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Form-Fitting Wardrobe

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"Following that unseen sauna, we get to see the women with nipples poking through their towels, which apparently operate like shrink wrap, and conform to their bodies perfectly."
Linkara, Atop the Fourth Wall on 22 Brides #1

In comics, and some other drawn and animated media, clothing is often drawn fitting around the body far better than it reasonably should in Real Life.

All clothing will fit tightly around an animated woman's 15 inch waist, even if it's dropped or empire-line. Men too, will have an apparent narrow waist even in jackets that wouldn't show that in real life. Of course, the most common form of this is spandex outfits, which nowadays wrap around every curve and muscle (especially prominent since the late 1980s) but as the picture shows, any piece of clothing can wrap around better than it should if the artist so chose, whether it be an overcoat or the bodice of a Pimped-Out Dress.

The reason this is done is likely a combination of Rule of Cool, Rule of Sexy and Reality Is Unrealistic, with a heaping bushel of Fanservice for good measure. If the character has a good figure, the artist likely wants to show it off, to advertise the beauty or natural athleticism.

Another reason, particularly where superhero comics are concerned, is that artists are trained to draw (naked) human figures. It is faster and easier to add colors that imply spandex clothing than to actually draw the folds and wrinkles that come with wearing realistic clothing. In other words, most of the time (and this goes for male characters as well as female), what you're seeing are nudes with strategic coloring.

Some Live Action Adaptations try to sculpt the outfits to simulate the look in the comics.

Can be inverted with Unmoving Plaid in order to "flatten out" logically form fitting clothes and reduce the fanservice of things like a Panty Shot.

A Sub-Trope of Impossibly Cool Clothes.

A Super-Trope to Chainmail Bikini and Latex Spacesuit.

Compare Most Common Superpower, Sensual Spandex (which often shows some skin as well as conforming to the skin it covers), Sweater Girl (although the sweater is designed to be form-fitting), Painted-On Pants, Superheroes Wear Tights.

Not to be confused with Clingy Costume, Body Paint.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The armor worn in Saint Seiya. Justified because they're magical artifacts with explicit shape-shifting properties (the Sagittarius Cloth is first seen in a form completely different from the real one due having been altered for disguise purposes, and other armors have lesser pieces disappearing), and adapting to the users' size is a simple effect of that.
  • The plug suits in Neon Genesis Evangelion, justified as necessary for synchronization and as a life-support system for the pilots. We're also shown how they get so tight: a vacuum-sealing button at the wrist to make them skintight.
  • Dragon Ball Z has the combat armor worn by Vegeta as well as many other make characters in Frieza's employ. It is a skintight bodysuit to show muscles with shoulder and breastplates over top, but the actual armor pieces get continually smaller until they're done away with completely in the Buu arc. Somewhat justified as it's designed to accommodate several different species, some of whom can transform.
    • Itís a double standard as when the combat armor is worn by female characters e.g Fasha, Gine and Cheelai the chest plate becomes more literal curving outwards and the bodysuits hugs the figure even more. Justified in Fashaís case though, she had a Leotard of Power.
  • In Berserk Cascaís battle gear hugs her body (especially her lower body) very tightly, which makes it confusing when Casca is mistaken for Sweet Polly Oliver since her figure is clearly feminine. After losing her sanity due to a traumatic event in the Eclipse, Casca just wears a brown robe, yet it still clings around her breasts and rear.
    • On the flip side Gutsís basic garments have trouble hiding his Heroic Build.
  • Good God, Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple. Miu's clothing is so formfitting that she might as well be wearing Body Paint. Even her apron is form fitting. Must be a family trait, Grandpa Fuurinji wears thick robes that somehow manage to show off all his abs and arm muscles.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, whenever Yusuke is shown wearing blue jeans, they always look far too tight to be comfortable. This combines with some serious Clothing Damage to create a sizable female fanbase (with a little help from Kurama). His other clothes aren't nearly as bad, though.
  • In Naruto Tsunadeís main outfit is designed to show off her figure, though even then normal clothes canít hide her curves either, it takes full battle armor to do that.
  • Excel♡Saga: All of the female characters, most of the time, no matter what they're wearing (including the Daitenzen suits, and the ACROSS girls "uniforms"). Of course, this is all Author Appeal, as Rikudo Koshi is known for his many Doujinshi. Lampshaded in Volume 15, between Missions 2 & 3. A single-panel image of Excel and Elgala being held prisoner, where, among other comments, the guard asks: "Purple-haired prisoner! Have you been tailoring your uniform again?" Elgala's prison uniform is unusually form-fitting. Even Excel's is needlessly tight around the bust and midsection.
  • Gantz deserves special mention here. Not only do the full-body suits hug every curve so tightly that they're impossible to put on while wearing any undergarments whatsoever, the breasts actually seem to grow when the suits are put on. They're custom-made for each wearer and may use additional alien tech to fit so perfectly. Characters (mostly men) can even wear street clothes outside their suits.
  • Death Note: Mello's leather wardrobe.
  • In One Piece normal clothing worn by attractive female character tends to cling as not to hide their curvaceous bodies. It takes full robes to hide them e.g Nami Vivi in Alabasta. Interestingly this trope only came into fruition after considerable Art Evolution as Namiís original clothes werenít titillating in the slightest, but cue the same outfit drawn years later... itís almost painted on.
    • Averted with most male characters in One Piece as bulky clothing will often hide their muscular physiques.
    • Franky plays this straight post-timeskip, as any long-sleeved coats he wears will apparently vacuum-seal around his bulky robot arms.
  • Rurouni Kenshin frequently has bad guys wearing what appears to be 19th Century spandex, even to the point of having vacuum-fitting bandages.
  • Bleach: Any of Orihime's shirts or outfits seem to be tailored to her large bust. Of course, she is a member of the sewing club.
  • Damn near the whole cast in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, their stylish clothes canít conceal fabulous bodies.
  • In Darker than Black, Amber's clothing are really really skin-tight. It gets odd when you realize she'd have to get new clothes in progressively different sizes every time she ages back as remuneration for her powers.
  • Food Wars!, being an ecchi series, makes nearly all the outfits of female characters (especially the bustier ones) unrealistically form-fitting. A notorious example is the chef jacket which still somehow shows off the female students/chefs' bust shape perfectly.
  • Hellsing: Seras Victoria's uniform really shows her figure: thigh-high stockings, a really short skirt and a military coat so skin-tight, it wraps around her breasts.
    • A certain abridged series suggested Seras doesnít actually wear a bra.
  • Heroic Age, like various other Space Opera series, has women's military uniforms that stuck-to-the-skin tight, defining every last curve in perfect detail.
  • IkkiTousen covers routinely feature women wearing cheongsams which even conform to their navels.
  • Ladies versus Butlers!: The girls' school uniform is so form-fitting that the top appears to be painted on.
  • Incredibly form-fitting clothes crop-up from time to time in One-Punch Man, and are available for both men and women. Tatsumaki and Fubuki's black dresses are so tight they underline every details of their bodies to the point they conform to their navels. Metal Bat, Bang and Garou wear turtleneck sweaters that show perfectly their well-defined muscles. Garou put it even further when covered neck-to-toe only in some black bandage thing that remain perfectly skintight even after it got increasingly torn in successive battles.
  • Exorcist ninja suits in Ayakashi Triangle have mesh underlayers, which a volume extra refers to as chainmail, but are drawn more like body stockings with fishnets. Even the fabric layers on top can be extremely tight; Matoi's suit in particular visibly conforms to both her navel and her buttocks.

    Comic Books 
  • It would be easier to list superheroes with outfits that don't follow this trope. A popular derogatory phrase is "boob socks", for costumes that define and separate a woman's individual breasts in a way that could only be achieved in real life if the costume were glued to her skin or made with bespoke breast pockets.
    • Catwoman's infamous purple outfit.
    • A notable example would be Iron Maiden of Earth X, though. She's wearing a suit of Vibranium (fictional metal) armor which molds to her attributes. All of them, apparently—the style of art in the original series makes it hard to see, but a concept drawing shows nipples, navel, and cameltoe. Only the armor's head, which looks like Iron Man's original helmet, is an exception.
    • A justified case is Moonstone, best known from Thunderbolts - she uses her energy projection powers to summon costumes, which are very tight even if metallic - sometimes, downright resembling a coat of paint. When questioned, writer Kurt Busiek stated Moonstone deliberately uses sex appeal as a weapon, so the tight wardrobe helps.
    • In the Golden and Silver ages spandex usually wasn't so tight, and fit much more realistically. As time went on clothes got tight, to the point where a hero in spandex was essentially naked save for a few choice areas. Then it got even crazier and muscles just started appearing everywhere, reaching an apex with Rob Liefeld and his followers. Nowadays things tend to be more subdued, thanks to colouring techniques having enough depth to render all those muscles through subtle shading rather than hard lines.
    • In many renditions of muscular males, you could even see their veins through the material of their sleeves.
    • A noticeable aversion would be Batgirl's "Burnside" costume, which replaced the spandex/armor aesthetic in favor of something more down to Earth. The model sheet explicitly states that the jacket Batgirl wears is not spandex and X's out a drawing of the jacket effectively vacuum-sealed over her chest.
  • Just about everything the girls in Archie Comics put on will wrap far better above the waist than they would in reality.
  • Almost continually averted for female pilots in the X-Wing Rogue Squadron comics; the outfits pilots and other characters wore sometimes hinted a little, but were seldom overt, and their pilot jumpsuits were all baggy and heavily pocketed. The most notable exception was the one time a character got into a formal gown which clung tight enough to reveal her abs - and rather than being an Unusually Uninteresting Sight, the pilot she was dating saw it and said "Wow!"
  • Thunderstrike: Marcy wears a fancy red dress for the opening of her health salon, which clung to her figure. This had the benefit of showing off her figure, hinting that one could look that good joining her salon.
  • In Twenty Two Brides, it showed two of the heroines dressed in bath towels that managed to shrink around their bodies to the point that their nipples show.
  • Justified for the sake of Fanservice in Empowered — her semi-sentient suit is thinner than Real Life lycra and actively forms itself to her skin. According to which rules it's actually less revealing than it should be... Specifically, it doesn't show camel toe — which, if it was really a few molecules thick and more or less a superpowered form of bodypaint, would definitely be visible. This is lampshaded in comic and by the author several times, and both characters and author promise to explain it in a future chapter. Every volume. Despite the above, Emp notes in one issue that she has to keep shaved because the stubble shows through the suit.
  • The comic book adaptation to Splinter of the Mind's Eye puts Luke and Leia into "miner's uniforms". On Leia this outfit actually averts this trope, being tight but not apparently painted on. On Luke... Ironically, the original novel (and the cover art) describes Leia's outfit as being considerably more form-fitting than shown in the comic.
  • Dust from various X-Men-related titles is supposedly a devout Muslim who wears a full abaya and niqab. Certain artists, however, completely miss the point of modest Islamic dress for women and draw the abaya as virtually skin-tight.

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Animation 
  • In Anastasia, Anya changes into a flapper dress, which still hugs her waist and breasts, even though the point of that style was not to do that.
  • Almost all Supers in The Incredibles franchise wear a supersuit that is form-fitting.
  • Likewise Tiana from The Princess and the Frog lives in The Roaring '20s. Her blue gown has a belt where the correct waistline should be, but the top is completely form-fitting.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The '90s Batman Film Series did this, leading to the most extreme form yet of this trope: the bat-nipples in Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.
  • David Bowieís (as Jareth the goblin king) pants in Labyrinth.
  • The GI Joe suits in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra have this effect especially on Scarlet.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The S.H.I.E.L.D jumpsuits have this effect on female characters see Black Widow or Agent Hill.
    • On the flip side beefcakes such as Thor and Captain America have trouble concealing their muscles outside their superhero gear. Only the smaller Peter Parker averts this trope successfully in a Clark Kent Outfit.
  • James Bond always wears bespoke suits. While these are tailored in the English (fits at chest, drapes from there) rather than Continental (strongly darted to be at snug at possible for the whole body without pulling or puckering) style, they're still quite form-fitting compared to the off the rack (needs to be larger to hide the minor inconsistencies with the wearer's body) and American Sack (fits at natural shoulder and drapes from there, has wide armholes with extra fabric in the underarm so the suit doesn't pucker when arms are up) styles most audience members are used to.
  • The Princess Bride: Westley's mask was tailored to fit on Cary Elwes by making a mold on his face.
  • Viper's clothes in The Wolverine.
  • Gwen Demarco lampshades this in Galaxy Quest when she says "I mean, my TV Guide interview was six paragraphs about my BOOBS and how they fit into my suit", a reference to a famous TV Guide interview with Jeri Ryan, who plays Seven of Nine in Star Trek: Voyager.

  • Apparently the red leather suits worn by the Mord-Sith in Sword of Truth work like this. At one point when Cara is performing a Full-Frontal Assault, Richard notes that it's not particularly shocking - she looks like she always does, only pink instead of red.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Various episodes of The Mighty Boosh have Vince in skintight latex jumpsuits.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise, T'Pol has a jump suit that is not only more form fitting than the uniforms, but also for Vulcan clothing. Explicitly stated as being Fanservice in-universe.
  • Star Trek: Voyager, Seven of Nine wears mostly suits that are far more form-fitting than the regular uniforms. Handwaved initially as she is a former Borg and needed the form-fitting clothing to her skin regenerate. And she can't wear something less distracting over the suit why? note 
    • However, when Seven returns in Star Trek: Picard, she dresses in a much more casual and practical way.
  • Justified in Bunheads since much of the story revolves around the dance studio so the students both male and female (although we see much more of the girls than the boys) spend a lot of time in leotards.
  • Most of Joan Holloway Harris's clothing are this to show off her figure, though they are well tailored and she wears the requisite period undergarments to create the armored, bullet-pointed look for her curves.


    Tabletop Games 
  • In Transhuman Space, memswear is clothing laced with infinitesimally small motors, sensors, and radio transceivers. If ordered to do so, a memswear garment can fit this way.

    Video Games 
  • EverQuest had this problem early on due to technological limitations. All armor except helmets was depicted by merely changing the texture of the character model without altering its geometry, meaning that leather armor, chainmail, and even full plate armor was skin-tight and matched the wearer's shape perfectly. This effect was partially averted by characters that normally wore robes (Erudian males), coats (Dark/high elf males), dresses (high elf/Erudian females), or kilts (Barbarians) as part of their character model, in which case equipping platemail resulted in wearing a platemail skirt!
  • Somehow, Sheik's sarashi and shawl, the latter of which is supposed to be loose clothing, in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time are worn this way as part of her male disguise. This was dropped to an extent in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and even more the 3DS remake of Ocarina of Time to make things more clear about her disguise (though they went back to it in her Wii U appearance, deviating from her original concept design).
  • The Metal Gear series follows this trope with main characters' spy suits.
    • Ditto with Sam Fisher's gear in the Splinter Cell games.
    • Both of these are justified in that tighter attire are better suited for sneaking.
      • Unlike most examples, Snake remarked how 'uncomfortable' the Sneaking Suit was until he 'breaks it in'
    • Solid Snake has pecs, abs and intercostal muscles visible through a padded bulletproof vest in Metal Gear Solid. In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Big Boss's bulge (in his Battle uniform) is visible in alarming detail through a padded plate more than an inch thick.
  • Crops up in Resident Evil frequently even when the female characterís clothing is practical for the environment, the gear still hugs their bodies to extent where their curves are visible. Jill and Sheva in particular get Painted-On Pants in RE5.
    • Averted with Claire and Ada in the RE2 Remake as their initially bulky clothing hides their assets well enough... until Clothing Damage and clothing removal reveals their figures.
    • Gender reversal, Chris and Weskerís musculature in RE5 cannot be hidden by their tops.
  • Often happens with badly made custom clothing for The Sims 2: Women's shirts actually do not cling between their breasts, but it's easier to design skintight clothing. Ladies' swimwear is basically painted onto the nude body mesh. Which is frustrating because there is one that is meshed correctly— the unflattering blue one-piece suit with the flowers.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The same suit or armor that fits on a human male will have no problem fitting a human woman.
    • In Mass Effect 2, most of your squadmates: Miranda, Samara, Jacob, Thane, Kasumi, and Tali. The second downloadable appearance pack gives Miranda a suit of more sensible-looking but no-less form-fitting armor.
    • Mass Effect 3 as well, especially EDI (although slightly lampshaded by the fact she's basically a sentient android who can change her appearance at will, i.e. she's technically naked, and there's a particular close-up of Miranda's "assets" in one cutscene that indicate an outfit that would be physically impossible (or very uncomfortable) for a real person to wear.
  • Rubi, the protagonist of WET, wears a surprisingly form-fitting jacket.
  • Metroid, Samus Aran's "Zero Suit".
  • F-Zero, Given all of that spandex and latex, it applies to almost all of the racers, Squick or no.
  • Parasoul and Valentine from Skullgirls wear outfits that hug their bodies something fierce. Parasoul is justified, seeing as she's wearing a turtleneck. It's a miracle that Valentine can even move in her barely-there shirt.
  • City of Heroes: While both justified or averted for a lot of costume choices (such as spandex and hoodies), some materials can be surprisingly formfitting.
  • In the Soul Series, Taki usually has at least one costume that's so tight as to look like body paint. It's been noted that her alternative outfits seem more modest in spite of usually showing more skin.
  • Considering it has over one hundred playable characters and the various skins for all of them, it should come as no shock at all that League of Legends has a few of these.
  • In the Final Fantasy VII spin off Dirge of Cerberus one of the Tsviets named Shelke wears a suit that fits this trope. On the subject of Final Fantasy, Princess Garnet has a particularly well-defined set of...assets, which are clearly visible, much to Zidane's delight.
  • In Dragon Quest III, both the female and male Cleric / Pilgrim class members wear a very tight-fitting orange bodysuit under their churchly attire. Likewise, the female Thief wears a very form-fitting black catsuit along with a small breastplate.
  • Jarringly done with armor and clothes in Drakensang: no matter what, armors will fit perfectly both men and women alike without problems. Even odder with plate-mail armor.
  • Played oh-so-straight with all the girls in Roommates. While it's somewhat believable that everyone's light summer clothes are form-fitting, their heavy winter coats and sweaters are just as tight.
  • Dragon Age: Origins has all armour outside of heavy chainmail or platemail fit the character's body extremely closely. This includes highly pronounced leathers, chain and even mage robes on all female characters.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition manages to avert this by having most forms of armour bulky or with more sensible designs for specific characters. It is lampshaded and deconstructed in one dialogue:
    Iron Bull: (To Cassandra) Some high-ranking women wear ornamental crap with tits hammered into it. One good shot, and all that cleavage gets knocked right into the sternum. Real messy. Good on you for going practical.

    Visual Novels 
  • Katawa Shoujo: The standard buttoned shirt for the girls' version of the Yamuku Academy uniform seems very tailored and clingy, sticking to the countours of the abdomen and breasts. The skirts can be clingy too. Some of the sprites and CGs emphasize the clingy clothes more than others.
  • The blazers worn in Little Busters! must be very thin, because Kurugaya's jacket curves perfectly around her very large breasts.
  • Shows up frequently in Fate/stay night and its spinoffs, often on ancient heroes who would've had no access to anything similar in their lifetime (then again, Nasuverse history is a bit different from real life...). An extreme case occurs early on with Servant Lancer, the hero Cuchulainn. Other Irish heroes in spinoffs wear similar bodysuits, which some fans theorize were inspired by the pop culture image of Celts fighting naked in bodypaint (Cu's suit is blue, after all).
  • In Doki Doki Literature Club!, the school uniform blazers are distinctly clingy around the girls' chests, as if designed to show off their cup sizes. This may contribute to Yuri and Natsuki's respective issues on the subject.
  • Barok van Zieks of The Great Ace Attorney wears a three-layered ensemble in an era decades before the creation of stretch fabrics. Despite this, his justacorps evidently has the same fit as superhero spandex, in contrast to every other character in the game save Kazuma in his prosecutor's attire.

    Web Animation 
  • Almost every character in Matt 'n' Dusty is victim of this. Then again, it's part of the art style so it's forgivable.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • The various Booru sites generally use the "Impossible Clothing" tag for this.
  • Defection: Actual superhero literature example, the villain Prysim owns several power armours that manage to be quite skintight indeed.

    Western Animation 
  • On Archer, Lana Kane invariably manages to wear the most form-fitting outfits possible. Even while on a mission to an international space station her outfit hugs every curve (and she later loses it anyway).
  • In an episode of Justice League where Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern chased a Mad Scientist back in time, they decided to blend in by stealing clothes from some bandits they beat up. The clothes Wonder Woman stole fit her curves perfectly, despite the bandit having a figure similar to that of Batman. To further highlight this problem, Wonder Woman's taller than the rest of the team. She might be able to wear the thug's socks comfortably; everything else couldn't possibly fit.
  • In Batman: The Animated Series, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy lounge around in oversized shirts that still manage to show every curve.
  • In ReBoot, Dot's season 1 outfit didn't show the contours of her cleavage, because ABC would not allow it. When the series was cancelled by ABC but continued on different networks, this changed. In fact the main reason The Game had Dot as Elvira in the first episode on the new network is to show that they could show off her chest now. It was also after the departure from ABC that AndrAIa changed from being a little kid into a voluptuous woman (in appropriate tight-fitting outfits). Hexidecimal and Mouse are also worth noting.
  • The Legend of Korra: Korra seems to wear a reasonable outfit for a waterbender, although it is apparently custom fitted and the shirt appears just about skin tight. It conforms to the shape of her breasts like a female superhero outfit, and even shows her shoulder blades from the back.
  • Somehow, Shiro of Voltron: Legendary Defender has managed to find a set of plainclothes more form-fitting than the Latex Space Suit that is his Paladin uniform.

  • Parodied by the jack of spades in the Tee-Up deck of playing cards, printed in 1962 by the Creative Playing Card Co. Inc. of St. Louis.

Alternative Title(s): Form Fitting Clothing