Underwater, merfolk see no need for clothing. It just slows them down, and the material that they need for it is expensive and hard to get. On the surface, however, the humanoids find their nudity distasteful and offensive. To avoid conflict, the merfolk have agreed to cover up when they're in surface cities.
The only problem is how to design it.
A few background things, first:
- Their tails cannot change into legs and/or feet. They must remain the same way
- The merfolk live in cities alongside humanoids. While they do have their own, underwater districts, many parts of the city are above water. To accommodate them, canals are built alongside the sidewalks and most public buildings have a section with shallow water for them
- The clothing needs to work underwater, as there are underwater parts of the city where nudity is still illegal. Drag isn't too much of an issue here, but it is still a factor
- The clothing is for modesty and style. I want it to cover the chest, though accessories on the hair and tail are fine. The tail can remain uncovered, as genitals are hidden through a flap-like thing that isn't easily seen
What would the clothing look like, and how would it be designed to avoid drag and weight underwater?