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Sometimes you don't have the proper materials on hand to make yourself clothes, so you have to use other things ...

Sub Tropes:

Compare Rummage Sale Reject and Cheap Costume. See also Improvised Armour. Clothing Damage may be involved.

Examples of Improvised Clothes include:

Anime and Manga

  • In an early episode of Revolutionary Girl Utena, Anthy's dress is destroyed by the Alpha Bitch in the middle of a school ball. Utena then improvises an improbably sexy dress out of a tablecloth for her and invites her to a dance.
  • In the final episode of Mobile Fighter G Gundam, when Rain emerges (naked) from a silvery case of Go-Go Enslavement, Domon Kasshu (having apparently studied under Utena) improvises an improbably sexy dress out of his bright-red cape.
  • The Ranma ½ opponent Pantyhose Taro, despite his hatred for his own name (or perhaps as ironic payback) tends to transform his Jusenkyo-cursed enemies into their weaker animal forms and wrap them in pantyhose. In the case of Shampoo, he wrapped her in so much hose she was basically just a kitty head popping out of a huge ball of polyester. When Akane transformed her back, the pantyhose coincidentally stretched itself over her naked human body into a very convenient bikini shape.

Comic Books

  • At one point in the The Avengers, Janet "the Wasp" Pym is caught without a costume, and wearing a non-shrinking dress, so takes a moment to fashion a restaurant napkin into a dress.


  • In Help, after Paul accidentally gets shrunk, he improvises a wrap out of a discarded Wrigley's gum wrapper.


  • Three guesses how this trope figures into The Paper Bag Princess, but the first two don't count.
  • Early in Time Enough for Love, Ira orders that female medical staff attending Lazarus Long dress as attractively as possible. Ishtar is the antithesis of Clothes Horse; Galahad ends up improvising a dress for her from a couch cover.

Newspaper Comics

Oral Tradition

  • Possibly the Ur Example is Adam and Eve in The Bible, who improvise the first clothes ever out of leaves after eating from the Tree of Knowledge and realizing their nudity.

Video Games

  • Bayonetta: the eponymous character uses her own hair as clothing. Not that you'd be able to tell (at least until she repurposes it for other uses), since she's a witch and is thus able to turn it into a leather catsuit.
  • In the opening of Chuck Rock, Chuck's Loin Cloth is in the wash, so he puts on some leaves instead.

Western Animation


 Belle: Your son was trespassing on my property and destroyed a very valuable stone gargoyle and... are you wearing a grocery bag?

Homer: I have misplaced my pants.

    • In another episode he fashions a swimsuit out of a welcome mat after forgetting his trunks.
  • In an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, Mr. Krabs admits that when he was younger, his mother fashioned his clothes out of paper bags.
  • Chicken Little makes pants out of his homework.
  • The costume Sulley and Mike use to disguise Boo in Monsters, Inc. appears to be made of chair fabric and desk lamps.
  • The Scrat short Gone Nutty ends with Scrat's acorn crumbling to ashes after hitting the ground and causing the Earth's continents to break up and move to their current positions, causing Scrat to gasp in shock and wear the top half (which did not disintegrate) on his head as if it were a beret.

Web Comics

  • In the Sluggy Freelance atory-arc 'Emergency Pants, a swarm of cloth-eating super-moths force Mad Scientist Riff to improvise some pants out of his newest invention, the Chick Magnet. The result is a very fuzzy, very yellow, very loud pair of boxer-shorts. Meanwhile, Torg has to make do with some newspapers.
  • Some of the Exiles in Homestuck, after pivotal moments in their backstories. WV wears a ghost-patterned blanket after inadvertently leading an army to its doom, AR wraps himself in yellow Caution tape upon being stranded on Earth when upholding the law, and PM has a faded Prospitian flag after Prospit is destroyed and the monarchs in hiding.