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Living Clothes

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"'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, which can act without a wearer but is 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.


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    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.
  • Doraemon have a gadget in the form of a Wind-up Clockwork Key, that can be attached to anything, even articles of clothing. At least one Doraemon comic involves Doraemon and Nobita having an impromptu tea-party with a bunch of animated clothes.
  • 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.
  • Undead Unluck: Clothes is a UMA (a being the represents the world's rules) that embodies clothing, making it a living garment that takes the form of the wearer's desired clothing. It ends up becoming Andy's uniform because it's the only clothing that can survive and regenerate from everything Andy goes through. Which considering Andy constantly subjects himself to dismemberment for his fighting style and strokes of Unluck ranging from magma to meteorites, means a lot.

    Comic Books 
  • A story from silver age in Action Comics had an alien cop and his prisoner both disintegrated by the radiation in a comet passing by their ship. Their will persists past death to animate their clothing and seek people with matching morals to empower and continue their conflict.
  • 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.
  • In Doctor Strange: The Oath, the Cloak of Levitation is able to move on its own and is implied to have sentience. (In most other depictions, the Cloak is animate only when Strange uses magic to puppet it).
  • Azzarello and Chiang's Doctor Thirteen backup in Tales of the Unexpected featured a pile of superhero costumes attacking the obscure band of characters as a statement about how the company ignores the stranger heroes in favor of big-name heroes that are ultimately nothing but sales icons.
    Doctor Thirteen: No father wants to see his daughter become a fashion victim.
  • 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.
  • Judge Dredd was issued a new uniform for on-street evaluation that came with an onboard AI that could detect criminals more easily and act as a sort of Powered Armor. However, the fashion designer who created the uniform gave it a personality similar to his own and began executing perps for "crimes against fashion." When Dredd disagreed with this, the uniform removed itself from Dredd's body and went on a rampage until Dredd was able to bring it down.
  • 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).
  • One Bronze Age Superman story had the Man Of Steel dealing with his entire Clark Kent disguise having a life of its own. He finds out that he passed through a cloud in space consisting of microscopic sentient beings that got attached to his clothing and he ends up taking them home.
  • The first issue of the Roger Rabbit comic books featured as a villain a sentient set of "fancy pants," which talked like a gangster most of the time but got eloquent when wishing it would meet a pair of "female pants" to end its loneliness. This was pretty much par for the course.
  • Spawn:
    • Spawn's suit and the source of his powers is a living demonic symbiote called Leetha of the 7th House of K, or K7-Leetha.
    • Angela has a pair of living ribbons which respond to her command and are capable of acting on their own to protect her even when she's unconscious.

    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.
  • A walking pair of pants appeared in The Pajama Diaries, with Jill Kaplan telling husband Rob, "Looks like it might be time to wash the yoga pants."

    Fan Works 
  • Later, Traitor: Maloof's mental world is a big city run by a mafia that works for him. These mafia members are all animate suits with nobody wearing them. According to Word of God, this is representative of the fact that Maloof internally dehumanizes people because everyone he knows is either a jerk or works for his parents, so they're not important to him. This dehumanization extends to his bodyguard Mikhail because Maloof sees Mikhail as a tool to get back at his tormentors with and not as a person.
  • 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 the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic A Route Obscure and Lonely, Spike enters Rarity's dream and finds is populated with dancing clothes. They try to prevent Spike from passing by entangling him, then they get more violent when he finds the key that can wake up Rarity.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic Sharing the Nation, Rarity is the demigoddess of clothes, taking the form of a dress that adorns a life-sized plushie as a Mobile-Suit Human.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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.
  • The Cloak of Levitation from Doctor Strange (2016) is sentient and can move completely separately from its owner. It — among other things — begs to be worn, protects Strange from getting his throat sliced open, drags him over to a trap he can use to subdue the Big Bad, fights a mook by wrapping around his head and slamming it into the ground, and wipes Strange's tears.
  • The movie Legend (1985) had a dancing (and possibly evil) dress. When the princess danced with it she ended up wearing it.
  • The film version of My Favorite Martian introduces Zoot Suit, an anthropomorphic talking suit that belongs to Marvin.
  • Slaxx is a Horror Comedy about a pair of killer, possessed jeans, so naturally, there's a scene of them doing this when they hear Shruti listening to Bollywood music. It's actually plot-relevant, as it foreshadows that the ghost possessing the pants is originally from India and connected to the sweatshop labor that went into making them.
  • 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 Kingdom's Disdain.
  • The villains of Larklight's second book are aliens from near the end of time called Moobs, which disguise themselves as clothes (mostly hats) and can take control of or telepathically communicate with people who wear them.
  • In the Nintendo Adventure Books entry "Pipe Down!", part of the plot involves the Mario Brothers trying to find a pair of magical self-propelled boots.
  • In Reaper Man, the surplus life force causes clothing and other inanimate objects to get up and walk (or, more accurately, run) around on their own. In particular the wizards notice a full suit running off, followed by another pair of trousers, chased by a man shouting "I paid seven dollars for you!" Ridcully is astonished by this; he didn't know there was a tailor in the city who'd include a spare pair of pants with a seven dollar suit.
    "If it comes round again, trip it up. I want to see the label."
  • 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.
  • In ch. 197 of the second "year" of Tales of MU, Steff enchants Mack's jeans with an undead animation spell. Once off her, they try to wrap around her head and are eventually destroyed.
  • In Warbreaker, Vasher at one point animates a suit of clothes to grab a sword and fight beside him. Works quite well.

    Live-Action TV 
  • iCarly has a bra that tells unscary scary stories.
  • LazyTown: "Defeeted": The Feet Crazer Maker 6000 can hop around and have a little beeping conversation with itself regardless of whether or not it's being worn by somebody.
  • 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.

    Music Videos 

    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, and a ragamuffyn, which is usually a cloud of sentient magical clothing, though it also comes in varieties that are made of rags or weapons. A similar monster is the raiment, which is a set of clothes possessed by the spirit of their deceased previous wearer.
  • 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 
  • One of the most dreaded monsters in Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening are the horrifying schleets, which look like ordinary pairs of pants. When you get close enough, they jump up and tear out your eyes in order to lay their eggs in your eye sockets. At least, that's what Oghren's heard.
    "What kind of moron do you think I am? Schleets don't lay eggs!"
  • 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
    • The Stealth Suit Mk. II in the DLC add-on Old World Blues 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.
    • The intended function of the Y-17 trauma override harness was autonomous casualty recovery, physically walking for its operator should he become incapacitated. Unfortunately, the prototypes had several design flaws: if they don't have a home base, they unpredictably wander; they cannot detect if the occupant is still alive; and they can replicate their users' fighting ability to effect a fighting withdrawal, but lack IFF protocols. Two centuries after the Great War, Y-17 harnesses still wander Big Mountain as mobile coffins.
  • Flash of the Blade have sentient, floating kimono robes as enemies revived by the Soulstealer.
  • Ghostbusters: The Video Game includes a collectible object in the form of a pair of patched jeans that walk about with faint disco music playing in the background. After the player collects them, they can be seen (and heard) wandering about the firehouse. The note on your Paragoggles reads: "These bell-bottoms keep on truckin'...WITH NO-ONE INSIDE THEM!"
  • 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.
  • One level in Monster Party has pants that are (of course) trying to kill you.
  • The titular hero of Plok is a being made up of clothes who can fire out his arms and legs at will.
  • 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.
  • The arcade and Turbografx-16 CD versions of Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair have Sunglar, the boss of Stage 6, who is basically a cloak, fedora, and pair of sunglasses with Floating Limbs.

  • In Adventurers!, Ardam randomly encounters one pair of evil pants. The sheer stupidity of an article of clothing apparently trying to kill him sends him into shock.
  • 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 one Sluggy Freelance storyline, Gwynn enchants a pile of laundry and clutter to become a Clutter Monster which would force Torg to clean up their apartment. It died when they put away some of the clothes that it was using for vital organs.
  • 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.
  • Several of the TwoKinds bonus art pieces have this theme, such as Clothing Freadom and Night of the Living Pants

    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 
  • One of the Arthur episodes had a humiliating incident in which Arthur's pants fell down at school inspire a dream where his pants were trying to eat him.
  • 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.
  • In the Betty Boop short "The Old Man of the Mountain" Betty escapes from The Old Man by slipping out of her dress which then slaps him in the face and runs off after her.
  • 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.
  • Greenbeard's gloves in Jackie Chan Adventures, which can move under their own power and force whoever's wearing them to steal things.
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: One of the first episodes has Jimmy bring every pair of pants in the city to life.
  • An episode of Johnny Test had Johnny's genius sisters create a pair of pants that increased his intellect called Super Smarty Pants. It developed sentience as well as Yandere traits towards Johnny, including trying to kill a love interest (whom he repeatedly denied he did have feelings for).
  • 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
    • One episode has Doofenshmirtz attempt to create a ray that would dry his clothes after his dryer broke, but instead made one that made anything hit with it dance... which includes his clothes. "Still sopping wet..."
    • "Summer Belongs to You" features Klimpaloon, the Magical Old-Timey Bathing Suit Who Lives in the Himalayas.
  • Spongebob Squarepants
    • In "Procrastination", SpongeBob gets to his desk, and realizes his pants are missing. They taunt him and run out the door of the Pineapple House, screaming "FREEDOM!!!" It's All Just a Dream, though.
    • "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.
  • Steven Universe: In "Frybo", shattered gem shards bring clothes to life. This includes Steven's pants, which he has to chase down. Later, Steven uses one of the shards to bring a Goofy Suit to life; when it goes berserk, he brings all his clothes (including his underwear) to life to defeat it.
  • 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):

Alternative Title(s): Dancing Pants


Pink Pants

The pink shorts on the ground are actually a dormant latex beast, which will transfur the human if he puts them on.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / LivingClothes

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