How did Superman retain his secret identity when he constantly left Clark Kent's clothes behind? Even if they were shredded when he yanked them off in an emergency, they still would have been the same size, color and style of clothing his coworkers had just seen him wearing. Granted, when he wasn't in a hurry, he could use his super strength to compress them and then hide them, but I always pictured him tearing them off and leaving them in a heap. Lois: "Where's Clark?" Jimmy: "I don't know, but this looks like his suit. Hey! Look up in the sky!"

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    Do you have any example where the employees actually found Clark Kent's clothing? – Jack B Nimble Feb 27 '12 at 18:00
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    He probably incinerates the clothes with his heat vision. – Xantec Feb 27 '12 at 18:01
  • @JackBNimble I just remember Steve Reaves dropping his duds and taking off. TangoOversway has helped me to see the light. – Major Stackings Feb 27 '12 at 19:52
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    @MajorStackings that would be George Reeves. Steve Reeves was known for playing Hercules – Legion600 Feb 27 '12 at 21:44
  • Actually, this is a good question, since without seeing some indication of what he did, it is left for the viewer/reader to wonder. – Tango Feb 27 '12 at 22:22

After the Superman movie with Christopher Reeves (in 1978), Elliot S. Magin wrote two books, Superman: Last Son of Krypton and Superman: Miracle Monday. The book format allowed time and space for some references and comments that would not always fit in a comic book, due to limited space. (Also, in my case, since comic books were banned in the house, I could read those books.)

In one of the books, Magin makes a reference to Superman folding his clothes up into tiny squares that he can easily keep in a pocket in his cape. This would also explain an unasked corollary to the above question: How come Superman can change back into the same suit he was previously wearing when he's not where he took off that suit?

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    Nice. You covered both ends of the question. It hadn't occurred to me he took them with him. Probably saved him a ton of money. – Major Stackings Feb 27 '12 at 19:33
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    If he folds the clothes that small where/when/how would he iron them to get the creases out? – Xantec Feb 27 '12 at 20:52
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    @Xantec - He also folds an iron and takes it with him ;) – Brendan Long Feb 27 '12 at 22:50
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    so Superman has "super-folding" abilities? Is that a Kryptonian thing, or a Yellow-Sun thing? – SteveED Feb 28 '12 at 3:30
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    Packing geek here - it's friction that causes the wrinkles. If you fold the clothes tightly, they don't get wrinkles. You'd still have some minor creasing from the fold, but nothing you couldn't wear. – Chris B. Behrens Feb 6 '13 at 19:21

He has a "pouch in his cape"

There is a reference in one of the Silver-Age Superman comics that specifically answers this question; Superman outfit This also goes some way to answering the question of why superman wears a cape.

In fairness to your question though, I've found several instances (in "Superman Returns" and "Lois and Clark) where he does simply abandon them but usually in circumstances where they're unlikely to be found such as in an elevator shaft or a disused factory:

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    That cape flaps pretty naturally for something with a pair of shoes in it. – Oldcat Jul 24 '14 at 19:00
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    But where does he keep his Superboots when he's in disguise? – user20155 Sep 5 '14 at 6:47
  • @user20155 - Theoretically he can compress them with his super-strength. – Valorum May 18 '17 at 18:53

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