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Still Wearing the Old Colors

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Our old uniforms, from our days of glory. I was saving them, so that we could wear them in death. And so we shall!
D'Artagnan, The Man in the Iron Mask

A character wears a uniform indicating membership to a specific group or organization, despite no longer being a part of that group (or the group no longer existing). Often occurs with ex-soldiers who later go freelance. This is generally used to indicate loyalty, especially if the group fell out of favor with the general population or the character left when the group changed its ideals. In a more negative interpretation, the character is simply unable to let go of the past (either as a Disco Dan or living in the Glory Days). For undead members of a group still in uniform after their deaths, see Jacob Marley Apparel.

In video games or serial works, this can sometimes be done just because Limited Wardrobe is in effect; the designers may not want to come up with a new design (or replace an iconic one), even if their situation changes. Naturally this can overlap with other, in-character reasons.

Compare Transfer Student Uniforms, Frozen Fashion Sense.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Attack on Titan: After the Time Skip, the Survey Corps has opted for an all-black uniform that's more flight efficient and has ditched the Corps's signature green cape with its sigil, with the exception of Levi Ackerman, who still wears it. Word of God has compared him to a grumpy old man who's unable to let go of the past.
  • The Seven Ghosts in Claymore donned black skintight attires instead of their old, fancier Claymore uniforms after deserting from the Organization. However, before the battle against Priscilla and Cassandra in Rabona, they once again put on their old gear. Helen even lampshades the nostalgic feeling that overcomes them at that moment. This gesture becomes even more interesting if you consider that the Organization no longer exists at that point, toppled by none other than the Ghosts themselves.
  • Goku, Krillin, and Yamcha in Dragon Ball all still wear the Turtle School uniform out of respect for Master Roshi, despite far, far surpassing him. Roshi's rival Crane doesn't get this and accuses them of being his puppets.
    • Dr. Gero and some of his Androids prominantly wear the Red Ribbon Army symbol despite it being completely destroyed over 20 years prior.
  • Fist of the North Star: One of the early antagonists of the series, The Colonel, as well as his subordinates, were once members of the Red Berets, an elite military unit before the nuclear war that destroyed civilization. They still wear their old uniforms and adhers to military discipline, and are one of the very few characters in the franchise that wears recognizable modern clothes that aren't either in tatters or some variation of Post-Apunkalyptic Armor. This despite the fact that The Colonel has nothing but contempt for his former leaders, and instead believes that the survival of himself and his men was ordained by God, and intends to build a new society of supermen by using enslaved women as broodmares, and killing anyone they consider weak.
  • Isaac McDougal in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is still wearing his Amestrian Army uniform. Given that most of his issues stem from what he did in Ishbal under Amestrian orders and from discovering that Amestris's problems go far deeper than mere bloodlust on the part of the leadership, this is understandable. He repeatedly tries to get other soldiers—Kimblee, Roy, Armstrong—onto his side as well.
  • In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Batou's combat knife and his eye implants mark him out as a former ranger. This comes in handy when the Big Bad sends some after him, and he simply shows them his face so they decide to trust him.
  • Gundam:
    • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: In a Mildly Military La Résistance made up of former personnel from the Earth Federation, Zeon, and whoever else they picked up, Bright Noa sticks out for being the only one to still wear his fully intact Federation uniform. In his case, it's what he was wearing when he was recruited as he didn't have much else on his person.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Zechs Marquise continues to wear his OZ uniform, with a red military dinner jacket, white pants, and black boots, long after he leaves/is forcibly ejected from the organization, partially representing his love/hate relationship with Vitriolic Best Bud Trieze Khushrunada and partially being unable to reconcile his own morals with those of Trieze and his faction. He only leaves it behind when he finally takes over as the White Fang leader and finds an organization he can mold to his own ideals.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED:
      • The main cast members continue wearing their old uniforms (Earth Alliance for the Archangel's crew, ZAFT colours for the Eternal's, Athrun and Dearka) after they side with Lacus and the Three Ships Alliance, since they aren't part of their old formal military forces anymore. In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, the Archangel's crew switch to ORB uniforms, but Terminal's engineers and pilots (primarily made up of defectors from the PLANTs) still wear ZAFT Uniforms.
      • Subverted with Athrun in Destiny. In SEED he still wore his ZAFT uniform and flight suit showing that deep down, he still believed in ZAFT despite the path they had took. After another stint with ZAFT in which case they again screwed him over and tried to eliminate him for not following the chairman's radical plan (in SEED it was his father who wanted to kill every Natural, in Destiny it's Durandal who wants to forcibly take control of the Earth sphere entirely) he returns to Orb and hangs up his ZAFT coat for good, donning an Orb uniform and flight suit and showing that after 2 strikes ZAFT is dead to him.
      • In SEED, Mu calls Athrun out on this. Interestingly, Athrun isn't wearing a ZAFT uniform at the time. Mu however, is wearing an Earth Alliance uniform.
  • Downplayed in Kaguya-sama: Love Is War. Chapter 270 takes place in a Bland-Name Product version of Minecraft and Gigako's player skin is shown to be wearing the Shuchi'in school uniform despite having graduated at the end of the previous school year. For bonus points, the skins of the two people she was playing with (both of which are current students) are wearing regular clothing and the chapter takes place over summer vacation when no one would be wearing their uniforms anyway.
  • In Legend of the Galactic Heroes, the Imperial admiral Willibald Joachim von Merkatz and his adjutant Bernhard von Schneider continue to wear their Goldenbaum era uniforms even after their defection to the Free Planets Alliance following the defeat of the Lippstadt Alliance in the Imperial Civil War.
  • Naruto: Konan still wears the cloak even after defecting from Akatsuki. When Tobi points this out, she is quick to remark that it's rather the other way around, as she is the sole original Akatsuki member left. She even explains the signature red clouds are based on the Hidden Rain Village.
  • In Scryed, Ryuho embodies this trope perfectly. He wears his second HOLY uniform for the latter quarter of the series; years and years in the anime time, despite having denounced the entire HOLY organization. Ryuho and other characters state the uniform itself visualizes his ideals even though HOLY doesn't.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: In many continuities, Dick Grayson's Robin costume is based off of (or just plain is) the costume he wore when performing with Haly's Circus.
  • The Haunted Tank:
    • The titular tank flies a Confederate flag instead of an American one, because it has the ghost of a Confederate general haunting it.
    • In one story the crew is ambushed by a German tank troop from the last war. They've been hiding out in the countryside for so long they don't even know their fight ended almost 30 years ago. Jeb notes their worn, tattered uniforms, and contrasts their spotless tank that never fired a shot or been fired on.
  • Joe Bar Team: Jean-Raoul traded in his Kawazaki for a Suzuki during the Time Skip between album one and two, but still wears the same Kawasaki-green leathers.
  • Jonah Hex still wears a Confederate uniform, even though the Civil War is over and his side lost.
  • In Judge Colt, Tall Bear is a former Army Scout who served under General Ulysses S. Grant at Shiloh and Chickamauga who still wears his Union army tunic and kepi.
  • Red Skull's costume is generally depicted as having heavy SS influences long after the Red Skull abandoned the Nazi party in favor of HYDRA.
  • In The Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Soundwave is still wearing his Decepticon insignia even while openly working with Optimus Prime. According to him, he perceives himself as The Only Believer remaining, as he never gave up on the cause: if the ideals of the cause require him to work with Autobots, so be it.
  • Wolverine's classic yellow costume is a holdover from his days in Department H.
  • In X-Men, Nightcrawler wears his circus costume for years after joining the X-Men. His later costumes still take influence from the design.
    • When the O5 X-Men got their first major redesign; Jean, Iceman, Beast and Angel all wore wildly different costumes from the pretty basic uniforms they had worn as teens, while Cyclops basically just got rid of the yellow tabard and kept the navy blue undersuit, and has returned to it on and off ever since.

    Comic Strips 
Clothing rationing in Britain was not ended until 1949, therefore availability was limited and choice was poor. Andy Capp reflects this. Even well into the 1950's, Andy is portrayed as wearing his Army greatcoat with DLI - Durham Light Infantry - on the shoulder patch. His readers would have understood this completely.

    Fan Works 
  • The Dimensional Drifter: Judai Yuki still wears his Slifer Red jacket even though it has been years since he graduated Duel Academy.
  • When Pink Diamond reforms after Yellow Diamond poofs her in Fractures (SpaceDimentio), she reforms as her true self, but wearing her Rose Quartz white dress as a form of defiance.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Dead Again in Tombstone, Col. Jackson Boomer and several members of his gang are still wearing their old Confederate uniforms.
  • Damnation Alley: The survivors at the missile base still occasionally wear their military uniforms long after every other known member of the U.S. government dies in a nuclear holocaust. This is even true of Keegan and Tanner after they officially resign from the military remnant.
  • In the sequel to Descendants, the four Villain Kids continue to use the colour schemes associated with their villainous parents, despite having firmly rejected their evil ways at the end of the first movie. Mal is mostly purple with some black and green, Evie is blue with some red, Jay is red with some yellow, and Carlos is black, white, and red. There are some exceptions, such as Mal trying to dress more like a traditional princess because of her relationship with King Ben, but these colour schemes remain closely associated with the characters, regardless of their newfound heroism.
  • In Day of the Outlaw, Dangerous Deserter Captain Jack Bruhn's still wearing his very well-maintained US Army uniform.
  • Forced Vengeance. The hero played by Chuck Norris puts on his old Airborne dress uniform to take on the bad guys.
  • Forrest Gump meets some anti-Vietnam activists who mostly wear their old uniforms, but made into Non Uniform Uniforms. Forrest, by contrast, wears his full US Army service dress uniform.
  • In Ghost Rock, Killin' Jim Jackson is wearing a US Cavalry tunic with sergeants' stripes, implying he may be a Dangerous Deserter.
  • Teddy, one of Devlin's outlaws, is dressed in a Confederate uniform in Ghost Town (1988).
  • In Hardcase, Jack Rutherford is wearing an old U.S. Cavalry shirt, and what might be an old cavalry hat (although battered beyond all recognition). Booker Llewellyn, one of Simon's mercenaries is wearing U.S. Army artillery trousers.
  • The Hateful Eight: Major Marquis Warren of the Union army and General Sanford Smithers of the Confederate army both continue to wear their colors after the war had ended. They find out they fought on opposite sides of the same battle. Naturally they don't get along too well.
  • I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. After getting out of the Army, Jack Spade continues to wear his uniform even while engaging in vigilante justice against Mr. Big.
  • Invitation to a Gunfighter, Matt Weaver arrives back in town still wearing his Confederate uniform, which does not endear him to the rest of the locals. Several Union veterans in town still wear their kepis and other parts of their uniforms.
  • Jane Got a Gun: The member of the Bishop Boys who ambushes Jane outside the store and drags her into the alley is wearing the remains of a Confederate uniform.
  • In Kamen Rider: Reiwa the First Generation, Fuwa and Yua's resistance outfits are made out of the remnants of their A.I.M.S. fatigues.
  • The outlaw band from The Last Outlaw are a group of ex-Confederate soldiers from the American Civil War who have turned to banditry after the war, as many Confederate veterans did. Many still wear bits and pieces of their old uniforms, but mostly just that; a cap here, boots or a jacket there, etc. Only their (initial) leader and the second in command, Graf and Eustis, still wear something close to a full uniform. Not coincidentally, Graf and Eustis are the ones who still believe most in the cause and think of themselves as still fighting against the North years after the war has ended. The main difference between them is that for Eustis the cause comes second to looking after the well-being of their men, while to the hateful and bitter Graf, nothing comes before the cause and the fight.
  • At the climax of The Man in the Iron Mask, the musketeers don their old uniforms to demonstrate loyalty to a higher, older, and more principled calling as they rise in rebellion to depose the king and replace him with his twin brother. Unlike most Three Musketeers films, their uniforms are black, while the current Musketeer uniform is the more common blue.
  • In The Man from Colorado, many of the miners continue to wear parts of their Union uniforms as day-to-day wear after their discharge.
  • In Manos: The Hands of Fate, according to people working on the film, Torgo's outfit was supposed to look like a Confederate army uniform. It, uh, didn't, at all, but that was the intention.
  • Mad Max:
    • Max Rockatansky dons his all leather police uniform during all 3 films, for decades at a time thereafter, despite having gone AWOL from the force at the end of the very first film. By the end of the third film, the whole uniform is in tatters, heavily customized due to his new life scavenging the Wastelands, and barely recognizable of its past glory.
    • Mad Max: Fury Road: While he doesn't wear his old uniform, Immortan Joe, the Big Bad of Fury Road, still wears the medals he earned as Colonel Joe Moore of the Australian Armed Forces, with supplementary materials revealing that he earned them partaking in the Resource Wars and Water Wars that preceded The End of the World as We Know It. He doesn't seem to grasp the irony of wearing military honors despite being both a deserter and a war criminal.
    • For a heroic example, there's the "Old Soldier" from Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, one of the higher-up members of Papagalo's tribe. Considering his age, and the design of his uniform, his service might actually predate the social collapse of the series entirely.
  • In One Foot in Hell, Dan Keats is still wearing wearing his Confederate lieutenant's uniform, despite the war being over for years. It is implied he may not own any other clothes.
  • The Saddest Music in the World is set during the time of The Great Depression but Fyodor still wears his uniform from World War I.
  • The Sea Chase (1955) is about a German captain who tries to get his ship back home from Australia after World War 2 breaks out. However he's always been anti-Nazi so when an Allied warship finally corners him he runs up the German Imperial flag instead of the Nazi one.
  • In The Searchers, John Wayne's character Ethan Edwards is first seen wearing a Confederate Army jacket years after the war ended.
  • Captain Wishbone Cutter spends all of The Shadow of Chikara in his old Confederate uniform.
  • Star Wars:
    • Rogue One: Bodhi Rook still wears his Imperial flight suit after defecting from the Empire, mainly because he hasn't had the opportunity to get new clothes yet. He continues to wear this even once he gets to the Rebel base on Yavin IV.
    • Exiled Jedi Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda play it straight in the original trilogy, wearing their patched and repaired Jedi robes twenty years after the fall of the Republic. Yoda seems to be the only sentient on Dagobah, though, and Obi-Wan's beige and brown robes blend right in on Tatooine.
  • In Thor: Ragnarok, prior to the climatic showdown with Hela Thor presents Brunnhilde with a suit of Valkyrie armor and Dragonfang, the sword she wielded as a Valkyrie. She puts them both to good use in the movie's final battle.
  • Valdez is Coming: When Valdez recovers from his ordeal in the desert and begins his one man war against Tanner, he dons his old 7th Cavalry uniform.

  • In Arena (a Magic: The Gathering novel by William R. Forstchen), the protagonist dresses up in the garb of the long destroyed Fifth-House in the Four House Annual Battle Tournament.
  • In Discworld, Commander Samuel Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch has turned in his badge a couple times, usually on principle after refusing to obey a command he feels is repugnant. At no point does it occur to him that this is any reason to stop wearing battered Watch-issue chainmail, breastplate, and helmet. (It also doesn't occur to him that there's any reason to stop investigating crimes and arresting people.)
  • After their liberation on Hades in Echoes of Honor, most of the military prisoners have their uniforms recreated, including those from nations that were conquered decades ago, making them effectively unique.
  • In an early scene in The Napoleon of Notting Hill by G. K. Chesterton, the deposed president of Nicaragua goes to some trouble to wear the colours of his now-conquered country.
  • Sharpe: In Sharpe's Waterloo, Sharpe wears his usual uniform despite being repeatedly ordered to change into a newer one. Carried over in the TV adaptation.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire Mance Rayder, the king of the tribes beyond the Wall was once one of the Night's Watch. His life was once saved by a wildling woman who mended his torn cloak with swatches of red silk; the most precious item she owned. When his superiors insisted that his cloak be replaced because of the patches and stitches' non-regulation color, he deserted. Beyond the Wall, he wears the cloak in memory.
  • In the X-Wing Series, Corran Horn's X-wing, flight suit and astromech droid still bear the green, black and grey colors of the Corellian Security Force, since technically they all belong to him personally following his defection to the New Republic. This is also a double example, since Corran is commemorating his homeworld's security force as it was, before being turned into the "Public Safety Service" which wore black uniforms styled after those that Imperial Stormtrooper officers wore when not in armour. Later in the series, one sign that Wraith Squadron pilot Myn Donos is getting over a Heroic BSoD is when he starts wearing his Corellian Bloodstripe again, colored piping down the legs of his trousers that the Corellian military awards for feats of heroism.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Malcolm Merlyn from Arrow wears his League of Assassins uniform in battle even after he left their organization.
  • In Band of Brothers, one German soldier who talks with Easy Company after V-E Day is a veteran of both World Wars One and Two. He very distinctively still wears his World War One uniform.
  • On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Caleb, a former priest, still wears his collar even though he's renounced God and serves the First Evil because "a man can't turn his back on where he comes from."
  • Doctor Who and Torchwood: Captain Jack Harkness and his WWII era trench coat. Over 1,000 years old, and he's still wearing that damn blue coat. That nobody touches. EVER. On penalty of death.
  • The Expanse: After the survivors of the Canterbury get picked up by a Martian battleship, Alex adopts a Martian uniform since he is a retired Martian Navy pilot with 20 years of service and an honorable discharge. The crew of the Rocinante no longer hold allegiance to any particular faction, but it's helpful if there's ever any need for a False Flag Operation.
  • After deserting the Peacekeepers at the end of Farscape's first season, Crais continues to wear his captain's uniform throughout Season 2. By the third he has discontinued wearing it until his death in the penultimate episode of th eseason. When going to his Heroic Sacrifice he dons his captain's uniform once more.
  • The Independents, who lost to the Alliance in the Unification War in the series Firefly, were nicknamed Browncoats after the plain brown leather dusters they wore as uniforms. After the war's end, clothiers made good money dyeing brown coats blue or gray to allow rebels to bury their pasts. Those that still 'wear the brown' — like Captain Malcolm Reynolds and Zoë Alleyne — are making a deliberate political statement. Even the fanbase calls itself "browncoats".
  • Jess Evans and several of his Confederate renegades in the Frontier Circus episode "The Hunter and the Hunted". They are The Remnant who were refused pardons after the war, and headed west where they became outlaws.
  • Kamen Rider: Colonel Zol is a former SS officer who now acts as one of the top executives of the secret society Shocker, and still wears his old Nazi uniform. Supplementary materials say that Zol does this as a show of pride for his past as a war criminal who played a role in the Holocaust.
  • The Magnificent Seven: Col. Emmett Anderson (played by Kurtwood Smith) in the pilot episode "Ghosts of the Confederacy" leads a group of ex-Confederate soldiers who roam the west preying on isolated towns. As seen in the current page image, all of them are still dressed in the now tattered remains of their Confederate uniforms.
  • In Obi-Wan Kenobi Obi-Wan encounters a Clone veteran from the Clone War asking for spare change, still wearing his armor, albeit more tattered and ragged.
  • Sleepy Hollow's Ichabod Crane, resurrected from the 18th century, continually wears his Revolutionary War uniform coat in the 21st century.
  • Season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery sees the titular starship and her crew in the year 3189 after jumping forward from 2258. She reunites with what's left of Starfleet, but her crew continues wearing their mid-23rd-century uniforms. It's not until the end of the season that they start wearing the new uniforms.
  • In Star Trek: Voyager, due to being stranded on the other side of the galaxy, the crew of the titular ship continue wearing their original uniforms well after a new style was introduced in Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Even after they manage to establish regular contact with Starfleet, the Voyager crew keeps wearing the same uniforms, likely as a means to establish an individual identity for the show.
  • The Tribe: After joining the Mallrats, Ebony still wore the red and black clothing associated with the Locos, her old tribe. Although as the Mall Rats all have their own individual clothing and face-paint styles anyway, Ebony wearing the Locos style stands out significantly less. While each of the other Tribes has a unique style of dress and face-paint markings that is worn by all members (of that tribe) as a uniform.
  • Series/Westworld: The Confederados are former Confenderate soldiers who still wear their uniforms and adhere to their military chain of command.

  • The nationalistic anthems of South African singer Bok van Blerk, such as "Afrikanerhart" and "De La Rey", celebrate and memorialise The Second Boer War as if it were still in living recent memory. This illustrates that for many South Africans, the war with the British is still a lingering grievance enshrined in family history and a part of Afrikaner culture and identity.

    Pro Wrestling 

  • Sports teams often times will bring out alternates based upon former teams in that city. For instance, the Toronto Raptors have, on occasion, taken to wearing the old blue and white uniforms of the Toronto Huskies.
  • There are two minor league hockey teams that not only share the name, but also the green, white, and blue colors of the Hartford Whalers.
  • When they first started playing, the Seattle Mariners wore blue and gold, just as the former Seattle Pilots did.
  • Manchester United supporters at one point started taking to wearing green and yellow to games, the colours of the old Newton Heath club, in a protest against their ownerships.
  • The Australian Football League's Heritage Round is all about this, with teams wearing old versions of their club jumpers, or those of clubs they have some sort of connection to (for example, Fremantle wearing the South Fremantle or East Fremantle WAFL teams' jumpers). Also, fans of South Melbourne and Fitzroy may occasionally be seen wearing their clubs' jumpers at Sydney or Brisbane games (respectively), especially if they make a Grand Final.
  • Factory-sponsored Ferraris in Formula One (and most other series they participate in) are the old Italian racing red. Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Chevrolet Corvette factory teams have raced in national colors (D=silver, USA=white/dark blue) in later years as well, but that's sporadic while Ferrari has raced and used red continuously.
  • Between 2012 and 2015, Cardiff City changed their colours from their normal blue and white to red and black. The change angered a lot of the Cardiff fans, who refused to wear the red kit.
  • NHL Goalie Johan "Moose" Hedberg owes his nickname to this practice, albeit by complete accident. While playing for the San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins organization and immediately called up to play for Pittsburgh. Without any chance to acquire new equipment, he appeared in Pittsburgh still wearing the bright blue mask with a giant Moose logo painted on to it that he had worn for Manitoba. The moose, after being changed to a version that was not the copyrighted Manitoba logo, would go on to become a defining feature on Hedberg's masks for his entire career, including his time with the Swedish national ice hockey team.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Some examples concerning Powered Armor from Warhammer 40,000:
    • Space Marines who attain certain specialist ranks typically wear differently-colored armor from others in their chapter - Techmarines traditionally wear Martian red, Librarians blue armor, Apothecaries white, and Chaplains black. The extent of this recoloring varies from chapter to chapter, but one constant will be that at the very least, the specailist's left pauldron will keep the chapter's heraldry and coloration.
    • Space Marines who join the Deathwatch repaint their armor black to fit in with their temporary assignment in the organization, and will bear the Deathwatch symbol on their left shoulder, but will move their original chapter's color and symbol to their right shoulder, as a mark of respect (and to not offend their armor's machine-spirit). The exception are the Blackshields, Deathwatch Marines who have chosen to completely sever themselves from their original chapter.
    • The Dark Angels' contemporary color scheme is a very dark green, but some of the Fallen Angels that they hunt still wear the chapter's original black colors during the Legion days before the Codex Astartes reforms split the legions, as they're either unaware of the change, lack the resources to correct it, or see no reason to. The Dark Angels' 1st and 2nd companies, the Deathwing and Ravenwing, also kept the original black colors, though the Deathwing has recently changed to bone-white armor for ceremonial reasons. Dark Angels successor chapters Deathwings and Ravenwings continue the old colors, though some have changed them.
    • Several of the Legions changed their colour schemes during or even before the Heresy: the red and gold Thousand Sons to blue and yellow, the slate-grey Word Bearers to dull red, the white-grey Luna Wolves to grey-green (the Luna Wolves also name-changed to the Sons of Horus) and so on. Sometimes, still-loyal members of predominantly traitorous Legions pop up in fiction set during the Heresy wearing their loyalist uniforms, or otherwise identifying with the still-loyal version of the Legion (such as Iacton Qruze calling himself a "Luna Wolf" once Horus went off the deep end and Qruze stopped using the term "Sons of Horus"). The Sons of Horus, after Horus died at Terra, reformed under First Captain Abaddon to the Black Legion and changed the colors fully to represent their dedication to Chaos fully, also accepting Astartes made from the Gene-seed of other traitor Primarchs, traitors from loyalist legions and mortal or Astartes Imperial traitors after the heresy (they also recruit from non-Imperial humans living in the Eye of Terror), with some Sons of Horus warbands still wearing the old colors (Abaddon forced most of the Legion to his reform and presumably tolerates these few warbands so long as they acknowledge him as Warmaster and as a means to reliably acquire Horus derived Gene-seed as the modern Black Legion has Gene seed from basically everyone except the Lost Legions).

  • In Eric Overmyer's play Native Speech, Vietnam vet Belly Up still wears his army jacket.
  • Thenardier in the Les Misérables musical wears a Napoleonic uniform at the start of the play as a remnant from his supposed days as a soldier (if by soldier you mean "guy who looted corpses on the battlefield").

    Video Games 
  • Jin Kisaragi continues to wear his NOL Colonel uniform in BlazBlue: Chronophantasma, despite having defected from that organization at the end of BlazBlue: Continuum Shift.
  • Roland from Borderlands wears pieces of his Crimson Lance uniform. Although in his case it may be out of necessity rather than loyalty, since the armour helps when you're on Everything Is Trying to Kill You: The Planet. In Borderlands 2, the members of the Crimson Lance that would join the Crimson Raiders would still wear their helmets and armor for the same reasons.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 Yuri's Revenge: Yuri keeps wearing his Soviet uniform (complete with a hammer-and-sickle emblem on the collar) even after splitting from the Soviets and forming his own (not particularly Communist) faction that seeks world domination. What glimpses we see of other members of his faction suggest that this is also true for his clones, but not for anyone else in it.
  • In Disco Elysium, you can encounter René Arnoux, an old veteran from the long-since disbanded royal army. He longs for the old days where the monarchy was in change, however, and as such still wears his old, somewhat garish royal uniform — a canary-yellow and sky-blue jacket with orange trousers. Hardly camo, as the Player Character's partner, Kim, notes.
    • In both contrast and comparison to René, Iosef Dros, one of the few surviving original Communists, is still wearing his old, gray combat fatigues from the Communist militia.
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind has an Imperial Legion quest which tasks you with hunting down a Dangerous Deserter who is now in the employ of a witch. Said deserter is still wearing his Legion armor when you find him.
  • In Electronic Arts's sports games, you can make teams take to the field in old uniforms, including those of the clubs' previous incarnations (e.g. The New Jersey Devils playing in the colors of the Colorado Rockies).
  • Even after being turned into a lich, Pious Augustus of Eternal Darkness never changes out of his centurion armor (though it's burnt black over the centuries).
  • Fallout 4:
    • The game gives you quite a few opportunities to do this. A male Sole Survivor who was an Army veteran before the bombs fell, can go around wearing Army fatigues or Military fatigues (a lighter green version) even though the US military doesn’t exist anymore. You can wear Brotherhood of Steel uniforms, Railroad Heavy coats or Institute white uniforms even after having destroyed those factions. You can even wear Children of Atom robes after having nuked them.
    • The ex-Minuteman Clint still wears a Militia hat and Minuteman uniform after having defected to the Gunners.
    • In a random encounter, you can meet an ex-Brotherhood Scribe who is still wearing his uniform even though he doesn’t like that faction any more.
  • Fallout: New Vegas:
    • Craig Boone and Manny Vargas still wear their 1st Recon berets despite having left the army a while ago (And why wouldn't they? It gives a fantastic bonus). Also, completing Boone's companion quest grants him a unique military armor with the colors of the New California Republic, which he'll wear regardless of the faction the player joins.
    • Ranger Andy, who lives in the town of Novac along with Boone and Manny, was an NCR Ranger until an injury forced him to retire. He still wears his Ranger armor and hat, day in and day out; it's pretty clear that he hasn't let go of the past.
    • Ulysses, in a sense. While he is far too young to remember the United States of America, he still holds their ideals closer to his heart than any other loyalties, and wears "the Old World Flag on his back."
    • Father Elijah, who still has the looks of (and attempts to compose himself like) a Brotherhood of Steel elder as he used to be, complete with robes and gauss rifle. By the time the Courier meets him in the Sierra Madre, he's too far gone to ever be reconciled with the Brotherhood.
  • Paxton Fettel's outfit in the third F.E.A.R. still has the Replica emblem on the chest. In this case, Paxton is some sort of phantom by the time of the third game, so he may be stuck in the appearance he had in his death, since he also still has the rather prominent head wound the Point Man delivered to him in the first game.
  • Cloud from Final Fantasy VII still wears his SOLDIER outfit. We later find out that he was never a member of SOLDIER to begin with. Sephiroth also still wears his old SOLDIER uniform despite having a massive grudge against, among other things, his former employer.
  • Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII was on duty as a member of the Guardian Corps when the Purge started. When she found out soldiers couldn't get Purged, she quit on the spot and wasn't given the opportunity to change. It also serves a practical purpose, as they apparently failed to confiscate her Grav-Con Unit.
  • Enemy units that join you in Fire Emblem typically keep their original armor color. One strip of Awkward Zombie questions the wisdom of this.
  • Freedom Planet: Carol Tea, along with Sash Lilac, used to be a member of the Red Scarves, a guild of thieves and assassins, before they both have cut ties with the group. However, while Lilac completely distanced herself from her past as a Red Scarf, Carol still wears a red scarf, the guild's signature Group-Identifying Feature.
  • Can happen in Gothic 2 if you continue to wear a uniform to an order you have outgrown. Others will comment about the uniform you are wearing being out of place.
  • In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Big Smoke and Ryder still wear their Grove Street Family greens long after betraying the gang to work with the purple-clad Ballas and yellow-clad Vagos.
  • Some of the hunters you can get in Hunt: Showdown wear Union or Confederate uniforms that are still in good condition despite the game being over three decades since the American Civil War.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, neither Roxas nor Xion ditch their Organization XIII coats after they quit the Organization. Lea also continues to wear the coat in Dream Drop Distance. In this case, it's justified, as the outfit is designed to protect the wearer from darkness; several other non-Organization characters wear them as well. That being said, Lea continues to wear his in Kingdom Hearts III after being given a new outfit with the same function, citing that "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"; the implications are that he's clinging to it while he starts to remember Xion. The three of them finally ditch the cloaks in the aftermath of the battle at the Keyblade Graveyard.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, one of the armor sets Link can wear is the Soldier's armor, the same outfit worn by the army of the Kingdom of Hyrule that has been destroyed for a century. There's also Link's Champion's Tunic, one of a series of light blue Non-Uniform Uniform pieces worn by him and the other Champions who were killed in the Great Calamity. The Champion's Tunic is a complex example in that while the Champions have been gone for a century, Impa and the other Long-Lived characters who remember them still think that the group still lives on to an extent so long as Link is around to finish their goal of defeating Calamity Ganon. Zelda also ends up getting back her own Champion outfit in the Golden Ending as she and Link work to rebuild Hyrule.
  • Mass Effect:
    • In Mass Effect 2, Commander Shepard wears armor embossed with the Alliance N7 logo (a military vocation code designating him/her a top-proficiency special forces soldier) despite (as Shepard personally admits) technically no longer being a member of the Alliance military.
    • In Mass Effect 3, now back in the Alliance and having left Cerberus, Shepard can do the reverse and wear some of their Cerberus armor from the 2nd game.
    • The Phoenix Vanguard and Adapt characters in multiplayer both wear their Cerberus armor after defecting to the Alliance. Possibly justified in that their laser whips appear to be built into them.
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda: Much like Shepard, Alec Ryder continues wearing armor with an N7 on it despite no longer being alliance, and with even less leeway than they had, having been forcibly discharged.
  • The Sneaking Suit from Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes feature the FOX Unit logo on the shoulder, even though Big Boss had left the unit and the United States military years ago. In The Phantom Pain, the Sneaking Suit becomes a double example of this, as in addition to the FOX Unit logo on one shoulder, it also has the MSF logo, even though in the aftermath of Ground Zeroes MSF's home base is destroyed and the force disbanded. The upgraded Sneaking Suits do not feature any old logos, notably.
  • The Huntsman from Monster Hunter: World still clings to "the Old World ways" of hunting. He refuses to use scoutflies or the Slinger, and he wears a battered old pattern Rathian Blademaster armour with a full-cover helmet that conceals his face, along with a sash displaying the First Fleet's marking. He's like a walking Mythology Gag to player characters from the previous games, and despite his obsolete equipment his sheer skill and experience make him one of the greatest hunters in Astera. He is a good source of advice for going into assignments giving tips on how to fight monsters, and at one point in the story he fends off an attacking Nergigante and saves the protagonist.
  • In The New Order Last Days Of Europe, both Ivan Serov's regime in Komi and Sverdlovsk maintain the trappings of the former Soviet Union despite the former being a fascist dictatorship in all but name and the latter being a non-ideological military junta run by Red Army officers.
  • Chris Redfield does this in Resident Evil – Code: Veronica. Oddly, while it's a uniform for his old, disbanded organization, it's a new design. Supplemental materials explained that it was supposed to be the standardized S.T.A.R.S. uniform they would have adopted had the unit not been disbanded, and Chris took the only prototype with him when he left Raccoon City.
  • Gaichû from Shadowrun Returns: Hong Kong still wears his Red Samurai armour, which makes sense since he's already on their 'kill' list anyway for being a ghoul and the armour is one of the best available in the Sixth World.
  • In Star Trek Online, players are not beholden to wear the current uniforms of the 25th Century Starfleet. When players begin, they can don the Starfleet uniforms of the franchise post-Star Trek: First Contact and players can purchase uniforms from all other eras, thus it's not uncommon to see other player characters running around in the blue jumpsuits of Star Trek: Enterprise, the gold Command shirts of Star Trek: The Original Series, the turtlenecks of the post-Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan era and beyond.
  • A subtle example in Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom: While the personnel of the Terran Confederation Navy and Space Forces wear spiffy new uniforms, the Border Worlds Militia, including our heroes after they defect from Confed, wear the Confed uniforms from Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger.
  • World of Warcraft has the Death Knights who tend to keep their old gear they got while still aligned with the Lich King for a while, and with Transmogrification quite a few choose to make it their permanent look even at higher levels.
  • One pre-order bonus for XCOM 2 was the option to field veterans from the original alien invasion, who can wear battered suits of the default kevlar armor from XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Interestingly, another cosmetic item from the same bonus pack was the red-and-orange striped bandana worn by EXALT forces introduced in the XCOM: Enemy Within expansion, suggesting that some survivors from that organization teamed up with XCOM after the aliens took over the planet.
  • Yakuza Series; Kiryu's been out of the yakuza for years, but he still dresses up like one and proudly shows off his tattoos when the situation calls for it. This leads to a lot of thugs thinking he's looking for a fight and getting a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown for their troubles.

    Web Comics 
  • Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire still wears the uniform of the company he did security for before he went freelance. It's apparently not a loyalty thing, though, because they parted on very bad terms. Namely getting them all arrested. In payback for trying to use him as a pawn in a scheme to capture a Sufficiently Advanced Alien, at that.
  • In Drowtales, Sil'lice Val'Sharen keeps her armor from the Nidraa'chal War and brings it out when she fights Yaeminira despite officially being in exile (and presumed dead). There are also a few Sullisin'rune who wear the traditional armor and facepaint of their ancestors despite the fact that they were defeated in battle by the Sharen and officially became pacifists.

    Western Animation 
  • Beast Wars: Despite the Decepticons having been defeated thousands of years ago, Ravage still wears his Decepticon badge proudly; while he may technically be a Predacon now, his true loyalty will always be to the original Megatron and his cause.
  • Green Lantern: The Animated Series: Razer still wears his Red Lantern Corps uniform even after joining Hal's group because it seems to appear automatically whenever he uses the ring he kept.
  • Shego from Kim Possible still wears her Team Go uniform long after becoming a supervillain.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power:
    • After defecting to the Rebellion, Adora still wears her Horde uniform. She eventually gets rid of the Horde logo on it so people don't mistake her for an enemy.
    • Scorpia keeps wearing her Horde uniform after her Heel–Face Turn but removes her Force Captain badge and the Horde insignia on the back.
  • Star Wars Rebels: When the main cast track down a group of aged clone troopers, the troopers are still wearing pieces of their old armor. Gregor is also wearing a tanktop with the emblem from the diner he worked at while he had amnesia.
  • Star Wars Resistance: Griff Halloran, one of the members of the Aces, is a former Imperial TIE pilot who wears a modified version of his old uniform and helmet as his flight suit. His ship is a heavily-modified TIE, as well.
  • Steven Universe:
    • The Crystal Gems wear stars while Homeworld Gems wear diamonds, with the color of the diamond representing which one they work for. Some of the Crystal Gem's fusions, most notably Sardonyx and Rainbow Quartz, have a bit of the diamond insignia on them.
    • Pearl's jumpsuit she wears in "Space Race" and "Back to the Barn" has a pink diamond insignia on it. This is because Pearl knows Pink Diamond was Good All Along.
    • Peridot, who joined the Crystal Gems at the end of Season 2, still has her diamond well into season 5 because she can't shapeshift and hasn't needed to reform. Lapis, who has also defected from Homeworld, kept the blue diamond insignia on her clothes simply because she hadn't actually joined the Crystal Gems, mostly just being an Aloof Ally until the end of season 5. They only lose the Diamond insignias after they both get "Poofed" while fighting Yellow Diamond and reform with new outfits.
    • Some of the Gems who are working for the Diamonds still wear their insignia on their uniforms, even after defecting from them and moving to Little Homeworld in Future.
  • In Teen Titans, Beast Boy still wears the outfit of his old group, the Doom Patrol, except he ditched the mask after Raven called it dorky and pointed out he had no Secret Identity to hide.
  • Wonder Boy from The Venture Brothers still wears his old costume from when he was Captain Sunshine's sidekick. He has issues. And a lawsuit against him that details just how genuine a "Wonder Boy" he can or cannot be when appearing in public.

    Real Life 
  • The Vietnam War examples are Truth in Television for anything involving Vietnam War Protestors: see Born on the Fourth of July.
  • In the same vein, South Vietnamese flags (yellow with three horizontal red stripes) were flown in the January 6, 2021 "attack" on the U.S. Capitol.
  • In Russia, members of the Communist Party often wear old Soviet military uniforms in protests and public events. Yevgeny Lukin frequently plays with this in his books, and eventually coined the term: a character "still faithful" to the dead state called himself a "necropatriot".
  • Retired personnel from most branches of the armed forces are still entitled to wear their dress uniform on ceremonial occasions such as their wedding, the funeral of a fellow veteran or memorial services for Armistice Day or similar.
  • When a store or restaurant chain with franchisees goes out of business, some former franchise owners will continue as independents under the old name and signage for years or even decades.
    • The few franchised locations that were part of Blockbuster Video before it went belly-up in 2013 still fly their old colors, primarily because replacing them would be an unnecessary expense for a business on the way out.
    • There is one AMC dealership still around, despite the car company going out of business in 1988 and all of its franchise dealers becoming Chrysler-affiliated.
    • The business doesn't even have to close. Many times, when a business changes something drastic like their corporate logo, it can take some time for that logo to become mainstream, so the old logo manages to stick around for a long time. For instance, there are a number of airports in the United States where older style American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines logos can be seen emblazoned on those airlines' aircraft hangars.
  • "Wearing the old school tie". Or updated to today, any college alum who wears paraphernalia of his/her alma mater, such as t-shirts, hats and the like, even if they haven't set foot on the campus in years.
  • Truth in Television for United States World War II veterans — although regulations technically forbade demobilized soldiers to continue to wear their service uniforms after discharge, the fact that there just wasn't enough civilian clothes readily available for millions of returning troops forced the armed forces to allow continued use of uniforms until civilian clothes could be obtained. The discharged soldiers were asked to wear a special badge to let MPs and SPs know they were civilians and not AWOL.
  • Many demobilised British servicemen chose to wear their uniform items after discharge, partly because after up to six years in uniform, civilian clothing felt strange and un-natural, and also because it was far better made and more enduring than the frankly poor-quality civilian clothing available in 1945 - on strict ration - to the general population. Clothing rationing was not ended until 1949, therefore availability was limited and choice was poor. As an example from social history - Andy Capp reflects this. Even well into the 1950's, Andy is portrayed as wearing his Army greatcoat with DLI - Durham Light Infantry - on the shoulder patch. His readers would have understood this completely.
  • Demobilized and released German troops kept wearing their service uniforms for a time. As the FRG considered itself the legal successor to the German Reich (though technically, the Bundeswehr is not the successor to the Wehrmacht), World War II veterans are allowed to wear decorations earned in the conflict to this day — though No Swastikas is enforced and newly-minted replacements without Nazi symbols were issued to vets starting in 1957. Taken to an extreme by the military contingent of the war criminals at Nuremburg. Under international law, as POWs, they were entitled to wear their uniforms if they so chose. Some like Goering did for much of the trial. Civilian members of the NSDAP among the accused (such as Hess, Speer and Streicher), even though they had a paramilitary-style uniform, were, for obvious reasons, not allowed this, and were given business suits to wear if they had no suitable clothes at the time of capture.
  • After the Nazi Party's ascent to power, there were multiple World War I veterans who remained firm monarchists and were only loyal to the German Empire, sometimes choosing to wear their German Empire military uniforms in public events rather than Nazi uniforms.note 
  • Ditto for Japanese troops as well — as in Nazi Germany, there wasn't a lot for anyone to wear until the bombed out industrial plants could get back into operation and foreign aid from the Allies began to filter in.
  • A few GameStop stores still bear the names of the many stores that GameStop bought out over the years, such as EB Games. This is done to retain trademark rights, and isn't unique. For decades after introducing their own unique brands that could be used nationally, the regional companies formed from the breakup of Standard Oil were careful to maintain at least one "Standard"-branded gas station in every state of the territory they were originally entitled to. Chevron still does.
  • On commemorative occasions, many older British veterans proudly wear the insignia of units that are no longer extant as a way of expressing their displeasure at the British Army's practice of amalgamating and disbanding units, resulting in many histories and traditions dying out.
  • When Benedict Arnold the infamous traitor of The American Revolution was on his death bed in England, he requested to be buried in his old Continental Army uniform.
  • Although not a uniform as such, Birmingham City Council in the UK still had the same streetlighting from the 1980s when New Frankley was transferred from Bromsgrove, Worcestershire to Birmingham in 1995, despite the rest of Birmingham being updated with its own streetlighting, effectively making it Frozen in Time esthetically. This was until 2016 for main roads then 2021 for smaller streets, when it moved into line with the rest of Birmingham for LED streetlighting.
  • During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, a Russian tank was spotted still flying the Soviet flag.
  • Veterans of Napoléon Bonaparte's Old Guard and Polish Lancers of the Imperial Guard were said to have attended his state funeral in 1840 in their threadbare uniforms. They were reported met with respective cries of "Vive la Vieille Garde/Pologne! (Long live the Old Guard/Poland!)"
  • In his memoir Long Walk To Freedom, Nelson Mandela relates the long struggle he had to bloodlessly persuade, rather than force, white South Africans to give up the old pre-1994 national flag, which initially was waved in his face as a sign of protest and denial and which came out in force at rugby matches.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Still Wearing The Old Colours


Klaus the Nazi

Despite having been more than seventy years since WWII, Klaus still dresses as though the Nazi Party is still a major power in Germany and Europe.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / StillWearingTheOldColors

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