blue one being the only one that even somewhat resembles the uniform of her soldiers... In that they wore blue. Changing uniform with the rank seems a common practice, as lieutenant Girodelle of the Gardes du Corps gets a new uniform after being promoted to colonel.
    • The various regiments all have different uniforms too, being in different colors and often with completely different styles, and of course their officers wearing something different. On the latter the French Guards are the closest to a standardized uniform, in that their officers all wear the same blue of the troops.
    • As it happens after The French Revolution, Eroica starts with the trope Averted for the French, as the Republic standardized the uniforms... Or at least tried, as the Army of Italy, due its poor supply situation, has uniforms with various customizations up until Napoleon leads them to Milan and uses the money got from the Sardinian surrender to order new ones for his men. As Napoleon's rise to Emperor starts, however, the trope starts to reappear, with first regiments getting differently colored uniforms and later officers adding their own touches, culminating with the Empire when the officers wear customized uniforms that at least still resembles those of their troops... And Napoleon constantly wearing the basic uniform of an artillery officer.
    • Played straight with non-French troops, where no two regiments have the same uniform and no two officers wear the same clothes.
  • In Akebi's Sailor Uniform, Komichi's Sailor Fuku is essentially this; while she and her mother were under the mistaken impression that Roubai Academy still used sailor uniforms, her mother still made the uniform by hand. At the entrance ceremony, they find out that the school no longer uses sailor fuku as uniforms and the students now wear blazers instead. Despite the misunderstanding, the principal still allows Komichi to keep wearing her sailor uniform since it's technically one of the school's uniforms, even though it's an older one which is no longer in use.

    Comic Books 
  • The government-sponsored X-Factor group initially split the difference between custom and uniform — they all shared a common color scheme, with individual variations — Madrox's full cowl and Badass Longcoat, Havok's leather jacket and headgear, Strong Guy's coke-bottle glasses, etc. Quicksilver stuck out because he kept his traditional light-blue with silver lightning outfit. Although it fits his aloof and arrogant demeanor, it belies his grudging acceptance of membership in the group of True Companions that develops. When it's noted that the uniform is optional, Strong Guy says he wished somebody had told him that before he got a uniform.
  • In The DCU, Legion of Super-Heroes franchise has brought twists to this trope twice:
    • In the early issues of the "present day" Prequel comic, L.E.G.I.O.N. '89, characters wore a wide range of clothing styles reflecting culture, alien anatomy, and/or personal aesthetics, but they all shared the standard livery of black underlayer, white overgarments, and the L.E.G.I.O.N. symbol in gold. No two characters, even those in the background, ever wore quite the same outfit: despite this, they were all obviously members of the same force. Later artists got lazy and gave the rank-and-file grunts identical uniforms.
    • In the main title, the Legionnaires had always had individual costumes. However, the early 90s younger versions of the team redesigned those costumes to have unifying elements: a three-part division with a center band of contrast running down the middle, from neck to bootline, and a thick black belt with Gadget Pouches and a very prominent Legion emblem on the buckle. All of these held on through the 1994 Continuity Reboot, and the last through the 2004 "threeboot", and in the Animated Series, even Superman added it to his own classic costume.
  • The bulk of the Green Lantern Corps wear the standard bodysuit, Domino Mask and ring. The ring is the only mandatory part, as it's the source of their powers. This means that there are many members who choose to customize their uniform, a good example being Guy Gardner, whose uniform basically amounts to Civvie Spandex. And that's not even getting into the members of the Corps that aren't humanoid, and need a uniform that perfectly fits their unique anatomy.
  • The Doom Patrol had a nominal uniform (red with a white stripe down the center), but this was hardly obvious because, of the original four members, the leader didn't wear a uniform, the robot didn't wear clothes at all, and of the two remaining, one was female and therefore had to get a skirt (it was The '60s). It took the addition of a fifth member to have two actually wearing the same outfit.
  • Whenever someone temporarily joins the Fantastic Four, there's no guarantee that they'll adapt the standard uniform. Some do (like Crystal and She-Hulk), while others (like Ant-Man, Storm, and the Black Panther) choose to keep their own costumes instead. When Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four, having been temporarily re-themed the Future Foundation (or FF), they gave him a custom variation of their new mostly white uniforms, bearing a large spider symbol instead of the Future Foundation's three block logo.
    • Johnny's red-and-yellow outfit; Ben's alternating between trunks, belted singlet, pants, and bodysuit; Sue's Stripperific period following the re-emergence of her Malice personality... the only founding member that hasn't had a Custom Uniform is Reed.
    • Whenever comic stories explore the idea of the New Fantastic Four (Spider-Man, Wolverine, Ghost Rider and Hulk) sticking together, they'll either keep wearing their classic costumes, don Fantastic Four costumes or play this trope straight and don Fantastic Four-styled versions of their classic costumes.
  • The Mildly Military Swedish comic strip 91:an (which could be described as a Swedish version of Beetle Bailey) have the namesake main character private 91 Karlsson still wearing the same old blue, glaringly anachronistic uniform he wore when the comic strip started back in 1932 (the cartoonist based it on the uniform he had worn as a conscript some decades earlier). The rest of the characters however, wear grey uniforms from the 1960s.
  • Judge Dredd:
    • Many of the Street Judges have identical shoulder pads. Judge Dredd is a senior judge and like all senior judges, has a standard shoulder pad on his left shoulder, and on his right shoulder he has an eagle. In the movie, for practical reasons, the eagle was stylized, the body and feet of the eagle was completely removed, the eagle was attached to Stallone's chest not his arm, and the feathers were made flexible, so he could move his right arm.
    • The SJS uniforms vary from standard judge uniforms in that they get different helmets and only wear an eagle on one shoulder. Also, chief judges wear a massive badge on their chest to denote their status as chief judge.
  • Dust from the X-Men is allowed to continue wearing her veil and abaya (it's not a burqa) as part of the junior team, due to her religion. She is sometimes drawn wearing the X-belt, however.
  • In the DC Comics Star Trek: The Next Generation miniseries, the Bickleys (a married couple who serve as backups for the conn and ops stations, and who constantly argue with each other) are the only members of Starfleet ever to be shown wearing a leotard variant of the uniform. They also wore bright green capes for some reason.
  • In the W.I.T.C.H. comic and later television adaptation the Guardians each have a different outfit once they transform into their Magical Girl selves; the uniforms do share the same green and purple color scheme with striped socks and can be still considered uniforms, also qualifying for Custom Uniform of Sexy for some. Their predecessors C.H.K.Y.N. (seriously) had the same setup and the WITCH fandom, of course, has created hundreds if not thousands of designs of their own in fanart and fanfiction (and some flash games). Why the girls get different outfits is never really discussed in universe, but they certainly seem appreciative of both the clothes and the assets that come with them.
  • In X-Wing Rogue Squadron, Ysanne Isard wore a red version of the Imperial officer's uniform, with admiral's insignia, despite not actually being in the military. As Director of Imperial Intelligence and answering only to the Emperor, she could get away with that.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Holliday College doesn't have a uniform, but the Holliday Girls sorority Etta Candy belongs to does and she's the only one who switches out the skirt of the uniform for shorts, and wears a tank top version of the top instead of a short sleeved jersey.
  • For much of the history of the Shazam! franchise, Captain Marvel Jr. stood out boldly with his gold-on-blue costume with red cape compared to the rest of the Marvel Family's gold-on-red motif and white cape.

    Fan Works 
  • The cast of My Immortal all wear lurid costumes that fit what the author considers to be "gothic" and don't in any way fit what Hogwarts uniforms actually look like.
  • In Ah! Archfall!, an Ah! My Goddess fic, Lind becomes the first Valkyrie to do so, adding a black leather jacket to her white and blue one-piece, although she also wears civilian cloths when on Earth.
  • Played straight in Rhythmic Pretty Cure with the rhythmic gymnastics side of Altair Private Academy; the only thing all the uniforms have in common are classical pink (theatrical pink for exhibitions and competitions) tights and pink ballerina shoes. Generally averted with the general education side and American football side uniforms.
  • The Elite in Royal Heights will alternate between the regular school uniform and a special, more formal one they use during formal events or school surveys. This comes with a sash with their theme color and name, gloves, and gold accents.
  • Played for Drama in Ambience: A Fleet Symphony. In KanColle canon, Samidare and Suzukaze wear different uniforms from the rest of the Shiratsuyu-class. Here, Suzukaze believes this is one of the things that drove a wedge between the two of them and the rest.
  • According to Doing It Right This Time, NERV doesn't have an actual rule in the dress code that says you can't come to work wearing a Slave Collar, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea. Shinji also isn't really supposed to be wearing a rather fancy leather jacket to school instead of the standard uniform blazer, not that anyone else ever seems to wear them, but Hikari doesn't want to call him out on it because it's the first vaguely rebellious thing she's ever seen him do and she doesn't want to encourage his Extreme Doormat tendencies.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Pretty much all of the Colonial Marines in Aliens have this; the only exception is Lieutenant Gorman, who wears a pristine, fresh-out-of-stores uniform, presumably to emphasize the fact that he's completely inexperienced and/or a bit uptight.
  • Practically all of the uniform variants in the Star Trek film franchise fall under the Non-Uniform Uniform category, as they're not custom so much as official variants. There are a couple of notable Custom Uniforms in the Classic Series films, though:
    • In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Spock is wearing a blue-gray, split-collar tunic underneath his Vulcan robes when he arrives on the Enterprise, and wears that shirt underneath his duty uniform for the rest of the film; the only time he's not wearing it is when he changes into the thruster suit for his journey into the heart of V'Ger.
    • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock introduces the "bomber jacket" version of the uniform introduced in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Scotty also wears it in this film and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, as does Kirk in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
    • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier introduces a tan field uniform, evocative of modern military fatigues (particularly the green sweaters of the British Army); Kirk, however, wears a charcoal grey variant.
    • Scotty wears a command-division white undershirt with his engineering vest in Star Trek IV, V, and VI, instead of the operations/engineering-division gold shirt he normally wears with his regular uniform or causal bomber jacket. Not exactly normal Starfleet protocol to switch divisional colors on a whim, but then again, it's also not exactly common for a chief engineer to hold the rank of captain, either.
      • The white undershirt does create a minor continuity kerfluffle, though, between III and IV. With the crew on Vulcan at the end of III with only a captured Klingon Bird-of-Prey and the clothes on their backs, Scotty was wearing the gold undershirt with his bomber jacket. However, at the start of IV, he has the white undershirt (along with the previously-unseen engineering vest), and doesn't wear the gold undershirt again until the crew faces their fate in the Federation Council chambers at the end of the movie.
    • In Insurrection the Enterprise-E crew has a gray dickey-like object on their dress uniforms, however, Captain Picards’s is white.
  • Star Wars:
    • In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin is the only Jedi wearing black leather (except for Aayla Secura, who appears for a few seconds and then dies). Expanded Universe All There in the Manual info notes that the standard Jedi robes are not, in fact, a uniform. Any Jedi is free to wear whatever he/she/it wants, but they tend to wear the standard robes or variations on them to show solidarity. Anakin isn't breaking any rules, just traditions.
    • However, the Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force retcons that by making the robes explicitly an uniform.
    • As for the development of the Jedi appearance, in A New Hope Obi-Wan Kenobi was wearing practical clothes for Tatooine: loose dust-colored robe over loose dust-colored tunic in coarse hard wearing material it would be easy to beat the sand out of. He's in hiding so wearing a Jedi uniform doesn't make sense and nobody in Mos Eisley recognizes it as such. In The Empire Strikes Back Yoda, for how small he is, seems to be wearing something similar. With The Phantom Menace and the massive increase of Jedi characters that outfit seems rather standard for Jedi, although with variations like Mace Windu's knee length robe.
    • One novel has the perspective character musing that they're made of such itchy wool to force Jedi to constantly maintain self-control and discipline. Another story is that Jedi robes were selected precisely because they didn't stand out, effectively making them not uniforms at all. Anyone could wear robes or the cloaks that went over them. With the style Luke wore in the first film (being the non-Jedi ward of similarly dressed and similarly non-Jedi kin), it seems consistent. Of course, things changed.
    • Back in the old days, if Knights of the Old Republic is to be believed, a Padawan walking around the Jedi academy on Dantooine could be reprimanded for not wearing the Jedi robes, so there was some notion of them as a uniform. Though this was thousands of years before the movies. Bastila Shan still had a unique outfit, although for game technical reasons you'd typically see her wearing standard robes anyway (most armor looks the same on different characters, only just plain clothes look unique).
    • As for Aayla Secura, female Twi'leks are always required to wear revealing clothing. Seemingly the only exception is Alora.
      • And Yuthura Ban, who goes for a military-style uniform.
    • Darth Vader fitted somewhere outside of but very high up in Imperial Navy's command structure — somewhere below Grand Moff Tarkin — but never wore a uniform. Vader's armor was life support, so he couldn't remove it. And a uniform tailored to fit over it would have made him look like a total dork. In Dark Empire, when Luke briefly goes over to The Dark Side and serves as an apprentice under Palpatine, he gets the same title and position as his father and is dressed in a very similar outfit, missing only the helmet and life support. You could say it's just Palpatine rubbing it in, but maybe it is a uniform.
      • It's more armor than a uniform, since the Vader design was based on samurai armor.
    • Peter Cushing, Tarkin's actor, had a unique Imperial uniform. He wore slippers instead of boots as the boots were uncomfortable for him to wear. This is why you never see Tarkin's feet in the movie.
      • In a Mythology Gag, the novel Tarkin reveals that the Imperial standard uniform was originally Tarkin's own custom uniform designed by him... But he hates the standard boots and finds them uncomfortable.

  • Seen with some squads and such in Humans vs. Zombies. Even then, it's normally all up to recognizing faces or maybe a hat or color scheme to tell who's with you and not with you. Even generic "we all wear camo jackets"-type guidelines will give you a lot of room to maneuver.

  • Howard W. Campbell, the American Nazi from Slaughterhouse-Five, wears a gaudy custom outfit instead of the standard German uniform.
  • Olivia from the kids' books series of the same name wears red clothes instead of the color of her school team, because she always wants to be the boss is strong-willed and independent.
  • Discworld:
    • In Going Postal, the elderly postal workers return from retirement wearing uniforms that are not, as such, uniform in shape, style, or shade. Moist, as Postmaster General, wears a cloth-of-gold suit that doesn't even pretend to be a uniform, although he does wear a gilded version of the standard postman's hat.
    • The Ankh-Morpork City Watch has expanded so rapidly in recent years and is composed of so many different shapes and sizes of copper that being in uniform usually means being in whatever pieces of the standard uniform happened to fit or could be modified on the quick, plus whatever antique specialty equipment they could scrape up from the dregs of the armory. Troll Sgt. Detritus ends up with armor originally intended for a battle elephant, not that he really needs it, and first female recruit Constable (later Sergeant and ultimately Captain) Angua has to go without a breastplate until she gets one modified to accommodate her... well, breasts. Vimes describes the overall look as "Funny helmets through the centuries." As of Feet of Clay they've apparently got the budget for slightly more standardised gear (Detritus is mentioned as having traded in the battle-elephant armour for something at least made for his own species) but there seems to be no rule against buying your own kit if you can afford better than standard-issue.
    • When Vimes himself is elevated to the nobility, he refuses to wear the tights or plumes that are part of his new uniform, though he can't initially do anything about the "stupid ornamental armour."
  • In the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy, the Good Old British Comp attended by the main characters has a uniform but doesn't enforce it, to the point where only Yo-less wears it. Which, according to Wobbler's logic, means that jeans and T-shirts are the real school uniform, which means Yo-less is out of uniform.
  • The Adumari Union pilots in Starfighters of Adumar are, technically, all wearing standard flight suits — although since they're part of a multinational force that has only recently come together, they're all different colors — but have no restrictions on decorations, medals, what have you; their commander had a bank of medals that could double as a bludgeon if it had to.
    • The series also mentions how the Rogues, when they go rogue, enjoy personalizing their X-Wings' color schemes, while Wraith Squadron when masquerading as pirates gets to do the same. And even when working for the Rebellion, Corran Horn's fighter and flightsuit retain their original CorSec colors, since they're his personal property rather than issued by the military. Though it probably shouldn't be surprising that a rebels' military has a lax attitude towards standardization...
      • After Corran is declared missing in action and presumed dead (The Krytos Trap), Rogue Squadron has their flight suits changed from the orange seen in A New Hope to dark green with black and white trim, after Corran's X-Wing. It's never stated whether they changed back after he reappears.
    • Another example from the same series is villain Prince-Admiral Delak Krennel, who has designed his own uniform.
  • Another Star Wars example comes from the Republic Commando Series: since the clone commandos whom the story is centered on all look identical (with the possible exception of any scars they've picked up), they express their induviduality by customizing their standard-issue armor with paint and add-ons, such as Fi's skirt.
  • Honor Harrington:
    • Harrington has had her uniform reinforced to protect her shoulder from Nimitz's claws, although the books make it clear that this is a standard variation in uniform, for personel who have been adopted.
    • Michael Oversteegen and other aristocrats seem to enjoy wearing uniforms modified for less practical reasons.
      • A specially tailored uniform (for reasons other than purely utilitarian ones a la Honor's reinforcements) is one of the Honorverse's stock Upper-Class Twit traits; it's not allowed by regs. Therefore powerful aristocrats wear them to flaunt being above the rules. Oversteegen is the only character who wears such a thing and isn't a complete asshole. (Having the Designated Asshole Traits while actually being the complete opposite of one is kind of Oversteegen's schtick).
    • The escapees from the Havenite prison planet of Hades had a lot of time on their hands, and access to programmable uniform manufacturing equipment, so they made themselves uniforms. These were proper, compliant uniforms — but since many of them came from defunct militaries from planets that had been conquered by Haven decades in the past, a lot of them wound up wearing totally one-of-a-kind looks anyway.
  • The Wardens of The Dresden Files arguably, as their only uniform is a grey cloak. Aside from that, they wear whatever they like.
  • Craig Lowell, from the WEB Griffin Brotherhood of War series, is an obscenely wealthy, old-money type who was kicked out of college and drafted during WWII, then chose to stay in the army. While all of his uniforms are custom made, they are uniform. However, while most officers have dress blues for formal wear, he went a step beyond and purchased the dress mess uniform, which goes so far as to include a cape. This irritates people.
  • Many of the knights in A Song of Ice and Fire wear distinctive custom-made armor and use distinctive personal weapons rather than any kind of standard-issue equipment... which they wouldn't have had, anyway, being knights, rather than common levies in livery.
  • Miles Vorkosigan of the Vorkosigan Saga wore very expensively tailored custom uniforms, designed to conceal some of his physical deformities, while looking exactly like standard issue uniforms.
  • In A Hero of Our Time by Michael Lermontov, Cadet Grushnitsky chooses to wear a Private's coat over his uniform, much to the chagrin of his peers. Though granted this is more of an example of Nonuniform Uniform.
  • The Heralds of Valdemar, in the books by Mercedes Lackey, all wear white. Student heralds wear grey. Bards and Healers wear red and green, respectively, with students having a variation. This coding is commented on in-story, essentially saying that in stressful situation, such as a riot or fire, the townspeople can look for that color uniform. A few characters avert this in everyday wear, and are allowed to because of their teaching duties (weapon use). One character sort of subverts this plain white uniform (or has it subverted for her) by her uniforms being remade with embroidery and other designs, but all in white.
    • Early in the Collegium Chronicles, we learn that upper-class parents of a Heraldic Trainee often insist on providing their child with a custom-tailored version of the official uniform, in higher-quality fabrics. When Mags is invited to a councilor's home over the Midwinter holidays, a Herald collects enough of these outgrown custom Grays to let Mags dress appropriately for the surroundings. (This may be the "ancestor" of the Formal Grays that we see later in the chronology.)
  • In The Ship Who Searched, Chria Chance wears an identical uniform to everyone else in the Academy — except it's personally tailored and made of genuine animal leather. It's implied that she's allowed to get away with it for the same reason they ignore her patently fake name; she's almost certainly a Black Sheep daughter of a High Family who wants to make her own way.

    Live-Action TV 
  • After the station seceded from the Earth Alliance, the senior command staff of Babylon 5 received custom Minbari-made black uniforms.
  • In the original Battlestar Galactica, Adama occasionally added a cape to his standard officer's uniform. Commander Cain, his counterpart on the Pegasus, went for a more Pattonesque look, eschewing the officer's uniform entirely for a fighter pilot's uniform and carrying a riding crop.
    • It's made fairly clear in a number of episodes that the cape is part of a Colonial Warrior's dress uniform (look at the party on Carrolon).
  • In the original Baywatch, the famous red, one-piece swimsuits worn by the female cast members were modeled directly after the bathing suits worn by real-life California lifeguards, and designed to be functional. However, the suits were individually tailored, with the neckline, arm holes, and leg holes cut to best flatter the figure of each actress.
  • Buffyverse: Dru's (rarely seen) game face is more snake-like than other vampires in the Buffyverse.
  • In Dad's Army, Private Pike was rarely seen without the definitely non-standard scarf his mum insisted he wear. Captain Mainwaring didn't much like it, but accepted that Pike was merely obeying a superior authority.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Wheel in Space": All the characters on the eponymous space station wear the same uniform — except for Zoe, the librarian. Guess who ends up as the Doctor's next companion?
    • During the Pertwee era (and a little bit of the Tom Baker era), the only members of UNIT who do not wear British military uniforms are the Doctor and whoever is currently employed as his assistant(s) or whoever is going to be his companion at the end of this story, who wear their own civilian clothes. It's quite jarring to see shots of the Brigadier, Yates and a bunch of Redshirts all in olive green and the Doctor in a brocaded red velvet smoking jacket and a frilly tuxedo shirt beside Sarah Jane in something flamboyant and 70s.
    • Variation: In "The Deadly Assassin", the Fourth Doctor has to don the same ceremonial Time Lord robes everyone else is wearing, but due to his personality, wears it slightly wrong — he has it too wide open around his neck revealing his undershirt, and doesn't bother to scrape his hair underneath the skullcap so it all sticks out of the sides.
    • In "The Happiness Patrol", low-ranking members of the patrol have plain pink wigs — except for Susan Q, who's got a more elaborate pink-and-purple design.
    • Jenny, the titular character from "The Doctor's Daughter", is a genetically engineered soldier who emerges fully grown (and clothed) from a cloning machine. While her fellow soldiers are dressed in standard-issue drab, baggy fatigues and beige t-shirts, Jenny sports fitted black trousers, a tight green t-shirt (in a shade that flatters her complexion), hair extensions, and a full face of makeup (including winged eyeliner and what looks like false eyelashes). This is never explained, and no one seems to question it. (Possibly justified, as her parent wasn't a human like the other soldiers, but a rebellious Time Lord.)
  • In The Dukes of Hazzard, Sheriff Rosco Coltrane doesn't wear a regulation police hat like his deputies, instead opting for a black cowboy hat which he almost always wears, even when off-duty.
  • Peacekeepers on Farscape: They started out with uniforms, and the lower ranking troops continued to wear uniforms, but for anyone with the rank above Senior Officer or Lieutenant the rule seemed to be "As long as it's made out of red and black leather..."
  • On The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air While his cousin Carlton and the other students in his prep school wear the blue blazer uniform, Will turns his blue blazer inside out so that it now looks like he's wearing a red silk one with patterns on it. He also wears a baseball cap backwards.
    • In some episodes, he also wears his (neck)tie around his forehead as a type of bandana. Basically, staying within the rules of the dress code while looking nothing like everybody else.
  • In F Troop, Corporal Agarn wore a distinctive hat, quite unlike anyone else's in the troop. This was an Actor Allusion to Larry Storch's Stand-Up Comedy persona.
  • House very rarely wears the white lab coat required for doctors at his hospital. Vogler, the hospital's chairman at the time, tries to get House to wear one in the first season. Apparently this is in line with Fox's desire for a medical show without "white coats going down the hallway."
    • Starting in Season 4, Foreman stops wearing a lab coat as well, a not so subtle indication that he's increasingly becoming like House.
  • Jonas is a particularly egregious example. All the main characters have a custom uniform while the background extras don't.
  • Gentaro in Kamen Rider Fourze still wears his blazer and jeans, complete with fire-patterned Chuck Taylors whilst everyone else wears the school uniforms (sometimes with their own adjustments, but they're still the same basic clothing). It accentuates his status as a throwback to old 70s and 80s high-school shonen protagonists, along with his hair.
  • Kenan & Kel: In "Bye Bye Kenan part 2", Kel arrives in Kenan's new school wearing a green tracksuit and black leather jacket. The teacher mistook him for Kenan and calls him out about the clothes he is wearing. It is dropped when Kel says he isn't the student she is expecting.
  • Misfits uses this to reflect characteristics of the cast through their jumpsuits:
    • Curtis generally wears a vest or t-shirt on top, tying the jumpsuit's sleeves around his waist. This shows off his upper body, makes him look hardworking, and also reflects the fact that he doesn't feel like he really belongs in a Community Payback jumpsuit. He also always wears a medallion of a saint and a cross.
    • Alisha generally shows some cleavage and rolls up her sleeves, pops her collar and rolls her trouser legs into capris. She also always wears a belt around her waist, further showing off her figure. She usually wears make-up, jewelry and ballet flats, despite the fact that they're doing manual labor.
    • Kelly, like Alisha, doesn't wear a shirt under her jumpsuit. She keeps hers open at the collar, though doesn't undo as many buttons as Alisha. Kelly doesn't go to much effort to make hers more flattering or fashionable, more sort of surrendering to the ugliness. She does, however, keep on her jewelry and make-up and is (according to her twitter) devoted to Adidas, wearing them both for community service and civilian life.
    • Nathan's is worn open to about the belly button with a visible t-shirt underneath. His jumpsuit is also the most stained, covered in paint and blood. The word "pay" in the phrase "Community Payback" has been crossed off and replaced with "blow".
    • Simon wears his jumpsuit buttoned up to the chin: precise, neat, and respectful. This, of course, makes him "look a bit like a paedophile" according to Nathan, but fitting his shy personality it also looks like he's trying to hide in it.
    • Rudy wears his with popped collar, rolled up sleeves and partly unbuttoned.
    • Third Rudy wears his buttoned straight up, contrasting with Rudy.
  • In Nurse Jackie, the series' title character, Jackie Peyton, is the only nurse who wears the classical "ciel blue" (often called "hospital blue") scrubs, which was done on purpose to distinguish her as efficient and dependable.
  • On Orange Is the New Black numerous inmates manage to wear the issue khaki scrubs in their own way
    • A button-up shirt (confirmed by Season 6 flashbacks) is the mark of The Old Convict, and is favored by the Golden Girls, most notably Frieda. The button-up is no longer authorized in Max by Season 6, and Frieda is back to scrubs in "Florida".
    • Big Boo, as benefiting a Butch Lesbian, favors a wifebeater. She is also the only inmate whose bra is black rather than issue white.
    • Pennsatucky and Nicky favor hoodies and are almost always seen in the issue grey version. As part of Pennsatucky's wake, most of the Florida inmates wear hoodies, hood on.
    • Alex is nearly always seen wearing a long-sleeve thermal undershirt beneath her khakis.
    • Taken Up to Eleven during the riot arc, as various inmates adopt bits of guard uniforms or riot gear. Others customize their issue clothing, with Flaritza going for a schoolgirl look, while at least one background inmate turns an undershirt into a bandeau-style bikini top.
  • Before the accident, crew members on Red Dwarf wore khaki fatigues or boiler suits. Lister wears a jacket with an assortment of badges sewn onto it and a London Jets t-shirt along with his Nice Hat. This is mostly because Lister isn't comfortable with anything too military.
  • Lieutenant Jim Dangle from Reno 911! wears shorts with his uniform, which he states he had to specifically ask the state for permission to do.
  • In the pilot of Space: Above and Beyond, the elite "Angry Angels" are seen wearing black flight suitsnote  with matching jackets and berets. McQueen continues to wear a black flight suit after being reassigned to the Wildcards, though he largely ditches the accessories.
  • Star Trek: Discovery
    • Personnel on the Enterprise wear the colorful uniforms reminiscent of The Original Series. Pike wears a Discovery style uniform while commanding that ship and switches to the Enterprise style uniforms when back on the 1701.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Worf wears a Klingon sash/baldric over his Starfleet uniform and has long hair, quite un-regulation.
    • Troi wears a low-cut lavender catsuit for much of the series. She was ordered to wear a standard Starfleet uniform by Jellico in "Chain of Command".
      • And to her credit, after being ordered to wear it, she continues to wear it for the rest of the series.
    • On the other hand, Ensign Ro is told to remove her Bajoran earring when she's assigned to the Enterprise. Picard agrees to let her wear it by the end of her first episode. Similarly, in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, during Tuvok's turn as a Drill Sergeant Nasty, he insists that his Maquis trainees eschew personal affectations.
      • Generally, while personal modifications are met with disapprovalnote , cultural modifications are accommodated. Ro's case was largely due to unfamiliarity with Bajoran culture (including Bajorans listing their surnames first), and was largely corrected for, as future Bajorans seen in Starfleet uniform generally sport their earrings, such as Kira Nerys when she is given a battlefield commission of Lieutenant Commander. Worf was almost never seen without his baldric, which displayed his Klingon heritage, and later on in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, when Nog enrolls in Starfleet, he replaces his traditional Ferengi headwear with a piece that matches the shoulder fabric. Some captains go so far as to enforce cultural wear upon any subordinates native to that culture, and consider them out of uniform if not wearing, such as one Played for Laughs scene in Star Trek: Insurrection where Worf oversleeps and rushes to the bridge late for his duty shift, only for Picard to order him to straighten his baldric.
    • Dialogue in the TNG episode Chain of Command indicated that wearing informal clothing instead of a standard uniform is allowed, with the captain's permission (and also that it was mostly commonly granted to senior officers in specialized positions), and the series is relatively consistent in showing that captains and above have a more 'casual' variant of their uniform (sort of an inverse to a dress uniform).
    • Admirals from Star Trek: The Next Generation on seem to be a straighter example — we see such a wide variety of outfits that either Starfleet Command is constantly changing flag officers' uniforms, or they can wear whatever they want as long as you can tell that it is a uniform.
      • Many of the admirals seem to be wearing similar variants however, that look almost like the modern "mess dress" variants of British Army uniforms.
      • When First Contact debuted the Starfleet crew of Deep Space Nine wore the uniforms which debuted in the movie, however, admirals didn’t get a similar redesign a few episodes into the sixth season. This design would finally be consistent for live action 24th century admirals.
      • Picard also gets a less formal variant, introduced in the fifth season episode "Darmok". Inspired by the flocked "bomber jacket" alternate uniform from the film series, Picard's alternate uniform is a flocked open jacket with quilted black shoulders, over a gray uniform shirt with black shoulders and collar. Except for scenes which called for Picard to be without the jacket (such as in its first appearance, "Darmok"), Patrick Stewart usually wore a one-piece version with the gray part being a sewn-in panel with its closure hidden beneath the right jacket flap, so as not to overburden the actor with heavy layers during filming.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series pre-dated the rest by featuring Kirk's deep green wraparound jacket, worn interchangeably with his usual uniform tunic during the first two seasons. Nobody else aboard was ever seen wearing this alternative uniform (except, bizarrely, Charlie Evans in the episode "Charlie X", who wore a brown version).
    • The Mirror Universe versions of Kirk and Spock in "Mirror, Mirror" had Custom Uniforms themselves; Kirk (though only seen on our Kirk) had a glittery sleeveless version of the wraparound, with shoulderboards to represent his position as captain, while Spock (the one with the beard) wore a modified dress uniform.
    • Speaking of the Mirror Universe, the Star Trek: Enterprise two-parter "In A Mirror, Darkly" finally establishes that the green wraparound was a standard variant, at least for captains, as Mirror!Archer takes one from the deceased Defiant captain's wardrobe.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Major Kira's uniform underwent a few modifications to give it more feminine accents not found on other Bajorans' uniforms. She wore a standard two-piece uniform in the pilot, but for the rest of the first three seasons, the top seemlingly ended beneath the belt. Starting early in the fourth season, she wore a more feminine version (keeping the modifications during her pregnancy). When she was promoted to colonel for the seventh season, her uniform became even more feminine, and looked nothing like that of previous Bajoran colonels.
    • Starting in the 3rd season, Odo's uniform was modified from the standard Bajoran security uniform too, with a higher collar and a belt (which he later discarded). The collar was inspired by an identical design on Mirror!Odo's uniform in "Crossover", a look the actor and crew liked.
  • Every Sixth Ranger in Super Sentai and Power Rangers has a different style of uniform than the main team. Sometimes it's just a color reversal or adding a chest piece, or bigger shoulder pads designed after their mechs, being the only one with a Chest Insignia, being the only one lacking one as the chestplate covers where it would be. Sometimes he's the only one with a shiny metallic color, and sometimes the spandex look is tossed out in favor of much heavier armor or actually being a Humongous Mecha or Metal Hero. From Power Rangers Mystic Force onward, the heavily-armored Ranger-like characters tend to be referred to as knights. You'll never have any trouble telling the Sixth Ranger from the others. When the team is made of sub-teams, you'll also have no trouble telling who's with who even if you've never seen the series before because the suits will have minor changes. Even then, the Sixth Ranger will be more bling-tastic.
    • In Power Rangers at least, not only this, but when the Rangers are part of an organization, the Sixth Ranger's unmorphed uniform will be different in more than the usual color coding. (For example, the Space Rangers' uniforms were gray with color-coded T-shirts beneath. The Silver Ranger's was black with a gray t-shirt. In Overdrive, Tyzonn gets two silver stripes going down the middle of his uniform, while the part you'd expect to be silver is orange. It's more representative of his three-toned Judge Dredd-looking Ranger suit than something more matching the other Rangers would've been.) This isn't a universal rule, though.
    • It does apply to unmorphed uniforms in Super Sentai too. In Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger, Tetsu's uniform was mainly white with navy accents, the same colours as his morphed suit. We find out the special unit he came from always has uniforms like this, as when his chief shows up, hers is like his. The core five's were mainly black with accents in their own colour. In Engine Sentai Go-onger, the Wings wore gold and silver jackets, instead of black motor-racing suits with ranger-coloured writing and trim.
    • Uchu Sentai Kyuranger has a twist on this where custom uniforms are more common than regular ones. Only the characters who are straight-up Human Aliens (Lucky, Spada, and Hamy) have "ordinary" costumes, while everyone else gets touches that nod to their races or homeworlds: Wolf Man Garu's suit has fur, androids Balance and Champ have a more mechanical look, scorpion-man Stinger has a stinger tail, Raptor (who represents Aquila) has little angel wings on her back, and Naga (from the Ophiuchus system) has a snakeskin pattern on the sides of his suit. As in past series, the Sixth Rangers have their own unique touches: Ryu Commander's suit has a Badass Longcoat aspect (similar to Kamen Rider Wizard), Koguma Skyblue has a "scarf" with weighted tassels that he can use as a weapon (symbolizing his being a Kid Hero) and Hou'ou Soldier's suit looks more armored and militarized, complete with a headset and microphone built into the helmetnote .

  • In Eminem's performance of "The Real Slim Shady" at the VMAs in 2000, the army of Slim Shadies all have bleached-blond cropped haircuts, white tshirts, blue jeans and a dog tag necklace, while Eminem himself is dressed in a white tank top and grey jeans.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Everyone in Warhammer 40,000 who ranks above "grunt" has a custom uniform to some degree, getting more elaborate and shiny as you move up the chain of command.
    • And even then, there can be some subtle variation amongst the rank-and-file. After a few battles Imperial Guardsmen tend to pick up souvenirs or trophies, while members of more pious regiments will attach devotional scripts or lucky relics to their flak armor. Space Marines will all proudly be wearing their chapter's colors, of course, but their armor usually has at least one purity seal on it somewhere, while some members have their own coat-of-arms to display. Chaos Space Marines' (spiky) armor is a patchwork of parts collected across millennia, and with mutations that ensure any two models aren't exactly the same. And the Orks, of course, don't even have a concept of "uniform," only clan colors.
    • This trope is extremely common in war games. Unless a game abstracts an entire large unit to one "block," it is essential to distinguish the leader of a unit for the sake of the players. Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 enforce this trope by requiring in the rules that a unit's leader can be clearly identified and using different models to represent them.
    • In addition to this, every system in the Imperium (And there are millions) has a different uniform for their Guard units, as well as unique uniforms for their PDF forces (Some planets have multiple uniforms for their PDF units, depending on what region the unit in question is based in). This has resulted in loyal Guard units attacking other loyal Guard units on occasion because they didn't recognize each others uniforms and assumed the other unit was a hostile.
  • The "Invasion!" adventure and supplementary material in Dragon Magazine and Dungeon Magazine focusing on the githyanki included this as one of the minor details about their society and military. There's a general uniform style among their soldiers, but each is allowed to customize it as a nod to the idea that they're not faceless conscripts, but all individuals working together voluntarily — an important distinction to the githyanki, given their history as a former slave race used as menial labor and cannon fodder. It crops up in how they fight, too, for in mass combat they perform a few big coordinated moves taking advantage of some innate magic powers they all share, then break up into individual styles and skirmishes.
  • BattleTech: According to an early sourcebook, this was more or less the dress code in House Marik. Not only did all of the different constituent states have their own uniform regulations, these were pretty much ignored almost uniformly ensuring that any given service member of the Free Worlds League had some variant on a Custom Uniform just by dint of ignoring or replacing some piece of the prescribed kit.

    Video Games 
  • In Super Robot Wars: Original Generation, only the people in the same team (read: from the same game) wear close to the same uniforms (mostly the Latex Space Suits), only the Mauve Shirts have a standard uniform, and apparently even that seems different from the ones worn by the Redshirt Army on the same side.
    • Although there is a standard Earth Forces uniform that many of the characters wear, such as Kai, Gilliam, the Alpha 1 originals except for Yuuki and Carla (who are former DC), Latooni, and Aqua. Kyosuke and Excellen wear a kind of casual looking jacket uniform that both have customized (the other two on their team, being two of the aforementioned Alphas, wear the EF standard). On the SRX team, Ryusei and Rai wear the same uniform, and Viletta wears a female variant but Aya wears a casual skirt outfit thing. Lamia apparantly only has one outfit ever that she wears on both teams she was on, and casually. Arado and Seolla also wear only one outfit everywhere they go and on every team they were in, which seemed to be weird clothes but OGS2 reveals to be a color-coded battle suit worn by the subjects of the School. For pilot suits, the SRX team have the same make in slightly different colors, ATX team have Kyosuke and Excellen wearing the same red pilot suit. All the Alpha 1 originals except Yuki and Carla wear a odd custom blue suit that they also wore in Alpha 1 (Yuuki and Carla wore this in earlier games but switched to the DC designed suits in OGS2). Katina has a custom red pilot suit with kill notches on a shoulder plate. And finally there's a generic green pilot suit that Kai, Latooni, Russel, and all the faceless grunts wear.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy VI, each of Emperor Gestahl's three generals (Leo, Celes and Kefka) wears a different outfit, none of which resemble any Imperial uniform then in service. (Leo's comes the closest; at least it's approximately the same shade of green as those of the infantry).
    • Final Fantasy VII:
      • Main character Cloud, a former SOLDIER, wears a SOLDIER 1st Class uniform, but his version incorporates Fashionable Asymmetry, heavier, more industrial-looking armour that is cracked and worn, and bandages for padding. This gives him a sort of junky, cobbled-together appearance rather than a professional one. He also foregoes a helmet, displaying his ridiculous hairstyle.
      • Zack and Angeal wear the correct SOLDIER uniform, with symmetrical pauldrons and wrist armour, but, like Cloud, forego helmets.
      • The 1st Class SOLDIERs in the world of are allowed to use personal equipment, including custom uniforms, although even the heavily customised versions worn by Sephiroth and Genesis use certain insignias. They're also "unofficially" allowed to refuse orders, presumably on the grounds of: "Hey, do you want to try and get Sephiroth to do it?"
      • In Final Fantasy VII, while most of the Turks wear the standard suit, Reno wears his with no tie and with his shirt untucked. Because he's just that badass. Or lazy. Whatever. Rude has an extensively pierced ear, and Tseng a bindi.
      • Final Fantasy VII Remake gives more detailed, unique suits to the Turks — Reno's has a wide open shirt and snakeskin shoulder pads (making him look like a rockstar), Rude's has a wallet chain and leather stripes around his cuffs and knees (giving the impression of streetwear), and Tseng's has embroidered detailing giving an impression of his foreignness.
      • Averted for Cloud's trooper uniform. He gets to go without a helmet in some cutscenes, but sticks to regulations otherwise. Compared to his later outfit and flashy attitude, it suggests someone who wanted to blend in.
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, most SeeDs and SeeD trainees wear uniforms on a daily basis, except for the main cast, who only wear them during official functions like the final exam and graduation ball. Even during the field exam, Squall and Zell modify their trainee uniforms slightly, Squall leaving his jacket open and Zell wearing his with the sleeves rolled back; Seifer and his buddies Fujin and Raijin never wear the trainee uniform at all.
    • In Final Fantasy XV, the main characters are supposedly all wearing Crownsguard Fatigues, which all have an uncanny similarity to expensive designer alternative fashion clothing. They are all black and share skull and crossbones motifs, but the designs are totally different for each character, and reflects each character's individual personality and aesthetic.
  • In Fire Emblem, all named units (your units, potential recruits, and bosses) have a custom color scheme, while everyone else on the bad side gets their uniforms colored based on their affiliation. It can get a bit odd in cases where potential recruits start out fighting on the enemy's side; they are the only one aside from their general to wear a custom uniform.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses takes place predominantly at the Officers Academy in Garreg Mach Monastery. Being a Military Academy, the students naturally wear school uniforms, consisting of black button-up dress shirts with gold accents and either matching slacks or dresses. Many students, however, add their own touches to their uniforms. To name some examples: Dorothea wears jewelry and a flat cap while unbuttoning the top of her uniform to show her cleavage, Mercedes wears a tan cardigan over a black vest with a white blouse, and Raphael foregoes wearing the uniform coat, instead only dressed in slacks and a white shirt that strains against his bulging muscles. The house leaders (Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude) wear custom uniforms that closely resemble military uniforms and include a shoulder cape in the color of their respective houses. The female uniforms also include knee-high boots, most of them high-heeled, but Edelgard's pair is only ankle-high and paired with red leggings. The Ashen Wolves, meanwhile, dress predominantly in white with silver and violet accents. Following the Time Skip, the now-former students replace their uniforms for unique outfits that are more par for the course of Fire Emblem.
  • In Wing Commander III and Wing Commander IV, Blair (the player character) has his last name on the name tag of his uniform, but all other pilots have their callsign on the name tag. As the callsign was chosen by the player, it wasn't practical to allow customized callsigns on the nametag, with Live Action Cutscenes.
  • In City of Villains, the Arachnos Spider and Widow epic archetypes' primary costumes are restricted to standard Arachnos parts, but they can still make themselves look different from the rank and file Arachnos NPC's, and their alternate costume slots don't have those restrictions at all, except for Crab Spiders having to have their trademark mechanical arms in all of them.
  • If the player joins the Imperial Legion in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, he/she is required to wear a uniform Legion cuirass, otherwise fellow legionnaires and their superiors refuse to talk with the PC. However, in the final quests for the Legion, the player acquires the artifact Lord's Mail, which is basically the best heavy armor in the game and also a Legion uniform cuirass, thus being a truly unique custom uniform for a legionnaire. Story-wise the PC is becoming the Knight of the Imperial Dragon (commander of all Legion regiments in the region) at this point.
    • This applies to NPCs too, alot of the named ones wear the chest piece with whatever patchwork of other pieces of armor (imperial chain, imperial steel, imperial leather, iron, steel, netch, even chitin).
    • Not to mention that as Knight of the Imperial Dragon you outrank anyone who would otherwise care about your lack of uniform (this is a deliberate design of the dialogue function that makes legionnaires complain if you talk to them out-of-uniform — it only applies to legionnaires of equal or higher rank than you).
  • In Resident Evil none of the S.T.A.R.S. wear matching uniforms at all. The U.B.C.S. Mercenaries in RE3 have a stricter dress code, but Carlos has a cut down version of a typical uniform.
    • The ones from HUNK's unit however, all wear the same thing.
    • Extra materials reveal that the team wore mismatched uniforms because the R.P.D. didn't have the budget for anything else at the time, and Chris' outfit in Code: Veronica was the prototype for what would have eventually been the standardized S.T.A.R.S. uniform.
    • This doesn't just apply to the S.T.A.R.S. either. Player characters Leon and Kevin are members of the normal R.P.D. but still have a different outfit from the other rank & file officers, and even then their two uniforms don't perfectly match (Kevin's has an Oxford-style collar, while Leon's has a Mandarin collar).
  • La Résistance in Mega Man Zero all wear standard green uniforms all except for Ciel, Elpizo, Zero and Alouette.
    • This carries over to Mega Man ZX, where Prarie has a custom uniform from the other Guardians. Partially Subverted in ZX Advent: While Ashe wears the same clothes as the other "normal" hunters, but without a helmet, a number of NPC hunters wear their own uniforms.
  • Colonel Tendon Cobar and Colonel Mael Radek from Killzone Liberation and Killzone 2, respectively) get the awesomest suits you'll see from any Helghast, the lot of whom wear really cool outfits anyway.
  • In Jak II: Renegade, the Krimzon Guards have four kinds of uniforms: red for normal ones, yellow for inexplicably stronger ones, one for Errol and one for Ashelin. In the third game, the Freedom League is all blue, though for some reason Ashelin still has the exact same outfit.
  • Most Alliance Marines in Mass Effect appear to wear black armor, in sharp contrast to Ashley's white-and-pink. Also, normal Alliance starships are white and red, while the Normandy — an experimental prototype designed in cooperation with the turians — is black and white. In the third game, it's repainted blue and white. This was actually an aversion, as all Alliance ships had been switched to those colors, and thus showed that the Alliance had taken control of the Cerberus-built SR-2.
    • Though strangely whichever human crew member survives Virmire (or Liara, if she was Shepard's Love Interest in the first game) shows up in the same white-and-pink during the opening sequence of Mass Effect 2, while Shepard sticks with the standard black Alliance armor (plus a red stripe to denote rank). They also return in the third game with armor that is not even the same style as other marines.
    • Miranda's Spy Catsuit doesn't seem to be standard-issue for Cerberus personnel, especially considering the proportions required to make it work.
    • Joker wears the standard Alliance (or Cerberus in 2) uniform, however he always wears a dark blue hat (white for Cerberus) with SR-1 (SR-2 for the 2nd Normandy) on it. It doesn't seem special at first until you notice no other crewman on either ship has a similar hat, and he never takes it off. (Though since he is a pilot, and we never see another one, it could theoretically be a standard issue mark of the job.)
    • James Vega typically sports deep blue-grey armour, despite being an Alliance marine.
    • For a villainous example, Kai Leng's armour isn't really sported by any other Cerberus troops, although a male Shepard can get a variant by earning more than 10,000 points in the combat simulator on the Citadel DLC.
  • In The Godfather: The Game, most of your contract hits as well as the four Dons don't wear outfits with the same colour as their Family. Of course, your Virtual Paper Doll man Aldo isn't constrained by the standard colourless Corleone costume, though it's still somewhat limited; you can't, say, go for Alucard- / Dante-esque crimson or the yellow of Spike Spiegel.
  • In Star Trek Online one can create their own uniform out of several different pieces, styles (both from the shows and new), and colour schemes. This is even handwaved by one of the Loading Screens giving the year uniform regulations were relaxed.
  • The Persona series delves into both this and Nonuniform Uniform:
    • In the first Persona, each of the playable characters have their own personal flair. The protagonist, Maki, Eriko, and Nanjo wear the uniform correctly, but have an earring, compact-amulet, an orange scarf, and a light blue #1 scarf respectively. Yukino also wears the uniform correctly, but wears a much longer skirt. Masao/Mark also has an earring, but he wears a turtleneck shirt, a Nice Hat, and carries around a yellow tagger's backpack. Hidehiko wears a purple longsleeve shirt with his jacket half open, numerous bangles, red boots, and has a pair of sunglasses perched on his head. Yuko wears a skirt that is half the length of the standard skirt and she wears a blue-with-green-stripes jacket and baggy knee-socks. Reiji goes around with his jacket open and no shirt on and wears a pair of American flag motif fingerless gloves.
    • In serious contrast to the other Persona games, the Persona 2 duology only has the instance of a one Eikichi "Michel" Mishina, who wears a long tunic that sticks out from under his jacket and over his uniform pants. In Innocent Sin, Tatsuya, Lisa, and Jun wear their uniforms without any changes whatsoever, although Tatsuya has his jacket unbuttoned. Tatsuya foregoes a school uniform entirely in Eternal Punishment, opting for a red motorcycle tracksuit.
    • The only ones that actually wear proper uniforms in Persona 3 (including the PSP version) are the female protagonist and Aigis, and even then, Aigis wears the winter uniform even in summer in order to hide her robot joints. The male protagonist wears his winter uniform blazer unbuttoned and the uniform pants for both versions are slightly above his ankles and he wears a pair of engineer-style boots. Junpei always wears a ball cap and a blue shirt instead of a white one. Yukari wears a choker, a pink sweater instead of the winter uniform jacket and a shorter skirt. Fuuka wears a green turtleneck instead of the white shirt. Akihiko wears a red sweater vest and neither he nor Mitsuru ever wears the uniform jacket. Mitsuru at least has the excuse of "her father pays for this school", but the others don't. Ryoji also wears suspenders instead of a belt, rolls up his sleeves, and wears an absurdly long scarf instead of the uniform jacket.
    • Persona 4 is similar to its predecessor in that only Player Character wears the correct uniform, but the winter version jacket is unbuttoned and he has his shirt untucked with both versions. Chie wears a green sports jacket over her winter uniform and wears the summer uniform correctly, with her jacket tied around her waist; she also wears bike shorts under her skirt for both uniforms. Yosuke is always wearing headphones around his neck and foregoes the winter uniform shirt for a longsleeved V-neck shirt, but wears the summer uniform shirt with a shortsleeved V-neck shirt under it. Yukiko wears a red sweater or cardigan over her uniform top, depending on the uniform version she's wearing. Kanji wears his winter uniform jacket like a cape and only wears the uniform pants during the summer. Rise wears the uniform correctly in the summer, but the only variation she makes to the winter uniform is that she wears a white turtleneck under the uniform top. Naoto does wear unaltered winter and summer uniforms...but it's the boy's uniform, which she continues to wear even after her real gender is revealed. The only time she wears a girl's uniform is if she's your Christmas Date and you request she embrace her femininity.
    • Persona 5 has the protagonist subvert this trope as he wears his uniforms properly down to the footwear (in his opinion it's stylish). The party members still play it straight however. Ryuji wears his winter and summer uniform with bright graphic tees, his pantlegs rolled up, and white sneakers. Ann wears her winter uniform with a white zip-up hoodie underneath her blazer with the sleeves rolled up and red leggings underneath, while her summer uniform is worn properly with a blue jacket tied around her waist. Yusuke never wears a tie, wears his winter uniform with an untucked non-regulation shirt and no blazer, and for his summer uniform he replaces his school's shirt and vest combo with a dark-blue shirt. Makoto wears her winter uniform correctly but replaces the blazer with a black vest and her summer uniform is worn with a dress shirt instead of the school polo, a belt around her waist, and black leggings underneath. Haru wears a pink turtleneck cardigan over her winter uniform with floral tights and replaces the polo shirt with a purple turtleneck tank top for her summer uniform. Kasumi wears the winter and summer uniforms properly, but with bright red loafers, and a yellow cardigan over the summer uniform. Yusuke at least has a partial excuse, as he's said to attend a different school compared to the others.
  • Halo:
    • Emile in Halo: Reach wears a set of EVA power armor with a skull scratched on the visor. While the player character is allowed to customize their armor, the armors of the rest of Noble Team can't quite be replicated with customized parts either.
    • While this is generally downplayed by Spartans (the wide variety of armor permutations available to them are each specialized for a specific practical purpose), this is played straight in the sense that they can choose to paint their armor something like bright purple.
  • It's not clear if the Thieves' Guild in Assassin's Creed II has a per se uniform, but Rosa and Antonio's outfits clearly deviate from the ones the generic thieves wear.
  • Although Bully's Jimmy will get a couple dirty looks from the Prefects and some teachers for not wearing the school uniform, he won't get into any major trouble from it. The main trio of Petey, Gary and Jimmy have uniquely colored vests, and the majority of the school make modifications to theirs—each clique has their own take on the uniform, and only the non-clique students wear the regular school uniform properly.
  • Serious Sam 3: BFE: Sam doesn't wear the standard military uniform the redshirts do. Instead, he opts for an ordinary t-shirt and jeans.
  • In Disgaea 4, Fuka isn't able to become a proper Prinny because Hades ran out of Prinny suits. Thus, they just gave her a Prinny jacket and hat from the gift shop.
  • Possible to an extent in Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 — Michael and Jung wear the same uniform throughout the whole game, while the player character Bishop has all sorts of customization options. However, Michael and Jung's uniforms will emulate any camo options the player sets for Bishop, even if it clearly goes against the environment you're operating in.
  • Team Fortress 2 has hundreds of unlockable cosmetics obtainable to distinguish any willingly diligent player from his army of identical peers. The amount of gameplay-ignoring customization is so ridiculous there's now a meme parodying just how far Valve has gone with this.
  • In Skies of Arcadia, while the foot soldiers of the Valuan armada wear the same thing (though designs differ between different classes), the admirals have wildly differing uniforms whose only common feature is a wide-hipped, wide-shouldered silhouette.
  • Everywhere in KanColle, along with Nonuniform Uniform. It's probably easier to name the ship classes that don't have at least one special snowflake wearing a different outfit from the rest.
  • Despite being a knight and member of the knight academy, Asbel Lhant from Tales of Graces wears a long white coat over a kimono like top and flowy white pants and white shoes. No one else in the game, let alone the knight academy, wears anything like this.
  • Everyone's uniform in MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies is colored differently, in a manner similar to their regular clothes.
  • Valkyria Chronicles: Pretty much all of Squad 7 customises their uniforms in some way. There are reasonable justifications, however. Squad 7 is a Militia unit, not regular Army, so they are pretty much left with whatever uniforms and gear the Regulars aren't using. Welkin is a very self-aware Ensign Newbie, and his relationship with his subordinates is antagonistic enough without him going Neidermeyer and trying to enforce strict uniform regs in the middle of a shooting war. There is a war on, and it's pretty universal that in a combat zone, uniform regs can be relaxed a little.
    • It is quite notable that whenever the Regulars show up, they are always in impeccable uniform, probably to contrast them against the Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits that is Squad 7.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, the members of the Schwarzwelt Investigation Team all have stripes on the shoulders of their Demonicas signifying their specialization: yellow for command and navigation, blue for science, and red for military. The protagonist is a soldier and should theoretically have the red stripes, but he gets white instead because he's special.
  • Justified in Yandere Simulator: Allowing students to customize their uniforms is one of many last ditch efforts made by the Headmaster to try to boost enrollment at Akademi High after it dips below 100 students. The only ones who don't have a customized uniform in some way are the non-club affiliated students, Senpai, and Yandere-chan (and that last can be changed if she joins a club).
    • In the prequel 1980s mode, where the uniforms were more...well, uniform, the Student Council still gets special all white uniforms (compared to the school's black and white) to denote their special status. The sukeban girls also wear longer skirts and masks as an act of rebellion.
  • The Diamond and Pearl Clans in Pokémon Legends: Arceus each have their own standard uniforms, but the Wardens are shown to have customized theirs to various extents; for example, the Diamond Clan Warden Arezu wears a top that bears a closer resemblance to a modern-day hoodie than that of her peers, while the Pearl Clan Warden Gaeric forgoes a shirt entirely and has his clan's symbol shaved into his chest hair.

    Visual Novels 
  • None of the girls in Higurashi: When They Cry wear the same uniform; for example, Rena wears a Sailor Fuku while Rika wears a collared shirt and pleated skirt with suspenders. Their school is a rural schoolhouse that's so tiny (all years from elementary school through to high school are in a single class) that neither of the two teachers working there care to enforce anything beyond a loose dress-code.
  • In Tokimeki Memorial 1 and 2, Rei and Mei Ijuin, as heirs of the filthy rich Ijuin Family, are allowed to wear variants of their respective schools' regular uniform. Becomes a plot point in Tokimeki Memorial 2, as if Mei is in Tokimeki Status with the main protagonist, near the end of the game, he can give her a regular Hibikino School Uniform as a Christmas present, and she'll wear it out of love for him later in one of her special Events.
    • Small variations to the standard uniform — usually a different shirt and/or tie — are common throughout the Girl's Side games, especially on the parts of the more artistic and/or fashionable characters.
  • Missing Stars: Annaliese wears a hoodie instead of a blazer like everyone else. It's so notable that Erik even questions it.
    Erik: The first thing that catches my eye about her is how little she catches my eye. Sitting still and staring out the window, oblivious to the rest of the class, wearing a hoodie rather than the standard blazer everyone else seems to wear. I wonder how she gets away with that? Despite being out of uniform, she almost blends into the wall.
  • Most of the cast in the Longinus Dreizehn Orden from Dies Irae wears a slightly altered version of the infamous Waffen-SS uniform, with some members having a more customized version than others. Rusalka's uniform in particular looks next to unrecognizable compared to the historical one it is based on or those of her allies.

  • El Goonish Shive uses this a few times:
    • First with with Nanase's Stripperific martial arts outfit:
      Sarah: Why is she dressed like that?
      Justin: Black belts wear whatever they want.
      Sarah: Is that a rule?
      Justin: Sorta... nobody is brave enough to tell them no.
    • And again later when Tedd and Susan play mix-and-match with their male and female school uniforms to protest Moperville North's strict, sexist (and short-lived, at least if you're on an Archive Binge) school uniform policy.
    • Tedd also seems to think all uniforms should be custom:
      "I mean, I like uniforms, but what's the point if everyone in a group is wearing the same thing?!"
  • The Dogs of War in Cry 'Havoc' all wear different gear over a standard unifrom. This is passed off due to their status as mercenaries who hand-pick their equipment and weapons.
  • In Those Destined, the Quirky Miniboss Squad's uniform consists only of a badge (worn above their regular clothes, as the Big Bad insists), while the standard mook uniform is much stricter.
  • In Goblins, one of the Brassmoon city guard officers wears a cape. He stopped when his commander threatened to kill him if he saw him in it again.
  • A mook wearing a medieval suit of armor while his comrades wear high-tech military stealth-suits does not escape the hero's notice in Antihero for Hire. He claims he gets to do whatever he wants because he's an elite, although he actually goes down easier than most of the regular ones.
  • Team Outrageous in Sleepless Domain wear their uniforms differently from the other girls to reflect their rebellious nature: Apple wears a hoodie instead of a blazer and wears Modesty Shorts under her skirt, Lime wears her coat like a cape, and Lemon has a petticoat under her skirt and wears a miniature top hat.
    Zoe: I know the dress code here is kinda lax... but I'm still pretty sure they're breaking it...

    Western Animation 
  • Amphibia: The standard school uniform at Saint James Middle School consists of a t-shirt and bottom variation (long pants for boys, skirt for girls) with different colored necklines and bottoms, along with a matching hoodie and any shoes they want. Sasha's uniform (wearing a jacket instead of a hoodie) stands out the most.
  • Kylie and Eduardo from Extreme Ghostbusters wore, respectively, a black leotard with orange football pads, and a green t-shirt with blue jeans with an orange vest.
  • G.I. Joe wouldn't be able to be what it was — a Merchandise-Driven toy commercial — if it hadn't been for the sweet individualistic "uniforms" each soldier wore. Otherwise you're just buying a bunch of the same guy with different heads.
    • Interestingly, the live action G.I.Joe film chose to go with more standardized uniforms for the main characters.
    • Eight of the thirteen original Joes wore green uniforms with round helmets. The five standing out were Scarlett (blue outfit with tan torso), Snake-Eyes (all black with face mask), Stalker (green camouflage with a beret), Flash, and Grand Slam (both with red padding on top of their green uniforms).
  • The Owl House: The students at Hexside all wear the same uniform and shoes but with different colored unitards depending on what coven track they're assigned to. A few exceptions would be Luz, who keeps her regular shoes instead of the traditional black boots, and Viney, Jerbo and Barcus wear variations on their uniform as well, the first with a ragged uniform and mid-length sleeves, the second with splits in his tunic, and the third wearing just the top due to being a dog. Some other students also wear different shoes; for example, Eda wore flats when she went to school.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Shining Armor, Captain of the Royal Guard, has armor of a slightly different design than his subordinates, the badge on front is his Cutie Mark instead of a star, and it's purple with gold edges instead of all-gold or all-silver.
  • In Pasila, none of the five police officer protagonists have an identical uniform. One wears a full officer's dress uniform, another one wears an indoor uniform, another one wears an outdoor uniform, another one wears a mere uniform vest over his civilian shirt and trousers, and one wears a fricking trenchcoat, t-shirt, jeans and sneakers. Each uniform is worn like that the whole time.
  • Private Snafu: In "Gripes", Snafu is given command of the army and does away with all regulation. One of the soldiers starts wearing a uniform patterned after a zoot suit.
  • Phineas and Ferb: The Fireside Girls are clearly recognizable as a unit, but all of their uniforms are different, with Isabella's uniform (being a Palette Swap of her everyday clothes and having her trademark hairbow on the beret) standing out the most. In one episode, it's revealed that each girl makes her own.
  • The uniforms worn by the crew of the Cerritos in Star Trek: Lower Decks as well as the crews of most other starships seen on the show are full color with a commbadge that lacks a backing. However, the crew of the Titan wears the uniforms that debuted in First Contact.
    • Marriner’s blatant uniform violations.
    • Dr. T’ana wears a blue coat reminiscent of Dr. Crusher’s from the Next Generation.
  • In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the Mauve Shirt clone troopers who have lived longer than the first mission after basic training add some customization to their armor, either as paint, tattoos, or just not having the burn/pistol marks repaired off of it. Officers also have the opportunity to add accessories like kama.

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television. It's only been very recently (in historical terms) that officers have had standardized uniforms, and even more recently that personal touches have been frowned upon. Patton and Montgomery are two of the more notable ones from as recently as World War II. There is a joke in the British Army that if two officers from the Intelligence Corps appear at breakfast wearing identical clothing the junior officer must go and get changed.
    • Montgomery, when he was training officers at the British Staff College in the 1920s, specifically stated that a general should have a distinctive hat. Later, while he was preparing the fight against Rommel, he started using his distinctive beret, even if it went against the officers dress code. The highest rank command told him repeatedly to stick to the rules, to which he replied that they could go to hell, since he was well aware of having being recognized all over the army, and even the civilian population back in UK, specifically because 'the general wearing a beret' directly told everybody that it was him.
    • General Douglas MacArthur's innate sense of theatre made him an interesting case. Despite his reputation for flamboyant dress during wartime (his iconic WWII outfit was actually fairly mild compared to WWI when his troops called him "the fighting dude"note  and he often went into battle wearing jodhpurs, riding boots and his West Point varsity letter sweater armed only with a riding crop) he always wore impeccable regulation uniforms in peacetime. Each look was carefully calculated to fit the image he was trying to project and the audience he was trying to impress. The fact that he chose to make his famous farewell address wearing a civilian suit did not go unnoticed.
      • Nor, for that matter, did the fact that when he was ordered to meet with President Truman at Midway to discuss how The Korean War was going, he met the president in battered fatigues. Supposedly, he was trying to make it clear that he was subordinate to the President by making sure he wasn't as sharply dressed, but it was widely interpreted to be an insult.
    • George S. Patton devised a distinctive uniform for the Armored Force around the end of the 1930s. It was made of emerald-green gabardine, with a diagonal row of metal buttons running down the front of the abbreviated tunic, and topped with a gold-colored football helmet (any resemblance to the Battlestar Galactica (1978) uniforms are purely coincidental). It was immediately dubbed the "Green Hornet", from the radio program, and officers made a point of visiting Patton's unit to see him wearing it. The "Green Hornet" was not adopted, of course, even after Patton submitted a much milder version in brown.note  The Germans had the same idea, and their tank crews wore a black wraparound uniform from 1934 throughout World War II; surprisingly, it was not confused with the black uniforms of the SS, probably due to differing styles and insignia.
    • The German panzer arm and the SS also shared the Death's Head insignia, which, in turn, was the emblem of the Prussian Hussars. Their uniforms were actually confused for each other's by their enemies rather often, with occasional unfortunate consequences for the wearers.
      • The British Armored 17th Lancers also had the "Death's Head" badge (dating back to the Seven Years' War, when they adopted it from German units).
    • Ulysses S. Grant almost never bothered with his own uniform, to the point that he only got into the Appomattox Court House surrender ceremony in his dirty fatigues and splattered with mud because the Confederates knew him by sight. In contrast Robert E. Lee was fully dressed in his best uniform for the surrender, with one observer commenting that if you hadn't known better you'd have thought Lee had won. Lee had been forced to abandon his baggage train earlier that week and he naturally chose to change into the best uniform he had left before ditching all of the others. Lee played into this trope as well by typically wearing the insignia and uniform of a colonel, despite his rank in the Confederate army. Among modern infantrymen, many would think Grant made the right choice — his mud-spattered uniform showed that he was "in the shit," and not just a desk officer who had the time to get clean.
    • To this day, according to United States Army Regulation 670-1 (the document pertaining to the wear of the uniform), Generals of the Army, the Chief of Staff, and former Chiefs of Staff can alter their uniform however they like. They still can't wear medals or ribbons they aren't entitled to though. (Only applies to their branch insignia, not the whole uniform. Of course at that high of a rank, and that the Chief of Staff approves uniform changes anyway, they can do whatever they want.)
  • Uniform regulations also generally make concessions to religious practices where practical. For example, Mormon soldiers are issued with brown Temple Garments that match with their outer uniform. Sikh turban is RAF uniform and is issued. As is a tube of gel to put on his beard when wearing a gasmask. There have been Sikhs fighting for Britain since at least the 1750s, although prior to 1858 they would have been a very small number, so there's a long history of this.
  • The Soviet Army, relying principally on conscription to supply manpower, inevitably encompassed the dozens of different recognized nationalities within the nation. With conscription being a sort of difficult rite of passage for many young men, when their terms of service ended, the same men were allowed what was informally called a demobilization uniform, if they desired, which would feature whatever items, patches, or other trinkets they had collected. The only requirement was that still vaguely resemble their original service uniforms, and as a result, many men returning to their homes wore some truly gaudy and flashy tunics with extra aiguillettes, shoulder insignia, and more. The units/branches where this practice was most widespread even gained a nickname of "motor-sewing", a pun on motor-rifle regiments.
  • This trope was actually the reason why the Commissar Cap ever became the regulation cap of the Russians with Rusting Rockets in the '90s. Originally it was just The '80s military chic, where some officers began competing to have the biggest and highest cap in the unit. Then some brass loved the style and put it into the regs, which ironically coincided with the end of the Cold War.
  • The Duke of Wellington spent most of the Napoleonic Wars in civvies, as he was the commander of several different nations' armies and didn't want to play favorites. Also, The Iron Duke didn't care about what his officers wore, as long as they and their units could fight. Sir Thomas Picton commanded a cavalry charge in civilian evening dress and swinging an umbrella, and at one point fought a battle in pyjamas. Neither of those incidents were voluntary, but the point stands.
  • And there's Hermann Goering's famous ornate uniforms. A joke told in Germany at the time had Adolf Hitler inspecting the latest warship, only to see Goering (who'd turned up early) looking out a porthole. Hitler says: "That man's gone too far — now he's draped an entire battleship around his neck!"
  • When South Korean men get discharged after their mandatory conscription, many will get their final uniforms, which they will wear to reserve training, "tuned". The more sedate version of tuning involves swapping out subdued patches for full-color versions and getting unit mottos embroidered on caps. Gaudier tuning can involve flashy metal versions of the reservist cap badge, slogans embroidered in red and gold thread up and down sleeves and trouser legs, fancy boots, and qualifications loudly proclaimed through enormous embroidered lettering.
  • Particularly when dealing with school uniforms, students do their damnedest to get away with as much as they possibly can. Apparently when they were filming one of the Harry Potter movies, the adolescent extras were told specifically to wear their uniforms how they would normally wear them in such a situation, so some loosened or removed the tie, some hiked up their skirts, etc. In the fifth film when Umbridge takes over she attempts to force the students to look more standardised.
  • U-Boat crews during World War II wore anything but uniforms while at sea. While they had grey leathers for waterproofing and warmth, they are often seen in captured British battledress uniforms for working clothes. Come to that, the German rescue services for air raids often wore captured Russian or Danish helmets and uniform as working dress. The Volkssturm also used many and varied uniforms. In fact, most Volkssturm in 1944 had nothing more than armbands, not unlike their British counterparts from a few years before.
  • The British Home Guard, in its early days, was equipped with whatever was left after the already under-equipped regulars had taken first pick. For a long while the only uniform to speak of was a small armband, and enforcement of uniform regulations remained spotty long after proper battledress trickled down.
  • The late William Rehnquist, when he was Chief Justice of the United States, added four stripes to the sleeves of his court robes, because he'd seen Iolanthe and thought it was cool. Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor often wear lace cravats with their robes, a tradition started by the first woman on the Court, Sandra Day O'Connor. All this is entirely legal, as the robe is the Justice's personal property, purchased at his or her own expense. Furthermore, the Court's regulations only require that Justices wear black robes in the situations that call for it, but don't say anything else about the subject.
  • Militia-type organizations in the United States. Typically, these are groups of local citizens who equip themselves with whatever is at hand. As a result, it's perfectly possible to go to militia practice and see guys in US Woodland BDUs, Vietnam-era olive drab, ACU, DPM, CADPAT, Alpenflage, business suits, Multicam, Flecktarn, and Gorod. Weapons are seldom standardized either, so you'll see everything from AR's to AK's to Garands to FAL's.
  • The Texas Rangers (a statewide investigative agency in Texas)note  uniform consists of a badge, a visible weapons belt, boots and "Western clothing". Their uniform manual is more a list of suggestions then actual rules. Of course, considering that there's a good reason why they're Rangers...
    • They are not a traditional police force, being more akin to a state-level version of the FBI. When they need traditional cops, they get help from local police departments and the Highway Patrol. They also do have uniforms, which strongly resemble the Highway Patrol, but these are traditionally worn for more formal occasions, and in situations where they want to make their presence known such as security details.
  • Girl Scouts of the USA haven't required girls to wear a full uniform for years now, but they still made them. As of October 2008, they've taken this further:
    Girl Scouts at each level have one required element (Tunic, Sash or Vest) for the display of official pins and awards which will be required when girls participate in ceremonies or officially represent the Girl Scout Movement.
    For girls ages 5 to 14, the unifying look includes wearing a choice of a tunic, vest, sash for displaying official pins and awards, combined with their own solid white shirts and khaki pants or skirts. Girl Scouts in high school can also wear a scarf that unites their look with the sisterhood of Girl Scouts around the world.
    For adult members the unifying look of the uniform is a Girl Scout official scarf or tie for men, worn with the official membership pins, combined with their own navy blue business attire. Girl Scouts at the Daisy and Brownie levels will continue to have a full uniform ensemble available.
    • There are so many different shades of khaki — never mind that Cadettes' vests often don't match their pants — that it leads to rather a lack of uniformity.
  • The Boy Scouts of America share only a standard uniform shirt and common rank, merit and leadership patches. Pants can be either long or short; some units require one or the other, whereas others allow either. Different units can have their own regional and unit insignia and patches, nametags, hats, and neckerchiefs. Scouts from the same unit have largely identical uniforms, but the insignia on top of the common shirt and pants can look wildly different between troops.
  • While Girl Guides of Canada requires full uniforms, there are endless options for clothing that normally result no two girls in a troop look the same. The uniform consists of: long and short sleeved option for t-shirts, e pants or capris, leggings, a hat when camping a hoodie of vest for cold weather, a sash for displaying the badges, a neck scarf (the same as the one described above for girl scouts) and the characteristic stripey socks.
  • Wal-mart only requires its employees to wear blue shirts, brown pants, and their name badge. What shade of blue and what shade of brown is completely irrelevant, and they can be any style of shirt or pants (provided it stays within reasonable dress code). Though most simply choose the standard navy blue, collared shirts. They did away with the uniform blue vests a couple years ago for unknown reasons.
    • Similarly, Target requires its employees to wear tan pants and a red shirt, with no guidance beyond those points.
    • At the American Girl Place in Los Angeles, employees are required to wear black pants, black shoes, and black socks. Shirts can be of any colors so as long it's solid and no logos/patterns, while those working in the cafe have to have white button-down shirts. (Might apply to some of the other stores.)
  • Private Military Contractors usually don't have set uniforms. Most members either wear civilian clothes underneath their tactical gear, or whatever military fatigues the members own. In the Post 2003 Iraq era Paul Bremer's personal security detail made the "Tactical Tuxedo" (consisting of desert boots + 5.11 brand Cargo Pants + 5.11 Shirt + Riggers Belt + Plate Carrier + Ballistic Sunglasses) popular, with a lot of variability in shirt and pant colors even within a single photo of his security detail.
  • Nurses. Even if you see 100 nurses in one day, you will never see two dressed identicaly. Applies to male nurses as well.
    • Does not, however, apply to nursing students in a hospital. They tend to wear whatever uniform clothes the school requires, usually white.
    • Does not apply to the increasing number of hospitals that are standardizing their dress codes, such that all employees of a certain professional branch (RNs, CNAs, ancillary staff, etc) must wear scrubs of a solid mandated color (frequently either navy or ciel blue). Also does not apply to the OR, where everyone wears the same hospital-issued surgical greens.
      • An exception is generally made for pediatric nurses, as looking too formal might distress the children.
    • If you've seen the show Emergency, you may have noticed that although the uniforms may be similar or identical, you'll be hard pressed to find two hats the same. In that time period, nurses wore the hats they wore for their respective schools.
    • To an extent subverted in the National Health Service. Nurses don't have the various patterns and decorations found elsewhere and have strict uniform guidelines. And that is just for the logo placement. Doctors, on the other hand, have no real dress code beyond "business casual"; white coats have been largely done away with outside of lab-work, and neckties have been banned as a potential hygeine and safety issue.
    • Priests, somewhat surprisingly, can alter their dress with permission. One Anglican Vicar who worked at a children's hospital was granted permission to dress in colorful shirts (often decorated with cartoon characters) complete with dog collars because he felt that the traditional black was inappropriate for dealing with young children struggling with severe illness.
  • 18th century regiments each had their own uniform, and the only criteria was that it should have as much Bling of War as was compatible with marching through mud and potholes, a difficulty usually ignored as showiness comes before reason. It may not have mattered as much as it sounds as each block of men only has to know how to fire at the block of men in front of it.
    • Even colors of uniforms were not standardized as late as the 19th century. The British had troops wearing green (most famously the Green Dragoons and the Rifle regiments) and blue; almost all nations' Zouave uniforms looked alike, in more or less French colors; in the American Civil War, the First Battle of Bull Run saw an incident where a Union unit in gray uniforms got almost on top of the Confederates before either side realized what was going on. (Or was it a Confederate unit in blue?)
      • It was a Confederate unit in blue running towards a Union artillery unit. The commander on the Union side was asked if they should open fire, but said no because the troops approaching were friendlies. He was wrong.
      • This was brought up in the movie "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly", when the leads thought the approaching troops were Confederates in grey, but it turned out to be blue uniforms coated in trail dust.
    • Even when a unit's uniforms were standardised when they were formed, it wasn't unusual for them to return home looking vastly different from even other members of the same unit. Admittedly, this was because not all of their uniforms would be from the same supplier using the same batch of dye on the exact same kind of fabric, and so would not necessarily react in the same manner to weather conditions (rain, sun, etc.). A battalion of "redcoats" might end up marching back to barracks after a campaign with some members in pink coats, and some whose jackets were almost brown.
  • Various modern incarnations of former paramilitary organisation the Legion of Frontiersmen tend to have a rather ... random selection of uniform elements.
  • Ditto for modern Cossacks. Their appearance ranges from "fairly modern military style camo" to "authentic 19th century dress uniform complete with a saber", with anything in between possible.
  • Lord Lovet lead a commando brigade on D-Day wearing a custom bright white jumper under his battledress, carrying an M1 Carbine.
  • Examples from sports:
    • Goalkeepers in association football must wear uniforms that make them distinguishable from other players. This has occasionally led to customized uniforms.
    • Goaltenders in Ice Hockey wear masks attached to their helmets to keep pucks from flying into their faces. These masks and helmets tend to be highly decorated according to the goalie's tastes.
    • Same with catchers in baseball, who wear helmets with face masks for the same reason.
  • Roman legions allowed officers to wear their medallions and medals to battle. Each of them wore a custom uniform, here modelled by a few reenactors. Indeed, before the Marian Reforms of 107 BCE, the armies of The Roman Republic consisted entirely of citizen-soldiers whose arms and armor were their personal property, either bought themselves or inherited, and therefore varied wildly in appearance.note  Standardization of appearance is a very modern idea.
  • "Helmet graffiti" was a phenomenon among soldiers in The Vietnam War. Be it due to eroded discipline standards from a long and grueling war or just the self-expression of particularly unwilling conscripts, writings or drawings on the cloth cover of an American soldier's metal M1 helmet were tolerated as long said drawings or writings were not outright seditious, and would become iconic imagery associated with the war (as can be seen on the theatrical release poster of Full Metal Jacket). Doing this even occurred (to a far lesser extent) among the opposing North Vietnamese Army.
  • In retail, eateries, and other similar jobs, employees are usually required to wear specific kinds of clothing to conform to the business' standard for appearance and allow customers to tell who's an employee. An employee that has more power or seniority over other employees (usually a manager) will have a little more leeway on what they can wear.