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I have designed an alien species with a non-humanoid build, and I would like some help with figuring-out what plausible clothing for it would look like.

My objectives for what I would like this species's clothing to look like are as follows:

  1. The clothing must be such that a single member of this alien species would be able to get dressed by himself without assistance despite his lack of hands.
  2. I'd like the clothing to be as close to the typical modern-day shirts and pants used by many of us humans in the western world as possible.
  3. I'd like two distinct outfits for the species: the first being one that only covers the whole torso (including the underside) and the thighs, and the second being one that covers the alien's whole body and serves as its equivalent of the thermals that we humans would wear for trips to Antarctica (with its equivalent of a ski mask and parka hood covering the face and eyes).

Also, please note that including pictures/drawings/diagrams/visuals of any clothing that is proposed in answers to this question is greatly appreciated. (Thank you!😊)

The anatomical specifications of this species are as follows, along with a sketch page of reference pictures:

(Figures 3–7 & 10 have added shading, and Fig. 4 also has contour lines.)

A sketch page of the alien's anatomical specifications.  I will refer to this several times in the question.

  • As seen in Fig. 4, this alien has an eel-like head with a bendy neck, a round upper torso with no arms that is shaped like an olive, a lower torso that is cube-shaped like wombat droppings or the body of a boxfish, and four cylindrical legs that each have one knee midway down.

  • Then, we have the body parts that the alien can use to grasp things. There are five of them altogether, one of which is the alien's mouth, as seen in Fig. 5.

  • The other four body parts with which the alien can manipulate objects are the flat soles of his four feet, which can grab objects in a similar way to the tip of an elephant's trunk, as seen in Figs. 6 & 7.

Now, let's get on to the movement constraints of this alien's body parts:

  • Fig. 1 shows how high an average member of the species can kick with his legs (all four legs can kick this high, just not all at once without training in how to do a flying kick).

  • Fig. 2 gives a view of the underneath of the torso, showing the legs extended to demonstrate approximately how far that they can each swivel side-to-side, being at anywhere between 0 & 90 degrees (technically, they can swivel side-to-side even further to do things like tightrope-walking or going cross-legged).

  • Fig. 3 gives the species's approximate ankle rotation limits. (Please pardon any lack of clarity in this drawing: I was trying to show what a foot from this species would look like while doing its "elephant-trunk-grasping-thing" while the ankle was rotated at 270 either degrees or 90 degrees, or straight at 0 degrees.)

  • As for the constraints of neck movement, Fig. 8 shows the approximate limits for how far forward or backward the alien can bend his neck: anywhere in-between 0 degrees, which will have him looking straight upward at the sky, and 180 degrees, which will have his neck bent forward like an elbow macaroni noodle as he looks straight down at his feet.

  • Fig. 9 Shows the approximate movement constraints for how far this alien can turn his head side-to-side, being anywhere in-between 270 degrees with the head facing fully to the left, and 90 degrees with the head facing fully to the right.

  • Fig. 10 shows the approximate limits of how far the alien can cock his head in either direction, being anywhere in-between 270 degrees and 90 degrees. (In this Figure, I did not have the shading consistently point down toward the ground, but rather, made it so that the chin kept its shadow at all three angles, to be used to help with visual clarity as to where the chin was at each angle in this somewhat minimally-detailed Figure; I guess that in this figure, the shadow somewhat resembles a goatee.)

If I need to add anything else to this question to further its clarity, please don't hesitate to let me know.

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    $\begingroup$ The design itself looks nice, but are they able to reach their own heads with their "trunks"? If not, they can't dress up. If yes, their clothing could look like a simple T-shirt without sleeves and holes in their place, that could be pulled over their heads. (Also living species tend to have less angles, so your aliens' lower torso would eventually become cylindrical instead) $\endgroup$
    – Vesper
    Feb 8, 2023 at 10:58
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    $\begingroup$ These aliens are absolutely adorable! I’m not sure how a suit would work, but as for “casual wear”, maybe kind of dress-like garment that is pulled over the head? It could cover the upper part of the aliens’ limbs, and could have some kind of belt/drawstring to tighten it around the “waist”. $\endgroup$
    – user98816
    Feb 8, 2023 at 14:02
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    $\begingroup$ Given the diversity in human clothing what makes you think that there would be a singular specific answer to this question either? $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Feb 8, 2023 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings There indeed likely are multiple possible answers to this question, but I am not looking for a definitive end-all so much as I am trying to figure out how members of this species could dress themselves, and how to make garments that plausibly allow them to do so resemble the modern western human "shirt & pants" and "parka and thermals" getups as much as possible. :) $\endgroup$ Feb 8, 2023 at 20:41
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    $\begingroup$ an elastic tube of what ever fabric suits your needs $\endgroup$ Feb 10, 2023 at 16:45

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I would go with a parka and skirt combination for daily wear, and a sock/stocking option for more protective wear.

The parka is widely recognizable and used in many Human cultures, due in no small part to its simplicity: take a protective covering and wrap it around you. This would work just as well, if not better, for these aliens as they don't have the constraint of needing arms to extend past the parka. I imagine it would be a relatively symmetrical cylindrical or cone-shaped affair with the tip narrowing to let it rest on their neck, but otherwise probably relatively form-fitting, at least through the torso. It might flair out at the bottom in a sort of dress or bell-bottom design, and adding vertical cuts at regular intervals would allow for generally being covered while not restricting movement and allowing their limbs to reach out. There could be an array of designs here; maybe some have four flaps in total, being very simple and functional, while some have dozens, the lower half of their outfit falling like a grass skirt around them, so even when they reach out, the strips are narrow and flexible enough to fall around their limb and keep the general shape of the garb.

Perhaps they also might wear something akin to underwear or a diaper--a simple piece of clothing with four holes that they put their legs through and secure about their waist. Depending on their genitalia and waste excretion (as well as their customs regarding such) this might be related to that.

As far as the thermal outfit goes, I think it would largely resemble the regular dress, though they'd probably be made of tougher, warmer material. You might use a layered design, where there are two or even three layers of flaps: a main outer one (hereby designated A), probably only four to eight flaps, so they're thick, protective, and good at keeping things like water or snow away. Two more layers of flaps (B and C), each of these with many more divisions (again, tens of them) to allow granularity and generally keep the air from stealing their body heat, like an Inuit's fuzzy hood. These two layers go on either side of their legs: one around their waist on the outside, underneath the larger, thicker flaps, and one inside their leg area, so the inside of the outfit isn't cold and doesn't have wind blow through when they reach out. Heck, put another, fourth layer of flaps on the very inside, with the same idea as A (call it D).

All of these are more for everyday wear, I would think, as they're easy to put on and take off. I'm imagining the difference between them as the equivalent of the difference between a summer and winter kimono.

For more extreme temperatures or when needing to work outside for extended periods, they could add a sock or stocking sort of situation, with form-fitting cylinders of cloth that wrap around each of their legs. This, in conjunction with their parka/skirt apparel, should keep them nice and toasty while not restricting movement. They'll probably be more annoying to put on, but there could be a number of ways to do so. Maybe they're an extension of the underwear/diaper, or maybe they're each individual pieces and have a string that goes through some loops to hold them up, like a belt holding up individual pant legs. And of course you can extend this idea to their heads for hats, like a very long-necked balaclava.

I imagine most anything they wear would be based around the idea of putting it on over their head or from underneath them; something like a jumpsuit or onesie would be difficult to put on and take off. Instead, their one-piece outfits would probably be something along the lines of a single hole they put their neck through, and then an attachment at the bottom (either around their waist or tying/fastening it underneath their legs.

I can't draw diagrams right now, but I might be able to later today. Hopefully my words will paint a picture until then.

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  • $\begingroup$ Diagrams would be greatly appreciated. Your answer has some really neat-sounding ideas that I believe some illustrations could really help me get my head wrapped-around. :) $\endgroup$ Feb 11, 2023 at 0:04
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    $\begingroup$ When you say "parka", do you mean "poncho"? Because a parka is a thick coat, while you seem to describe a sort of skirt that goes over the torso - i.e., a poncho. $\endgroup$
    – No Name
    Feb 14, 2023 at 16:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Aos Sidhe Any words on when those diagrams you spoke of might be available? $\endgroup$ Feb 19, 2023 at 14:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Aos Sidhe Any update on those diagrams you spoke of? $\endgroup$ Apr 18, 2023 at 2:10

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