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Embarrassing but empowering outfit
An outfit that gives its wearer immense power but looks ridiculous.


(permanent link) added: 2012-08-01 15:17:47 sponsor: captainpat (last reply: 2013-11-23 07:28:52)

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Upside: Magical Chainsaw. Downside: Well...

Haley: ... so the Boots of Speed were totally powerful, but they were, like, lime green.
Vaarsuvius: Indeed. A most grave conundrum you faced.

A character has an outfit that grants them immense power but there's one major problem. The outfit looks ridiculous and its powers can't be accessed without wearing it. Despite the benefits, the character is usually hesitant or refuses to wear the outfit all together.

This frequently overlaps with Stripperiffic as usually the outfits, while powerful, are often extremely revealing.

Sub-Trope of Clothes Make the Superman

Compare to Impossibly Tacky Clothes, Rainbow Pimp Gear

In-Universe Examples Only

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[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
  • From Sumomo Mo Momo Mo, Sanae's Uma Kamen outfit. It's an outfit from her tribe that increases its wearer power but it looks like a bondage costume. Sanae hates wearing it and most characters, even the ones she saved, are taken aback to how ridiculous the outfit looks.
  • Project A-ko: B-ko Daitoukuji's battle armor, Akagiyama 23 enhances her reflexes to match A-ko's. However, it's skimpy and comes with a visor. When A-ko and the other students fitst see it, they burst out laughing at her. Then the fight began. Let's just say A-ko's laughter was short lived.
    • Later in the film, it's reaveled that it also has a built-in jet pack which enables B-ko to fly; which she uses during her attempt to rescue C-ko from Captain Napolipolita. B-ko was able to manuever effortlessly through a non-stop missile barrage.
  • Kore wa Zombie desu ka?: The costume worn by Magic Girl Haruna contains lots of ruffles and bows. This isn't so embarrassing for her, but when she accidentally passes on her powers, costume included, to the zombie Ayumu, he is not so amused by the outfit. In order to activate his powers, the pink bow-covered costume is included.
  • There's a scene in The Slayers where Lina and Amelia put on silly dresses and sing a silly song in order to cast a powerful spell and kill a demon. It produces some lights. The spell was actually for a festival. Lina then killed the demon with her classic Dragon Slave as punishment for watching her embarrass herself.
  • The manga Miracle Lingerie parodies Stripperific costumes with a set of actual lingerie that gives superpowers, but only when nothing is worn over it. The heroine is understandably not keen on wearing it in public.
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[[folder:Comic Books]]
  • In Empowered, the titular character possesses a full body super-suit that gives her numerous super abilities but it's also made of extremely thin and fragile material. The suit tears easily and even when it's fully intact, it's so form-fitting that it leaves little to the imagination. These are huge problems for a superheroine like Empowered who has numerous body-image issues.
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[[folder:Live Action TV]]
  • In The Greatest American Hero Everyman Ralph Hinkley is given a "super suit" by some friendly aliens. He is very embarassed being seen in it, but eventually he gets used to it.
  • On Wizards of Waverly Place, when Max's powers fully come in he's unable to truly control or use them. In order to do so, he must wear a huge, gaudy, puffy jester hat. Not doing so would cause events like spontaneous indoor blizzards, but doing so made him the laughing stock of the school.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
  • Magick Chicks: The mysterious wand grants Melissa Hellrune unimaginable power, enough to trigger a level 9 magical event. Said wand also comes with an outlandish Cute Witch Magical Girl costume. Melissa is not pleased.
  • Haley in The Order of the Stick has a pair of magical Boots of Speed, but considers them a fashion disaster because they're lime green, and refuses to wear them until she can get them dyed brown to match her armor.
  • Goblins has a subversion, when Minmax complains loudly about Forgath forcing him to wear a suit of magical pink armor. He doesn't realise that one of the armor's properties is the ability to take on any color he chooses.
  • In the xkcd strip titled shoes a character is rewarded shoes that make their wearer immortal. He can't decide whether or not to wear the shoes since the have creepy individual toes.
  • In Slimy Thief a male warrior goes to Azamat's store and asks for the most powerful armor. Azamat pulls out some magical armor that He initially refuses to wear it because "It has boobs".
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[[folder:Video Games]]
  • In Persona 3 FES there's a bonus female-only costume you can get called the High Cut Armour. It significantly raises a party members attack and defense, can be gotten early on in the game and isn't usurped as the best armor for a while. However, it's also very skimpy and one the few costumes that the girls will comment on specifically if you equip it (usually you get a generic 'thanks!' message, but with the HCA you get a "...really? I have to wear this?" one instead).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
  • The Armor of Zeldron, from Adventure Time, grants its wearer flight and protects them from just about anything. In the episode "Blood Under the Skin" Finn and Jake go quest to find the armor, but when they do find it Finn refuses to wear it since it's "girl armor"
  • In SpongeBob SquarePants it is stated that superpowers come from costumes, and that is the only reason that the heroes would wear them.
    Mermaid Man: Power's all in the costume. Why else would we run around in colored undies?
[[/folder]]
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