Let's talk uniforms, gear and practical mech piloting stuff.
I am working on some robot related fiction and part of it is I want to think about what the pilots would bring with them in case of being shot down. Currently my idea is a survival pack and inflatable raft stowed in the cockpit, which has a sidearm, flares, patches for their suit, water purification tablets, nutrient bar future rations stuff and basic medical supplies.
The setting is a Fafner style thing, so no space combat as yet.
As to the uniforms I imagined a Nihei-esque look but with less piss and weirdness. The suits have electrode pads on the inside to interface with the mech and send lifesigns etc to operators back at base, can be sealed (with a limited self contained air supply and the mech having its own air supply the helmet can connect to) and has reinforced upper body sections to protect the pilot from shrapnel/pistol fire a bit.
This is probably all shit, so what sort of practical details does /m/ like in its pilot gear? I liked how in Dragonar the pilots had that astronaut style hood under the helmet, or how VOTOMs has those cool gas masks.
If you want to add the shrapnel protection thing it only makes sense that you'd pad out the entire suit in the appropriate places rather than specifically the upper body, unless the cockpit of your mech had an Entry-Plug-esque securing function that clamps down on the lower body. Otherwise you just end up with an unbalanced look with a barrel torso but thin lower body.
Probably not what you're after but I can't look at a uniform thread without mentioning the Special Vehicles section 2 uniform. Patlabor had a lot of good designs in both its more and less serious entries.
If we're talking a more pseudo-realistic suit look I'd be crimping as much as possible from a modern pilot suit. Mecha pilots are almost universally treated more like fast jet pilots than tank crews so the general look should probably reflect that. Don't make the colours too loud or the aesthetic too flashy. Make it look like something a trained operator put on in a forward operating base to go to war in, not something a guy is strutting out onto a catwalk with. I'll probably post again at some point with some more specific ideas once I've thought about it some more.
Full Metal Panic has AS operator suits that incorporate shoulder pads and hardened upper torso pieces into the suit itself. However, they're relatively flush to the body profile itself, so it depends on how "thick" your protection is.
Correction, apparently not all that many armies do it. Nevertheless, it's something to consider. Apparently Yui had an SMG when she got shot down in the novel version of Muv Luv Total Eclipse, so that's an example I guess.