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Non-Uniform Uniform

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"We're a team! ... I think!"

"I know the dresscode here is kinda lax... but I'm still pretty sure they're breaking it."
Zoe Blecher, Sleepless Domain

Bob must wear some form of uniform which he finds repressive or simply dislikes, so he tries to act out and be an individual through wearing something distinctive. If he actually gets away with it, he may even inspire others to do the same. Often, Bob's change to his uniform comes from finding a loophole — The rulebook says "black shirt, shoes, socks, and pants," but says nothing about silly hats or tearing the sleeves off the shirts.

Essentially a Dress Code, but not a strict Uniform.

This is often done in fiction to make things more visually interesting while still keeping a team feel. In Real Life this is a key reason why novelty neckties are so popular. Big earrings, watches laden down with gadgets, mismatched socks, you get the idea. In the professional world, this is popular with men, who tend to have fewer options for "proper" attire than women.


This is often the case with Superhero Team Uniforms. Custom Uniform of Sexy is also usually this, but with a specific Fanservice angle. Compare Custom Uniform — while that one is "I won't wear the real one, so I'll wear whatever I damn well please," this is "I'll wear the real one, but I'll make mine different than everyone else's." Transfer Student Uniforms: "Technically I'm waiting for my new uniform to be made so I'll wear my old one, but this is symbolic of my status."

Compare Distinctive Appearances.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Asteroid in Love, Mira uses a red backpack adorned with stars instead of school-issue blue-grey totes, while Mai always put on a pink sweater over her uniform.
  • Hokusai High School in Ayakashi Triangle has several different pieces of outerwear allowed, including cardigans of multiple colors and a blazer. Matsuri deviates a bit more, replacing the tie with a choker that changes him into his ninja gear, and leaving several buttons of his dress shirt undone.
  • Tite Kubo, the creator of Bleach, considered becoming a fashion designer instead of a mangaka, so the series downright revels in finding new variations on faction uniforms.
    • The Shinigami have a standard black hakama-and-gi uniform that comes with regulation socks, sandals, obi, etc, but many characters have added unique tailoring (Nemu's minidress) or accessories (Kyouraku's pink over-kimono), and there seem to be no standards at all for hair, tattoos, or jewelry. The only dress code rule that we actually see enforced is that captains are required to take good care of their white division haoris, but even those can be customized.
    • The Arrancar all wear black-trimmed white jackets with high collars, but in a whole range of different styles. Some much sillier than others (I'm looking at you, Aaroniero).
    • The Karakura kids even wear their school uniforms in different ways: Ishida and Mizuiro wear it properly, Ichigo doesn't wear the tie, Keigo wears the tie but never seems to tuck his shirt in, Orihime later starts using thigh-highs while Tatsuki prefers sneakers, etc.
    • Like the Arrancar, the Vandenreich all wear variations on a standard white uniform...a standard uniform that is VERY Putting on the Reich.
  • In Code Geass almost the whole of Britannia's military elite counts (comes with being designed by CLAMP), with the most stand-out example is the Knights of Round uniform, with the females varying the most, to wit:
    • The male uniform is used by Knight of Three Gino, Knight of Seven suzaku, Knight of Ten Luciano and Knight of Nine Nonnette, the only female wearing long trousers, with each with a different coloured cape: Gino dark green, Suzaku blue, Luciano orange and nonnette lavender.
    • Knight of One Bismarck's jacket is a Badass Longcoat with a straight hem unlike the other's pointed ones, and black lapels. His cape is white.
    • Knight of Twelve Monica wears a pencil knee-length skirt, and a light green cape.
    • Knight of Six Anya has the most different uniform: the shirt covers only the breast-area and the jacket is instead sleeveless, backless and open in the front to show the Bare Your Midriff. She uses Shorts and thigh-high pink stockings with garters. Her cape is pink.
  • In D.Gray-Man, exorcists wear uniforms that share a specific style, yet they are fitted to the style or needs of each of the exorcists. For example, Lenalee will wear a Dangerously Short Skirt or super-short shorts, supposedly to commend her fighting style, and Lavi prefers tighter pants than the rest of the male cast because he carries his weapon in a thigh holster.
  • In Fruits Basket, most characters wear their school uniforms to code, but there are some exceptions:
    • Arisa Uotani, a former sukeban since gone straight, still wears an ankle-length skirt to show that she hasn't completely lost her rebellious streak. She also doesn't wear the tie at the end of her sailor collar that most female students wear.
    • Saki Hanajima wears a knee-length skirt and paints her fingernails black. Machi Kuragi also wears a knee-length skirt.
    • Momiji Sohma wears the girl's uniform top with shorts, though more because he prefers how it looks than out of any sense of rebellion. He later switches to the standard boy's uniform during his second year after he has a growth spurt.
    • Kyo and Hatsuharu Sohma don't wear neckties with their uniforms. During summer, Kyo wears his uniform shirt open with a T-shirt underneath, while Hatsuharu rolls up the sleeves on his uniform.
  • Urzu team in Full Metal Panic! all wear the same black jumpsuit when piloting their Arm-Slaves, but each has a different colored strip along the shoulder. Further, their M9 units themselves, while operating on an identical chassis, are visually distinguished by having different equipment loadouts. Mao's M9 has a different head with an aerial fin as part of an enhanced electronic warfare package. Kurtz' M9 typically will be armed with a larger anti-tank rifle for sniping other Arm-Slaves. Sagara's Arbalest is an M9 modified with deployable cooling fins and a different head to accommodate a Lambda Driver and its control system, with a different color scheme to distinguish it.
  • GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class:
    • Nodamiki always wears the school tracksuit instead of the blazer, even there's no P.E.. On the other hand, Tomokane always unbuttons her collar and often removes the ribbon tie, something that leads to Viewer Gender Confusion. OK, she still wears the skirts...
    • There's also Namiko, who always wears a big belt and doesn't wear her blazer, in order to hide her size.
    • In the first episode, Tomokane and Nodamiki paint the inside of their tracksuits in outrageous colors and wear them inside out. They later find out that the color is water-soluble...
  • In Galaxy Angel each of the main character wear their own variant of the uniform. Ranpha stand out the most, as the only reminder of the uniform left on her outfit is the little bolero she wear over her Red China dress.
  • The title character of High School Ninja Girl, Otonashi-san wears, along with her sailor fuku, a ninja mask, headband, leg wrappings, and ninja armor. An early chapter has a uniform inspection where she justifies the first three (she has a cold, helps her study, fractured her legs).
  • In an episode of The Irresponsible Captain Tylor, friction between Yuriko and Kim begins when Kim begins wearing makeup and earrings on duty, though Kim points out this isn't in violation of regulations so long as they don't interfere with her work.
    • And of course there is the Good Captain's trenchcoat itself, as well as the Marines wearing whatever the hell they want anyway.
      • The "uniforms" seen in the series are so diverse to begin with, it's a wonder anyone knows what's regulation and what's not anyway.
  • Kagerou Project:
    • Takane never wears a tie and always wears black Modesty Shorts beneath her shirt, presumably because she prefers wearing pants/leggings.
    • Haruka never wears his tie.
    • Ayano always wears her red scarf rain, shine or committing suicide.
    • In an illustration showing the entire cast in the high school uniform, Kido wears red track pants instead of the skirt, And Kano wears a sweater/cardigan instead of a blazer.
  • Hayasaka from Kaguya-sama: Love is War removed the collar from her school uniform, and cut the skirt short. She notes that it's "more or less within the loopholes in the regulations" when Kaguya points it out (it still ends up getting her in trouble with the public morals ccommitteedespite this... or rather it would if Miko wasn't such a pushover). It's implied that even though she describes her garb methodically describing femininity as a "weapon", Hayasaka is very much enjoying the perks of youth by wearing it, and was just pandering to Kaguya.
  • Ryotsu in Kochikame normally wears sandals in his police uniform along having his sleeves rolled up (when it's not a summer uniform) and not wearing a police cap.
  • Ritsu from K-On! always wears her school uniform differently from the other main characters; in the winter she doesn't tuck in her shirt or button up her jacket, while in the summer she doesn't wear the yellow vest.
  • Love Live!:
    • In Love Live!, Nico wears a pink cardigan under her blazer, which she keeps wearing during the summer instead of the standard cream-colored vest. Rin doesn't wear the vest at all with her summer uniform.
    • In Love Live! Sunshine!!, Hanamaru wears a yellow cardigan over her winter uniform and Mari wears a light green vest over her summer uniform.
    • Most of the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club members have some personalized touches to their uniforms, with only Ayumu and Shizuku wearing the uniform to code with no additional flairs.
  • Magic of Stella:
    • Tamaki wears her oversized jacket open.
    • Shiina wears a blue tie instead of the usual red ribbon.
    • Ayame doesn't wear a jacket and has an orange bow instead of a ribbon.
    • Kayo wears a vest in place of the jacket.
    • Marika wears a blue sweater instead of the jacket.
  • Rina in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch wears the boys' uniform for no apparent reason.
  • Late in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, when the five Gundam Pilots finally start working as a team, they start wearing matching Latex Space Suits, mostly black with white and red trim and different colored patches on the chests and arms: Heero, Quatre, and Wu Fei have a tan-brown while Duo and Trowa have blue. There doesn't seem to be any real reason behind this, either in terms of "coding" or style.
    • Similarly, it seems the higher ups in the OZ faction have variations on a theme. Trieze and Zechs wear a blue and red military dinner jackets, respectively, each with white pants and high black boots. Lady Une wears a woman's variation with a brown jacket/skirt with white leggings.
  • Romance Academy in Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun is officially noted to be pretty lax on uniform regulations. As a result, most of the main cast (as well as many peripheral background characters) deviates from the official uniform in some way. The only one who wears the uniform completely to code is Nozaki himself.
    • Chiyo wears a navy-blue floppy bow, while the official bow is more stringy and of a different color required for her year (the color for her current year should be red).
    • Mikoshiba pierces his ears, never wear blazers or ties nor buttons his shirt, showing a T-shirt underneath.
    • Seo never wears socks.
    • Kashima wears a necktie rather than a bow like other girls, fitting with her already masculine appearance.
    • Hori wears a blue shirt rather than white, and is never seen with a blazer.
    • Wakamatsu often wears a open-front sweater, which is not really officially sanctioned.
  • Some characters in My Hero Academia wear slight variations on the standard U.A. school uniforms:
    • Izuku knots his tie in a messy way, making it look shorter.
    • Bakugo never wears a tie and wears his shirt partially unbuttoned, showing his general disdain for authority.
    • Shoji wears a sleeveless shirt and jacket, since his quirk gives him six arms.
    • Kyoka initially wears her uniform normally, but after the school festival arc she cuts off her jacket's sleeves, turning it into a waistcoat.
    • Ochaco wears black tights under her skirt.
    • And then there is the types of shoes they wear. Most students wear brown shoes. However there are exceptions: Todoroki wears sneakers, Bakugo wears black shoes, even the Generic Guy Ojiro wears sneakers. Midoriya, on the other hand wears his trademark red boots.
  • Although Naruto has plenty of Custom Uniforms, some characters fit this trope as well, with headbands that are supposedly meant to be worn on the forehead, as a belt, eyepatch, bracelet, or bandana.
  • Touji from Neon Genesis Evangelion also wears a tracksuit above his white shirt and no one calls him out for it, not even Hikari the class rep — though that may be because she has a crush on him.
  • In One Piece, high-ranking Marines tend to only keep the overcoat part of their uniform, wearing whatever the hell they like underneath it.
  • In Pani Poni Dash!, none or almost none of the characters wear quite the same uniform.
  • Team Rocket grunts are supposed to wear black uniforms. Jessie and James wear white versions in the Pokémon anime to make themselves stand out more. They temporarily wore black in the Unova series but switched back to their traditional attire after a few dozen episodes.
  • In the various Pretty Cure series from Yes! Pretty Cure 5 on, the main heroines tend to wear similar costumes or ones close to their series motif. The Sixth Ranger of each series will also wear something similar but will have something vastly different to show their status.
  • The title character of Revolutionary Girl Utena is an unusual example, as she's specifically stated to be wearing a boys' school uniform when her red, white and blue outfit is unique and completely different from both the girls' and the boys' uniforms at the school. In the manga this is explained as her taking advantage of a loophole in the dress code; in the anime, it's never addressed.
  • Sailor Moon as a whole deserves a mention:
    • While the Sailor Suits they wear as senshi all share the same base design, at the start they can have different boots, earrings, shoulder pad styles, gloves, choker accessories, brooch and color schemes. As time passes Moon's outfit grows more different while everyone's grows more uniform to the point the only difference is color scheme. Chibi-Moon bounces back and fourth, her first two uniforms are more like Moon's but her final one is the same as everyone but Moon. It should be noted that the anime doesn't get as uniform as the manga as the 3rd version doesn't appear aside from Moon's version of it.
    • The Starlights also have different accessories on their uniform and different strap colors. Kakyuu's version (which only appears in the manga) has a unique skirt and shoulder pads and her crown remains.
    • Sailor Senshi as a whole have wildly different uniforms based on their team with the only real rule being it must have a Sailor collar, a bow of some kind on their chest and some from of tiara or head gear.
  • In Saki, as well as its spinoffs, there's typically at least one person on each team who isn't wearing their uniform the same way that the others do. The most plot-relevant example is Arata from Saki Achiga-hen, who, instead of wearing the ribbon that's part of the Achiga girls' uniform, wears the red necktie that Harue gave her years ago, back when she was a student at Achiga, and which was part of the uniform back then.
  • In Scum's Wish, Noriko's outfit is a bit frillier than the usual uniform everyone else wears, and she also doesn't wear a vest.
  • In Episode 23 of Sengoku Collection, Tsunehisa Amago wears a blue shirt as part of her uniform to day care like all the other children, only hers features detached sleeves.
  • In She Becomes a Tree, every Office Lady at the main characters' company wears matching clothes — a plaid vest and skirt, a white button-down shirt and a neckerchief. Kisaki, however, wears a black jacket over her vest and doesn't seem to wear the neckerchief.
  • The Guardians of Shugo Chara! wear mantles on their shoulders, though this isn't out of rebellion but rather a symbol of their status. Amu, on the other hand, tends to wear her uniform in a slightly more disheveled fashion. Jacket unbuttoned, shirt un-tucked, and belt with a fanny pack on over the shirt. The fanny pack, used to keep Amu's Guardian Character Eggs, was added after she joined the Guardians.
  • In Sket Dance, quite a few students at Kaimei, including the Sket Dan, make variations to the school uniform. With the exception of Tsubaki temporarily making Shinzou wear the proper uniform instead of his usual kendo club clothes, the school doesn't seem to make a fuss over this. This is averted in the school assemblies, as everyone forgoes the accessories and wear the proper uniform such as the blazer, tie/ribbon and pants (for guys).
    • Bossun doesn't bother with the blazer nor tie, wears shorts instead of pants (even in winter), rolls up the sleeves of his shirt over another shirt, wears sandals instead of shoes, and wears goggles and a red hat.
    • Himeko has her ribbon undone, avoids the blazer, and wears heels.
    • Switch also avoids the blazer and tie, and wears a green vest. He averted this when he first started going to Kaimei however, wearing the proper uniform before his brother's death.
  • In Slow Start, most of the school's student body wears knee-high socks. However, Tamate wears thing-high socks.
  • All five Smile Pretty Cures wear some kind of variation on their school's uniform, complete with color-coded ties and (for the most part) vests.
  • In Wandering Son, a girl, Chizuru, wears the boys' uniform to her middle school's opening ceremony. She tends to do this kind of thing on a whim, and later wears the boy's necktie instead of the girl's ribbon on her uniform. Yoshino (who is a trans boy) struggles over whether to do this himself and eventually starts wearing the necktie also. For a while he wears the male Summer uniform, before changing back to female gear after his (trans girl) friend goes to school dressed in a Sailor Fuku but gets scorned for it.
  • Kanade "Majime" Ninomae from Wasteful Days of High School Girls never buttons or tucks in her shirt, thus showing an orange T-shirt underneath. In addition, she usually wears crew-length socks while other students wear knee-highs.
  • Inugami Akira of Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest wears his old school's uniform, initially because he didn't have the new one yet, but once he gets one it's damaged in a fight and he goes back to wearing the old one.
  • Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh! wears buckled straps around the wrists of his uniform jacket to make it look kind of gothier.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX:
    • Kenzan removed the sleeves of his Ra Yellow jacket to look like a delinquent.
    • After fusing with Yubel, Judai's Osiris Red jacket has got a darker shade of red, is longer and has a longer collar.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V:
    • Yuya basically wears his ordinary clothes all the time when he goes to school. He does wear his jacket however, but as a Coat Cape.
    • Yuzu does not wear the jacket, instead she wears a sleeveless shirt that the other girls don't wear.
  • Yusuke of YuYu Hakusho deliberately chooses to wear a green version of his school's uniform in direct violation of the dress code. He claims it looks better on him than the blue version.

    Audio Plays 

    Comic Books 
  • For a short time in the nineties, The Avengers wore brown leather jackets with the Avengers' logo on the shoulders. This gave the team a uniformed look while maintaining their individual identities.
    • Perhaps as a reference to this, the "uniforms" of Nextwave were just a roughly knee-length trenchcoat (usually grey with black lapels) over whatever their normal outfits were. Or perhaps it was just Warren Ellis' love of trenchcoats. Either way, it worked.
  • The Thing from the Fantastic Four does this the most; his costume is often just blue briefs or pants with the "4" logo but no shirt. Sue alters her costume too from time to time with varying degrees of tastefulness; see Custom Uniform of Sexy for details. Johnny once wore short sleeves and biker gloves briefly (not that it matters much, since when he's using his powers he's enveloped in flames and you can't actually see much more than the outline of what he's wearing anyway). Generally only Reed is guaranteed to stick with the original outfit. Makes sense since he's the one who designed it.
  • When the Fantastic Four were temporarily remodeled as the Future Foundation, the group wore black and white body suits similar to their original F4 designs. The Thing and Spider-Man both had different costumes that accommodated their powers and past costumes while Reed and Susan Richards had identical suits with their chest emblems slightly different. Their children had gender-based uniforms.
    • When he first joined the Future Foundation, Spidey started by wearing a Fantastic Four uniform and adding a black version of his mask to the ensemble (since he still has a secret identity) before quickly changing to the white and black design. Also in a What If story where Spidey joined the FF, he kept his regular costume but swapped out the spider logo for a number five (since, with his addition, they were re-named The Fantastic Five).
  • Members of the Green Lantern Corps are allowed to wear more or less anything they like so long as they keep the green-black-white color scheme and the Lantern badge is clearly visible. This is necessary, since while many Lanterns are at least approximately humanoid, not all of them are. Mogo is probably the most extreme example; as a sentient planet, his "uniform" is green foliage growing in a "belt" pattern with the Lantern logo around his equatorial region.
  • When Reep "Cham" Daggle decided to institute uniforms for his version of the Legion of Super-Heroes (The 5-years-later/TMK Legion, for those keeping track), they lasted for all of nothing before the various members started wearing them in distinct ways, if they were wearing them at all.
  • Pre-Crisis Captain Marvel Junior wore a blue superhero outfit unlike all the other Marvels who were in red. Freddy Freeman still wears blue but it's been retconned into more of Color-Coded for Your Convenience with the addition of Pedro (green), Eugene (silver/gray) and Darla (purple).
  • In W.I.T.C.H. and its animated counterparts the Guardians of Kandrakar wear custom outfits who are always green and violet (pink in the animated adaptation) and include leggings or socks striped in two different shades of green and identical wings (changed to a different design in the New Power version). A difference between the original outfits and both the New Power versions and those of the two known previous groups (their immediate predecessors and one of a few millennia ago) is that the first costumes all have an exposed stomach while the New Power ones and the other Guardians' don't (in the New Power only Taranee kept it, while the previous team had Yan Lin not exposing it and the team from a few millennia ago all had covered stomachs).
  • Commonly seen throughout the X-Men franchise. Any given junior team such as New Mutants or Generation X usually have a standard school uniform, but some may modify it to accommodate their powers, "sex it up", or discard it completely to signify leadership or lone wolf status.
    • Even with the original X-Men, everyone's outfit was slightly different to accommodate their powers etc. Cyclops had the visor, Jean's outfit was feminized (her cowl allowed her hair to flow out; eventually replaced with a unique mask), Iceman only wore shorts and boots since he was covered in snow (later ice) most of the time, Beast didn't wear gloves or shoes (the latter so that he could make use of his prehensile feet; this was when he still looked human except for being The Big Guy and having abnormally large hands and feet), and Angel had his wings sticking out the back. During The '90s, all X-Men had yellow and blue uniforms that they mostly used during training sessions, although they were occasionally worn in battle. During Grant Morrison's run, they all wore black and yellow leather and briefly went with blue and yellow variations.
    • The original New Mutants wore a black and yellow variation of the original costumes (without the masked cowls), but team maverick (and later team leader) Dani Moonstar wore fringed brown leather boots and a turquoise-studded belt instead of the regulation yellow ones to affirm her Cheyenne identity.
      • It was explained to the original team that their individual costumes were symbols of graduation for Xavier's School. The new team were not students and so continued to wear the costumes they already wore. The New Mutants wore the school uniform and at one point decided to wear their graduation costumes on a mission, including a discussion of the symbolism of doing so. Kitty Pryde initially wore a school uniform but soon designed several (hideous) costumes. When she was temporarily removed from the X-Men and placed with the New Mutants she was required to wear the uniform again.
  • In X-Wing Rogue Squadron, Imperial Ace Pilot Baron Soontir Fel defected to the New Republic and joined Rogue Squadron. He wore their dress uniforms instead of his Imperial one, (well, sometimes,) but he kept his old Imperial flightsuit, adding a Corellian bloodstripe — admittedly he sometimes had that before — and removing the Imperial symbol. Note that the other pilots are in orange.

    Comic Strips 
  • Lampshaded in one Beetle Bailey strip, where Beetle is dragged before a group of generals and high-ranking officers to be lambasted for not wearing his uniform tie properly. The officers all wear all sorts of unusual decorations, strange hats and other deviations from a proper uniform (because they rank high enough that nobody can tell them what to wear), but none of them even consider this hypocrisy when they express their disapproval over Beetle's "unacceptable" clothing.
  • For Better or for Worse had April, who was going to an Ontario high school, have to buy certain clothes that fit exact specifications, but the list didn't mention socks, so she wore knee-high socks with rainbow stripes.

  • i won't let you: Upon joining the Future Foundation, only a few of the cast actually wear their uniform correctly, namely Kaede, Maki, Ryoma and Tenko. As for the others:
    • Gonta and Shuichi come the closest to getting it right, only Gonta's tie is green instead of black and Shuichi doesn't wear one.
    • Kiibo just wears a tie.
    • Kokichi wears his bandanna as well as a purple undershirt.
    • Kaito wears his suit jacket the way he does in game (only wearing one sleeve).
    • Korekiyo doesn't wear his suit jacket at all.
    • Angie, Himiko, Kirumi, Rantaro and Miu don't wear anything close to the uniform.

    Films — Animation 
  • Coraline from Coraline wants rainbow-colored knit gloves because she has to wear a school uniform and those are something no one else will have.
  • In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games, the characters from Crystal Prep all are wearing light blue shirts under maroon vests or blazers, along with plaid skirts for the girls and navy blue pants for the boys. All of the more important antagonists sport some sort of variation that makes them stand out not just from the background students, but also from each other.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Alien, the crew on the Nostromo all wear various pieces of the uniform (jacket, jumpsuit, shirt, hat, etc.) combined with their own choices. Since they're traveling by themselves in deep space, it's not like the Corporation is going to notice whether they follow the dress code or not.
  • Played for fun in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story. Before the team's first championship game, their manager tells them he ordered everyone uniforms. However, when he opens the box, he finds BDSM leather-and-chain outfits (the uniforms end up going to a BDSM club). When the team refuses to put them on, the rule-savvy one points out that they're required to wear matching clothes. They end up wearing the leather for the game, much to everyone's shock, but get their real uniforms, when the BDSM club members show up with them.
  • Joker from Full Metal Jacket wrote 'born to kill' on his helmet and wears a peace pin on his jacket. When a colonel gives him heck for it, he claims he was trying to make a statement about the dual nature of man.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • In Guardians of the Galaxy, the members of the team wear red uniforms, but each one is customized in some way. Gamora's has gloves and a lower neckline, Rocket Raccoon's has no gloves or shoes, while Drax's has no shirt.
    • Avengers: Age of Ultron is similar to the Avengers jacket example mentioned above. The characters still wear individual costumes, but most of them have stylized "A" logos somewhere on their outfit.
  • Harry Potter
    • The extras playing Hogwarts students were told to display the same variety of creative, non-standard ways of adjusting and modifying their uniforms as they would at a normal school.
    • In the fifth film, one of Umbridge's decrees imposes that "proper dress and decorum is to be maintained at all times." The students don't care to follow this rule since everyone hates Umbridge; one scene has Umbridge causally walking down a hallway and using her magic to tighten a student's loose necktie a tad too much.
    • The Aurors (magical police) tend to wear brown trenchcoats when on duty (only Shacklebolt doesn't), with retired Auror Mad Eye Moody still wearing one all the time.
  • The eponymous Mystery Team wears color-coded outfits that make them look like children.
  • Inverted in Office Space. The restaurant Chotchkie's requires its wait staff to customize their aprons with a minimum of fifteen "fun" buttons and pins, or "pieces of flair". Joanna (Jennifer Aniston) seems to consider wearing only the minimum rather than customizing further to be a minor act of rebellion.
  • School of Rock: While in school, most of the students adhere to the dress code, except Freddy, who pushes up his sleeves and gets in trouble from Ms. Mullins. Later, the whole band wears versions of their uniforms. So does Dewey, in a Shout-Out to Angus Young.
  • The Star Trek franchise may have had the occasional variant in the Original Series (see the Live Action TV entry below), but uniform variations took off with the movie series.
    • Star Trek: The Motion Picture introduced numerous Starfleet uniform variations to promote a casual shipboard atmosphere befitting Gene Roddenberry's vision. Captain Kirk himself wears a few examples throughout the film. McCoy and Chapel alternate between regular duty uniforms and medical whites, and Scotty spends much of the film in his engineering suit.
    • When the first film's uniforms proved uncomfortable and unpopular among the cast (let alone unpopular among much of the fanbase), new uniforms befitting Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan director Nicholas Meyer's vision of Horatio Hornblower in Space were commissioned. Despite the more militaristic "Monster Maroons", designer Robert Fletcher still kept the idea of customizable uniforms for mission-specific needs, as well as casual variants.
      • From the first movie, the engineering suits and medical whites were brought back, with slight tweaks (updated insignia, duty undershirts). McCoy and Scotty wore these prominently throughout Star Trek II, and Scotty wore the engineering suit for the last time in the first act of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
      • Along with the beefed-up excursion jackets, Kirk wears an additional field vest beneath his jacket, over his duty undershirt. Notably, he's the only one in the landing party wearing this variant, as when we see McCoy and Saavik remove their jackets, they're not wearing vests.
      • In Star Trek III, we're introduced to the officer's bomber jacket, worn by Admiral Morrow, Scotty, and (in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier) Kirk.
      • Also in III, Uhura wears a skirt with her uniform for the first time since the Original Series. She would alternate between a skirt and trousers going forward.
      • Kirk would wear another vest in Star Trek: Generations, designed to match the standard uniform jacket normally worn over it.
    • Star Trek: First Contact introduces a broad change in uniform design for the TNG-era. This included a vest — similar to the vests Kirk wore — meant to be worn over the division-color turtleneck in place of the standard duty over-shirt. Only three officers are ever seen wearing this vest: Picard, Sisko, and someone impersonating a high-level official from Starfleet Internal Affairs.
    • Star Trek (2009) reintroduces the miniskirt uniforms from the Original Series, although this time with short- and long-sleeved variants. Female officers could also wear a standard-style uniform with trousers.
  • The girls of St. Trinian's school clearly have a school uniform as a starting point. But no two girls have made the same alterations.
  • In They Died with Their Boots On (1941), the Warner Bros.. take on the Custer story, Cadet George Armstrong Custer (Errol Flynn) arrives at West Point in a uniform bedecked with plumes and so much braid that he is mistaken for an officer. Hilarity Ensues.
  • In When Evil Calls, the 'cool kids' tend to have modified their uniforms in a variety of ways; especially the girls, who invoke Catholic Schoolgirls Rule. Kirsty sports weird sunglasses, Daniel goes around with no blazer and his shirt sleeves rolled up to show his tattoos, etc. The girls also wear high heels that would not be permitted in any school in Britain (and may very well be banned at Wilburn, but discipline is shown to noticeably lax).
  • X-Men Film Series
    • According to the "Children of the Atom" behind-the-scenes documentary this was done purposefully in X-Men: First Class, not only because the comics did so but also because each member required something slightly different, like Xavier having more body armor (as the leader) and Magneto having less (since he can stop bullets) or Hank's collar being torn off.
    • Even the original X-Men movies invoked this trope. The team wore black leather bodysuits with slight variations. (Cyclops' visor was incorporated into his, Beast's costume was modified for his bulky frame, Storm had a cape attached, etc.). Also, some characters have subtle accents in different colors (such as yellow for Wolverine, white for Iceman and pink for Shadowcat).
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past does this as well. The future X-Men mostly wear black (except for Rogue, who wears white), but that seems to be the only real "rule". Storm, Magneto, and Bishop's costumes all have capes, Kitty Pryde's has a jacket, Blink, Warpath, and Sunspot all have individual markings and design elements, etc.

  • In one of the Adrian Mole books, characters wear red socks under their black school uniform socks, as a kind of silent rebellion.
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm:
    • Baptism clothes are only really required to be predominantly white with trimmings and/or decorations of the color corresponding to the child's birth season. Families very much do what they want with that depending on the resources, money and sewing talent at their disposal. The incident that gets Myne mistaken for being richer than she actually is happens because the alterations brought to her older sister's gown from the previous year so it would fit her much smaller frame wind up making it excessively decorated for a poor commoner's gown. On top of this, she's wearing one of her own elaborate flower hairpins for the occasion.
    • The Royal Academy uniform only seems to have a few clear requirements: the outermost layer must be black with gold trimmings and a cape, that is of a different color depending on the duchy the student is from, must be worn.
  • Discworld uses this trope repeatedly, usually to indicate an organization which has to prioritize practicality and availability over style and conformity.
    • The titular Monstrous Regiment is formed after years of fighting have impoverished the country. Even the resourcefulness of Sergeant Jackrum can only do so much with the pathetic odds and ends that the quartermaster issues as "uniforms". Only Maladict, through sheer vampiric Rule of Cool, manages to look stylishly shabby in them.
    • Ankh-Morpork City Watch armor is described as "a museum exhibit of funny helmets through the ages". The Watch is chronically underfunded and also one of the most species-diverse employers in the city, leading to a lot of improvising with whatever happened to be in the armoury and came closest to fitting.
    • Going Postal lampshades this with the aging postal workers: "They all wore uniforms, although since no two uniforms were exactly alike, they were not, in fact, uniform, and therefore not technically uniforms."
    • In the short story "The Sea and Little Fishes", it's pointed out that the fact all the older witches wear black dresses and pointy hats actually makes their personal choices in interpreting this (style of dress, any jewelry or accessories, battered old hat or perfect cone, etc.) more obvious, because they stand out against the apparent uniformity.
  • The Daughters of Daen, a mercenary company in the Dreamscape Voyager Trilogy have a "uniform" that amounts to a black coat. Beyond that, there is no unified cut or style. Zayne and Nanette opt to wear long coats, but others wear short jackets and everything in between. Justified in that the real markers of their membership are the brands on their arms.
  • Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter, wears her mandatory Hogwarts robes accessorized with bottlecap necklaces and radish earrings.
  • In the Macdonald Hall book The War with Mr. Wizzle, a new dress code is instituted requiring all students to wear a collared shirt and tie but apparently doesn't specify colours, and some of the boys take this fairly liberally. (Why an elite private boarding school doesn't already have a uniform is never explained.)
  • One of the Mr Ben books has him, as a prisoner, modify the black and white prison uniforms to use multiple colors (which is allowed as long as they're striped).
  • In Phule's Company, when Phule gives his troops new custom-made uniforms, C.H. immediately has the sleeves removed.
  • In Ellen Emerson White's The Road Home, Lt. Rebecca Phillips, a young Army nurse serving in Vietnam, is constantly being reprimanded for wearing sneakers with her uniform. It turns out that she isn't trying to disregard orders but that the boots are only men's sizes and she's a fairly small woman.
  • In Scarecrow by Matthew Reilly, the bodies of some Delta Force operatives are discovered. They don't wear unit insignia or any personal identification, but each man has customized his uniform slightly.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe: The High Republic multimedia project has the Jedi all wearing robes in a cream-and-brown colour scheme with golden accents. Beyond those details, no two individuals are dressed alike. In fact, even that bare minimum is the exception rather than the rule; at the start of the series, most of the named Jedi were at a ceremony in preparation for the opening of an important space station, and wearing formal cloaks and robes, then they have to jump straight to disaster relief. Some time is spent describing the more practical and individualistic clothing they would be wearing if they had more time to prepare.
  • Star Wars Legends: X-Wing Series:
    • Corran Horn sometimes wore his pilot-suit from his old job with the Corellian Security Service instead of the standard orange pilot-suit. Of course, given that supply shortages are a constant problem for the Rebel Alliance and nascent New Republic, the last line of their official dress code probably reads "Or whatever you can get your hands on that fits and doesn't have too many holes in". The "standard" orange pilot suit only became standardized because it was the kind the Rebels had been able to scrounge up the largest numbers of. By the time they had the resources to make this no longer an issue, orange had become a tradition in Starfighter Command.
    • Myn Donos sports a variably-customized uniform. Though his gear is New Republic issue, some of it still bears the patches from his (nearly wiped out) former command. When he's in the middle of a BSOD, he wears a bare-bones Wraith Squadron uniform with no ornamentation, but when he starts recovering he sports his Talon Squadron insignia and the various decorations and medals he's earned.
  • Downplayed somewhat in Victoria, but Chief of Staff Rumford does relax grooming and uniform standards considerably for his elite units and allows considerable variation in details, reasoning that they don't need the spit and polish to maintain their discipline. He even jokingly references the Sukhomlinov Effect.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Endemic among the Tanith First And Only, starting with the fact that they've been amalgamated from three separate commands and didn't have entirely uniform equipment to begin with. Aside from Gaunt (who has a Custom Uniform to go with his unique rank), notables include flame trooper Lyse, who goes sleeveless to emphasize that even her muscles have muscles, and Sergeant Criid, who sports a fur bomber jacket. They also have a surprising mixture of smaller equipment, including sidearms and utility tools, that comes from various sources (up to and including the enemy, if they're not using it any more).
  • The Wheel of Time: The Asha'man Magic Knights all wear black Badass Longcoats with collar pins denoting rank, but have no restrictions on their other clothing or on the specific design of the coat. It's indicative of the fact that they're Mildly Military and much more identifiable by their powers than by their clothing.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On Bones, Seeley Booth wears the standard FBI suit, but has wacky socks and belt buckle. Also, Angela Montenegro wears a standard blue lab coat, but with decorated lapels.
  • In The Brady Bunch, when the kids go on a local TV contest to win money they take the name as "The Silver Platters" as the name of the "group". Since they don't have costumes (or money to get them), the host has them come down an hour early and they fix them up with similarly-themed, but not matching, costumes (none of which are silver).
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: The Students of the Academy of Unseen Arts — witches wear mostly dresses and skirts, all black, grey, dark purple, or burgundy, dressy tops and long sleeves, while warlocks wear dress pants and button ups or sweaters, also in black, grey, burgundy or white. Also, almost all the girls wear high heels.
  • Degrassi's gone in this direction in Season 11. Justified in that the school had only implemented uniforms earlier that school year, and one of the teachers stated flat-out that they don't like enforcing it any more than the students like wearing it.
  • Peacekeeper uniforms in Farscape varied an awful lot from episode to episode, partly because the production team themselves were never really satisfied with any of the designs. By the end of the show, the rule, especially for officers, seemed to be "any vaguely military-looking ensemble at all as long as it's red and black and mostly leather".
  • Will Smith on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He always turned the jacket of his school uniform inside out, displaying a colorful silk liner instead of the single color shell.
    • Not to mention the time he wore his tie as a headband. (Tied in a Windsor knot, as specified in the student handbook.)
  • In Game of Thrones, Jon Snow — a member of the Night's Watch whose uniform is all black — keeps wearing a cloak with a fur collar of the very non-regulation light gray color until the end of Season 1.
    • Although the Night's Watch all wear black, there is no standard issue uniform, not even a cloak, they simply can't afford it. Whatever you show up wearing or carrying gets dyed black and that's your "uniform".
    • After joining the Kingsguard, Sandor Clegane occasionally wore the white armour, but mostly just wore his old gear with the white cloak, and eventually not even that, indicating his disdain for the Kingsguard and knighthood as an institution.
    • Similarly, after becoming Commander of the City Watch, Bronn flat out refused to wear his uniform, especially the customary gold cloak.
    • Gregor Clegane's Kingsguard armour is a solid bronze colour rather than enamelled white, and has a face-concealing greathelm to hide the fact that he's a zombie.
  • Glee: Outside of when the kids are competing, most of their performing costumes consist of this, which makes sense considering they are high school kids putting on performances with only a few days prep. Often they'll have the performing groups all in one colour but with their own style clothes, something simple like jeans and a t-shirt, or something with the same style.
  • The characters on Gossip Girl are so creative with their high school uniforms that half the time you forget they're even supposed to be wearing uniforms.
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, despite centering around doctors, shows the main four Riders demonstrating a highly variable sense of appropriate dress code. Medical intern Emu Hojo wears his white coat over loudly-colored clothing and Fun T-Shirts, by-the-book surgeon Hiiro Kagami wears a button-down shirt, tie, and slacks, and radiologist Taiga Hanaya wears military-style pants and boots; Taiga might seem justified since he's a Back-Alley Doctor, but flashbacks showed that he dressed that way when he was still licensed and he continues to dress that way after his license is re-instated at the end of the show. Kiriya Kujo is the only one of the four who doesn't wear a white jacket, but that's presumably because he's a medical examiner and thus is "off the clock" whenever he shows up. Near the end of the series Kiriya is formally inducted into CR and given a labcoat, which he wears for the rest of the series and in post-show crossovers; however, he still wears his usual loud Hawaiian shirts under it.
  • Kamen Rider Fourze's Amanogawa High School has this. Students are given the dress code guidelines, but are also told that that's all they are: guidelines. They're actually allowed to customize their clothes however they want, as the school board's chairman believes in allowing and even encouraging the children to express themselves. Said self-expression actually makes them more susceptible to the chairman's plans to awaken their inner Monster of the Week.
  • Nao from Kinpachi-sensei is a transgender boy. He wears the school skirt longer than it's supposed to because wearing a skirt period causes dysphoria, and a mini skirt even more so.
  • Taiwanese series KO 3anguo, a High School A.U. take on Romance of the Three Kingdoms, naturally does this. Of special note, Huang Zhong is no longer the oldest of the five Shu generals, but his school jacket has been altered into a Badass Longcoat to help him stand out.
  • Daisy's uniform modifications in M.I. High must be pushing the limits of what is allowable for a school uniform, even at a school as slack as St. Hope's.
  • On Nurse Jackie all of the nurses wear blue scrubs except Zoe, who favors patterns of stuffed animals and the like. In a later season when Jackie is on probation and not allowed to touch patients, Akalitis makes her wear grey scrubs so no one mistakes her for a working nurse.
  • The first episode of Red Dwarf shows crewmembers working around the ship in standard fatigues or boiler suits as needed, though many crewmembers elect to wear their own hats. Lister, on the other hand, wears a mishmash of the standard issue pants and boots, a London Jets T-shirt, a jacket that has some badges sewn onto it and his own hat.
  • In Reno 911!, while all the officers wear uniforms, a few are different than others — though Lt. Dangle's shorts are the most noticeable, Deputy Travis Junior wears his vest and shades at all times, Clemmy's shirt is usually unbuttoned to show her cleavage, as is Cindy's. The latter also wears a skirt.
  • The main characters in Scrubs have, er, scrubs that are a different shade than everyone else's. In particular, The Todd makes his scrubs sleeveless so his "DOC" tattoo is visible and Doug Murphey is seen with a red fannypack.
    • There is Truth in Television to this, as some hospitals require different colored scrubs for different departments and even different levels of staff. There are problems because supply management departments tend to not care about carrying five different shades of blue just to satisfy staff vanity.
      • Scrubs does tend to restrict departments to certain specific colors: medical interns wear shades of light blue, surgical interns wear shades of green, and nurses wear shades of pink. More senior staff usually wear a white lab coat over their scrubs.
    • Referenced in an episode where Kelso, enraged at the theft of scrubs, decided to stop it by replacing all the scrubs with a single ugly brown color nobody would want to steal.
  • Shake it Up has a random dress code change, which makes some people angry, especially CeCe, who rebels by wearing bright accessories, which lands her detention.
  • On Star Trek more than one officer has gotten into trouble for wearing jewelry on duty. Apparently religious ornamentation is still allowed, but similar stuff worn just for fun is banned.
    • Basically: Worf's sash is okay, but Ro's earrings are (initially) banned. Note that Bajoran extras in the movies and Deep Space Nine are seen to wear them, which implies that the wearing of cultural items is a privilege, not a right, and Ro's was denied because of her previous court martial and imprisonment. Also note that, despite the earrings being religious in nature, Ro doesn't follow the Bajoran religion yet wears them anyway.
      • Which makes for a certain level of Fridge Brilliance, when Deep Space Nine makes a point that Bajorians of the Prophets wear the earring on the right ear, but Ro wears hers on the left ear (which is code for a follower of the Pah Wraith, although that doesn't apply to thoroughly non-religious Ro; she just does it to be contrary).
      • Another Bajoran crewmember (originally a cadet of the flight team) is apparently not allowed to wear the earring.
    • Modifications to the standard uniform are made at the Captain's discretion. And as Bajor was trying to join the Federation, one imagines that it became more common that Bajorans in Starfleet were given allowances for their cultural icons. Note that Nog is allowed to wear a Ferengi military headdressnote  (though one adapted to match his Starfleet uniform), and there are other variants seen from time to time.
    • In one episode of Voyager we learn that hair accessories such as Alice bands are permitted as long as they are in uniform colors.
      • Though this has the distinction of being the only accessory on this list that would provide a useful function (keeping your hair out of your face which would be extremely useful in the Jefferies tubes). It makes sense given that Starfleet has always allowed officers to have long hair.
    • Next Generation had Troi, who for the majority of the show wore what appeared to be a nonstandard outfit. She doesn't begin wearing uniforms until late in the show's run, when a visiting Captain complains about it, and only returns to her counselling outfits a few years later.
    • Starting with Kirk in the Original Series, Starfleet captains have been seen occasionally wearing uniform variants unique to their ranks. Kirk had a green wraparound tunic, Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation had a jacketnote  in command colors that he'd wear over a gray shirt, and both Picard and Sisko from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine had two piece versions of the black and gray uniform that had a vest that could be worn in lieu of the jacket.
    • There was also the occasional extra wearing a miniskirt uniform instead of the usual two-piece uniform with trousers.
    • Chief O'Brien sometimes wears a downplayed version of this, in that the sleeves are somewhat shorter than normal — which is justified as he spends all day with his hands in various machines, and long sleeves would get in the way or get caught on something.
    • In Star Trek: Enterprise, T'Pol always wears a Vulcan Science Academy flight uniform, even after joining Earth Starfleet.
  • Super Sentai and Power Rangers suits usually follow a pattern, but with each Ranger wearing their own version. Color-coding is the most obvious difference, but apart from personal insignia, most suits also sport variations in the helmets (sometimes entirely different ones, sometimes just different visor shapes) and other detailing: for instance, the cat-themed Juken Sentai Gekiranger and Power Rangers Jungle Fury has the Red Ranger sport tiger stripes and the Yellow Ranger with cheetah spots. The Sixth Ranger usually deviates from the pattern more than the others, but not so much that they don't look like part of the team.
    • The same goes for non-shiny-suit uniforms: Your Ranger color will show up somewhere in place of the generic color of the rank-and-file members of your Heroes "R" Us organization, and you might have a patch with your number/Chest Insignia/animal/etc. In this, too, you can count on extra flourish for the Sixth Ranger.
    • This gets ramped up in Uchu Sentai Kyuranger, where out of team of around a dozen heroes, nearly everyone gets extra personalization on their suits that would normally be reserved for a Sixth. Red, Yellow, and Green wear just the basic suits, but Black and Gold are robotic and sport an armored look. Pink and Orange have extra extremities attached (wings for Pink, a scorpion tail for Orange, although it is actually part of his body), Silver has a snake-scale pattern on his suit, Blue's is fur-lined with claws on the gloves and boots, and Skyblue has mittens and a Scarf of Asskicking that doubles as a secondary weapon. Violet has gold trim on his suit to reflect that he fills the traditional Sixth Ranger role, and he gets a Badass Longcoat when he fully powers up from "Violet" to "Commander". The star symbol on his chest is also symmetrical, unlike the other suits. The third Sixth Ranger, Houou Soldier, uses a standard suit design but with a slightly different star symbol, and with the color pattern switched around, and his helmet has extra accessories to make it looks more like a space helmet. Red's Super Mode completely changes the appearance of suit to a mostly white one with more armor, two short capes, and different helmet with a only red stripe.
    • Significantly downplayed in Ressha Sentai Toqger, where the costumes were almost all one solid color with an individual number and the same patter. Only the helmets were any different. Justified in that one of the gimicks of the season was that the heroes could swap powers with each other, so the design was to a quick change between the suit actor (in cases where there was an obvious size difference between a male and female team member). If no such change was required, they would simply swap the numbers. A male to female would also have the addition of a skirt to the new female ranger (they loved having the Red and Pink rangers swapping, as the two colors historically are gender exclusive to male and female respectively).
    • Probably the most extreme one is Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger. The leader of the team is a white colored ranger who looks almost like a fusion of Akaranger and Big One. The four other core members are robotic looking and resemble miniature versions of giant robots from previous seasons. And the Sixth Ranger looks like a gold Gokaiger.
  • In an episode of That's So Raven in which the school makes it mandatory for students to wear uniforms, Raven continues wearing the uniform by mistake, not knowing the school has removed the uniform rule. She modifies her uniform on the spot to get around this.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: the outfits that the wizards wear for the competition and other activities 'in the field', so to speak, judging by the fact that Jerry (in The Movie) also had a similar uniform.

  • Destiny's Child made this their signature look. In a Music Video or live performance, their outfits always had the same theme, but the specifics were different for each girl. For example, if the theme was a red shirt and black skirt, one might wear a tank top, another would wear a tube top, another would wear a halter, and when there were four members, the fourth might wear a baby tee or crop.
  • While Doctor Steel did give the his fan club, the Army of Toy Soldiers, a general guideline for uniforms, he also encouraged incorporating individual expression into them, resulting in myriad interpretations on the theme.
  • The ladies of Japanese dance-pop trio Perfume always looks simultaneously unified and distinctive thanks to a personalized look they kept over the years (A-Chan: Ponytail/loose curly hair and dress/blouse with skirt. Kashiyuka: Long straight hair with bangs and sleeveless top with miniskirt/minidress. Nocchi: Bobcut with shirt and shorts/hotpants).
  • J-Pop band Puffy Amiyumi used to wear the same clothing in her early years, but around the year 2000 they switched to wear different variations of the same outfit. Most of the time is a simple Pallete Swap, but sometimes they do some more drastic changes such as wearing very similar coordinates, but with different pieces, such as a long. loose skirt, a baggy tee and sneakers but using different skirts, tees and sneakers.

  • The military of the Tsukino Empire, or, the fleets of Tekigousha Bond Creature partners at least. Besides that the leaders all have fabulous capes to swish, Gravi and Procella have slightly different jackets and pants, and some of the members, such as Aoi and Kai, have fluttery short capes. But the fourth fleet — the SolidS and Quell members — really have distinct costumes. Rikka's fluffed out peplum jacket, Tsubasa's multi-piece Badass Longcoat, all of their amazing boots, it goes on and on.
  • In Wicked, the characters at Elphaba's school technically don't wear uniforms so much as all their clothes are made of the same cloth.

    Video Games 
  • Per their clone soldier origins, all Mikes in the Kingdom of Mikes from Battleborn wear the same type of combat armor and helmet. To differentiate each other, they each wear armor with slight variations. Some Mikes such as Rachael Mike and Fat Mike simply wear differently colored armor, making them literal Palette Swap clones. Some Mikes such as Baker Mike and Loan Shark Mike simply wear additional accessories over their standard UPR green armor. Some Mikes such as Queen Mike are a combination of the above cases. Then there are some Mikes like General Mike whose armor is slightly designed differently and looks seemingly older but nonetheless retains the same basic shape. Basically, General Mike's a more retextured skinned Mike rather than a simple Palette Swap one in gaming terms.
  • BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle has fun with this thanks to its story mode, putting the characters from the other series into Persona 4's high school. One scene shows the characters wearing the school uniform similarly to their default costumes: Ragna the Bloodedge has the jacket open with a Fun T-Shirt under it, Hyde Kido wears the jacket partly open (and he brings his sword to class), and Ruby Rose has her signature "red riding hood", just like she does with her Beacon school uniform. Other than Yu Narukami, Noel Vermillion seems to be the only one wearing the uniform properly.
  • Bully seems to give some leeway in what is considered a uniform for Bullworth Academy; You need to have something on displaying the school's name or logo at all times, but other then that go nuts customizing Jimmy's outfit.
  • Similar to Touken Ranbu, in Bungo to Alchemist, authors who have literary factions will likely dress in matching outfits or wear matching accessories but still add unique alterations. The key word is likely, as this game's dress code rule is laxer -– there are cases of authors' not dressing in their faction's uniform (Tanizaki Jun'ichirō), wearing two uniforms at the same time (Kitahara Hakushū) and some factions' not having uniforms at all (Leisure, Neo-Aesthetic and any foreign author, whose "factions" are not literary schools at all, but their countries).
  • In City of Heroes, Soldiers of Arachnos must have a soldier/widow costume for their base slot, but are given some customization options so they don't all look the same.
  • This is very, very frequent throughout Danganronpa. While Hope's Peak Academy has an official uniform, only a handful of characters wear it un-customised, with many not bothering to wear it at all.
  • In Final Fantasy VIII, during the field exam Seed cadets are required to wear their uniform. Squall wears his jacket unzipped and keeps his Griever necklace, while Zell wears combat gloves and has his sleeves rolled up. Justified in the latter case, as the gloves are his primary weapons and the rolled sleeves possibly enhance mobility in hand-to-hand combat. Seifer, in his arrogance, doesn't even bother to wear the uniform at all, wearing his normal outfit instead. Probably didn't help his disastrous performance review...
  • Final Fantasy Type-0 has Class Zero. All of them wear the Akademeia uniform with their class' vermilion cape, but every Classmate Zero wears the uniform differently (Ace has a card pouch at his hip, Trey wears a mitsugake for his archery, Nine has his fastens undone, etc.) and has a different cape (Machina has a High Collar of Doom, Eight's more resembles a scarf, Sice's is tattered, etc.). Most notable is Seven, who has no cape (instead having a flash of vermilion on an out-fold of her collar) and different shoulder pauldrons.
  • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the uniform of the Officer's Academy consists of a black tunic jacket with gold accents and matching slacks or dress. Many students, however, put their own spin on the outfits. To name some examples:
    • The lead students of each house wear a variant of the uniform which resembles dress uniforms from their respective countries. They also wear a cape on their left shoulder that is color-coded to their house and national origin: red for Edelgard of the Black Eagles, blue for Dimitri of the Blue Lions, and yellow for Claude of the Golden Deer.
    • Dorothea leaves the top buttons of her uniform undone, showing off her ample cleavage. She also wears a black cap and jewelry.
    • Sylvain leaves his coat unbuttoned, showing off his undershirt.
    • Raphael foregoes the coat, with his white button-down shirt straining against his bulging muscles.
    • Ashe and Bernadetta wear a hooded top under their jackets.
    • Lorenz wears a rose pinned to his coat to show that he's a romantic. He also sports some fancy coattails.
    • Several male students (such as the retainers and characters that enjoy fighting such as Felix and Caspar) wear a sheathed sword at their hip, likely so they can be ready to fight at a moment's notice. What's odd though, is that most of these characters don’t have a proficiency in swords.
  • In Gears of War, pretty much all of the COG characters have customized their uniforms in some way. (In fact, one part of the standard-issue uniform (the helmet) seems to outright doom you to die a tragic, undignified death, so yeah, incentive there.)
    • It's retconned that the helmet restricts sight and hinders the men in such a way that they become less adept at spotting snipers... Pity the first two Carmines didn't listen (ironically enough, Clayton, the third Carmine, is actually saved from a sniper by his helmet deflecting the bullet).
  • Spartans in Halo wear standardised armour, but are free to customise paints and attachments. Members of Noble Team from Halo: Reach, and Blue team and Fireteam Osiris in Halo 5 look vastly different. Multiplayer allows players to customise their armour to a great extent, and these customisations carry through to single player in Halo: Reach, where the protagonist is designed to be a self-insert for the player.
  • Kunio-kun's signature outfit is a white school uniform. While some games depict this as the standard uniform of Nekketsu High School, others describe the white uniform as a privilege of the school's guardian.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, each student uses a slightly different uniform when they graduate from the Knight Academy. The color varies each year and seems to be personalized to a degree; Pipit, Link's friend, has a yellow tunic with markings on the pants; Karane has a light green tunic and a beret instead of a cap and Link himself uses pouches on the waist with a white shirt under the chainmail.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Champions wear sky blue fabric to signify their bond, but they wear the fabric in different ways. Link and Zelda wear theirs as tunics, Revali uses his as a scarf and also has a scrap tied to his bow to gauge the wind's direction, Mipha and Daruk wear them as sashes, and Urbosa's is a skirt.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Throughout the original trilogy, there is Shepard's iconic N7 armor. It is not as flashy as some of the other examples on this list and Shepard wears it for a reason but still, it is a pimped-out version of the standard Alliance uniform.
    • Mass Effect 2 also comes at this from the other direction. As your characters become loyal, they change their colors and swap out a few accessories here and there to make what was originally a totally unrelated hodge-podge of outfits into a black/white/gold Un-Uniform. In the case of Garrus, he literally just repaints his armor, retaining the damage it sustained earlier in the game.
  • The Persona series has quite a few instances of this, which also crosses into Custom Uniform:
    • The first Persona has each playable character has some sort of Iconic Item or personal style variations, while still keeping the basic uniform intact.
    • The Persona 2 duology has Eikichi "Michel" Mishina, who wears a long tunic that sticks out from under his uniform coat, which goes down his legs halfway to his knees. He also has an armband on his left arm with his band's logo. The other playable high school student characters keep with the standard uniform, believe it or not.
    • Persona 3 has quite the track record with this, even taking the PSP remake into account. The female protagonist and Aigis are the only ones who wear their uniforms correctly, the latter even wearing the winter version during the summer (for a justified reason). The other playable characters from Gekkoukan are all guilty of Custom Uniforms.
    • Persona 4 is better about this than Persona 3, though. Three of the eight (one of whom doesn't go to school, another is explicitly a delinquent) party members wears the full winter uniform, and five wear the full summer uniform. One of the characters who regularly does wear the full uniform is a cross-dresser who's wearing a regulatory uniform of the opposite gender.
    • Persona 5 in series fashion; Ryuji wears a Fun T-Shirt under his open blazer, Ann wears a long hoodie under her blazer and red tights, and Makoto and Haru don't wear blazers at all (Makoto wears a black Waistcoat of Style, while Haru wears a pink sweater, both with tights). Yusuke isn't a Shujin student, but he manages to take it the furthest out of all of the Thieves — he completely forgoes Kosei's regulation blazer, button-up, and tie, opting instead to wear a long-sleeved mandarin-collared dress shirt of his own choosing. Kasumi seems to come closest to meeting regulations, but wears a yellow cardigan in the summer.
  • The original PlanetSide had each of the three empires using standard-issue uniforms for the different armor types, though high battlerank players had different color schemes and gaining Command Ranks would add small flairs to the armor such as a radio backpack and shin guards. Planetside 2 again gives each class on each empire a standard uniform, but features far more customization courtesy of Revenue-Enhancing Devices; players can purchase nonfunctional extra armor, camouflaging (ranging from actual camo to iridescent neon red "camo"), decals, and so on.
  • For its first four years Star Trek Online had a basic style pattern for Starfleet NPCs but innumerable variations. However between Season 9 and Season 9.5 Cryptic converted them all over to the Odyssey uniforms with a much stricter dress code.
  • Touken Ranbu: Crosses over with Dress-Coded for Your Convenience -– swords belonging to sword schools will dress in matching outfits but with alterations depending on the character. Many of these outfits resemble military (Awataguchi, Aoe and Gō schools) or school uniforms (Yukihira).
  • Trails of Cold Steel: At Thors Military Academy, upper class students wear white uniforms and commoner students wear green. Our heroes Class VII are of mixed social classes, and wear red. Their shirts and jackets all match, but the girls' skirts are all slightly different, as are the boys' trousers.
  • In Valkyria Chronicles, many of the members of Squad 7 had some variation on their uniform. This would be avoided by Welkin, who wore his commander's uniform exactly as it was meant to be worn, except he is the only person who doesn't have a uniform variation and therefore stands out because of it. In the game's artbook, the character designer refers to this trope (from his end at least) as a "believable lie": How to give characters distinctive appearances while maintaining some semblance of military decorum. The Watsonian Hand Wave is Squad 7 being an activated civilian militia and get away with a bit more than the enlisted troops.
    • Valkyria Chronicles 4 does star enlisted forces, and they're generally much better about wearing the uniform, although headgear is all over the place (everything from a non-regulation braid to a knight's helmet). There are only two blatantly incorrect uniforms, and they both have plot behind them: Riley is technically a non-enlisted science officer and explicitly says she customized her uniform, and Kai is a man on paper, having taken her deserting bother's place, and wears her own clothes under the regulation sniper's cloak.
  • Justified in Yandere Simulator: Being able to modify one's uniform is supposed to be be part of the appeal of applying to Akademi High, as it's one of many last ditch efforts the headmaster takes to increase enrollment.
  • Terran Space Marines in StarCraft have suits covered in decals (at least in the illustations shown in the story codex released with the original game and some cutscenes; the game proper being too low-rez to show it). In the sequel, this extends to their helmet visors; with certain areas of the helmet's UV filter colored white to create patterns. Apparently, nobody cares unless their faction color is immediately identifiable.

    Visual Novels 
  • Rin Tezuka of Katawa Shoujo doesn't have arms and does everything with her feet. Obviously, she would have certain problems with a skirt, so she wears the boys' uniform. Early concept art shows she originally wore a skirt but with Modesty Shorts underneath. Miki Miura also wears a boys' shirt, because she considers the girls' blouse constricting.
  • In Little Busters!, Komari wears a cream-colored sweater with her uniform instead of the school's standard black blazer. Kud wears the full uniform, but she also wears a white cape over it along with a matching white hat.
  • We Know the Devil: Each character wears a white dress shirt with a cross stitched onto the pocket, but otherwise the camp uniform seems malleable: Jupiter wears a bulky army jacket, the dark haired boy of Group South wears a long sleeved shirt with flame decals underneath the dress shirt, and the apparent Group South leader wears short shorts and has his dress shirt open to reveal a t shirt with his own face on it.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • Beacon's uniforms in general are pretty lax. While everyone is given a matching set of black dress clothes (with skirts for the ladies), they also have their own unique personalized outfits that they are expected to wear in battle. Ruby in particular wears her iconic red hooded cloak on top of her uniform.
    • At one point, we see students from all four Kingdoms lined up wearing their uniforms. Vacuo's boys stand out, because it's clear their "uniform" is just "we put shirts on, what else do you want?"
    • Justified by a period a few decades prior to the events of the series when the four kingdoms went through a bout of enforced uniformity and cultural repression in a thoroughly wrong-headed attempt to prevent Grimm incursions through Emotion Suppression. It had the exact opposite effect to what it was intended to do, made even worse by blatant selective enforcement, and the relaxed attitude to dress codes is a legacy of the backlash against that period in history.

  • Similar to the For Better or For Worse example, Tristan Stallings of Angel Moxie exploits a loophole in her school's dress code to wear striped stockings to school.
  • Royal Justicar member Han from Charby the Vampirate wears a mostly standard uniform except for her missing right sleeve which is likely due to the nature of her new right arm.
  • The Dogs of war in Cry 'Havoc' all wear customized versions of the same basic uniform. This is explained away by their jobs as mercenaries who chose their own gear.
  • The soldiers of the various clans in Drowtales typically wear uniform armor tailored and colored to whatever group they belong, however the various fan-sponsored cameos that are added have a tendency to deviate to various levels in this regard.
  • The black belts in El Goonish Shive Anime Martial Arts wear what they want, because "no-one dares tell them otherwise".
    • There is also Sarah's beret worn during the school uniform story. She gets away with it by giving the principal Puppy-Dog Eyes even though hats were against the rules even before the uniforms showed up.
  • Jägers in Girl Genius — at least, "goot lookin' vuns", i.e. not working for Klaus and clothed according to their old traditions — wear a wild variety of uniform-looking garb even when prepared to fight. One of the novelisations explains that while the Jägers love the idea of a uniform, they haven't wrapped their heads around the idea of it actually being uniform.
    • Even to the Wulfenbach Jagers "uniform" seems to be wishful thinking. The Jagergenerals working for Klaus (perhaps "with Klaus" is a better way of putting it) have significantly divergent styles, with the only real uniformity being that they all seem to have a lot of red and gold in their costumes. The Jagers themselves aren't anywhere close to uniform, either, being of differing colors and shapes, with most of the Jagergenerals being huge compared to the more humanly-proportioned Jagers like Dimo, Maxim, and Oggie.
  • The soldiers of both the Souballo Empire and Angelo's Kids in the webcomic Our Little Adventure don't seem to ever wear the exact same uniform. As long as the soldiers wear the Empire's colors no one seems to mind. The Angelo Kids even wear their uniforms intentionally mismatched to emulate their master's clothing tastes.
  • Sleepless Domain: While Future's Promise, the Magical Girl school, does have uniforms, every single named character finds a way to wear it slightly differently. Zoe lampshades that the dress code is lax, but she's still pretty sure that Team Outrageous is breaking it somehow.
  • The expedition uniform from Stand Still, Stay Silent has this going on. Tuuri and Lalli, a desk worker and a scout/mage respectively, each have their own cut of the uniform. Sigrun, Emil and Mikkel all wear the same cut that is probably the standard one, but all have different needs or habits in terms of belt number and display and Emil has partially white instead of completely black gloves and boots. This results in nobody having the exact same outfit.
  • Sun Jing from Their Story wears a bow only in a select few strips. On default she wears a tie on her school uniform, like male students.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: When Aang goes to a Fire Nation school in Season 3, he wears a headband to cover his arrow (explained as covering a scar), because they stole the clothes from someone's clothesline, not realizing it was a school uniform. More subtly, he is the only one not wearing a belt — because said "headband" is actually meant to be the uniform's belt. This seems to work against him when he gets into trouble and the teachers look for the headband to find him in a crowd, but then it's revealed that, in a show of support, all the other students are wearing their belts as headbands as well, making finding him impossible.
  • G.I. Joe is frequently cited as having a very, very messed up idea of what constitutes a uniform. This was especially true early on in the era of the Sunbow animated series, where seemingly anything flew in the unit. Ninja costumes? Somewhat-antiquated civilian sailor's uniforms? Crazy native-American accessories? All acceptable. It was all especially noticeable since their villainous adversaries, Cobra, had a pretty solid uniform. Over time the series has gotten over this and in most modern incarnations the Joes still don't wear uniforms, but at least dress appropriately for a warzone. There's also plenty of cases of them wearing their dress uniforms, implying the usual eclectic set-up isn't always in effect.
    • In the comic series from Devil's Due, Rock 'N Roll leaps at the chance to rejoin the team when he hears it is being reformed as it means he can ignore dress regulations and is allowed to regrow his beard.
  • Mariner stands out as the protagonist in Star Trek: Lower Decks because of the way she wears her uniform with the sleeves rolled up to the elbow (to the point where she's been scolded by senior officers for it). She also wears her uniform flap open pretty much whenever she isn't on duty, which the other ensigns don't do unless they're cooling off from physical labor.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: While most clones wear the same basic armor, each battalion has markings of some color (blue for the 501st, orange for the 212th, etc.), and within the battalion, the patterns of the markings will vary by individual. Because they're all clones of the same man, this is one of the few ways for the clones to display individuality amongst themselves. This allows them to be more individualistic than their genetically diverse successors of Imperial Stormtroopers, who mostly had to wear the same blank white armor.
    • Invoked to a greater degree with Wolffe and especially Rex's Phase II armor. Despite the rest of the 104th and 501st wearing the standard Phase II helmets, Wolffe has a helmet with a thin visor similar to those used by the 91st Recon Battalion, and Rex has a completely unique helmet design that incorporates a Phase I-style visor into a Phase II helmet.
  • The students of Hero Elementary are like this; each of the classes/teams seems to have a uniform of sorts, but the members each individualize it. For example, the main characters, the Sparks' Crew, have a basic uniform of a blue or white top with the school insignia, red gloves, and blue bottoms, but Lucita wears a skirt with leggings, Benny wears shorts and AJ and Sara wear pants. As for the tops, Sara wears a hoodie and Benny wears a short-sleeved sweater vest, while AJ and Lucita wear long-sleeved shirts. Interestingly enough, these outfits sync up somewhat with their out-of-school clothes.

    Real Life 
  • Oyez, oyez, oyez! All tailors having business with the Honorable, the Supreme Court of the United States, are admonished to draw near and give attention, for the Court is now ready for the fashion show:
    • The late US Chief Justice, William Rehnquist, adorned the sleeves of his black judicial robe with four gold stripes, an idea he got after seeing the Lord Chancellor dressed the same way in a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe. Rehnquist's reasoning was that the Lord Chancellor's role in the British judicial system was historically similar in many ways to that of the Chief Justice in the American one. His successor, John Roberts, declined to make a tradition of it.
    • Some of the male Justices took to wearing a skullcap with their robes for formal outdoor occasions. The most common of these is presidential inaugurations, since those occur in January and it can be rather chilly in Washington. The late Justice Antonin Scalia (whose hair was rather thin on the top of his head) was particularly fond of the practice.
    • Some of the female Justices wear white lace jabots (ruffles) or collar, in honor of the sartorial decisions of the first female Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor.
    • In theory, all justices of the Supreme Court could modify their actual robes (the only requirement is that you have a robe; the justice has to buy it him/herself). This is also actually true in many lower courts; it's consistent across the country that judges' robes are bought at the judge's expense. They just don't, keeping to simply accessorizing and minor details about the robe itself (like the manner of closure and the structure of the shoulder).
  • School uniforms. Altering or adapting them is a long-standing tradition. Some schools do not have a uniform as such, have rules about what colors you can wear instead, eg: red top and green pants. Or vice-versa ("Boys must wear a dress shirt and tie", color left to choice). Some schools are more strict about the uniform but allow the students to accessorize using badges and insignia. For example a student might wear a school badge, a club collar pin, and another token denoting a student officer (student council, class representative, student first aider, school librarian, etc) from armbands to sashes. Enterprising students can use this to bring this trope into play.
    • Mixed with a little Catholic School Girls Rule, often the only time you'll see uniform skirts at their regulation knee length or longer is the first few weeks of freshman year. Many students roll up or hem the skirts to make them shorter, and accessorize stockings and footwear.
      • If you think it's bad for Catholic School Girls, all male Catholic School Boys are masters of this trope... Most of the time, the boys don't have uniforms but rather dress codes which require some kind of nice pants (khaki or black) a buttoned down collared shirt (no color specified, though tradition is White or Blue), a sports coat (navy blue or black traditionally), and a Tie, and black or brown shoes.note  While most boys will meet the traditional but there are a few who will come to school in a sports coat that can range from Hotel Bellboy Red, to bright pink, to Green (popular on St. Patricks day). If you are really lucky, you might see a boy in a plaid sports coat in a mix of colors that would make the Sixth Doctor seem stylish (bonus points if he's wearing matching pants). How much of them get away with this varies between schools, but most do recognized that Ain't No Rule says that the dress code has to match or even look good on the student. And this is all before the array of ties that the kid can choose, which can range from sensible colors, to characters and seasonal themes to out and out gag ties. Even Bow Ties count. And that's before the student adds little accessories such as pins or buttons.
    • In 2016, Butler Traditional High School in Kentucky tried to impose dress code on hairstyles, such as dreadlocks, cornrows, and "unnatural" hair colours, with some Unfortunate Implications of institutional racism. The policy is under review; if passed, allowing varying hairstyles will be an example of this.
    • Other variants might be possible as to the type of clothing, e.g. blazer or sweatshirt (with the school logo emblazoned on both); polo shirt instead of either as optional summer uniform; "ethnic" variants of the uniform to allow for the cultural or religious dress requirements of minorities (especially for girls).
  • Some corporations have tried to introduce this into the workforce as a means of maintaining a 'team' atmosphere with a lean towards personality.
    • Frito-Lay (the chip company), issues employees a yearly voucher to pick up company branded apparel for official functions ranging from the obvious (t-shirts, polo shirts) to the highly specific (sweater vests, skirts, muscle shirts and sweatbands).
    • Back in the 90s Best Buy used to require a more formal dress code in its corporate offices before compromising and allowing corporate staff to wear the same "Blue-Shirt" uniform that store staff were required to wear.
    • It can also cause tension when the workplace tries to impose bans on "natural" hair and "ethnic"-style accessories. One employee, June Rivas used cosplay to protest a rule against headscarves at her workplace.
  • In the armed forces, obviously everybody has to wear uniforms that cause them to more or less dress exactly the same. For example, the current-issue US Army uniform is the Army Combat Uniform — exciting name, right? The shirt worn under the "blouse" is just a tan t-shirt. Any tan t-shirt can be worn under the blouse with anything on it, as long as it doesn't show when the blouse is on. Depending on the chain of command, the blouse may not be allowed to be removed if the shirt underneath is non-uniform. Since most Soldiers wear t-shirts with unit-specific designs on them, this isn't often a problem. Another example would be the wearing of unit-specific baseball caps instead of the issue headwear. This is more common in the Air Force, and it's required in several Navy uniforms, but some Army units allow it as well.
  • Until fairly recently, many high ranking military officers of all nations, especially those from wealthy and privileged backgrounds (e.g. George Patton during World War II) wore "custom-made" uniforms. While they were of the same cut and general design as the standard uniforms, they often featured subtle personal touches unique to its owner.
    • Sometimes the Generals' fashion choices filter down to everyone else's uniforms. Douglas MacArthur popularized Ray-Ban Aviators among Army and Air Force officers for decades to come, and Dwight D. Eisenhower ended up causing a change in Army uniform design after he had his officer's jacket tailored to a much shorter length. In more modern times, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force have attended public events wearing unique variants of the uniform, evidently to help trial new design proposals before trying to push them to the rest of the service.
  • The Lützow Free Corps were a volunteer unit of the Prussian army during the Napoleonic wars. Since Prussia could barely afford to pay and equip the professional soldiers, the volunteers had to provide their own uniforms. Since they came from all walks of civilian life it was easier to just dye everyones clothes the same colour, and, because the customary Prussian Blue dye wouldn't cover up the existing colours of the clothes, they all dyed their clothes black. It is said that the standard adornment was red and the buttons were cheap but shiny golden brass. Hence the color black red yellow which would later — especially during the failed Revolutions of 1848 — come to be associated with liberal German nationalism and have been the flag of Germany during the Weimar Republic, The Bonn Republic and The Berlin Republic
  • Modern Russian Army is notorious for its lax uniform regulations, so everyone often just wears whatever they like (or whatever is in stores, not a small consideration during the period of spotty funding in The '90s), as long as it can be at least distantly construed to fit the regulations, especially in combat or when the unit commander doesn't care. This creates characteristic rag-tag look that's often ironically dubbed "Uniform #8" after a satirical couplet: "Форма номер восемь — что спёрли, то и носим" ("Uniform #8 — we wear what we steal"), although the awards and insignia are a much bigger deal. Air Force is often just as bad, but Navy is usually much more fussy about its uniform, with particular attention given to the telnyashka — a horizontally-striped tank top and traditionally a symbol of the badassery of the Navy in general and the Naval Infantry (that is, the Marines) in particular.
    • This also applies to the British Army to a lesser extent; at one point around the turn of the millenium the standard-issue boots — sourced from the low bidder, naturally — were of such poor quality that soldiers invariably ended up buying their own, and equipment shortages and budget cuts have been a problem since the 1980s. British squaddies have achieved near-legendary status as The Scrounger as a result.
  • In Finland during early days of WWII there wasn't enough uniforms to go around, only a small insignia and rifles, and even then, many members of the old militias brought their own. The name for the ragtag clothes was "model Cajander" after the defense minister at the time.
  • During World War II, Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery was notorious for this, wearing khaki shorts rather than trousers at almost every opportunity, along with the black beret of a tank crewer rather than an officer's hat. He at first wore a slouch hat with a collection of regimental badges he had visited before he switched to a black beret with a Royal Tank Regiment and a general's cap badge side by side. Part of why he became notorious was because at a press conference at the height of the Second Battle of El Alamein he treated his switch from hat to beret as the most important news item.
  • These young Chinese men and women at mandatory military training have added such things as pink hair ties, painted nails, buttons, designer handbags, and long white sleeves to the basic green uniform of Chinese with Chopper Support.
  • Free French general Leclerc wore a képi that was made by his comrades in arms at Koufra from a French colonial soldier's chéchia cap, a leather visor and two stars from an Italian captain's uniform from 1942 to the end of the war.
  • Medical professionals who are required to wear lab coats or scrubs fully embrace this trope, from clinic doctors who clip funny accessories onto their stethoscopes to med techs wearing day-glow shoelaces. Even surgical teams whose every stitch of clothing is covered by scrubs sometimes don different colors of latex glove, both to play this trope straight and to make it absolutely clear whose hands are whose. This can be very important in microsurgery where the team is viewing the operation blown up to several times actual size on a video screen.
  • In a number of modern militaries officers are required to have formal mess dress for special occasions, but those uniforms are not provided and the officers are required to purchase them themselves (within accepted guidelines). As a result, you can see officers from the same unit, depending on how much they were willing to spend, wearing anything from what is essentially their basic formal uniform with perhaps a bow-tie to tuxedo-like dinner jackets with cummerbunds or waistcoats.
    • In the field, while the overall uniform may be standard-issue, things like boots, gloves and base layers will probably be personal to the individual. In Special Forces, where being able to do one's job effectively takes precedence over uniformity, even more autonomy may be granted to the point where, depending on the operation, the only similarity between soldiers will be that they're all probably wearing one colour in common.


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