Follow TV Tropes


Living Clothes

Go To

"'We shall complete you! You shall delight in wearing us!' But who is wearing whom?"
Moderately Co-operative Clothes Colony description, Fallen London

They say that Clothes Make the Superman, and every girl's crazy about a Sharp-Dressed Man, but sometimes an Iconic Outfit can literally take on a life of its own. Whether ordinary fabric brought to life by magic, futuristic technology controlled by an advanced AI, or even an actual living creature that looks and functions like an everyday school uniform, Living Clothes are more than just a bold fashion statement: they can think, communicate, and sometimes even act of their own accord.

Compare and contrast Animated Armor and Dancing Pants, which can act without a wearer but are generally non-sapient. Also compare Live Mink Coat and Feather Boa Constrictor, where more mundane living creatures are pressed into service as clothing. Can overlap with Equippable Ally, if the ally in question turns into an outfit of some kind; and Bio-Armor, if the clothes are a biological organism in themselves.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Berserk: Guts wears the Berserker Armor, a shape-shifting armor which brings out the savagery in its wearer. If you pay attention, you'll notice that the armor is not just made of armor plate, but consists partly of a second skin which engulfs the wearer kind of like the Venom costume. The armor has seemingly assimilated Guts's Badass Cape, and when the armor's will is dormant the helmet and arm pieces stay dissolved in the cape's fabric. When Guts goes berserk, the armor's dark garment spreads over Guts's skin, while the helmet and arms materialize out of the cape and enclose him. The helmet emerges in a particularly dramatic manner, as the folds of the cape take on the helmet's wolf-like shape and it crawls up from behind to close its jaw over his face.
  • Kill la Kill has this as its core premise. The student body of Honnouji Academy is empowered by "Goku Uniforms" made from living threads which grant superhuman powers to their wearers. Higher-ranking students are given outfits containing a higher percentage of these Life Fibers; anything beyond 30%, however, and the wearer ends up dominated completely by the (with the exception of Senketsu, homicidal) will of their own outfit. Kamui are the most powerful uniforms, made of 100% Life Fibers and capable of displaying full sapience; however, they can only be worn by someone who can "synchronize" with them - or dominate them through sheer force of will. It also turns out that most of the clothing in the world has been secretly infused with Life Fibers in a sinister bid for global domination.
  • Prétear is a Magical Girl series starring seven guardians with different elemental powers. When someone merges with their Pretear, the Pretear's essence enters her, while his body becomes her Mini Dress Of Power. When the newest Pretear, Himeno, is told this after her first merging, she blushes bright red.

    Comic Books 
  • The archnemesis of Ambush Bug is Argh!Yle!, a sentient sock with a Doctor Doom mask. He hates the Bug because when Argh fell to earth, Irwin Schwab (the man who would become the Bug) left him to die while rescuing what became the Bug's costume suit.
  • The supersuit from Empowered has a personality of its own, a fact which only Demonwolf knows. As Emp is unable to use any of the suit's powers if she's wearing anything over it, and finds the panty lines from underwear even more embarrassing than just wearing the suit alone, Demonwolf notes that Emp will likely not take it well if she ever finds out.
  • In the Invader Zim comic continuation, Zim makes an alliance with the Space Pants, a species of Puppeteer Parasites, who take over the city. This was originally going to be an episode of the series, but it was canned for being too similar to the Jimmy Neutron episode listed in Western Animation below.
  • Tony Stark, The Invincible Iron Man, has on more than one occasion created an AI-controlled suit that could think for itself. They almost invariably either turn evil or fall obsessively in love with him.
  • In Justice League of America #35, the Demons Three bring to life the costumes of four of the JLA's enemies (Doctor Polaris, Killer Moth, the Mask and the Pied Piper) and use the animated costumes in an attempt to free themselves.
  • Martian Manhunter and Miss Martian's clothes are actually organic creatures that respond to their thoughts, which explains why they shapeshift with them.
  • In PS238, Cecil's trench coat comes to life after being Touched by Vorlons. Most notably, it can reshape itself into wings and allow him to fly; it also has some vague personality and can play video games better than he can.note 
  • In Secret Wars (1984), Spider-Man gets an all-black costume to replace his red-and-blue one, which has been destroyed. The first indication that it's not just a costume is that it actually responds to his thoughts. As it turns out, none of the other heroes who also got replacement costumes from the dispenser experienced the same phenomenon - Peter Parker's suit, and his alone, is actually an alien symbiote (which eventually takes on Eddie Brock as its host and becomes Venom).
    • This is due to the fact that there were two machines in the room Spiderman was directed to to repair his suit. It's just that no one bothered to tell him which machine to use.

    Comic Strips 
  • In one Calvin and Hobbes strip, Calvin's clothes came to life and attacked him when he opened the dresser, dressing him in his tackiest clothes and then moving his body to make him to walk to school that way.

    Fan Works 
  • In Of Quirks and Magic, Izuku gets his own Cloak of Levitation from Dr. Strange. It's as feisty and intelligent as Strange's, but also affectionate towards its owner when it isn't bickering with him over their shared mistakes.

  • In Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Ms. Price brings first a pair of shoes, and then a bunch of other clothes to life when she finally learns the spell for substitutiary locomotion. In the climax, she does it to suits of armor to battle Nazis.
  • Doctor Strange's cloak in Marvel Cinematic Universe has a mind of its own, begging to be worn and even protecting Strange on several occasions.
  • The film version of My Favorite Martian introduces Zoot Suit, an anthropomorphic talking suit that belongs to Marvin.
  • Star Kid features Cy, a talking alien battle suit.
  • Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit captures a squeaky shoe, and uses it to demonstrate the effectiveness of Dip to Eddie Valiant. Though the shoe cannot speak, its expression and piteous squeaking indicate that it is aware of its imminent demise.

  • The Sorting Hat from the Harry Potter series. It's an enchanted talking hat that can see into the head of whoever wears it, and it is used to sort wizarding students into Houses.
  • Cardinal's red robes in Kingdoms Disdain.
  • The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss includes a story in which an unnamed character encounters a walking pair of jeans on an otherwise deserted road.
  • Sourcery has the Archchancellor's Hat, which had been worn by so many powerful wizards over the years that it had developed wizardly powers and thought processes of its own, eventually becoming one of the faction rulers in the Sourcerer-fueled wizard war.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Sid and Marty Krofft Productions created the children's show Lidsville, about a society of living hats contained entirely within a magician's top hat. The hats have faces and personalities matched to their type of hat.
  • Readalong: The main character of the show was a talking boot named... Boot. Another character was Pretty, a talking female shoe.

    Other Sites 

  • Sketch comedy show Son of Cliché presented a spoof b-movie horror film called Attack Of The Killer Italian Y-Fronts, in which underpants made of a sentient synthetic material take terrible revenge on the human race for giving them such a menial and distasteful job to do. The malevolent Ys choose to excessively tighten and constrict - exactly where a man needs neither tightness nor constriction. Penned by writing team Grant Naylor, this sketch was later adapted for an episode of Red Dwarf.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Aberrant, eufiber is a special fibre created by a particular nova. Its special qualities make it highly desirable for top end. However, it has additional powers that can only be used by novas, making it the choice for nova uniforms. One of these properties is the ability to reshape itself according to the nova's wishes, indicating that it possesses at least some level of understanding.
  • In Attack Of The Humans, one of the monsters is Living Clothing caused by clothes washed in detergent that had been struck by lightning.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has the cloaker (introduced in 1981's Secret of the Slavers Stockade and reprinted in Monster Manual II), which masquerades as a cloak or cape and attacks when put on.
  • In In Nomine, Kyriotates of Jean have the ability to possess inanimate objects, including clothing, which allows for some interesting tricks; you can't dodge your underwear.

  • From Michael Jackson One by Cirque du Soleil, Clumsy finds out that Michael's shoes can dance and Moonwalk on their own, as does Sneaky learn that Michael's Glove has a mind of its own, and engages in a little bit of Clothing Combat against him, while MJ's suit watches.

    Video Games 
  • In Fallen London, Polythreme is a place where everything is alive. "Clothes Colonies" are a common sight there, both with and without occupants; in the former case, the occupant is rarely willing, and you can temporarily join their number if you're not careful. You can also obtain a "Moderately Co-operative Clothes Colony" which you can take with you outside Polythreme and wear to increase your Watchful, Persuasive, and Bizarre (at a slight penalty to Shadowy).
  • Fallout: New Vegas has the Stealth Suit Mk. II in the DLC add-on Old World Blues. The suit features an AI that automatically administers your healing items (whether or not this is a good idea) and seems to have a crush on you.
  • In Mega Man ZX, the Biometals are a Transformation Trinket that gives the user Instant Armor based on the heroes of the previous two series. They're sapient and can talk (most of the time), whether in trinket form or armor form.
  • Cappy from Super Mario Odyssey is an example of this as a ghost that replaces and inhabits Mario's cap for the entirety of the game. Like many other examples, he conveys special abilities such as a jumping platform and enemy capture.

  • David Gonterman's FoxFire and its reboot Scarlet P.I. both feature sentient fursuits that are in complete control of their wearers. In the former, they're alien organisms. In the latter, they're simply really advanced AI-controlled exoskeletons.
  • "Mr Creepy Dress" in this comic by Humon .
  • In Oglaf a wizard turns himself into a tight-fitting catsuit in hopes that a hot woman will put him on. A goat gets him instead.

    Web Video 
  • The Trousers Cosmic from What the Fuck Is Wrong with You? are evil alien pants who induce madness in people, resulting in naked rampages. Space Guy pointed out how stupid they were, since they're just jeans with googly eyes.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman Beyond: The Batsuit in "Lost Soul", once the AI program of a long-deceased tech mogul gets into it by way of pegging Terry with Gotham Power's security lasers. Unable to use it himself after this fact, Terry borrows some of the original team's gear to go after it.
  • Camp Lakebottom: In "Late Afternoon of the Living Gitch", Squirt's stinky underwear is washed in toxic cleanser and comes alive: leading the rest of the laundry on a campaign of terror.
  • Classic Disney Shorts: In "Mickey's Grand Opera", Pluto the Pup follows a magician's hat that moves around.
  • Darkwing Duck: "Battle of the Brainteasers" has Darkwing and company dealing with (and inadvertently taking part in) an invasion of hat-shaped aliens who hijack the bodies of whoever wears them.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: In a Justice Friends segment, Valhallen loses the magic electric guitar which gives him his powers. To retrieve it, Major Glory and Krunk have to go into Valhallen's room, which includes dangers such as Valhallen's clothes, which have gone unwashed for so long that they've gained a life of their own.
  • Eek! The Cat: Klutter from the Klutter segment of Eek!Stravaganza is mainly composed from dirty laundry, the exceptions being a tennis racket and an alarm clock. He was brought to life via Static Electricity and only five children, three of which siblings, know of his existence. He's very affectionate and will lick people with his tie-tongue.
  • Goof Troop: "Talent to the Max" has Max ending up controlled by a magical talking magician hat.
  • Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: One of the first episodes has Jimmy bring every pair of pants in the city to life.
  • Max Steel (2013): The alien Ultralink named Steel provides Max with a suit of Powered Armor that Steel can control at will.
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot: Jenny's Exo-Skin is not just alive, but one of the creepiest things in the show.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?", the Tantabus invades Rarity's dream and turns her own dresses into rampaging monsters that attack her and shred her other dresses.
  • The Owl House: Played for Laughs in a cutaway gag. Luz, uncertain as to which school of magic she wants to focus on, asks if there's an enchanted article of clothing that can choose for her. Principal Bump has a flashback to the Choosy Hat, which worked great until it started eating students alive. Later in the episode, there's a loud sound offscreen and Bump yells horrified that the choosy hat broke free.
  • Phineas and Ferb has Klimpaloon, the Magical Old-Timey Bathing Suit Who Lives in the Himalayas. "Nang-nang-nang".
  • The Spongebob Squarepants episode "Procrastination" has SpongeBob's pants coming to life in a dream sequence.
    • "Ripped Pants" has SpongeBob constantly ripping his swim trunks for a laugh until everyone got sick of it. Including the trunks, which get up and leave.
  • Pajamas in Summer Camp Island is a normal set of pajamas, however witches at the summer camp have enchanted him alive. There are also other living articles of clothes.
  • Uncle Grandpa has a Belly Bag that serves both as his Bag of Holding and as the Only Sane Man when Uncle Grandpa gets too far in over his head.


Video Example(s):


Cappy and the Bonneters

Cappy and his sister Tiara belong to a race of sentient hats known as Bonneters that primarily live in Bonneton, Cap Kingdom. After deciding to team up with Mario to rescue Peach and Tiara, Cappy merges himself with Mario's shredded hat, repairing it in the process.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / LivingClothes

Media sources: