Fatal Fashion
Done in by your own clothes

(permanent link) added: 2011-10-10 16:57:48 sponsor: LOAD edited by: Antigone3 (last reply: 2012-02-27 05:12:07)

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Antigone3 here, let's see if we can revive this one.

Will launch as Killer Outfit in approx. 48 hours

Clothing can be functional or ornamental. It can be distinctive, dramatic, or symbolic.

It can also kill you.

Killer Outfit is when a character dies as a direct result of the clothing he wears. Note that the clothing must be directly responsible (if an inanimate object can be described as responsible) for the death. If Bob is shot because he's disguised as one of the Big Bad's henchmen, that would be Mistaken Identity. If Bob dons the disguise, catches the hem of his longcoat in his spurs, and breaks his neck in the resulting fall, that's Killer Outfit.

Cape Snag is a specific subtrope. Any examples with capes/cloaks should go on that page, not this one.

Compare Fashion Hurts.


  • One Golden Age Batman story had Batman pursuing four escaped killers, sentenced to die by different means of execution in different states. Each dies in a way that mirrors the way they were due to be executed. The one sentenced to hang dies when his tie gets caught in a generator.

  • In the movie Happy Birthday to Me, one of the victims is killed when the killer kicks his long scarf into some machinery, strangling him.
  • In Law Abiding Citizen, one of the characters mentioned that Clyde Shelton can kill anyone he wants, any time he wants. The example he uses is how Clyde managed to kill some terrorist hiding in a bunker, completely locked away from the word in a totally secure environment.

    One time we're tasking this tricky target. I mean, we're using cruise missiles and predators and we even had a B-2 bomber flatten this guy's villa with a JDAM. All right? We're burning up millions in ordnance and we're getting nowhere with this guy. So we call Clyde and we ask him to solve our problem. Clyde develops a Kevlar thread with a high-tech ratchet made of carbon fiber put in a necktie. Two days later, Mrs. Bad Guy comes home, finds Mr. Bad Guy dead on the bathroom tile, choked to death.

  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. While fighting Indiana Jones, the Giant Mook's sash is caught in the rock crusher and he's pulled to his doom.
  • Deep Red has this with jewelry rather than with clothes: the murderer is killed when her necklace gets stuck in a moving elevator, which beheads her.

  • Averted (so far) and lampshaded by Victarion Greyjoy in A Song of Ice and Fire. He is fully aware that fighting sea battles in full plate is Tempting Fate but finds nothing unreasonable about it. After all, he is a faithful of the sea god (the baptism of his religion is getting drowned unconscious and then resuscitated) and he would be no true warrior if he feared going under. So far his plate has served him better than the lighter garments did to his enemies.

Live Action Television
  • This trope and an urban legend based on it was used in an episode of CSINY. The first victim was a bride on her wedding day. It turned out that she had bought her wedding gown used, and it was severely contaminated with formaldehyde. (The gown's original owner had been buried in it, and then dug up so the the gown could be stolen for resale.)
  • In one episode of NewsRadio, the action revolves around a person who had just died from having a tie snagged in a copier.

Video Games

Real Life
  • Dancer Isadora Duncan died when her long silk scarf caught in the rear wheel and axle of the car she was riding in, breaking her neck.
  • Several Darwin Awards have been won due to Fatal Fashion.
    • One burglar, while trying to break into a store via a window in the roof, caught his sweater and accidentally hung himself.
    • Two Darwin Award winners killed themselves by wearing ridiculously high heels - one by trying to drive a car in them , the other simply by falling over and smashing her skull on the pavement.
  • Cracked featured an article on various fashion trends throughout history that have killed people. I particularly remember corsets and hoop skirts.
  • This is why auto mechanics NEVER wear a necktie at work. Many of them will also call their office-bound boss's tie a noose.
  • Office machine repairmen often don't wear ties (or wear clip-ons) from concern that it could catch in the machine they're working on.
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