Created By: Raso on April 3, 2012 Last Edited By: fruitstripegum on November 12, 2012
Nuked

Frills Of Justice

Magical Girl Costuming Tropes

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Trope

No Magical Girl can be complete without a spiffy costume, decked out with frills and bling. While there are a huge variety of styles when it comes to such costumes, the pervading theme seems to be colorful, very girly, highly unlikely fighting gear meant to appeal to Rule of Cool, Rule of Cute, or Rule of Glamorous and whose impracticality never seems to get in the way of their ability to take out the bad guys. Impossibly Cool Clothes is definitely in effect here. Usually Suspension of Disbelief is required to belief such a costume to be ideal for fighting, though occasionally there will be a Handwave in the form of an explicit mention that the protection of the outfit is magical.

While every Magical Girl has her own unique costume, there are definitely some very common elements that pop up within the genre and which, when combined, become the iconic Magical Girl costume. The most common traits include:

  • A frilly skirt or dress. An overwhelming majority of the time this is a Minidress of Power. \"Frilly\" can mean pleats that echo the schoolgirl Sailor Fuku, large ballerina tutu ruffles, flowery fairy-style skirts, airy poofy skirts...and so on. More rare is a tight miniskirt or short shorts.
  • A distinctive, bright color scheme. Pinks and other pastels feature heavily but by no means have a monopoly. The Dark Magical Girl gets lots of black added to the palette. A team of magical girls will usually be Color-Coded for Your Convenience.
  • Ribbons. It could be a Giant Waist Ribbon, it could be a prominent bow on the chest, it could be hair ribbons (see further down), it could be other ribbons that look cool when the girl is twirling in her Transformation Sequence.
  • Accessories and jewelry in an assortment of recurring motifs: hearts, stars, flowers, butterflies (especially Butterfly of Death and Rebirth and as symbols of metamorphosis that fit well with growing girls) wings and gems.
  • A signature accessory, rod, wand or weapon decked in the same motifs.
  • A Transformation Trinket, which may be the same item as above. It too may transform and integrate itself into the costume.

The more variable traits, trope-ified:

Whole Outfit Tropes

Decoration Tropes

Foot Gear Tropes

Accessory tropes

Hair And Eye Tropes

Other elements may include items from the Cute Witch motif, (i.e. a witch hat, which at one point was what Magical Girl meant.) and echoes of actual armor, like shoulder pads, arm bracers and such, though rarely actual armor. Magical girls who go through a mid-season, new season or plot-related power upgrade will often get a Frilly Upgrade for their costume to match.

A Subtrope trope to Pimped-Out Dress, subtrope to Impossibly Cool Clothes. This trope applies to \'\'\'Magical Girls only\'\'\' for anything else, please consult Costume Tropes.

Examples

Community Feedback Replies: 58
  • April 3, 2012
    Raso
    See this thread [1]

    Looking for examples and any other tropes that go in this index probably in a a quick overview of their outfits unique details motifs and such, if there are details unique to the characters vs the other magical girls in the series format with pictures if possible.

    Also looking for help to YKTTW the placeholder tropes.
  • April 3, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Would this count as a Sub Trope of Pimped Out Dress, rather than a Sister Trope?

    And you mentioned Mini Dress Of Power twice.

    Also, not sure many of these would fall under Battle Ballgown. Are there examples where the outfit is also armored?
  • April 3, 2012
    Raso
    Hmmm many are not visibly armored (Outside Nanoha) but still absorb damage hmm...
  • April 3, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Are they at least explained to be armored if not visibly? Otherwise it's just Impossibly Cool Clothes.
  • April 3, 2012
    animeg3282
    You should divide these into real magical girl shows like Pretty Cure and parodies thereof.
  • April 3, 2012
    lebrel
    I think this is a subtrope of Pimped Out Dress. I like it, but a little description of the examples would help. Weblinks Are Not Examples, blah blah blah.
  • April 3, 2012
    Raso
    ^ that's the reason this is here now instead of the sandbox it was on... Looking for examples, other series and expand what I already got which isn't much. ><
  • April 3, 2012
    animeg3282
    The first transformation in Wedding Peach has the girls in Fairy Tale Wedding Dresses
  • April 3, 2012
    animeg3282
    Is there a trope for random frilly garters? check Ichigo's leg here
  • April 4, 2012
    lu127
    I think Cardcaptor Sakura has a lot of costumes like that. Will try to write a coherent example later.
  • April 4, 2012
    animeg3282
    I noticed Madoka and Sayaka wearing pretty choker necklaces in Puella Magi Madoka Magica . Sayaka's has a wing motif.
  • April 4, 2012
    azul120
    Sailor Moon's outfit gets progressively more frilly with each passing season beyond the first two.
  • April 4, 2012
    Raso
    ^ that is Frilly Upgrade.
  • April 7, 2012
    Raso
    I was really hoping for more here...

    Anyone want to just give hats and launch this?
  • April 7, 2012
    AlexSora89
    Hat added.
  • April 7, 2012
    shimaspawn
    Changed Good Colors Bad Colors to the actual trope Good Colors Evil Colors.
  • April 9, 2012
    MarqFJA
    So, is this supposed to be a general index of Magical Girl costuming tropes, or a "Magical Girl's 'on-duty' outfit" trope that also lists/mentions tropes that are commonly used for Magical Girl outfits?
  • April 9, 2012
    lebrel
    ^ I believe the latter.
  • April 9, 2012
    Raso
    It's both really this is the Pimped Out Dress type supertrope / index of Magical Girl on duty costuming tropes comparable to Magical Girl Tropes. They are quite a unique thing (American equivalent would be Super Hero Costumes Index for things like Chest Insignia (which I think we have already, if not we could use it.)

    The current list of tropes was compiled in the Repair Shop and I moved it here to gather examples of said costumes with descriptions of them, themes, motifs, non uniform elements, unique elements, pics of costumes etc.

    The Index was decided by crowner.
  • April 9, 2012
    MarqFJA
    @Raso: All supertropes are technically also indexes. All of them. And as for the American equivalent, I think you're looking for Standard Superhero Suits -- though unfortunately, it's just an index; seems like we have yet another Missing Supertrope for the various kinds of Western-style superhero costumes.

    That said, let me ask a second question: When does a Magical Girl not qualify for Frills Of Justice? Does every Magical Girl with a Transformation Sequence that changes her outfit automatically qualify, for example?
  • April 9, 2012
    Raso
    ^ Any post Transformation Sequence magical girl even the guys who wear Magical Girl outfits like Ayumu in Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka.

    With the rare example of people changing into said Magical Girl Outfit manually like Card Captor Sakura and To Love RU.

    They all share a lot of qualities in their outfit designs covered in this supertrope.
  • April 9, 2012
    lebrel
    @ Marq FJA: Although it is technically possible for a Magical Girl not to have a Frills Of Justice outfit, it is vanishingly rare. It's almost a required trope for the genre.
  • April 10, 2012
    MarqFJA
    Okay, it just that the fact wasn't clear to me through the description. I mean, there was even talk that Fate Testarossa doesn't qualify for Frills Of Justice, whether as an (anti)villain or a hero. Maybe we should note that a common subversion is to give such an outfit to a villainous Dark Magical Girl?
  • April 10, 2012
    Raso
    Frills of Justice Marq you know the good girls.

    A Dark Magical Girl is a bad girl, her costume is typically dark (lots of black or dark blues.) more fetishy, revealing, or just plain basic outfit. When they become a member of the good girls though they will usually get a Good Costume Switch and bam Frilly Upgrade they start following this index they get (more) frills, bows, lighter color motif (if one existed before.) Transformation Sequence (if one didn't exist before.) less fetishy / less revealing etc. DMG post costume switch

    Fate gets this too although it takes Nanoha Striker S to actually get it. (by then though Nanoha is moving away from Magical Girl in a Genre Shift.)
  • April 10, 2012
    MarqFJA
    Okay, is the Evil Counterpart of Frills Of Justice tropable, then?
  • April 10, 2012
    Raso
    I don't think there is any kind of standard for Dark Magical Girl s besides they wear black, more fetishy or FanService (and a tendency to be skin tight) oriented, they don't have to have a Transformation Sequence, (this is the extent of the transformation sequence the example I posted in my last post got vs her good girl form[1].. and the guys get the same[2]) some might have just a few costuming tropes in common with a Magical Girl to be tagged in the genre. (Then there are some that are just a normal outfit [3])

    I have also seen a lot of males fit the standard role / personality / Heel Face Turn yada (many just don't fight much after Heel Face Turn or Redemption Equals Death.) I have seen a former Bifauxnen have a rival in a Bishonen and a Hot Blooded The Fashionista have a rival in a Hot Blooded Rated M For Manly guy that could be a good guy in a Super Robot anime.... No costume elements in common.
  • April 11, 2012
    Mauri
    The costume used in the lil sub-show (or show reference) of mahou shoujo bibulion in Mahou Sensei Negima could qualify. In fact when Nodoka and Yue when they ask for magic lessons they bring the magical girl looks (cannot bring the page given that I lost my personal archive).
  • April 12, 2012
    Raso
    ^

    How does this sound

    (ok the Heart Symbol s do not seem to work on the forum but that is part of their names....)

    @Marq I think we can list Dark Magical Girl s here and state what they lack in this.
  • April 13, 2012
    MarqFJA
    Both sound good to me.
  • April 13, 2012
    Mauri
    Thanks Raso. It seems more adequate and full forward the purpose. It is a pity when a personal archive dies when you bandwidth isn't stable (if a friend pulls it out properly it will be back up to a certain point, if not thanks to no full packs of the manga being available in bulk it will be a page per page work). But didn't Chisame went up to doing the crybaby out of nerves and panic due that it was an unrehearsed entry (she admits that she didn't recall any lines for said character on her thoughts).
  • April 13, 2012
    Raso
    ^ Its the standard lucky Unintended Forced Into Cosplay they dont know a thing they are doing but end up acting the part anyway and are loved for it... happens in Genshiken too.

    Anyway going to launch this tomorrow or the next day if there are no objections.... please add examples if ya can before then.

    Wicks are going to be a challenge though, not sure what to write and I dont think all the Frills Of Justice wicks got changed over to Frilly Upgrade.
  • April 14, 2012
    Mauri
    In any case what is the case we have a lot of details but I guess the examples of Sailor Moon and Card Captor Sakura may be missing.

    • Sailor Moon: Includes a lot of the sailor fuku the high heels and other details like the big ribbons.
    • Card Captor Sakura: This is a bit tricky but it has some of the elements you mention.
    If I cross to another example today I'll post it if not I guess it can be launched as is and the Repair section will do the rest.
  • April 14, 2012
    NESBoy
    I dont think all the Frills Of Justice wicks got changed over to Frilly Upgrade. -- Raso

    I checked the "Related to..." searches and found that Frilly Upgrade is found in 56 articles, while Frills Of Justice is found in 43.

    As for additional Magical Girls to describe, I'd suggest the White Racer from Gekisou Sentai Carranger, a Sixth Ranger wannabe fangirl who happens to be a Magical Girl. Here she is. Obviously, she didn't make it into Power Rangers Turbo.
  • April 14, 2012
    Mauri
    Seems I ran into no examples in memory but checking the genre itself would give the examples.

    We could say it can be:
    • Frills of Justice
    • Frills of Magical Power
    • Dress of Power.

    Yeah I know the original name is good but not sure if it should have an update or finding another one.
  • April 14, 2012
    Raso
    Well I had put it as Frills Of Justice because the ones who fight for Justice aka the good guys get the frills, and get more frilly with each upgrade.... Dark Magical Girl s and other bad Magical Girl s do not and rather skin tight as Evil Is Sexy.
  • April 14, 2012
    MarqFJA
    What happened to your "list Dark Magical Girls here and state what they lack in this" suggestion?
  • April 21, 2012
    VampirePaladin
    I disagree with Cure Black being listed as one of the first bare midriff magical girls. The Sailor Starlights, Mew Zakuro, Sailor Jupiter's original concept sketch, the main character of Shamanic Princess bares her midriff, going back to the 80s you even have Dream Hunter Rem with a bare midriff. While the style is more popular now, Cure Black is no where near one of the earliest examples.
  • April 22, 2012
    Raso
    Moral Guardians got her to cover up for S2... but yeah your right.

    Put those series into an example for the page!... please.
  • April 22, 2012
    animeg3282
    Actually Sailor V had a bare midriff back in the mid 90s.
  • April 22, 2012
    nman
    I don't think "Frills Of Justice" is a very descriptive name, as nothing about it says "Magical Girl", "frill" is commonly used to mean "extra features" in addition to the way you're using it, and "justice" makes people think about cops and judges.
  • April 22, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    The Mini Dress Of Power link should be in the "Whole Outfit Tropes" section, not buried in the description.

    Also, not sure the "Hair and eye tropes" section is needed, as they aren't clothing, and apply to anime characters in general.
  • April 23, 2012
    Raso
    No reason it cant be in both.
  • April 23, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Still don't need the "hair and eye tropes" section. That is not about costuming. It's just repeating common anime tropes that don't even need this genre.
  • April 23, 2012
    MarqFJA
    nman has a point. Frills Of Justice isn't quite descriptive to someone who is not sufficiently familiar with the magical girl genre.
  • April 24, 2012
    Raso
    The current name and layout was decided via crowner, This was just to gather examples and any straggling tropes.

    I was planning on having Magical Girl Costume Tropes as a redirect.
  • April 27, 2012
    JustaUsername
    ^Honestly, I think that might be the better name...
  • June 3, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    That makes it seem like an index though, and we have Magical Girl Tropes. If this is about the standard look of a magical girl outfit, it should be a distinct trope.
  • June 7, 2012
    JustaUsername
    I guess...still I don't think the title is indicative enough.

    Though, this trope has been in here for 2 months and it is a key trope for Magical Girls, I guess the most important matter right now is launching it!
  • June 15, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    Bumping this. Can we get it launched sometime or not?
  • June 15, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Should we compile possible names and make a crowner?
  • June 16, 2012
    JustaUsername
    ^ Yes, that would be a good idea.
  • July 11, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Bump.
  • July 11, 2012
    Mauri
    While the compilation is a good option I was a bit away thinking this was launched. Another shameless bump for fixing it.
  • August 24, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Magical Girl Frills could be a more descriptive name.
  • September 9, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Bump, since this should be launched sometime.
  • September 11, 2012
    MarqFJA
    I agree that Magical Girl Frills is more suitable.
  • November 12, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    So, what is to do here after all?
  • November 12, 2012
    MarqFJA
    Picking a better name, for one.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=3xyiiaqtb2e6uojd427cyb2a&trope=FrillsOfJustice