Clothes are a major category of items in the Animal Crossing series, and play a large part in the game's customizability. Like furniture, clothes are available from a variety of sources, depending on their rarity and the game. In all games, players are able to create custom designs which can be worn on the character instead of the purchasable preset clothes.
Gracie, who specializes in fashion, often hands out rare shirts and dresses after the player passes her tests. In Animal Crossing, the player had to wash her car, which was a A-Button mashing minigame, while in Wild World onwards the player had to pass a fashion test based on questions or the player's current clothes.
Clothes are one of the types of items that players can earn from villagers from performing tasks. It can also be re-ordered from the catalog, provided it is not rare.
In Animal Crossing, the only type of clothes the player could change was the ones worn on their torso. Male players had a short-sleeved shirt shape with basketball shorts (that could not be changed) while female players' shirts were longer to give the appearance of a dress. Villagers wear shirts without sleeves, and it would either appear short or dress-like depending on the species. Preset clothes and Umbrellas could be purchased from Tom Nook's Store, or designs could be worn or applied to the umbrella instead. Doing so would result in the same pattern being tiles across the four sections of the shirt: The front, back, left sleeve and right sleeve. Players could create designs by speaking to Mabel and paying 350 bells. Designs could also be obtained from Wendell in exchange for food. The pattern that appeared on the player's clothes would also become their hat.
The player was able to drop a shirt or design into a hidden slot under the bottom-right slot of the inventory to change the background image. The default was a Dot Shirt. This function is exclusive to Animal Crossing (and its remakes), and Wild World
From this title onwards, shirts and umbrellas are purchased at the Able Sisters store. The shirt and hat designs were made independent of each other, allowing the player to wear different designs on each. Preset Headgear and facial Accessories were added, both of which were also sold from the Able Sisters. This greatly improved facial customisability, in addition with the ability to change hairstyles later in the game. Some headgear covered the top of the head, while others covered the entire head. The latter could not be worn with Accessories.
The player was able to drop a shirt or design into the lower corners of their inventory to change the background image. The default was a Dot Shirt. This function is exclusive to the first two games in the series.
The design creation at Able Sisters was upgraded, allowing for four separate patterns for each section of the shirt. This new design system was titled "Pro-Design". The old design system was made free for the player, accessible from their pockets. The player could change the color of their shoes and socks by visiting Kicks, although the color was determined by the players current clothes rather than a spoken choice. How the player dresses in Animal Crossing City Folk affects how their neighbors talk about them.
GracieGrace, a high-end fashion store, was added. GracieGrace sells rare shirts, accessories, umbrellas and headgear for several thousand Bells apiece. GracieGrace's clothes are seasonal, meaning that they will only have the same shirts and accessories for about a month or two. Gracie will give the player a 10% discount if she is present and the player is dressed to her liking. To impress her, the player must wear matching clothes, also called a look, and shoes with a matching color, obtained by getting a shoe shine from Kicks.
The sale of Accessories, Headgear and Umbrellas is handed to Labelle, who works in an add-on to the Able Sisters' shop. The Able Sisters use their free shelf space to sell shirts and dresses as separate items, giving the Male and Female characters the choice to wear the other's clothes. Dresses take up both the shirt slot and the pants slot. Clothing now has different length sleeves: short, long and no sleeves. All five of these options are added as Pro-Design options, while regular designs take the form of short-sleeved clothes with a shape based on the player's gender. The players pants/skirt can now be changed via the Shorts, Longs, and Skirts that the Able Sisters stock. All three are able to be worn by both genders.
Kicks, who appears some time later into the game if the player has spent enough money in the Able Sisters' shop, no longer changes the player's shoe color. Instead, he sells various styles of shoes and socks, which can be equipped or unequipped freely, allowing the player to go barefoot. Socks come in both regular style and leggings, while shoes come in many varieties ranging from sandals to boots.
It can be noted that the default clothes given to the player can differ designs based on face styles as well as the shirt sleeves depending on the season. Autumn and winter will grant them a long sleeved shirt while in spring or summer, the player will start out with a short sleeved shirt.
Despite there being 3 types of shirts (tank, tee, shirt), Villagers will still only wear shirts sleeveless regardless of type.
There are many changes to clothing customization in New Horizons.
- In New Leaf, wearing "warm" clothes during summer (such as a sweater) causes the player character to become tired when they leave the house in the day. Likewise, wearing few clothes during winter causes the player character to shiver when they leave the house in the day.