I caught a part of American Dad yesterday where the girl locks her brother in the closet and he says “If you don’t let me out, I’ll burn up all your clothes” and she responds “That’s fine, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the clothes I have on now are the only clothes I wear”. The same episode makes a point of showing Stan rustling through his closet, “I think I’ll wear this blue suit, white shirt and black tie today. Yeah, that will look nice”.
Which got me thinking, besides plot-specific instances of, for example, impersonating a police officer, or wearing a wet suit, etc., are there any cartoon characters, animated or still, that wear different clothes each time we see them, rather than their own semi-permanent signature outfit? Off the top of my head, I think Archer might fall into this category, but it’s been a while since I saw it.
Well, I’m reminded of Josie and the Pussycats, in that the central characters wore cat-themed costumes for their musical performances and “civilian” clothing at other times. A quick review shows some minor variations in their civilian clothing, though each of the three performers seemed to have a consistent colour scheme (Josie - blue, Melody - green, Valerie - violet).
The other characters in the cartoon had consistent outfits, though.
Archer probably comes close though it’s usually variations such as Lana’s cowl-neck sweater dress or Cheryl’s square-neck long sleeve shirt in different colors. Or the guys in their suits. Still, it’s more variation than most shows.
If not “cartoons” but “comics,” then there are some examples…
Don’t Betty and Veronica do the fashion-doll thing?
Does Millie the Model count? Wasp from The Avengers is famous for never having the same superhero costume twice. She-Hulk, also, likes to be fashionable.
In cartoons proper, there was that really nice episode of The Simpsons where Marge discovers a pink dress at an outlet store. And Benton, Race, Jonny and Hadji change outfits now and then – cold weather jackets, desert burnouses, swim trunks, etc.
To save money, they would film all scenes in one location for several episodes. For example, they would film scenes in Perry’s office for several episodes at once. The actors wore the same clothing so that the scenes would all look consistent and they would be inserted into the appropriate episode.
Most of the characters in Jem wore quite a few different outfits, which isn’t surprising since it was created to sell a line of fashion dolls - there were a few repeated ones (one particular high coloured teal and gold spotted track-suit looking thing Jem wore two or three times stands out, due to being ugly as sin, even by 80s standards), but most of the characters had a pretty good wardrobe. Even Techrat, who only had a couple widely space appearances wore different outfits.
There are a few exceptions - but they’re all minor, non-doll characters. (Zipper, the Starlight Girls other than Ashley and Ba Nee, Craig Philips, possibly a few others.)