Pokemon Sword and Shield: how to change gym outfit and unlock special uniforms to show off your gym challenge credentials

Character customization of the player trainer is nothing new, but in Pokemon Sword and Shield there are two separate kinds of clothes, of a sort - your standard clothes that are made up of a range of different items, and the one-piece gym outfit - a special uniform which is used as part of Sword and Shield's Gym Challenge.

You see, in the Galar Region Pokemon Gyms are more like sports arenas and the battles therefore treated like sporting events. That means you have to wear a uniform - and if you've challenged any of the in-game gyms, you'll be familiar with the standard-issue white outfit that is your default gym wear, with your name and number on the back. However, there are other gym outfits available that you can change to... but there's an annoying catch.

After some more Pokemon Sword and Shield assistance? Check out some of our other guides, covering everything from the fairy gym quiz answers and move tutor locations to fossil combinations for getting all four fossil Pokemon and our top tips for shiny hunting


How to get new Gym Outfits & Uniforms in Pokemon Sword & Shield

At the very start of the game gym outfits won't even be a concern. You'll see a couple of clothes stores selling regular outfit pieces, but you won't be introduced to the concept of gym uniforms until you reach Motostoke City and are introduced to the gym challenge at large. This is when you get your first uniform.

There's two ways to get new uniforms in Sword and Shield. First off, you'll recieve a themed uniform off the back of every successful Gym Challenge step you complete in the game. So once you beat the grass-type gym, you'll get a sweet green grass gym uniform outfit.

Aside from that, one of the people behind a kiosk in each gym will also sell you new gym uniforms - again themed. They're 18,000 Pokebucks each. These are ostensibly the same as the outfits you get for completing gyms, but they cover the Pokemon types that aren't part of the gym challenge and are thus unavailable to you. Simple! But wait! Before you go and blow 18k on a gym uniform, read on...

How to change your gym outfit in Pokemon Sword & Shield - and when you can't wear it

So, here's the catch I mentioned earlier - and boy, it is annoying. You can wear these special gym outfits where ever you like throughout Pokemon Sword and Shield, donning a themed gym outfit instead of the regular trainer getup that you usually wear. This has pros - such as the looks - and cons, because gym outfits are 'all in one', so you can't mix and match or accessorise in the same way.

But the catch is this: you can't wear the different gym uniform outfits in the actual gym challenges themselves. Any time you take on a gym challenge you'll be prompted to get changed, and when you do, it'll be in the standard-issue white league uniform. That must be a league rule, I guess.

If you want to change into your gym outfits naturally for exploring and battling outside gyms, just head to a clothes shop - there's one in every town - and go into the changing rooms. There any clothes you own, including unlocked gym uniforms, will be available to try on and wear.