Eclipse Phase | AUSTIN, TEXAS | 2015-2019 A.D.
For most people living in space, clothing choice is often a tradeoff between aesthetics and functionality. In some cases functionality is paramount, while for others it is the opposite. In the end, the most common feature is the synthetic fabrics used to manufacture clothing. Only Earth has the space and resources for the production of natural fibers, and most of this clothing remains on Earth; in fact, most spacers think that producing natural fiber clothing is an unnecessary waste of resources.
People avoid wearing loose or baggy clothes almost entirely; clothes with drape have a tendency to catch on things and cause accidents, especially in low gravity and confined spaces. This aversion to flamboyance also grew out of the need to conserve resources. Even people who live and work in relatively spacious environments wear fitted clothes. It is only on singular occasions of great celebration, such as marriage, that this unwritten rule of fashion is ignored, and then not always.
Work clothing fits into one of two categories: office and everything else. Functionality and durability are the two qualities most people seek in their work clothes. For people in technical occupations, the work coverall is most common work outfit; the spacesuit is second. Work coveralls have a multitude of pockets, both large and small, and numerous loops and straps for attaching tools and more pockets. Top-quality coveralls use fire retardant cloth that effectively reduces a fire’s Intensity by two. Office clothing is designed to be sharp, clean looking and comfortable.
Casual clothing is meant to be comfortable above all else. After spending the day in the tight confines of a spacesuit, people like something relaxing to wear. Stylish coveralls and one-piece body suits made with supple fabrics are the most common casual clothing. Slacks and shirts of all cuts are also common. Zerogravity clothing is usually body-hugging, but loose clothing will have elasticized cuffs to keep sleeves and pants legs in place.
Where there is gravity, there are still tuxedos and gowns to be worn. Most people don’t have the storage space for formal clothing, so rentals are common. One popular fashion trend has incorporated micro-actuators with a small processor and power source to create “living” clothing. The variations in style and motion encompass everything from the curious to the provocative. Also popular are video or holographic membranes, that can be used to display virtually any image within the limits of social convention and legality.
Uniforms are not just for the military and paramilitary services, though these uniforms are the most recognizable as such. The principal purpose of a uniform is identification of the person’s affiliation to an organization, especially Hypercorps. Whether the uniform has any functionality related to the performance of a person’s duties is dependent upon said duties. Military uniforms are divided into two classes: duty and dress. Duty uniforms are day-to-day personal wear and are oriented toward functionality. For example, a technician’s duty uniform has large pockets and is reinforced at the knees, shoulders and elbows. Dress uniforms are reserved for more formal occasions such as inspections or military receptions. They are much more formal, displaying rank, decorations, and unit affiliations.