What Happens To a Shapeshifter's Clothes?

There may be a topic already out here inquiring about this sort of thing, but I couldn’t find one.

I am writing a story that is set in a world with many different clans of shapeshifters that turn into different kinds of birds, but in their humanoid form, they wear clothes.

I don’t want them to have to undress every time they shift and then they shift back naked, so does anyone have ideas for how else I could explain what happens to their clothes?

I actually didn’t address it in my shifter series, and funnily enough, no one has ever asked either. So you can just not mention it.


It would be good for me to have an answer just in case somebody asks, though. My family is notorious for picking apart things like that when we’re watching a movie, so I have a feeling they’d ask me at some point.

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That matters on your shape-shifters. Do you want the clothes to rip when they transform? Or just simple faze into them until they are literally fazed into your skin so you can’t see them while transformed? You create the rules of your own shape-shifters. :grin:


If you want to keep them from undressing and shifting back naked, maybe you could say that a god, goddess, witch, or something with magic blessed or put a spell on their kind to keep them from losing their clothes as a gift or as a blessing to them.


I do shapeshifters a lot but I’m crazy enough that usually they do need to undress. The exception in one is clothing made by a mage so it isn’t quite normal matter. In another, sort of similar in the case of clothes, the shapeshifters themselves are literally made of moonlight (I know it sounds weird but there’s a reason,) and they make clothes literally of the same moonlight.

I suppose basically look around at your world for something that’s viable. If they change by arcane magic it can just be part of the spell. If it’s inherent, that’s different and you might need to look for something external.

I’ve always been baffled by this too!

“Magic” lol

Or maybe there’s like a shadow void / pocket where that stuff disappears to. The same realm that allows for teleportation and winnowing in ACOTAR.

Idk. I’d expect them to lose their clothes / have to strip, but I’m not an avid werewolf / shifter reader.

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Then I’d go with what @midnightlyra is saying. Your creatures, your rules.


I’ve seen it done a few convenient ways where they just keep shorts tied to their ankles so they’re there when they shift and shift back. I’ve also seen it done so shifters just keep clothing items around in the forest so they shift back and just grab the nearest thing they see. You could also just do it by magic. They’re shifting into another animal. Their human body includes their clothes, and when they change it’s a matter of becoming something totally other. Or maybe if they’re birds or something the color of their clothes shows up on their wings. Honestly, it’s your book and the answer doesn’t have to be realistic or make sense. If you say magic, it’s magic.

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You could have them wear specially-designed clothes that either stretch/shrink/conform to their new body, or turn invisible, or have the character have a bag of spare clothes for when the ones they have rip or smth.

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I normally just create the rules for my creatures anyways XD Makes things a lot simpler.

My story, which is based around lycanthropy, has lycan’s clothes shred. (Wow grammar magician.) When you turn into an eight to night foot wolf monster thing, your clothes don’t stand a chance.

maybe the bird part of them is summoned from another magical dimension, and that’s where the clothes go?

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You could always justify it as their human forms, and thus, their clothes shift into a quantum entangled pocket of dimensional space, so really their conciousness is transferring between their animal form and their human form is being put in this pocket as is, then being swapped back out.


I would think hulking out of them then being naked.

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MHA just goes with “she has to be naked to shapeshift/she’s naked when she shifts back to her regular form” because her clothes don’t morph. However her shifted form doesn’t require clothes because they are part of the character’s new skin.

There’s a lot of different approaches you can take :slight_smile: Just depends on what makes sense in your story.

Their clothes? I’ve always wondered what happens to the rest of their body mass.

You could create a rule for your world where each clan is required to lay out clothing in certain locations for shifting back to human and dressing. As for the clothes left behind, you can include some kind of laundering service.

I use the bird clan idea aswell
Honestly I just let the clothes fall off them tiny bird frames
Birds don’t wear clothes
Don’t be silly