Do you know how the quick clothing change magic works?

There are a number of methods by which a magician or a magician’s assistant can appear to change from one outfit to another in the blink of an eye while passing behind a screen, hiding in a trunk, falling from an airplane, etc.

The most common method, and the one that has been used since the early days of quick change magic, is to employ identical twins or triplets. Instead of switching outfits, the magician (or the magician’s assistant) simply trades places with his or her differently dressed identical twin. While the replacement struts around in new duds, the original has plenty of time to switch clothing in preparation for the next switch.

If identicals are not available, quick changes can be made with the help of gimmicked clothing. For example:

  1. Hydrosensitive cloth changes color and texture when exposed to moisture. One out fit can apparently be changed to another by simply surreptitiously dumping a bucket of water over the magician’s head.
  2. A particularly talented magician can appear to change outfits by merely changing posture in certain subtle ways.
  3. A outfit made of flash paper can be worn atop a full-body flame-retardant suit that has been tailored to look like a normal outfit. The magician touches a match to the outer clothing and it bursts into flames and vanishes completely. The flame-retardant suit limits severe burns to the magician’s hands and face, which are protected by the magician’s health insurance.
  4. Clothing can be designed to be easily repurposed. For example, a head scarf can be quickly turned into a lovely sash, a diaphanous shawl, or a scandalous blouse.
  5. Other gimmicks are often used. Shoes can be equipped with electric self-tying laces or turned from pumps to spikes with hydraulic heels. A high-speed unraveler can turn a sweater into a ball of yarn in less than a second.