Follow TV Tropes


Space Clothes

Go To
In the future, swimsuits with shoulder pads and shiny pyjamas shall display your wealth and status.

"Captain, get out your spandex suit. We're sending you on a space journey."

There are a few types of clothes people wear when they are traveling in space:

  • Military style outfits (much loved by the Stargate crews and the Galactic Empire). Usually bordering on Putting on the Reich in the case of dictatorships.
  • 21st century stuff (or, in a humorous version, 20th century (1960-1980s) stuff).
  • Stripperiffic items most universally worn by the female members of the Green-Skinned Space Babe race. Lots of shiny silver and hair in outlandish colors and shapes.
  • Just Space Clothes — stuff that is just unbelievably silly. Huge shoulder pads, pocketless spandex, clashing colors or all pastels (the latter being common in more optimistic future settings as it gives the impression of a sterile environment), jackets that look like couch covers, reflective foil, long trailing skirts, capes, daft hair (or even dafter hats).

Used Future settings avert this with jumpsuits and coveralls with lots of pockets. Today, Space Clothes are largely a thing of the past in TV and film (though not so much in comics or animation) as everyone goes military-style or contemporary. From an out of universe production standpoint, avoiding space clothes can serve as a method of dodging the Sci Fi Ghetto trap. The problem with this is that people may well not wear those sorts of things in the future and aliens certainly wouldn't.

Additionally, the fashion trends have clearly been showing a pattern towards embracing old school, classic, back to our roots, and retro or even Retraux styles. This is probably due to a general notion that the future is no longer a bright and promising place. Many escape to the perceived coolness of the past. This might explain why Fedoras came back in style amongst hipsters.

Not to be confused with clothes that have starfields and nebulas and other astronomical designs on them; that's Star-Spangled Spandex.

See also Future Spandex and Rummage Sale Reject. Compare Spandex, Latex, or Leather. Closely related to Zeerust.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • The aliens in DearS dress in what could be considered space clothes. All of them are ornate, outlandish, brightly colored and clearly collared. They also have much more hair than your average human character.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, all the aliens are initially shown wearing what look like Spandex bodysuits, with various degrees of actual coverage, under their armor. Later, Bulma figures out how to replicate the Saiyan armor for Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, and Trunks to wear during their trip to the Room of Spirit and Time, and the spandex is again part of the outfit.
  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Space seems to be made of nothing but space clothes.
  • Gundam:
    • The Principality of Zeon in Mobile Suit Gundam have almost Prisoner-of-Zenda-style ornate uniforms. Impractical capes, swords and epaulets and lots of gold decoration abound on officer uniforms. And they're not the most ridiculous example in the franchise!
      • The hip-mounted swords are at least partially justified in that they're small laser rifles meant to be shot from the hip- they just don't get much use.
    • Neo Zeon of Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ falls into stripperific territory, with sleeveless jackets being popular for the (muscular) male soldiers while the (well endowed) female officers tend to go around in short skirts and tops that leave the upper chest and midriffs bare. One notices many a similarity to the Terran Empire uniforms from the Star Trek episode Mirror, Mirror.
    • The Moonrace at large in ∀ Gundam deliberately invoke this trope as their fashion sense is meant to look somewhat alien and futuristic in contrast with the Industrial-age inhabitants of Earth.
  • Last Exile has the Guild, who fit a great deal of "alien" stereotypes (live in space/the upper atmosphere, pointy ears, Anime Hair in a setting where everyone else's hair is relatively normal, etc.). Naturally, they have odd clothes to match; Delphine's bodysuit has to be seen to be believed.
  • Super Dimension Fortress Macross uses space clothes for all its military forces — check out the oh-so-'70s giant lapels on the pilot's uniforms, for instance. Especially its movie adaptation Do You Remember Love?, where the Valkyrie pilots get a suit that includes Awesome, but Impractical glowing shoulderpads and a chest-monitor-thingy when they're in full flying kit.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
    • After acquiring the final ship in the last arc, the cast upgrades from contemporary clothing to hilarious Space Clothes, including the super Stripperific kind for resident Ms. Fanservice, Yoko. This is actually a homage to Super Robot anime of the past set in space, such as Getter Robo.
    • Simon's outfit is just a recoloured and Stripperiffic version of Captain Harlock's, another classic anime set in space. It also resembles what he wore pre-timeskip to a degree.

    Comic Books 
  • In one The Flash storyline, Wally thinks his cousins, who grew up in the 30th century, have followed in the family tradition, since they're wearing superhero costumes. Nope - that's just how people in the 30th century dress.
  • Kryptonians in flashbacks to Krypton in the Superman comics usually wear some variation of space clothes, especially in Golden Age and Silver Age depictions of Krypton. Notably, the outfits often bear some resemblance to Superman's uniform — skintight, often with a chest emblem, "underpants" on the outside, boots, and/or a short cape.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: While most of the extraterrestrials encountered during the Golden Age wore things that brought ancient Greece and Rome to mind the Saturnians wore pocket-less monochrome bodysuits.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A more realistic version in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Though early on we see Dr. Floyd travelling through space in a casual suit as well as a few people on the space station dressed similarly, the Stewardesses are seen wearing a strange white suit which includes a round hat and magnetic shoes; it looks odd but the design is somewhat practical (the shoes are designed so they can walk down aisles in zero-gravity, while the hats are probably to keep their hair from floating all over the place). However, on board Discovery, Dave and Frank are simply wearing gray jumpsuits like you'd expect from real astronauts.
  • Mostly averted in Aliens, where almost everyone is military or working-class, and is dressed accordingly. The only detail of note is that the suit jackets worn by company man Paul Reiser are tailored with the collar up.
  • In Amazon Women on the Moon—being a parody of a cheesy 1950s B-Movie—the typical Amazon wears what can best be described as a Minidress of Power and high heels.
  • Back to the Future Part II
    • Future fashion in this movie tended towards ridiculously silly. Two neckties?
    • Even 20th-century fashions that survived to 2015 didn't make it through unscathed. For instance, teens wear blue jeans inside out.
    • Parodied in the original Back to the Future. When the 1955 Doc sees footage of his future self wearing a radiation suit, he assumes that that represents normal attire in 1985.
  • The 70s sci-fi/fantasy film Barbarella features the eponymous heroine and her extensive wardrobe, which comes in handy as so many of her outfits — often made from perspex, plastic, fur, chainmail, or vinyl — get destroyed during the course of the movie. The citizens of Sogo on Tau Ceti XVI, which Barbarella is sent to investigate, favor bondage-themed outfits, featuring leather and chains.
  • Parodied in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, where people from Rufus's time wear ridiculously huge boots made of what looks like foam packing material. Yes, the Big Bad even dresses his Mooks like this, but all in black so they'll look scary.
  • Dude, Where's My Car?:
    • Played for laughs with the followers of Zoltan, whose "interstellar jumpsuits" are hoodies made of bubble wrap. The aliens, though, wear tight-fitting leather.
    • The giant alien chick, though, wears a stripperiffic bra-and-miniskirt outfit. And yes, anyone she steps over can see up her skirt.
  • Dune (1984): The movie managed to come up with one set of strange clothes, thanks to the really weird mind of David Lynch, along with particular distinctive physical quirks (Mentats have giant eyebrows, the Spacing Guild are all bald and have weird voices, Harkonnens are red-haired and have terrible acne). The miniseries reveals its low budget by distinguishing their hats. Children of Dune was slightly better about this, as the budget was a mote higher. The Atreides and the Emperor seem to constantly wear military uniforms in the film. Justified with the Emperor, whose fetish for uniforms was mentioned in the books.
  • The Fifth Element has a plethora of clothing made out of plastic and rubber. Luc Besson and Milla Jovovich have connections to the fashion industry, so the costumes were designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier and worn by a number of runway models, including Jovovich herself.
  • The original Flash Gordon serials set the standard for "Space Clothes" back in the '30s. The Movie exaggerated it.
  • Averted in the 1951 Flight To Mars. Our heroes embark for an Interplanetary Voyage wearing ordinary clothes and fedoras, while the token girl is wearing a skirt despite having to climb up ladders in the Retro Rocket.
  • Averted in Gattaca, where astronauts blast off dressed to the nines in double-breasted suits and ties, in keeping with the film's Retro Universe Fifties aesthetic.
  • Machete Kills. Voz is giving a Rousing Speech to his guests whom he's invited to go into space with him to escape The End of the World as We Know It. He then tells everyone to change clothes, and they all strip off their ballroom gowns and tuxedos to reveal dorky space clothes. Justified as the Big Bad is a sci-fi fan.
  • A pragmatic version in Project Moonbase (1953). United States Space Force astronauts dress casually in shorts, tops, and tight-fitting skullcaps (presumably to stop one's hair floating about in zero-gravity).
  • In Space Mutiny, the men have space clothes, most women wear stripperiffic outfits.
  • Starship Invasions features quite a few variations of Space Clothes, from tinfoil bikinis to the bad guys' goofy shapeless hat/hood things.
  • Star Trek
    • Star Trek: The Motion Picture. One set of Space Clothes was the most expensive costume worn by a film extra up to then. Behold it in all its horrifying glory. It look like Starfleet knocked off a kid's pajama warehouse. The "uniforms" even had footees instead of real shoes or boots.
    • The later movies have multi-layered uniforms with turtleneck sweater undershirts. Doesn't it get hot in those things? (One of the jokes of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was how well the crew blended in to the San Francisco crowds by merely removing their emblem pins.)
    • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
      • Semi-averted. The badass "Monster Maroon" jacket and department-colored turtleneck combo is a million steps up from TMP's Starfleet pastel pajamas.
      • The production had no choice but to change the costumes. Nick Meyer wanted something more Prisoner of Zenda or Horatio Hornblower, but more importantly, the entire cast threatened to not do any more Trek unless the extremely-overengineered outfits were jettisoned — the TMP costumes were constructed in such a way that the cast needed assistance donning the outfits, even unto having assistants standing by while using the restroom. So in effect, a mutiny brought about the second-most iconic costumes in Trek history. They didn't disappear, though - they ended up being repurposed as the cadets' uniforms.
    • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock: The main cast is still free from it, but not the extras and minor characters. The waitress at the bar wears a "space leotard," and the security guards have comically outlandish costumes.
  • Star Wars
    • Everybody in the galaxy far, far away has a fantastical design to their clothing. Upper class citizens dress in primary colors, and often some sort of robe. Middle to lower class dress in contemporary clothes, but often bulkier (or just dull robes similar to Jedi). Han Solo dresses like a gunslinger, and then of course we have the Jedi's robes, which are based on monks. Most species that can be called a Green-Skinned Space Babe wear Stripperific clothing, or just dress skimpy.
    • Padmé Amidala wears particularly improbable clothing, though it's influenced by actual Mongolian and Russian royal fashion.

  • The illustrations of old pulp science fiction stories are a combination of this and a bunch of other tropes, depending on who was drawing it. This image, for example, is a cross between 1950s ideas of space clothes with women wearing pseudo-medieval witch clothes. Like most pulp magazine covers, this didn't always fit what the characters in the story were wearing; the men at least would just as often be wearing Boring, but Practical coveralls.
  • Edmond Hamilton may have pulled out all the stops with his descriptions of Shining Cities and weird alien planets but the clothing worn in his Space Operas are simple and comfortable tunics and leggings or sleeveless shirts, trousers and capes, emblazoned in the case of Star Kings with suitable heraldic symbols in jewels.
  • Toyed with in H. P. Lovecraft's story "In the Walls of Eryx", taking place in the wet jungles of a pulp Venus. The planet-hopping protagonist grouses in his diary about his sturdy leather suit, wishing for something made of indestructible shiny metal foil instead.
  • Jumpsuits seem to be the default garment of choice for humans in the Humanx Commonwealth series.
  • In the The Hunger Games trilogy, the citizens of the Capitol wear ridiculous, extravagant clothes. The poor people living in the districts wear more practical clothes.
  • Everyone's naked in the John Carter of Mars series by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Understandably, this aspect never came up in the film adaptation.
  • Known Space has its own fashions: from the very popular nudists (since everything is climatized in the future - obviously they also found a way of getting around the hygiene problems) to full-body pigment changes in weird-ass colours, and the Belter fashion of individualized spacesuits - and LARPers.
  • Piers Anthony averted this trope and guaranteed that that his Apprentice Adept series will never be ruined by Hollywood in one stroke by having almost everyone on Planet Proton walk around naked.
  • Robert A. Heinlein describes some pretty amazing future fashion in his books. Aside from removing all social taboos about nudity, his female clothes got skimpier and skimpier. In I Will Fear No Evil, he describes an entire fashion trend made of nothing but see through skirts and body paint. Men's fashions frequently included kilts, and occasionally mentioned jewelry and even cosmetics. In The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, Manny asserts that tights and a bare upper torso smeared with body paint is formal attire.
  • Deconstructed in the Kim Newman short story Tomorrow Town. The protagonists are sent to investigate a testbed "community-of-the-future" and change into the unisex one-size-fits-all plastic suits, finding them difficult to adjust, prone to overheating even in a climate-controlled environment, difficult to remove for toilet purposes and stripperiffic because their designer was a sexist lecher.
  • Lampshaded in John Varley's Steel Beach when Hildy complains that 25th century lunar civilisation actually does contain people who advocate just this sort of "futuristic" clothing "with no pockets and no obvious way to make water". They'd be amusing if they didn't keep introducing legislation intended to enforce their views on the rest of society.
  • Lampshaded in Marion Zimmer Bradley's book Endless Voyage, updated as Endless Universe, in which when going through space portals interplanetary travelers wear all-encompassing cloaks to cause as little friction as possible with culturally appropriate clothing and appearance where they are leaving from, passing through, and ending up.

    Live Action TV 
  • Babylon 5:
    • Averted for the humans, who wear clothing that doesn't differ too much from contemporary fashions, while still looking kind of foreign, particularly with the odd shirt in a sort of mottled-brown printed pattern, military uniforms — proper uniforms with pockets, not pyjamas — or things like suit jackets with the lapels missing or oddly-cut and collarless shirts. Women's fashions in particular trend to the timeless (if occasionally a bit low-cut).
    • The Minbari and the Narn, on the other hand, play this to the hilt.
  • Battlestar Galactica:
    • The original generally averts this, with a muted beige colour scheme and some pretty spiffing Wild West-style jackets, complete with cowboy-style ammo belts. The capes and thigh boots are much harder to take seriously, however.
    • The 2003 reboot, on the other hand, averts this to the point of having the Colonials wear stuff more or less off the shelf. The sole exceptions are the Colonial Fleet uniforms and priests' robes, and the strange fashion of wearing a tank top over a T-shirt, which are nevertheless not exactly far-fetched.
  • Blake's 7 is a classic example; pulpy and elaborate, with lots of weird Elizabethan touches. The episodes "Killer" and "Warlord" have some particularly silly examples.
  • In Buck Rogers in the 25th Century oh so very much! Between the heavy use of Future Spandex and shiny metallic fabrics, even in military uniforms, the show is very true to it's Raygun Gothic roots.
  • Doctor Who: The classic series was a repeat offender, but the new series has mostly avoided silvery spandex.
    • The Thals in "The Daleks" are the first ever example of this aesthetic in the whole show and the first set on an alien planet: ripped tight leggings and v-shaped mantles for the men, and long striped cloaks, leotards and funny black crown things for the women. It should be pointed out that these were a race of non-space-faring farmers with a tribalistic society, living After the End. By contrast, the After the End human survivors from Season 2's The Dalek Invasion of Earth wear ragged modern day clothing.
    • The Drahvin Amazon Brigade from Season 3's "Galaxy 4" all have beehive hairdos, little Florence Nightingale latex things and lace-up boots.
    • The "planetarian" alien delegates in "Mission to the Unknown" and "The Daleks' Master Plan" have the silliest clothes imaginable, like a space helmet with a pointy top.
    • The scientists in "The Ice Warriors" wear white jersey jumpsuits (for the men) and minidresses (for the women) with psychedelic patterns printed on them. Lampshaded by Jamie who makes an inappropriate comment to Victoria about the women's outfits.
    • Zoe, being from an indeterminate point in the 21st century, wears these in every story, at least for a little bit. Check out her sparkly catsuit in "The Mind Robber" and "The Invasion", her vinyl miniskirt and jacket in "The Krotons" and her short white jumpsuit covered in zips in "The Space Pirates" for just a handful of examples.
    • In Season 6's "The Dominators", Dulcians of all ages and both sexes wear these ballet tutu things complete with skirts.
    • In "The Space Pirates", also in Season 6, Madelaine Issigri wears a pretty astonishing ensemble consisting of a quilted lurex bodysuit, a white gilet with a standup collar and an outrageous metallic hat that looks like a stylized beehive hairdo. See also the gold applique jumpsuits on the miners.
    • The Time Lords in their big collars and robes, first seen in "The Deadly Assassin". Possibly lampshaded as the outfit was designed partially to look good on most of the actors but stupid on Tom Baker, and it delivers.
    • The robot-chic fashion in "The Robots of Death".
    • Finally touched upon in the new series in "Kill the Moon", where Earthbound 2040s people wear exaggerated sci-fi undercut hairdos (undercuts being very fashionable in 2014), only they're considered formal enough that the Prime Minister can wear one.
  • Farscape costumes started out pretty racy already, and eventually evolved into All Fanservice All The Time.
  • While Firefly is intentionally devoid of this for the most part due to its Space Western feel, with most of the characters dressing as according to the frontier concept or in ways related to American or Chinese culture in general, Jubal Early, the Operative and several other characters wear straight-up Space Clothes. In the two named characters' cases, this is said to be body armor rather than regular clothing, though... but damn do they just look like jumpsuits.
    • Jubal Early's jumpsuit thingy is a spacesuit, or doubles as one. He used it to float between his ship and Serenity.
    • One does have to wonder, however, about how Persephone's return to Regency fashions came about...
    • Meanwhile, civilians in more built-up worlds tend to wear what look like modern suits with no lapels, and ties folded in half and kept in place with a clip.
  • The 2007 Flash Gordon series averts this, for the most part. Ming the Benevolent Father almost always wears a military uniform and is only once seen in a ceremonial robe. Baylin, being a Bounty Hunter, wears rugged clothing reminiscent of Han Solo. Barin, who is not so much royalty as the chief of a tribe in this version, mostly wears practical white-ish clothes made from animal skins and, sometimes, a cape. If anything, most clothing seems old, which makes sense given that Mongo is a Crapsack World after their environment was poisoned and the old civilization destroyed. This was probably deliberate to make the show less campy than the original. The only one who really sticks to impractical clothing is Aura, who is still styled as a princess here, even though her father is not, technically, an Emperor. Even when sneaking out to hike through the treacherous jungle, she chooses to wear loose, attractive clothing rather than something more practical.
  • The TV version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1981):
    • Zaphod Beeblebrox wears a suit apparently made of dayglo circuit boards. Granted, he was voted "Worst Dressed Sentient Being in the Universe" seven times running...
    • An interesting aversion comes from the fact that Douglas Adams originally scripted a scene where the Heart of Gold ship creates a jump-suit for Arthur. The producer, however, realised that he would have been in his pyjamas until this point and kept him in them.
  • Understated example: the society of Other Space mocks the ancient tradition of neckties in favor of more sartorially refined collar balls.
  • During the "Time Capsule" Showcases on The Price Is Right, the models would wear this type of costume as they revealed prizes to the theme songs of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and the disco version of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
  • Red Dwarf
    • Rimmer and Lister initially wore their Red Dwarf uniform of jacket, shirt with tie, trousers and boots (Rimmer kept his immaculate whilst Lister wore a Custom Uniform variation, minus tie.) By the third season, though, Lister's clothing stayed pretty much the same, but Rimmer wore a bright green (later red, then blue) lycra suit.
    • The silver spacesuit version is homaged with Ace Rimmer's silver flying jacket. In one episode, Kryten asks if he has a spare one so he can roast a chicken in it.
  • Invoked in the third season of Rupauls Drag Race during the Star Trek parody challenge and its futuristic-themed runway. Contestant Mimi Imfurst went for a Leigh Bowery-inspired ensemble and said the others looked like "Judy Jetson Hookers."
  • An episode of SCTV involving a spaceflight to upgrade a TV satellite (It Makes Sense in Context) had the mission crew wearing jump suits with the shoulder seam rolls that show these are Space Clothes.
  • Space: 1999 was obviously an influence on Star Trek: The Motion Picture with its double knit uniforms in taupe. One standout design feature was the single colored sleeve that told the audience what department the character was in. Season Two added an orange parka that actually made them less Space Clothes-like. As appropriate for a 1970's production, the first-season uniforms were completely unisex, and deliberately designed to avoid sexualizing the women. In the second season, some of the women wore skirts as an alternative to trousers. Today, the design practically screams mid-1970's (and is, of course, not at all like what people actually wore in 1999) with the flared trousers, broad plastic belts, and braless look for the women.
  • In Stargate Atlantis, the civilian personnel wear completely plausible uniforms (aside from fitting a bit too well), but you can see the Space Clothes inspiration. The military personnel, being normal modern Earth soldiers, wear normal modern Earth military gear. Some of the alien societies, on the other hand, go much further.
    • The Wraith have the coolest clothing. While normal drones wear what looks like chitin and queens have gowns, officers are clad in black leather from neck to feet. Considering they are really pale and have white hair, this makes for a nice contrast. Travelers have a black and red version while Ancients and Asurans usually wear a futuristic white and cream-colored suit. Regarding the Vanir, they always tank around in copper-colored powered armor except in one case when they revealed their true nature: as Asgard, they are completely naked. And needless to say, Tau'ri wear BDUs. Genii clothing looks like WW2-era Soviet uniforms.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series justified its famous miniskirts as being a symbol of Sixties liberation, but it's worth noting that spacewomen in 1950's TV sci-fi also had short skirts (e.g. Carol Carlisle in Space Patrol, and Vena Ray in Rocky Jones, Space Ranger).
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation
      • The "skant" has a brief run as an optional form of the Starfleet uniform. It's a miniskirt worn by both men and women, though no male lead ever wears it. It has a few brief appearances in the first and second season, though later appearances always have pants beneath it. It disappears with the third season update, though flashback and time travel episodes occasionally give it a Continuity Nod.
      • Civilian clothing sometimes steers hard in this direction, with colorful jumpsuits apparently being all the rage in the Federation. However, the show also tries to subvert the trend by having most other civilian fashions look retro rather than futuristic. The 24th century is mad for tunics and other articles of dress that make our cast look like rustic peasants when out on leave. While not usually on clothing, it's worth noting that shiny, metallic fabric makes many appearances on blankets, pillows and towels in an apparent attempt to make mundane cloth items look futuristic.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine continues in a similar direction forged by The Next Generation, most evident by Jake's predilection for jumpsuits. While some civilian clothing still looks rustic and old-fashioned, other outfits look more modern, often with loud fabrics and colors, such as that time Sisko wears a maroon blazer to a guerilla war. Quark also wears a dizzying variety of outrageously loud suits as a character trait.
    • Star Trek: Voyager: It's hard to tell whether the show means to play this straight or not. Neelix takes Quark's role in dressing in variety of extremely loud outfits. Guest aliens include people who appear to wear strings of LEDs and wrap themselves in shower curtains. Cyborg girl Seven of Nine has a 'dermaplastic garment' (more accurately described as a 'skintight catsuit' by fans) which in its first incarnation was bright silver (later becoming Star-Spangled Spandex in purple, blue or brown). The holodeck Affectionate Parody of 1930s sci-fi serials The Adventures of Captain Proton played this straight with the requisite High Collar of Doom, metallic silver robes, and silly headdresses.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "Lost and Found", the two time travelers from 2139 wear shiny, silver clothes that look as if they are made out of foil.
  • The 1969-70 British Series UFO, set in the future world of 1980:
    • The female moonbase personnel wear skin-tight, silver jumpsuits, while their Earth-based colleagues wear white, even tighter, jumpsuits. The interceptor pilots (all male) wear blue, not very tight, flight suits with white plastic belts and boots.
    • The Moonbase Bridge Bunnies also wear their trademark purple wigs, elaborate make-up, and cosmetic belt-kits (as seen in this famous scene)... A non-canon explanation for the purple wigs is that they prevent static electricity on Moonbase, but that doesn't explain why the men don't wear them, or why the women's jumpsuits are skintight while the men's aren't.
    • Many male characters, most notably Commander Straker, also wear wigs, though not purple ones. Although never explained on-screen, reportedly male wigs were being predicted as a fashion in the 1980s.
    • But not even the purple wigs are as strange as the Skydiver personnel who wear fishnet shirts that show off their nipples. At least for the men - it is somewhat implied that the same applies to the women, but the few close-ups of female Skydiver crew show that their shirts have skin-coloured lining in the chest area.
    • UFO also has a rare example of "Space Underclothes": In the first episode when the moonbase is shown, we see a female crewmember getting dressed. Her panties and bra are silver metallic.
    • Civilian clothes vary from playing the trope straight with outré futuristic designs to averting it with clothes rather similar to the real-world fashions of 1970.

  • Lumi from the Genki Rockets, born in space in the year 2037, is typically depicted wearing present-day dresses or 80's retro-future getup, as in the "Heavenly Star" and "Star Line" videos.
  • Kerli wears a stripperific silver spandex outfit in "Zero Gravity" from 2:17 to 3:15, also including space hair.
  • The stuff Earth, Wind & Fire wears in "Let's Groove" might well qualify.
  • Lights wears a spacey minidress outfit in "Drive My Soul," in accordance with the video's Raygun Gothic theme.
  • Little Boots in "Remedy."
  • Alternative metal band Powerman 5000, from Atom Punk jumpsuits to what appear to be clothes made out of microchips.
  • "Space Olympics." Also comes with Space Hair. Specifically, you've got shiny jumpsuits for the hapless space athletes, and froofy ceremonial "space ambassador" clothes for the incompetent Olympic space impressario...
  • In the late '90s and early '00s, this trope came up so often in Hip-Hop and R&B videos that it is sometimes called the "shiny suit era". Music video director Hype Williams and stylist June Ambrose were especially influential here, with the musicians in their videos wearing shiny, brightly-colored leather suits designed to evoke a futuristic vision of men's high fashion.
  • Kylie Minogue's video for "Can't Get You Out of My Head". It's the future, and the men's silver jumpsuits and women's mesh crop tops, miniskirts, and blonde bobs are the least ridiculous things being worn. Especially once Kylie herself enters the picture.
  • Lady Gaga was famous for mixing this trope with haute couture in her early years in the late '00s and early '10s, starting with the video for "Poker Face". At least some of the appeal of her music videos was seeing what weird, flamboyant sci-fi costumes she and her fashion designers would come up with next. Her fashion became more down-to-Earth both literally and figuratively around the time of her 2016 album Joanne, though she returned to her classic over-the-top getups on her 2020 album Chromatica.
  • Stage clothing worn by glam rockers of The '70s deliberately invoked this trope. David Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust days, for instance. Another example would be Robert Calvert, a founder-member of Space Rock band Hawkwind. The costumes here would very clearly go with the territory. KISS had Ace Frehley and later Tommy Thayer.

  • In Centigrade 37, the women wear multicolored jumpsuits, complete with boots and long gloves that leaves them almost completely covered.
  • The protagonist in Embryon wears a red and blue jumpsuit with a tight-fitting silver helmet.
  • The joggers of Future Spa wear very tight, form-fitting jumpsuits cut to their navels.
  • The warriors in Gottlieb's Gladiators wear full-body glowing orange Power Armor.
  • Everyone in Laser War wears identical sleeveless spandex jumpsuits, differentiated only by their Army's color.
  • The heroes of Mac Attack wear form-fitting shiny spandex outfits with round aviator helmets.
  • The men in Atari's Middle Earth pinball are wearing white ball-shaped helmets and skintight suits, complete with utility belts.
  • The human resistance fighters in Zaccaria's Robot wear full-body jumpsuits in bright shades of green, purple, and pink.
  • In Space Riders, the prevalent clothing style are full-body jumpsuits dominated by a single color.
  • To tie into the then-upcoming release of The Motion Picture, Bally modified the backglass art for their Star Trek pinball to match the movie costumes. The end result has Kirk, Spock, and McCoy traversing an alien planet in silver full-body jumpsuits.
  • Gottlieb's Target Alpha (a rethemed version of their earlier El Dorado) shows people in the future wearing garishly-colored jumpsuits and bright helmets with fins.
  • The subject of TX-Sector sports a blue jumpsuit with broad red and white shoulderpads.
  • The futuristic society of Xenon shows everyone wearing one-piece unicolor jumpsuits.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In the National Wrestling Alliance in 1987, a tag team called The New Breed, who were billed as being from the year 2002 where Dusty Rhodes is president of the United States, made their debut. While their clothes weren't too out of place (aside from being very loud), their hairstyles (which you sadly don't get a good look at in this picture) were beyond absurd, looking not unlike a do-it-yourself cutjob. Supposedly this was how people did their hair in the future.

  • Ensemble sketch show The Burkiss Way mercilessly parodied space clothes in their send-up of Blake's 7. Blake's Set In Old Gravel Pits saw the intrepid rebels terrified by a demand for them to surrender immediately, or else we will be forced to don the tight leather trousers and the motorcycle boots which have been spray-painted silver! And then we'll ponce about in the company of women who are not wearing any bras!
    No! Not the bra-less women!

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Eclipse Phase most illustrations show people wearing stuff that appears to be covered in neon lights, most likely made of smart materials.
  • The Gurps Traveller volume Interstellar Wars has the best art work of all the Gurps Traveller's (given that the others are all black and white, it's not a contest). It shows Terrans dressed in clothes that look reasonably similar to modern clothes (dark blue uniforms for Terran spacers for instance) and Vilani in exotic looking clothes (flowing robes and the like) that still look vaguely human. Both styles tend to be reasonably handsome.
    • An article in the website Freelance Traveller tells of a line of "smart clothes" touched up technologically with such perks as touch sensitivity (allowing you to wear it without feeling like you are wearing it), internal heating systems, variable color, variable transparency, and so on.
  • Fashion in Rocket Age has slid towards the sleek, gleaming and skin-tight over the course of the alternate 1930s, although more traditional outfits are still common.
  • The illustrations in the Trinity rulebook tended to do Space Clothing Done Right, with unusual but generally not bizarre or impractical garments.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, the only spaceship crew that actually have models are the Tau Air Caste. They wear odd alien jumpsuits and vests in the traditional style of Tau armor.
    • Because the human elements are highly idiosyncratic, their attire varies greatly. Most commonly used uniforms are overalls, bodygloves (especially for high-ranking crew), and tattered rags (especially for low-ranking and press-ganged crews).
    • Eldar and Space Marine pilots wear the same sort of armor as the ground troops, Imperial Guard pilots wear heavier armor and breath masks in the style of the Stormtroopers, and Chaos pilots are typically mutated into being a part of the vehicle.

    Video Games 
  • Borderlands has Mordecai in what appears to be a cross between a Mexican luchador and male dominatrix outfit - with ski goggles.
    • his outfit is more of a gimp mask with a sleeveless cropped motorcycle top. Still odd, but mainly the mask—if you're a sniper, why wear something that restricts your vision so?
      • From the looks of the lenses, they actually provide decent peripheral vision, and the red tint would be helpful to his night vision, as long as the scope used some other color for the crosshairs and readouts. As for restricting his vision, some snipers use an eyepatch to block off their sight in one eye completely, to reduce the stereo vision affecting their aim, so darkly tinted goggles actually wouldn't be so bad there. Also, Pandora has a lot of dirt, dust, and sand, so he'd want to keep that stuff out of his eyes.
  • Freelancer plays with this. There are people who wear clothes that would be normal today, such as suits and Trent's leather jacket. There are also those that wear clothes styles typically associated with Space Clothes. And then, there are Rheinland and Kusari clothes who mix old/traditional clothing with future fashions.
  • Halo avoids this for the most part, though the working uniforms worn by UNSC Navy crewmen seem to have been inspired a bit by Star Trek, particularly the color-coded versions worn by specialized personnel. Still, even those are fairly sensible in appearance.
    • This may also be related to the real life practice of crewmen on aircraft carriers wearing different colors on the flight deck to indicate their job from a distance.
  • Killzone features, among other things, PAGST helmets, 21st Century ballistic vests, and... orange sweaters.
  • Mass Effect 2 and its future-blouse.
    • Though humans and Asari have equal shares in the Stripperific department, there.
      • Oddly enough, the first game plays the trope straight, with floor-length dresses for women and formal suits for men on the Citadel, while the second and third games introduce distinctively 21st-century clothing such as Shepard's hoodie and/or little black minidress. Maybe Shepard really likes going retro.
  • The few articles of clothing worn by Shadow the Hedgehog are in line with this style.
  • Space Channel 5 has everyone wearing crazy space outfits.
  • Just about every style from the Star Trek franchise can be worn in Star Trek Online Unsurprisingly, you'd actually be hard-pressed to find a player running around in the TMP costume, though there are a number of players who are clamoring for the "skant"
  • Fashion in Star Wars: The Old Republic are very similar to those in the movies (despite the game events taking place a few thousand years before the first movie).

  • Commander Kitty usually dresses its characters in fairly mundane fashions, but CK himself dresses in a purple Latex Spacesuit that gets a laugh out of the other characters.
  • Far Out There generally sticks to normal clothing for its main characters (despite being set in the distant future), but secondary or background characters tend to look a bit more fanciful.
  • Last Res0rt plays around with this; civilian clothes are shown to be pretty contemporary, the player's uniforms (and the Star Org's, too) are spandex in all but name and are said to "shrink to fit"; more than a few of Jigsaw's outfits border on the outright bizarre; and Celigan fashion is downright stuck in the 70's.
  • Nebula: Pluto and Ceres' designs both invoke rubbery-looking spacesuits, though Pluto's lacks a helmet.
  • Nicole in Quantum Vibe usually just wears an anysuit that looks like a jumpsuit when powered down, but uses holograms to look like practically any form of clothing including all types of space clothes.
  • In Schlock Mercenary most of the cast wear military uniform jumpsuits, color-coded by rank in the Tough's case, greens and greys for most regular militaries. They're also light Powered Armor with retractable helmets and gloves and rated for vacuum.
  • Present throughout the "GOFOTRON Champion of the Cosmos" arc from Sluggy Freelance, usually in the form of gaudily colored spandex jumpsuits.
  • In the future arcs of S.S.D.D. most of the characters are military of one of two factions. CORE officers wear gaudy blue and purple uniforms with Commissar Caps, while Anarchists wear maroon with large shoulder pads and shakos. Civilians seems to wear modern clothes.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, Nemesites are an insectoid race who seem to favor tight-fitting bodysuits that only cover their torsos... or rather, thoraxes. However, they possess Voluntary Shapeshifting technology that lets them disguise themselves as humans, but even as humans, they typically wear that same outfit, with the addition of gloves and boots.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama: Occasionally unusual fashions are seen or mentioned—extras often wear censor bars, and military uniforms are like Star Trek without pants (and we do mean TOS miniskirts even on the guys)—but for the most part, everyone wears 20th/21st century clothes... with peaked shoulder rings. Grimy denim jackets, janitor's cover-alls, even the wall-eyed old lady's old-lady-shirt.
    • One episode saw Fry and co. at a retro dance place:
      Amy: Oh wow, it's totally retro!
      Fry: Why is everyone wearing those rings?
      Amy: Guh! Because nobody wears 'em anymore. Rings are stupid.
      Fry: I think they look cool.
      Amy: Shhh! Don't let anyone hear you say that!
      Guy: Hey, did that lot say rings are cool?
      Amy: Nope. He said they're stupid.
      Guy: Cooool!
    • In some episodes we can see the "Number 9 Man". The concept was a society ranking system that would be used in the future. Of course it is a comedy-science fiction show, so it was reduced to an occasional background character until Into the Wilde Green Yonder.
    • "The Mutants Are Revolting" looks at the fashion of the 30th century, just prior to the show's 31st setting. It looks like 20th century fashion (top hats and tails and so on), but, naturally, with more hovering rings on everything.
  • The Jetsons is probably one of the biggest examples of this trope.
  • Lampshaded in an episode of Rocko's Modern Life, when one of Filburt's sons asks "Why do we wear these things on our shoulders".
    Filburt: Because it's THE FUTURE!

    Real Life 
  • The stuff worn by ravers can easily be mistaken for space clothes. In fact, the labels of some rave-clothing producers such as Cyberdog even have small notes saying it is "Suitable for Terrestrial wear".
  • MIT is testing a form of spandex underwear called the Gravity Loading Countermeasure Skinsuit as a way to prevent bone decay when in space. Popular Science shows astronauts wearing it next to Richard Garriott.
  • Ironically, the clothes used by real astronauts and cosmonauts nowadays tend to be quite mundane and down-to-earthnote  - when they are not suited up for spacewalks, of course.
    • On the first spaceflights, that lasted for less than a few days, the astronauts kept their space suits on for the whole flight.
    • This was the original plan for the Gemini 7 mission, which lasted for 14 days. When the situation became too unbearable, comfort-wise, the astronauts were allowed to remove their suits and sit in their underwear (one-piece, covering the whole body). No change of clothes was possible due to lack of space onboard the capsule.
    • Later missions, such as those of the Apollo program, brought along flightsuits and spare underwear.
    • On the International Space Station the most popular outfits for both genders seem to be T-shirts, polo shirts, or sweatshirts on top, shorts or slacks on the bottom, and socks. Shoes are unnecessary in zero-g and will get in the way. And, to answer a popular FAQ, astronauts wear the same kind of underwear as they would on Earth.
    • Skirts, kilts, and dresses are, for obvious reasons, impractical in zero-g and are not worn in space.
    • Microgravity aboard manned spacecraft poses some challenges to using water for washing clothes or doing personal hygiene. This and this video demonstrates how crew members deal with it on the ISS, where manned missions are the longest. Luckily, microgravity also elieminates the need for beds (though pyjamas are still needed), as well as strain on neck tissues, resulting in no snoring aboard space stations.
    • The Mercury astronauts wore an olive drab pilot's pressure suit, which was spray-painted silver for thermal control purposes. This was abandoned when astronauts started doing spacewalks, as the reflected glare of unfiltered sunlight off a silver suit was too bright.
      • According to Spacesuit: Designing Apollo, 'thermal control' was just an excuse, and the actual reason was this trope — silver suits matched the public's idea of 'futuristic', otherwise there was no practical reason.
    • The 1943 Goodrich pressure suit with its 'Michelin Man' look influenced fictional spacesuit designs such as Tintin's Destination Moon, and the (unrelated) movie of the same name. When a more effective pressure suit was developed and shown off for the famous Collier's "Men in Space" article, a picture of the Goodrich suit was shown instead for its more 'futuristic' look.
  • Some of the popular fashions of The '80s could easily be mistaken for such by a time traveler from an earlier period. Maybe not the shoulder-padded power suits, but the lycra, the jelly bracelets, and the hair certainly qualified. Getting too close to this trope may be why '90s fashion went in the complete opposite direction.
  • The Y2K aesthetic of the late '90s and early '00s (overlapping with the aforementioned "shiny suit era" of Hip-Hop) also leaned heavily on this. Modern revivals of such especially love to play up the "futuristic" part, in keeping with the fact that the aesthetic is now in the realm of Zeerust.