Created By: DragonQuestZ on January 25, 2012 Last Edited By: DragonQuestZ on January 29, 2012
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Kicking Ass In All Her Finery

Being a badass lady while dressed in fancy and feminine clothes

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That assault rifle goes quite nicely with her glittery dress and fur cape.

Who says that being an Action Girl and feminine Costume Porn are mutually exclusive? In some works, the two go hand-in-awesome-but-elegant-hand.

And no Action Dress Ripping either. These are Impossibly Cool Clothes, that don't get in the way while this lady is mowing down hordes of mooks or blowing stuff up. Not that there can't be Clothing Damage, but expect the clothes to be fine next episode (barring getting a new outfit next season).

What weapons she uses can vary, from martial arts (even if a skirt would be too narrow or poofy to kick someone), to conventional weapons, to even the more "feminine" weapons like Parasol of Pain, Rolling Pin of Doom, and Frying Pan of Doom can work, although she has to be whupping ass with those, not just conking a guy on the head.

The clothes could range from an evening dress and jewelry, to an ultra frilly Pimped-Out Dress. A Mini Dress Of Power can qualify, if it's also otherwise too elegant to fight in.

This trope often overlaps with Lady of War, Badass Princess, Ermine Cape Effect, Battle Ballgown (the frilled dress with armor variant, not the armor with a skirt variant), Silk Hiding Steel, Action Fashionista (if this character has several fancy outfits she fights in), and Magical Girl Warrior (although they tend to not be outright badass most of the time).

A Sub-Trope of Badass, Rule of Cool, Rule of Glamorous.

Compare Dressed to Kill, Badass in a Nice Suit, Hot Chick In A Badass Suit, Stylish Protection Gear, Bling of War, Agent Peacock (the Spear Counterpart).

Contrast Stripperific, Real Women Never Wear Dresses.

Examples

  • Princess Rozalin of Disgaea 2 starts out as a Princess Classic, but as she learns to fight, she becomes deadly with firearms. And that's not even getting to the Superpowered Evil Side of her past life.
  • Sabre of the Fate/stay night series likes wearing fine dresses, even if they are armored.
  • The ladies of the SoulCalibur series often have elegant outfits. Special mention goes to Cassandra and Amy.
  • The eponymous heroine of Murder Princess. This is really an interesting case, as she became a princess through a "Freaky Friday" Flip, and wasn't this before the flip.
  • In the Super Smash Bros. games, Peach and Zelda qualify for this trope, if rarely in their series proper.
  • The Prince class in Etrian Odyssey III has a princess option, and they tend to be strong fighters as well as opulently dressed.
  • The heroine of Princess Crown.
Community Feedback Replies: 40
  • January 25, 2012
    MiinU
    example deleted.
  • January 25, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
  • January 25, 2012
    MyTimingIsOff
    Fixed a couple of spelling errors.
  • January 25, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ If you meant the OP, next time just note them so I can correct them. It's rude to edit someone else's ykttw that isn't Up For Grabs.
  • January 26, 2012
    Koveras
    • Shiki from Kara No Kyoukai usually fights wearing a simple kimono and a red jacket for warmth. However, in part five, she instead goes for a borderline Pimped Out Kimono during the climatic battle (not to mention that she also brings a katana to it instead of her usual knife).

    Where is the current pic from?
  • January 26, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ As far as I know, it's not from a show. It's part of an original drawing from an anime artist.
  • January 26, 2012
    Rognik
    I believe the recent Three Musketeers movie had a female assassin swordfighting while in a heavy dress. Need varification on this, though In Young Justice, I think Cheshire's fight in a chinese dress might count, with the dress being especially fluttery for the style of outfit.

    Also, contrast this with Action Dress Rip. This would be fighting despite all the clumsy finery
  • January 26, 2012
    captainpat
    You need to make sure the examples are describing the character's clothes and what makes them badass.
  • January 26, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^^ Already noted that in the middle of the description.

    ^ Yes, examples should be required to do that.
  • January 26, 2012
    Koveras
    ^^ & ^ Is simply stating that the girl fights and defeats a major villain in combat a description enough of her badassitude or does she have to do something more special to qualify?
  • January 26, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Perhaps not something "special". It's what she does and how elegant the clothes are that matter.

  • January 26, 2012
    MiinU

    Anime

  • January 26, 2012
    jatay3
    Delenn in Babylon Five. Definitely.
  • January 26, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Give context. "definitely" says nothing about her clothes, or her doing action stuff in it.

    ^^ The last part should potholed to Trouser Space, as Victorias Secret Compartment is from cleavage.
  • January 26, 2012
    Bisected8
    • There are levels in some Tomb Raider games where Lara wears formalwear. One particularly good example being a party in Legend (which also averts Combat Stilettos; She removes them and goes barefoot).
  • January 26, 2012
    MiinU
    ^^@DragonQuestZ fixed.
  • January 26, 2012
    Ekuran
    Compare Lady Of War.
  • January 26, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Noted. I forgot to list that.
  • January 26, 2012
    vynsane
    • Shrek - Princess Fiona takes out Robin Hood and a squad of merry men single-handedly while wearing her signature green princess dress. She's quite put out when a single lock of hair is out of place after the dust settles.
  • January 27, 2012
    whizzerd
    Shenhua from Black Lagoon, a deadly assassin who's very talented with kukris and kunai. The difference between her and every other woman in the show is that she kicks ass while wearing an elegant red Chinese dress.
  • January 28, 2012
    Arivne
    Video Games
  • January 28, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ And the dress has butterflies embroidered with gold thread.
  • January 28, 2012
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    • Princess Azula practices in her full princess regalia. She is very displeased that a lock of hair is out of her place when her twin mentors point it out.

  • January 28, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ That doesn't really sure that counts, as a lot of the Fire Nation clothes are meant to be practical anyway. If she was dressed like Princess Yue, that would be this trope.

    Looking up screencaps for that scene though.

    EDIT: Crap. I forgot which episode had that scene.
  • January 28, 2012
    CharacterInWhite
    Everyone in Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, naturally.
  • January 28, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ "naturally" is kind or Word Cruft when it's used without context.
  • January 28, 2012
    NoirGrimoir
    • A particular Noodle Incident in the Tortall Universe is that Queen Thayet took a rider group out to save a village that was in distress without even taking the time to change out of her ridiculously beautiful and expensive period dress she was wearing that evening to a ball-type event. Of course the dress got destroyed.
  • January 28, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    "Of course the dress got destroyed."

    Would that disqualify this?

    Was it stated how well she fought in it?
  • January 28, 2012
    NoirGrimoir
    Presumably well, she's an Action Queen. It's mostly that that type of fabric is really delicate (there were tons of small pearls sown into it apparently) so it was easy for it to get messed up in that type of situation. She didn't rip it up herself or anything.
  • January 28, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Well this trope is that the dress wouldn't get in the way of kicking ass, and getting destroyed, due to not changing to proper combat wear, would make it not this trope.
  • January 28, 2012
    NoirGrimoir
  • January 28, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Are you implying this is already that trope? It's not. It doesn't require anything about how elegant the clothes are or how much asskicking the lady does. It's a close Sister Trope though.
  • January 28, 2012
    Euodiachloris
    Ooooh - all straight, female Agent Peacocks apply here!

    Not sure if Elizabeth Middleford of Black Butler would count - she's in her underwear when she mows down zombies, though. However, it's very nice, prim and proper underwear, mind. And, certainly looks fabulous. It goes surprising well with her accessorising of Dual Wielding: swords.

    EDIT: would help if I spelled Lizzie's name right, wouldn't it?

    v I was being flip for humour reasons. :) I know Agent is usually male. This certainly looks like the Distaff Counterpart of that. Unless... she'd really be a bit macho... um.
  • January 28, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Agent Peacock says it's Always Male. But this could be a counterpart to it.
  • January 29, 2012
    KingZeal
    Character may be an Action Fashionista.
  • January 29, 2012
    elwoz
    Princess Vespa spends the entire Spaceballs movie wearing a wedding gown, and so naturally the scene where she demonstrates unexpected talent with a laser rifle qualifies as this.
  • January 29, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Also notable in that she refuses to use a gun until her hair gets singed by a laser blast.
  • January 29, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    • Cecille of Arc Rise Fantasia punched her way through enemies, while wearing a fancy blue dress. The sisters Paula and Luna use weapons, but still fancy clothes. Luna uses a very pretty Parasol Of Pain.
    • Sapphire of Disgaea 3 has an outfit that's basically pants and a jacket (to help make it easy to fight as a Badass Princess), but still elegant and fancy enough to count.
    • Most of the dolls in Rozen Maiden fit this, due to their ultra frilly dresses being still worn in intense battles.
  • January 29, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
  • January 29, 2012
    DesertDragon
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