Plastic clothing – as distinct from clothing made from plastic-based artificial fibers – has existed almost since the creation of flexible plastics, particularly as a material for waterproof clothing.
During the 1960s, there was great enthusiasm for plastic and paper garments as futuristic clothing such as plastic raincoats, which were far lighter and cheaper than mackintoshes or gaberdine raincoats, and could also be manufactured in bright colours or made transparent or translucent.
Modern clothing commonly uses flexible plastic materials, in the form of both flexible plastic sheeting and plasticized fabric. Rigid plastic components are also used to replace components which would have formerly been made of metal, bone, rubber, or other materials, for example in the form of buttons, shoulder pads, collar stiffeners and zip fasteners. Plastic components are used extensively in footwear.
Plastic materials are also commonly used in protective clothing.