Follow TV Tropes


Latex Space Suit

Go To
"That's what turns a Mediocre Voyage into a Fantastic Voyage!"

Any space suit or environment suit, but especially one worn by a woman, will be exceptionally tight, form-fitting, and flatteringly cut. Also applies to pilots' g-suits (which admittedly are tight, but not flattering), Powered Armor, and futuristic military uniforms. The wearer will have no difficulty putting it on quickly. Helmets will often be either clear bubbles or be motorcycle-like helmets that follow head movement, with large transparent and nonreflective faceplates.

Spacesuits in use today are bulky and inflexible, with many layers to contain pressure, protect against puncture from fast-moving space junk with ballistic fibers, protect against changes in temperature, shield the wearer from the glare of a sun undimmed by atmosphere, and dispose of excess body heat, excretions and moisture. Astronauts accessorize with the extremely unsexy (for most), yet practical, adult diaper.

Because existing spacesuit designs have so many drawbacks, and are so expensive (each custom-fitted suit costs over a million dollars and can only be constructed by subsidised industries), there are a number of (similarly subsidised) research projects trying to make skin-tight spacesuits Truth in Television. The proponents of the mechanical counterpressure (MCP) suit claim that they could be built by wet-suit manufacturers at a cost of only a few hundred dollars. They also suggest that these flexible skintight suits would permit the occupant to regulate body temperature simply by sweating, and that while they might not be terribly protective, armor is less of an issue when it doesn't have to be pressurized — Bulletproof Vests can be worn over the suits.note  So far, however, practical spacesuits based on MCP suit technology have yet to be tested in space,note  so currently they remain Vapor Wearerm, sorry, Vaporware.

The Latex Spacesuit is essentially a way to be semi-Stripperific and display the chest without actually showing skin. A lot of the time it will be sheer enough to see the navel through.

It is a very frequent trope in Humongous Mecha shows.

See also Space Clothes, Green-Skinned Space Babe, Bridge Bunnies, Spy Catsuit, Chrome Champion, Space Mask, and Future Spandex. Compare its 19th-century counterpart, the Adventurer Outfit.

Straight Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • The B5 crew of Astra Lost in Space all come packed with one, whether they're actually in space or as hazard suits in potentially dangerous environments. Boy and girl alike wear these form-fitting space suits, but they're not all the way conforming, leaving things like the intersex Luca's breasts somewhat ambiguous. When they rescue a woman who had been stuck in cryostasis for a decade, she's surprised by the sleekness of their suits compared to her older, bulkier model.
  • Birdy the Mighty: Birdy's suit in Decode is skintight and has many transparent panels that reveal her skin. It's revealed to be standard issue among the Space Police, with officers of every species and gender donning the Stripperiffic suit.
  • Bubblegum Crisis has the pilot suit variant and even shows that the Knight Sabers are completely nude underneath with Priss briefly seen topless while putting hers on. According to the RPG sourcebook based on the franchise, the reason for this is that the pilot suits are control interfaces for their hardsuits, with many electrodes embedded in pilot suit's material that take constant readings of the electrical impulses in the pilot's muscles, so the hardsuit can respond smoothly to the pilot's natural motions. Underwear beneath the pilot suit would interfere with the electrodes' readings and make the suit harder to control.
  • Skintight suits are the standard uniform of choice for the girls in Charger Girl. Well, half of the standard uniform. The other half is a stylized Office Lady outfit.
  • Not space suits, but Chirality has the main cast wearing form-fitting suits, both men and women; though the mens' aren't completely skintight, they are more so than most examples of the trope.
  • Code Geass:
    • Suzaku's battle suit when piloting the Lancelot is a male example. The Black Knights' ace pilots end up receiving similar suits, whose creator insists they improve survival rates; in the second season, the Knights of the Round all wear designs similar to Suzaku's except personalized, making this trope apply to both men and women.
    • Whenever one of the Black Knights eject from their Knightmares, their "flight suits" can be seen inflating around their torso like a wearable airbag. Therefore, they do improve survival rates, while also providing Fanservice in their normal skin-tight mode... unless, of course, you happen to be a certain member of the Four Holy Swords.
  • Cowboy Bebop: Both bulky "traditional" spacesuits and skin-tight suits are seen. For example, in the episode "Bohemian Rhapsody", Spike and Faye wear skin-tight suits with relatively large helmets to enter the drifter-colony.
  • Flight suits in DARLING in the FRANXX are literally painted on by machine once the mechanical parts are applied. While they do have some life-preservation features, they're not meant for extra-vehicular activity and instead enable the Synchronization necessary to pilot a FRANXX.
  • Getter Robo: Ryoma, Hayato and Michiru wear these. Musashi and Benkei's uniforms are subversions. It's reinforced in later manga seasons: if a pilot does not wear a protective uniform, his or her body can get seriously harmed due to the enormous strain the body suffers.
  • In The Girl Who Leapt Through Space, not only are the spacesuits skintight, they are also mostly transparent. Justified, as none of the main characters are entirely human, can take a lot more punishment than a mere lack of pressure, and some don't really need to breathe anyway. If you're a QT-X, clothing is merely a fashion statement. Also, technology has advanced far enough that such outfits are viable protection against vacuum.
  • Akira and his Five-Man Band in GoLion/Voltron. Its reboot, Voltron: Legendary Defender, tweaks the suits to have detachable chest-plates so that Pidge's surprise Gender Flip isn't immediately given away upon suit-up.
  • All Gundam series. However, Amuro, Kamille, and Judau's suits were less ornate and more practical than the ones Super Robot Genre pilots wore, and female suits were not tightier and sexier than the male ones. Also notable that while form-fitting and notably lighter (for mobility) than the "Normal Suits" worn by ship crews, Pilot Suits in the Universal Century timeline are still clearly padded and made of multiple layers, and they also double as atmospheric flight suits, which is why they're usually worn on Earth as well as in space. This tends to apply for other series as well, with pilot suits more closely resembling advanced flight suits rather than being skin-tight. Domon's suit, however, is skintight and practically painted on, though his is a motion control suit and not meant for extravehicular use in space.
  • Heroic Age seems to use this as the standard women's military uniform. Men get slightly looser, more comfortable outfits.
  • Kotetsu Jeeg: Miwa always wears a tight Latex Space Suit when she pilots her support unit. However, Hiroshi never wears a suit, since he transforms into the Humongous Mecha.
  • The Guild in Last Exile is quite fond of this; examples are most apparent on Dio and Luciola. The Silvana Vanship squadron pilots also wear skin-tight bodysuits that leave extremely little, if anything, to the imagination. Range Murata likes his derriere-hugging overalls.
  • Macross:
    • In Macross Frontier, the SMS pilots wear form-fitting suits that are little more than longjohns with bulky shoulderpads, and a helmet. Although these are designed to interface with the exoskeleton control units in the cockpit,note  it's extremely jarring when they're forced to eject and float around in space during a nuclear exchange.
    • The series as a whole shows an evolution of spacesuits towards this if we're looking at in-universe chronology: Macross Zero (2008) — normal modern piloting g-suits. Super Dimension Fortress Macross (2009) — not exactly bulky, but still somewhat baggy suits. Macross Plus (2040) — leaner and slimmer version of the previous version. Macross 7 (2045) — essentially the same as in Plus. Frontier (2059) and Macross Delta (2067) — glorified bodygloves. They are quite consistent there.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS: This is the uniform of most of the Numbers Cyborgs, with the exception being Uno. Otto has a coat and baggy pants over hers, making a lot of people mistake her for a male.
  • The Mazinger saga provides plenty of examples:
    • Mazinger Z: Unsurprisingly, one of the earliest examples (but not the first one, for once). Kouji begins to wear a Latex Space Suit in the third episode, and Sayaka always wears one while piloting Aphrodite A. Sayaka's is one-piece and tighter than Kouji's, though. Justified Trope <=> Unbuilt Trope: Kouji does not wear one in the first chapters, and often gets badly hurt, bruised or wounded, so a skinsuit is made for him in order to protect his body.
    • Great Mazinger: Tetsuya and Jun (again, the female character's suit is tighter)
    • UFO Robo Grendizer: Duke, Kouji, Hikaru and Maria. Duke's suit is a completely literal example, since he wears it to travel across space in his spaceship/Humongous Mecha.
  • My Hero Academia: While Uraraka was going for a space theme when designing her costume, she didn't know that the company would design the suit as form-fitting unless otherwise stated. The result is a form-fitting suit with an astronaut-like helmet.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion has the sexy pilot suits variant.
    • Played with a bit in the original series episode "Asuka Strikes!" when, in an emergency, Shinji has to wear the female variant of the suit (Asuka's spare suit, to be precise). While male variants are also more or less skin-tight, the female version is tighter in the crotch and has vague sculpted breast elements and a curvier hip/waist ratio.
    • It is notably subverted in the episode "Magma Diver", in which Asuka has to wear a special plugsuit that swells like a balloon. Lampshaded, too, as she complains about how unsexy it is.
    • Rebuild of Evangelion has Asuka donning a special plugsuit that has a translucent torso. She finds it a bit much.
  • Rocket Girls, which is hard sci-fi, features skintight spacesuits that are one of the technical advances developed by the Solomon Space Agency as part of its attempt to realize economical manned spaceflight, since such suits weigh much less than traditional spacesuits, and offer greater mobility. And according to one of the scientists behind the suit, they are made from a silicon rubber base, turning the trope a bit literal. That being said, the show also plays the trope for laughs (several characters seem to find the suits rather scandalous) and fanservice too. One of the reporters present at a press conference sees it and asks, rather nervously, "Is it legal to show this?" Both novels lampshade this a couple of times by having characters mention that the spacesuits look "just like the ones in anime".
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: Together with Mazinger Z, this is one of the earliest anime examples (both shows are from 1972). The tight, differently colored skinsuits of the Gatchaman Five-Man Band are very iconic. G-3's minidress in the original three series is an aversion and contrast to the guys' skin-tight suits, following different fanservicey tropes instead.
  • Space Battleship Yamato from 1972 is one of the earliest appearances in anime of this trope. Nurse Yuki Mori, the only recurring female character, provides continuous Fanservice and is very fetching indeed in a yellow space suit that leaves so little to the imagination that it's hard to imagine it providing any protection against a stiff breeze, much less the vacuum of space.
  • Space Battleship Yamato 2199: 40 years later, Yuki returns to the remake with her uniform unaltered and more girls dressed in a similar manner.
  • Stellvia of the Universe outfits the cadets at the Space Academy with tight-fitting flightsuits. Two of the protagonists (one male, one female) are notably shy about the cut of their uniforms; they come down to the flight deck with towels wrapped around them.
  • Misha/Mika and Kicker both wear these in Transformers: Energon. Misha's helmet even has a massive gap in the back to let her hair fall through.
  • Trigun sees your form-fitting suits and adds strange tube-like constructions that look like ventilation systems.
  • Meia from Vandread has this as her main outfit. Justified since it's more of a flightsuit and not something she's expected to go into hard vacuum in. In the first episode, Dita wears a bulky suit for hazardous environments.

    Comic Books 
  • The DCU:
    • The Authority: The Engineer's skintight nanosuit, which doesn't look like clothes so much as making her look like a naked silver Fembot (semi-justified due to her being a closet exhibitionist) can double (triple?) as body armor and a spacesuit in a pinch.
    • Legion of Super-Heroes takes things a step further with the transuit, a skin-tight and completely transparent environment suit which enables characters to breathe in a vacuum or otherwise hostile environment without being perceptible as anything more than a white armband (despite being full-body and skin-tight, the transuits do not so much as flatten down the characters' hair). Unlike most Latex Space Suits, the transuit's skin-tightness is not a means of providing fanservice, since it is transparent and worn over normal clothing... but since most Legionnaires both male and female wear skin-tight superhero jumpsuits anyhow, it all comes out the same.
    • Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom: During their camping trip in another planet, Superman and Supergirl wear skintight, light-blue space suits with their crest emblazoned on the frontside.
  • In Empowered, Mind████ wears one when she isn't in a hard vacuum. However she's forced to go out in space wearing her Latex Space Suit since the D10 was badly damaged and didn't have time to put the heavy suit on.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Kree and Skrull uniforms are skintight. The Kree uniform is white, with a secondary color and a planet icon on the chest indicating rank (e.g., green and a single-ringed planet for captain). Skrull uniforms are purple and black with a zigzag-edged collar piece. Shi'ar outfits are a little more varied, but they're still usually skin-tight — especially the Shi'ar uniforms that take their cue from Star Trek! Actually, most Marvel aliens wear skin-tight outfits, except for the more old-school ones like Fin Fang Foom who just wear Space Boxer Shorts.
    • All-New Wolverine #5 features a "Fantastic Voyage" Plot in which Wolverine and The Wasp must enter the blood of one of Laura's clones, to destroy nanomachines that are slowly killing her. Laura's suit, a variation on the Ant-Man suit, is supposed to both protect her from the environment and make it possible for her to shrink down in the first place. It's also skin-tight with the classic bubble helmet. Ditto for Jan's, which is basically her regular (also skin-tight) costume. Somehow, the fact Laura using her claws causes tears in the gloves and boots does nothing to compromise the suit...
    • Avengers Academy: Hazmat wears a skin-tight environmental suit to protect everyone else from her toxicity.
    • The Fantastic Four's suits are totally sealed and made of nearly indestructible Unstable Molecules. All they need are helmets and pressurization packs.
  • Valérian: The skintight suits can be worn almost everywhere including outer space and Scottish pubs. Nobody pays any attention. Though Laureline will switch, often on-panel, to freshly shopped local garb, and will manage this even in the middle of a desert on a forsaken war-torn planet, while Valerian like as not will stick with his suit.
  • The Vinean space suits in Yoko Tsuno qualify, giving the main character ample opportunity to show off her curves.

    Fan Works 
Examples by source:
  • The use of these in the pilots' plugsuits is extensively lampshaded on in Neon Genesis Evangelion fanworks.
    • Advice and Trust: Shinji and Asuka get quite sick of them when they're detained, since they spend two whole days wearing their liquid-drenched, sweaty plugsuits. When Gendo fires them, he sends them off without even giving them time to change clothes, and they spend the whole way back to Misato's apartment wondering what to do with the suits they're not supposed to bring out of the base or where to store them.
    • Subverted in Children of an Elder God, where they look nice and are actually comfortable.
      The plugsuit wasn't bad. It looked fairly snazzy and it was remarkably comfortable for something so form-fitting.
    • A Crown of Stars: When Shinji and Asuka ride their newest mecha, they wear a different skintight uniform.
    • Doing It Right This Time: Shinji really, really does not like them:
      His good mood lasted about ten minutes. "Is it absolutely necessary to pilot an Evangelion wearing skin-tight neoprene?" Shinji grumbled. He'd always hated plugsuits, but then he'd always hated damn near everything about this job so he'd never bothered to make an issue of it. But now he knew what was coming, he really thought he ought to take a stand.
      Nobody, he reasoned, should have to confront Armageddon in a gimp suit.
    • Evangelion 303: The Eva pilots do not wear anything more for protection since the whole crew compartment is supposed to eject in case of emergencies.
    • In Going Another Way, the pilots frequently note the fact that the plugsuits are rather revealing and wonder who would put that onto a teenager (Ritsuko). Shinji is embarrassed at first, Toji is not too happy either and Hikari even forces the R&D department to make alterations so it's less revealing. It's telling that even Yui — years earlier — felt almost naked in a prototype. Asuka later refuses to do a test with a suit that is almost transparent.
    • HERZ: After twelve years the Children still wear their plugsuits when they undergo a synch test or pilot their Evas. Kurumi stole Asuka's in a scene as part of a hopeless plan to try to snatch Shinji.
    • Last Child of Krypton: Aside from their regular suits, there's a special partial new model, prepared for when a pilot has a limb bandaged or in a cast. It has to be cinched into place manually. Rei wears it in the first chapter. After finding out that she was an Amazon, Asuka modifies her plug-suit so that it resembles Wonder Woman's outfit.
    • In Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide, Asuka once considered her suit a symbol of her special status, but now she regards it as a bitter reminder of her failure.
      Asuka, clad in her form-fitting plugsuit, sighed heavily and stepped onto the deck.
      The garment had once been as much a symbol of her status as the neural connectors in her hair, and she had loved the way the flimsy red material wrapped tightly around her slim body and enhanced her young, supple curves—she had once even gone as far as padding the hard cups over her modest breasts to make herself appear more voluptuous.
      It was like wearing a second skin, and for some reason it always felt warm and smelled like the inside of her Eva, and when she wore it there was no ignoring her presence.
      But now, as she walked towards the slick, armored shape of Unit-02, she felt naked. She stood out as the girl who failed miserably, and she had never felt such disgust at being the center of attention.
    • In Nobody Dies, Shinji finds his plugsuit rather embarrassing to wear because it's so skintight he feels like he's flashing everyone when he walks around in it. In a later chapter Mana voices the same issue and Shinji mentions that he decided (off-screen) to just keep his boxers on while he wears the suit.
    • Once More With Feeling (Crazy-88): In a scene, Shinji comments that they keep his body perfectly dry, but he always gets his face and hair filthy since his plugsuit lacks a helmet.
      At last able to get up and out as the plug split open, Shinji gratefully accepted a thick towel from an orange suited technician waiting on the catwalk, vigorously working to clean his hair of the coppery tasting amber fluid. The skin and airtight plug suit kept most of his body perfectly dry while piloting Eva, but he always had to work to get the last little trace of the LCL out of his face and hair every time he left the unit, accepting it but not liking the necessity of 'breathing' it in.
    • The One I Love Is...: In this story there are two standard models: one for males and another for females. However, Asuka's plugsuit is different from Rei's because Asuka is the first production model's pilot and her plugsuit's design is the standard one.
    • In the chapter "Repeat" of The Second Try, Shinji and Asuka wear their plugsuits for first time in years.
      It was even worse than when she had first put her old school uniform on again. This pressurized red outfit that tightly encased her skin; she used to wear it proudly as a symbol of her rank and status as pilot, but now it just reminded her of a life she had been glad to have left behind when she had finally been able to. When she had pushed the button that caused the suit to contract around her until there was no interfering air between her body and the conductive material, she had almost felt imprisoned by it.
    • Strategic Cyborg Evangelion: Despite taking place in an AU where the Evas are treated more like Real Robots, the fact that plugsuit designs remain unchanged is not lost on Asuka.
      Who in the world came up with the design, she seriously had a second thought about not asking from Yui. Having to wear a specialized suit for handling military hardware has been a reality for air force pilots for nearly a century now, she was aware. But these things, skintight and thin as a swimsuit without even covering the head? Literally the only reason she could see for it was keeping out the LCL so that she could move around and operate the entry plug controls unencumbered, as opposed to having her clothes pull against every move as if she was trying to swim in street clothes –- or even worse, having to pilot in one of those old, goofy diving suits, except with the LCL being inside rather than outside, weighing her down non-stop.
      Still, it was like someone with poor vision mixed up a swimsuit and a HEV suit. Wearing the former would be practically the same. But at least she didn't have to pilot in the nude. She learned early on that soldiers can't be pampered or choosy about what they were ordered to do and with what, but that particular requirement would've been an instant deal-breaker for this job. Salary or no salary, she was a pilot, not a stripper.
    • In Thousand Shinji, Shinji finds the plugsuits embarrassing and cumbersome.
Examples by title:
  • The Kerbals have these in The Next Frontier, complete with skintight hoods that can be pulled up in less than ten seconds. They're normally worn as duty uniforms, similar tonote  skinsuits from the Honor Harrington series, and like that series they're designed as emergency protective gear in the event of pressure loss. Planned EVAs are normally carried out with bulkier suits with a greater internal air supply and proper radiation shielding.
  • Rocketship Voyager: Tech Lieutenant Annika Hansen wears one as a Mythology Gag on Seven of Nine's famous Sensual Spandex. other Spaceborn she disdained the clumsy space armor used by most astronauts, wearing only an elastic silver bodysuit that covered her curvaceous figure like a second skin. The chestplate that put pressure on her lungs so she could draw breath in a vacuum only enhanced her bust, and when wearing a bubble helmet and oxygen tanks she might at first glance be mistaken for the cover girl fantasy of a science-fiction magazine of the pre-Space era.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Downplayed in 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which spacesuits resemble quilted snowsuits, but are still much more form-fitting and flexible than any so far deployed in real life. Justified as people are working on similar outfits today. Ironically downplayed even further in the sequel 2010: The Year We Make Contact, where the spacesuits used are much bulkier and the fitted suits of 2001 are seen as outdated. The 2010 suits are still not quite as bulky as the real thing, but they no longer qualify for this trope by any stretch either.
  • As Homer Simpson observes in the page quote, the cast of Fantastic Voyage get to wear skintight diving suits. Somewhat justified, in that wetsuits are less complex than space suits and do indeed have to be quite figure-hugging — but as that cast includes Raquel Welch, there's an obvious fanservice effect, intended or not.
  • The cryosuits in Lost in Space are like this, which is to be expected, given its source material's costume choices. Here they are less thin latex and more moulded, tight plastic. Not much emphasis is placed on them and they only worn during the first act. After that the crew wears more normal clothing. This might be due to how inevitably revealing they were on the three female characters.
  • In Nude on the Moon, the spacesuits of the Moon women are made of a skintight fabric that's so thin you'd swear they don't exist. Not that the astronauts are any better, with noticeable gaps around their gloves and space helmets that should cause instant Explosive Decompression.
  • In Santo en El Tesoro de Drácula, heroine Luisa wears a shiny silver version when she is sent back to 19th century Mexico by El Santo's time machine.

  • Mesh spacesuits are used by the specialist SAS team in The Atrocity Archive. The point is made that the suit compresses you by its own elasticity, which generally ensures that any gas in your body outside of your lungs is squeezed out of the nearest orifice. When they see the SAS team that crosses over into Another Dimension wearing these, the protagonist realises they've made such journeys before.
  • In The Bull's Hour, Earth astronauts use skin-tight spacesuits featuring panty-shaped "waste destructors" (basically, diapers with unlimited capacity), which allows wearing those suits for weeks.
  • Council Wars: In East of the Sun, and West of the Moon, these suits are justified as being necessary for proper heat exchange, not to mention the importance of leaving no space for trapped air to inflate the suit in the low atmospheric pressures of space, rendering the suit too stiff to move. In this case, the suits are so skintight that the wearers have to prepare themselves with a depilatory cream to remove all of the hair from their bodies, with the suits being made with molds made of the wearers' bodies.
  • Eight Worlds takes this to its (il)logical conclusion, admittedly with form-fitting force fields rather than physical spacesuits. Worn over the nude body, the force fields will protect their wearers from virtually any hostile environment, are one molecule thick, and perfectly reflective, making their wearers look like chrome robots or animated statues. (Oh, and when they come into contact the fields will merge, allowing their wearers to have sex in them.)
  • Greg Mandel Trilogy: The protagonist is measured by laser for a custom-fitted spacesuit in Mindstar Rising. He's relieved in the final novel (set over a decade later) to find that a less form-fitting outfit is now used, given that he no longer has his Heroic Build.
  • In Have Space Suit – Will Travel, human spacesuits are typically bulky and high maintenance. However, it is revealed that aliens have developed sufficient technology that what amounts to a latex spacesuit is possible. When the lead character sees a young girl wearing one, he is understandably surprised it actually functions better than his own.
  • Honor Harrington has "Skinsuits", which are lightweight, reasonably comfortable for extended wear and don't restrict movement. It does take a bit of timenote  to put one on, though... they come with catheters. However, the skinsuits are drawn in the canonical books on Manticoran and Havenite uniforms as little more than tailored coveralls; this is explained as providing space for suit components such as waste storage.
  • In Illium/Olympos, the Old-style humans use Thermskins to protect them from all manner of hostile environments, space, extreme cold, low oxygen environments, underwater, etc. It's explained that the thermskins are a single molecule thin paint-like substance which is only functional if in direct contact with the skin. This creates a justified extreme of this trope, as all anatomical details are perfectly visible.
  • The so-called Powered Armor of Infinite Stratos is better described as this trope plus some machinery covering the lower half of limbs and maybe some more machinery floating around them unattached to the suit. The Hand Wave is that they have Deflector Shields protecting them, all powered by cold fusion. It takes place in 2016... yeah.
  • Jumper: In Exo, before she can teleport into orbit, Cent needs a space suit — preferably one that doesn't cost millions of dollars. She finds Cory Matoska, who's working on one of these but is having trouble finding a way to get a sealed skintight suit onto a human body. As she can teleport into the suit, that's not a problem, but they still have to do a significant amount of testing. In the end, the space suit proves to be just the underlayer, with a fishbowl helmet, a visor, and some industrial coveralls sourced elsewhere to complete the outfit.
  • In Known Space, the state of the art is "skinsuits" similar to the real-life SAS described above. The suits must be specially constructed to fit each individual, and are usually painted with distinctive personal designs. Anyone wearing a bulky and generic "bubble suit" marks himself as a newbie (or an Earthling) and is not to be trusted on his own in vacuum.
  • Later installments in the Moon Rainbow series feature "spacesuits" that are literally secreted from the body, turning the wearer into a Chrome Champion. It's actually a layer of a symbiotic living nanomachines that can be psychically controlled by their host.
  • The Mote in God's Eye: Lady Sandra Bright "Sally" Fowler is specifically noted to be wearing a suit like this during her zero-gravity training.
  • In Greg Bear's Moving Mars, some rebellious college students decide to go outside in the near-vacuum using "skin seal" (which isn't supposed to be used except in emergencies). It's sprayed onto the body, and requires its user to be naked.
  • The Night's Dawn Trilogy includes spacesuits that are made of programmable silicon or somesuch — they're packaged as a black blob until activated, at which point they spread over the body of the user, tightly enough to avoid decompression in hard vacuum.
  • Red Mars Trilogy: The early colonists of Mars use "mesh" suits; this has the advantage of being very lightweight and flexible, but unfortunately does nothing to protect its user from the extreme cold. Thus, the colonists often have to wear mundane cold-weather clothing over their pressure suits. They also must wear helmets with an independent air supply.
  • Revelation Space Series: One bit of pre-melding plague tech is a membrane of nanomachines stretched over a hole in a spacecraft's hull. Replacing both airlock and spacesuit, all you have to do is pass through the membrane and it wraps you in a spacesuit, and removes it on your way back in.
  • Spaceship Medic by Harry Harrison opens with a meteor smashing a huge hole in the hull and the protagonist having to quickly strip and dress in his spacesuit which is custom-fitted for him. To help him dress quickly (in 12 seconds) air valves inflate each leg, then collapse it on his body.
  • In L. Neil Smith's novel The Venus Belt, the protagonist describes in some detail a skin-tight Smartsuit which is capable of furnishing not only life support in various types of hostile environments, but also limited medical treatment for the wearer. The suit also functions as a powerful wearable computer, with the circuitry, displays, and controls integrated into the fabric of the suit. In the novel, the suit is, as a matter of tradition, included in the price of a space-liner ticket to Ceres. The character notes that a properly fitted Smartsuit leaves the wearer feeling "completely naked... a testament to the makers' art." Most spacefarers live in their Smartsuits for indefinite periods, as the suit can handle waste management and hygiene for the wearer.
  • Jason Stoddard's short story "Winning Mars" lampshades the fetishistic overtones of this trope. TV executives involved with a reality-TV mission to Mars fund the creation of practical Space Activity Suits, referred to as "squeezesuits", for openly Fanservice-based reasons.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Season 3 of Farscape, the crew replace their original, bulky, unflattering space suits with form-fitting space suits with Tron Lines.
  • Kamen Rider Fourze's suit evokes this look. Not only that, but it was originally developed with the purpose of allowing prolonged survival in space, in order to reach the Presenters. Averted with everyone else's normal space suits, having the bulky real-life look. And then there's the Kamen Rider Nadeshiko costume...

  • Analog: The October 1939 issue has a Lensman wearing a silver suit tight enough to show off their muscles, with knee-high boots. Despite being tight around most of the body, the thighs are loose like a pair of jockey pants.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the Chi-Chian RPG which expands on the comic by Voltaire, the Oxygen Girls are part business necessity and part corporate PR. In super-polluted New York, Oxygen Girls are attractive young women who fly around in a transparent Environmental Suit with a jetpack and carrying an oxygen supply. The girls take the supply and hook it into a corporation skyscraper's ventilation system to pump fresh oxygen into the building. A costly service reserved for wealthy companies, the poor masses don't benefit from this, but they do love the idea of a "beautiful girl flying around pumping fresh oxygen to breathe".
  • The vacuum suits in Eclipse Phase are made of adjustable fabric and become skin-tight upon exposure to vacuum, but are looser when not in use to help make them more comfortable.
  • Nearly all space suits in Rocket Age are sleek and form-fitting, even coming with a fishbowl helmet. The only exceptions are the hard hat suits used by Asteroid Miners.

    Video Games 
  • In Battlezone II: Combat Commander, ISDF troops wear form-fitting grey EVA suits. However, the addition of a backpack (either a Jump Jet Pack or explosive pack) and an armored chestplate prevents them from looking too silly for combat armor. In the original game, set 40 years prior, both the American and Soviet pilots wear heavy, bulky and baggy spacesuits.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The various combat suits in Mass Effect, also known as hardsuits, are relatively form-fitting but can function in a vacuum. That being said, they do not provide significant protection against extreme temperatures, extreme pressure, or highly corrosive environments, unless you use models specifically designed for that purpose. Otherwise, the suits actually do look functional and realistic, being covered in plates of ceramic armor, compared with other examples of this trope.
    • Quarians live nearly their entire lives inside latex space suits because of their atypical immune systems had atrophied due to the extended period aboard sterile environment spaceships due to their exile. Interestingly, they play this trope straight:
      Ken: The whole suit is lovely; snug in all the right places...
      Tali: You know I can hear you.
    • The ballistic properties of space suits in Mass Effect are downplayed due to relativistic speeds of projectiles. Since personal scale mass effect fields are used to slow/stop projectiles, the light armor suits they wear can focus more on environmental protection rather than being combat capable.
    • Mass Effect 2 lets this slide, however, taking it almost to Batman Can Breathe in Space levels when most of your party goes around in hard vacuum in their usual clothes (in the case of Jack, Miranda, and Samara, very Stripperiffic clothes) and a breath mask. Miranda in particular has as one of her outfits a near-literal example of the trope. Mass Effect 3 swings back towards the 1 model.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty has the Skull Suit. Despite the fact that it feels like you're wearing nothing at all, and the fact that Raiden only wears the helmet for five minutes of dialogue at the beginning of the game, it manages to enhance his muscles, provide a small amount of environmental protection and applies varying levels of pressure to internal organs in order to increase combat efficiency. According to Vamp, whose bullet-dodging is based on his trained senses allowing him to predict when people are going to shoot before they do it, the suit's pressure muddles the visual signal he gets, making his fight with Raiden potentially 'interesting'.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Ratchet usually wears some variation of a skintight suit. The only addition required to venture out into vacuum of space is a breathing mask.
  • One of Ulala's many costumes in Space Channel 5 is a bright orange latex space suit, complete with bubble helmet, flared pants, and platforms.
  • In Space Station 13, the basic space suit looks like this (or a traditional space suit; it's hard to tell with the game's stylized visuals) and offers very little protection. Some departments are provided with hardsuits, which are bulkier and give protection against physical trauma, burns, biohazards, and radiation. Neither of them will provide any life support functions without helmets; in previous versions, they also required an oxygen mask underneath the helmet to operate.
  • StarCraft II: While the Terran Medic wears appropriately bulky Powered Armor, the female Ghosts (Kerrigan and Nova) wear space Spy Catsuits that might as well be painted on in the official art. The Banshee pilot also wears a very flattering outfit, but it's a flight suit inside an enclosed cockpit rather than made for surviving vacuum.
  • Warframe: The people who operate the Tenno relays (and who get rescued during Rescue missions) wear tight-fitting suits, as do the Operators. These appear to be the basic suits that everyone has access to, but most factions have better suits of their own.

    Visual Novels 
  • Muv-Luv: The pilot suits worn by TSF pilot cadets are skintight and seemingly designed to show off the body, including some parts that are basically Nude-Colored Clothes. The first time the main group dresses in them, they are all horribly embarrassed by it. In Alternative, it is explained that the design is intentional: the cadets' suits in particular are designed that way deliberately in order to remove the pilot's sense of modesty and shame, since out in the field co-ed units are the norm and men and women are expected to share sleeping space and showers. The suits issued to actual commissioned pilots are still skintight, but somewhat more modestly colored and not quite so fanservicey.

  • While the titular Cassiopeia Quinn seemingly has one, she typically eschews it entirely in favor of wearing as little as possible.
  • Uruyoms in El Goonish Shive have limited shapeshifting abilities, and as a result invented specialized protective suits designed to provide a skintight fit to any imaginable body type or shape.
  • Grrl Power shows not only the genetically altered human female captain, but the male crew of a spaceship, wearing these — with essentially nothing left to the imagination. The captain's suit is hard light, with forcefields, environment controls, and a teleporter to summon whatever gear she might need, from smacking muggers to dealing with an invasion by evil aliens.
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court, the look of the "haptic feedback suits" — and their use in conjunction with a Hard Light-simulated space battle — is most likely a reference to this trope. The suits don't even have helmets: apparently creating a realistic simulation was the last thing on Dr. Disaster's mind.
  • Last Res0rt has suits that are (relatively weak) Powered Armor uniforms, providing equal-opportunity Fanservice for all.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The mechanical counterpressure suits like the MIT Biosuit, as mentioned above. They work on the concept of mechancial counterpressure; the idea is that you don't need a pressurised spacesuit, or even an airtight one if you can just use form fitting fabric to hold the body together against its own pressure. You don't even need heating because vacuum insulates very well. The only thing is that it needs to be form fitting all over, even in tricky areas, otherwise you will inflate to match the form of the suit. And naturally there is a female professor working on them.
  • One part of the modern space suit actually plays this straight, the gloves which are individually molded from casts of their users hands. This is because only form fitting gloves can provide the precision needed for the delicate work that astronauts need to do. Also, the innermost lining of the gloves themselves are made of latex.
  • SpaceX's new "Starman" spacesuits, are much sleeker than previous generations of spacesuits. While they're not exactly skintight, they're sleek and stylish enough (they were designed with input from Hollywood designer Jose Fernandez) to qualify.

Subversions and Exceptions

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • The Knight Sabers in Bubblegum Crisis wear skintight suits under their Hard Suits. According so supplemental materials, these skintight suits are control interfaces which sense electrical impulses along the muscles just under the skin, which is why it has to be skin tight,note  and it transmits that via contact points to the motive systems in the hardsuit. This allows it, with some practice, to move as though it's an extension of the wearer's body. However, it is not intended for use in space.
  • Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor. For one there is no actual space travel involved. Two, the suits that the pilots wear — called synergetic suits — are skintight, but serve to lessen the pain that linking with Fafner entails. This wouldn't work with a bulkier design considering how Fafner works. They also leave the parts of the body where the Fafner connects exposed, which makes them rather skimpy (but not gender specific). Kazuki has no time to put on a suit upon piloting the first time and the pain he undergoes is substantial. Another twist is that, though revealing, the suits themselves look like stretched out skin and are thus not exactly flattering. They get a coolness upgrade for the movie and Exodus but, once again, not gender specific. On the other hand, the suits that Mizoguchi and Maya wear as regular fighter pilots are much bulkier.
  • The Gundam franchise uses both the skintight version and the bulkier version. Mobile Suit pilots wear form-fitting flight suits which don't interfere with their movements but aren't meant to go out in space except in an emergency; regular space suits are worn by civilians and battleship crew. A few characters like Char Aznable and Haman Karn eschew any kind of suit entirely as a matter of preference, though in Char's case it actually became a plot point.note  Not to mention, a few pilots actually do wear the standard space suit while piloting, including Judau Ashta and Heero Yuy (though Heero does get a pilot suit in the final arc of his show.
  • Planetes consciously makes its space suits as realistic as possible, even down to the adult diapers. Except that In Space, Everyone Can See Your Face, at least when the opaque visor (which incorporates a computer-generated display) is opened.

    Comic Books 
  • Top 10: Girl One appears to be wearing a color-changing version of this, but it's later revealed that it's really her skin, and she's been bio-engineered with an uncontrollable nudity compulsion by the fanboys that created her.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Destination Moon: The 'Michelin Man' look is a carry-over from the long obsolete 1943 Goodrich pressure suit. The producers wanted to have a pneumatic suit that would both look realistic and cool the actors, but the wire work needed for the low gravity scenes made that impossible. To Hand Wave the issue in scenes where the actors change into the suits, this was justified by making it a two-piece version like a car tire — the outside padding takes the wear and tear, while the pressure suit is inside.
  • The space suits worn by Picard et. al in Star Trek: First Contact look like somewhat sleeker versions of modern NASA suits. They're still pretty bulky, though they seem to offer a greater degree of movement, to judge by the scene where they get in a fight with the Borg outside the ship.
  • The characters in Sunshine wear suits that are not only large and bulky (at one stage a character falls over and is unable to raise himself to his feet again), but are also gold (to reflect the sun's rays) and have helmets that use a small slit for an eye-hole (explained as protecting the users' eyes from sunlight, but reputedly was requested by the director to increase the feeling of claustrophobia in the suits).

  • Crest of the Stars and its sequels have both the skin-tight version (worn by pilots), and the bulky version (used by mechanics, workers and damage control crews). Abh's (that is, officers') uniforms double as enviro-suits in emergency only and aren't designed to function like that for extended periods of time, as in battle they sit on the bridge that is the most protected area of the ship. Rates, who work in more dangerous parts more often, routinely wear full-on spacesuits; so the brass simply don't bother with making their uniforms space-proof.
  • While the AS pilot suits in Full Metal Panic! are about as close to skintight as one can get while remaining functional, it's justified due to a) arm slaves are used on the ground, not in space, b) arm slave cockpits are tiny, as in smaller than a mini cooper tiny, so you wouldn't want the pilots wearing something that could catch on anything, especially if you have to bail out in an emergency and c) the suits are designed to protect the pilot from being buffeted around from any hits the arm slave may receive; unfortunately they are far from bullet proof, as Sousuke discovers.
  • In Honor Harrington, modern spacesuits (called "skinsuits") are form-fitting and rely on the body's own temperature regulation system, but older, less advanced spacefaring societies (like Grayson, pre-Alliance) still have conventional "bulky" spacesuits akin to those of the real world. Such suits are also available as emergency gear aboard some ships, as the skinsuits require specific fitting to accommodate individual users, so that the suit can keep the user's insides inside.
    • Skinsuits are also somewhat armored, but their main goal is emergency protection in case of a hull depressurization, which happens quite often. Space Marines, when not wearing Powered Armor, use a somewhat heavier armored version that even includes muscle fibers and is proof at least against small arms fire. Engineering personnel, on the other hand, often prefer bulkier suits, just short of a demilitarized Powered Armor, for increased mechanical protection.
    • For more hostile situations, the skinsuits can be augmented with additional body armor, most commonly a hardened "clamshell" armor which is essentally a military sci-fi version of a ballistic vest. It's no substitute for Powered Armor, but far more survivable than the skinsuit alone.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • The flight suits the Rebel pilots wear throughout the original trilogy, despite having helmets that leave their mouths uncovered, count as spacesuits. The suits generate a magnetic containment field to keep a small amount of atmosphere and heat in so a pilot who ejects survive for about fifteen minutes, long enough hopefully that someone can recover them.
    • Used and improved upon by the Empire; in fact, this is one of the few situations where a TIE pilot is actually better off than a Rebel. TIE fighters are not pressurized spaceships, so TIE pilots have full helmets, and all of their life support is built into their suits instead of the ships. Assuming the TIE pilot actually survives the loss of his ship, he can continue to survive much longer.
    • In the X-Wing Series, the rebel pilots complain about having to change into sleek dress uniforms for a formal occasion, since they like the extra pockets in their flightsuits, as well as the baggier clothing — as fighter pilots, they can be a bit sensitive about the weight gain that can result from spending hours sitting in a cockpit. The above stated survival time for a Rebel pilot can change depending on the species of the pilot. That a Gamorrean can last quite a bit longer due to his extra fat is a plot point.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Early episodes of Andromeda tried to keep to vaguely realistic and gender-equal female Commonwealth uniforms. It didn't last.
  • Battlestar Galactica (1978) has an episode in which female shuttle pilots are trained to fly the Viper fighters, and a scene is tossed in showing the skintight "space suit" that the fighter pilots are supposedly all wearing under their cloth uniforms. Of course, we're never shown any of the male pilots wearing them.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003):
    • Male and female military personnel wear realistic-looking uniforms, that seem well suited for whatever the characters are doing. Men and women wear identical uniforms too. It is worth noting that the flight suits that they wear are supposed to double as spacesuits but wouldn't actually work as such (or if they did they would balloon too much for the wearer to move).
    • The organic-Cylon flightsuits seen in a few episodes towards the end of the show are quite a bit closer to this trope. Of course, they're usually seen on Sixes and Eights.
  • Defying Gravity has Space Activity Suit-like EV suits. The suits for on-planet use are still the traditional bulky kind, however.
  • Subverted in Farscape, so much so that you have no idea (unless you've seen the show's opening credits) that Crichton's fellow prisoner, in a bulky black spacesuit and a smoked-glass bubble helmet, is a slenderly fit and very attractive woman. Later seasons replaced the bulky suits with a more streamlined suit.
  • The space suits used Firefly are relatively realistic for the tech level of the show. Their design apparently references the suits in the original space-is-dirty movie, Alien. The suit worn by the bounty hunter Jubal Early in "Objects in Space" looks like it's skin-tight leather, which is somewhat justified in that Early practically lives in his, so a more streamlined suit would be a must. He also presumably has more money than the crew, meaning he can buy nicer suits with newer tech.
  • For All Mankind: In the season 2 finale "The Grey", Gordo and Tracy Stevens need to go out onto the lunar surface to repair Jamestown's reactor coolant system but don't have access to their normal space suits, so they improvise some out of duct tape and gas masks that hold tight to their bodies. Without oxygen or actual radiation protection, it keeps their bodies together just long enough (about one minute) to do the necessary repairs.
  • The Stargate-verse averts this. On the handful of occasions that anyone ventures into space on Stargate SG-1 or Stargate Atlantis, they wear bulky NASA-style suits. Stargate Universe used Ancient space suits, but those are only slightly less bulky.
  • In Star Trek: Voyager, actual spacesuits are as bulky as today ones, as seen in "Day of Honor". Sometimes they veer somewhat close to the Latex end of things except in the helmet area (pics: from Voyager and from First Contact).

    Video Games 
  • In Baraduke, the suit worn by protagonist Kissy is large and bulky, not unlike real life space suits.
  • Dead Space:
    • Isaac Clarke's R.I.G is bulky and creepy-looking. The military version has a skull-like face. Dead Space 2 take this further with the Vintage RIG, which shows that all the other RIGs are far more streamlined than their predecessors. However, both examples are meant for dangerous situations; it's bulky because it needs to protect the wearer from more than just horrible space death.
    • The "Standard Astronaut Suit" is basically just an orange catsuit with boots and a helmet. It's rather...tight.
    • Ellie in 2 plays this trope straight, for the ten seconds or so she's in a spacesuit. Presumably it's a "civilian", non-ruggedized suit, and thus slimmer.note  There's about a fraction of a second that could be considered "fanservice". If you really stretch the definition. And you're actively looking for it, because it's not the focus of the scene.
  • Fallout 3: The player can find a spacesuit in the Mothership Zeta add-on as a plot-critical item. It's not quite a Latex Space Suit, but it's less clunky than modern suits and can be worn in combat without penalty.
  • For the most part, Front Mission lacks latex space suits: most pilots either wear fatigues, or flightsuits similar to those worn by helicopter crews. Exceptions are the Durandal team (Front Mission 4) and the protagonists of Front Mission Evolved, though these suits, while form-fitting, are still thickish, resembling racing coveralls.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic and its sequel, space/environmental suits are worn on several occasions. Despite the games being set a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away and being rife with other space tropes, the suits look very much like current-day space suits. Actually, they look even clunkier than current-day space suits, which is interesting for a world of unending Applied Phlebotinum. This is because it's a space recolor of the yellow underwater suit. The latter is used several hundred meters underwater, hence the bulkiness.
  • Metroid: Samus has the Zero Suit, a form-fitting blue body suit, but it isn't a spacesuit. The Zero Suit is implied to be an interface that allows her to summon her Power Suit (which she DOES use in space). Ever since it was introduced in Metroid: Zero Mission, Samus has appeared wearing the Zero Suit when unable to use her normal armor or doesn't believe it necessary. The Galactic Federation troopers use something similar with their space suits/armor, although Samus' is obviously one-of-a-kind, with Metroid Dread showing that she's made use of it since childhood.
  • Moon Chronicles averts this, since all the humans wear spacesuits that are more or less the same as a modern-day spacesuit.
  • The Terran Medic from StarCraft: Brood War wears a spacesuit that's apparently more armored than the ones given to Marines. Given the tactical considerations, this makes some sense...
  • Super Robot Wars: Original Generation: Divine Wars has surprisingly realistic pilot and space suits — while Personal Trooper pilots wear fairly thin ones that might match the trope, they're not made for space combat and do not have great speeds. However, Armored Module pilots wear a very bulky combination of a g-suit and a space suit as they are main for high-speed assaults and space and air combat. Fighter pilots wear a modified g-suit that's a combination of both. The Playstation 2 remake of the Original Generation game series reuses the pilot suits portrayed in Divine Wars, mainly because few were even seen in the first two Original Generation games (not to mention the Super Robot Wars series in general). There are a number of exceptions to that realism, the most shamelessly egregious of which being Aya's pilot suit, which has a large Cleavage Window that would completely nullify any utility it might have as space suit.
  • X-COM: UFO Defense gives recruits basic flight suits until you research better armor. "Personal Armor" isn't quite skin-tight, what with all the shoulder plates made of alien alloy, but comes close. Powered Armor and Flying Armor are, well, Powered Armor. Somehow, all of them (including the flight suits!) are completely safe for use on Mars.

    Visual Novels 
  • The cadets in Dead End Aegis quickly notice that the space suit they received are fairly thin and form fitting though when worn are fairly baggy making them feel very cheap. Minori also notices that they seem to lack almost all of the most basic survival features one would expect out of a space suit. Things such as circulatory systems and waste disposal are all absent, even a basic radio is missing. They provide oxygen and protection from the vacuum of space and that's it. This is of course because they are completely expendable and most who launch for their first sortie will not return alive.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue not only has somewhat bulky armor on its characters, but makes use of it, with a number of occasions of gender confusion. While not exactly form-fitting, the armor is, well, armor, Powered Armor in fact, and is designed to be shot at. Red Vs Blue is Machinima, meaning the series was made using assets from video games, in this case, the Halo franchise, from which the creators took all their animation, therefore they had no choice in the matter, so it is kind of an Enforced Trope.

  • In Freefall, Florence lampshades this when she wears a suit that's bulky and doesn't even have separated legs. The body stocking she wears underneath is pretty close, though.


Video Example(s):


Fighting in space

Ahsoka provides cover for Sabine by fighting in outer space with her dual lightsabers against Shin and Marrok.

How well does it match the trope?

4.91 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / LatexSpaceSuit

Media sources: