[[quoteright:305:[[VideoGame/EtrianOdyssey http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/etrian_odyssey_hoplite_1362.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:305:Who says walking tanks can't be elegant?]]

->''"My slinky sorceress' robe will have a chain mail foundation garment, at minimum."''
-->-- Rule #7 on the ''[[http://nift.firedrake.org/EEmpress.htm Evil Empress Guide]]''

A dress that is lightly to heavily armored, and thus would fit in both a social gala and an epic melee. The form of the dress [[Administrivia/TropesAreFlexible can range from]] a frilly gown and petticoats also accessorized with armor and/or weapons, to basically a suit of armor with a skirt.

The point of this dress is a combination of RuleOfGlamorous and RuleOfCool, as such an outfit will almost always be ImpossiblyCoolClothes. Yes, armored skirts ''were'' historically used (and mostly for ''men'' at that) as they allowed more waist protection without obstructing the legs, but they never got as large, and therefore heavy, as many of the examples in this article.

Naturally the ladies wearing these kinds of dresses are almost always {{Action Girl}}s, particularly [[LadyOfWar Ladies Of War]], {{Pretty Princess Powerhouse}}s, or other tropes related to SilkHidingSteel (although this trope makes the "hiding" moot). If any other girl ends up wearing this, expect her to fall over almost immediately, if she can even move.

A SubTrope of PimpedOutDress and CostumePorn. A SisterTrope to LadyLegionnaireWear, KickingAssInAllHerFinery.

Compare StylishProtectionGear, ScaryImpracticalArmor, or PoweredArmor. Contrast ChainmailBikini, {{Stripperiffic}}.

'''Remember that this is an armored dress, not simply a fancy dress worn in battle, that's KickingAssInAllHerFinery.'''


[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* [[PersonOfMassDestruction Tohka]] wears one in ''LightNovel/DateALive''. It is even called an "Astral Dress". [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Date_A_Live_Volume_1_2639.jpg here]][[spoiler: It changes when she taps here SuperPoweredEvilSide... but it still fits this trope.]]
* In ''Manga/SoulEater'', Maka and the rest of the cast initially change out of their formal gear during a BallroomBlitz. However later, Maka [[spoiler:converts the [[TheCorruption Black Blood]]]] into [[http://www.mangareader.net/157-10204-36/soul-eater/chapter-59.html armour in the shape of a ballgown]].
* Some of the Barrier Jackets (customizable magical armor suits) worn by female mages from the ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' series. Take [[http://nanoha.wikia.com/wiki/File:FlyingDragonFlash.jpg Signum,]] for example.
* [[LadyofWar Subaru]] wears this in-game in ''Anime/DotHackSign''.
** As do Terajima Ryoko in the quadilogy game, being Subaru's pallette swap. Ditto Kaochin.
* Asuna shows up wearing this in several ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' artworks soon after getting her artifact. Before long, she was wearing them in the series proper.
** See also the Adriane Knights in the Magic World, and thus by extension Yue.
* A [[SuperRobot Super Robot]] PowerArmor version exist in ''LightNovel/InfiniteStratos'' in form of [[http://mugen-ryu.matrix.jp/image/uchigane.jpg Uchigane]], a RedShirt training unit of sort. The shape is reminiscent of old-style Samurai Armor, but it has extremely feminine design (with open top for FanService reason). It's also listed as [[StoneWall Defense/ Balance]] type.
* In ''Manga/FairyTail'', some of Erza's numerous outfits are like this.


[[folder: Art]]
* Paintings of UsefulNotes/JoanOfArc often show her in armor with a skirt (even though one of the ways the English got her nailed for heresy was her insistence on wearing pants (both because of practicality of riding and to prevent rape while imprisoned).

[[folder: Comic Strips]]
* ''ComicStrip/HagarTheHorrible's'' teenage daughter Honi tends to wear dresses made from riveted plates.

[[folder: Fan Fiction]]
* At the end of ''[[FanFic/TheNowakverse Under the Bridge]]'', Widget Hackwrench wears a wedding dress made of Kevlar. The fact that Widget is a mouse makes it even more remarkable.
* The [[VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition Lady Inquisitor]] receives one of these in ''[[Fanfic/TwiceUponAnAge All This Sh*t is Twice as Weird]].'' It's actually a set of armor made from dragonskin, but the design causes her to delightedly describe it as "a battledress."[[note]]The design is based on the Taken Shape armor found in the ''Trespasser'' DLC.[[/note]]

[[folder: Live-Action Films]]
* In the Walden Media film version of ''Film/TheLionTheWitchAndTheWardrobe'', the White Witch wears a breastplate and a chainmail dress to battle, along with [[spoiler: Aslan's shorn mane]].
** The film version of ''Film/PrinceCaspian'' has Susan actively participating in more battles than the book, wearing chainmail, leather, and a long skirt, and making her a fully-fledged LadyOfWar.
* Mary of Guise is shown wearing [[CostumePorn a fancy dress]] [[PimpedOutDress appropriate for a dowager queen]] under [[BoringButPractical a sensible breastplate]] when she taunts the English after a battle in ''Film/{{Elizabeth}}''.
* ''Film/{{Ironclad}}'': When the enemy gets inside the castle, Lady Isabel changes into an elegant and surely custom-made dress incorporating armor, wearing it into battle without even tying back her long hair. It's not a practical design, there's no explanation of who made it for her, and such a garment never existed; it's just pure RuleOfGlamorous.

[[folder: Literature]]
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', Nynaeve, in a moment of insecurity in Tel'aran'rhiod (a place where clothing can change at a whim), wears an impossible dress made of armor plating.
* Literature/HonorHarrington's tunics and tabards are made of a material with (limited) anti-ballistic properties. Mostly because [[BondCreature Nimitz]] likes to ride on her shoulder and his claws would shred any lesser material. It has saved her life on one occasion, and her bodyguard's comfort in knowing she wears them is repeatedly mentioned.
* In the ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'' series by Brandon Sanderson, the main character, Vin, is fitted for ball gowns that are designed to allow for a range of motion, silent movement, and with hidden pockets. She still prefers ''not'' to have to fight in them, since they tend to wind up destroyed if she does, but being CrazyPrepared she's just more comfortable if she has the option open.
* In "The Sleeping Beauty" of the ''Literature/TalesOfTheFiveHundredKingdoms'' series, the princess wears dresses with plated corsets, leather collars, and special pockets for weapons.
* In ''Literature/{{Elvenborn}}'', the protagonist's mother has a dress made of a million bazillion tiny metal plates with diamonds over them. Though she isn't shown fighting in it, it is implied to be very old and come from a dangerous time. The protagonist, who is a military expert, theorizes that "it could turn a blade."
* In ''[[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar Queen's Own]]'', Talia wears a formal outfit to Elspeth's investiture as Heir that looks elegant, but has been subtly modified so that she could fight in it, and has several concealed weapons.
* ''Literature/TheGirlInTheSteelCorset'': The eponymous steel corset is to be worn under a fancy dress, and it doubles as light armor.
-->''A steel corset--thin, shiny bands with embossed flowers and leaves, held together with tiny hinges to allow ease of movement. Little gears and other decorative pieces of steel were soldered over some of the larger gaps between bands. The garment looked like an industrial metal flower garden. "The spaces are small enough that bullets and most blades won't be able to get through, and if someone hits you the bounder's going to break a knuckle or two."''

[[folder: Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'': Xena's [[spoiler: wedding dress]] in "Soul Possession" was both stylish, practical and [[http://media.photobucket.com/image/xena%20wedding%20soul%20possession/Gabbyfan/Xena/soulpossession-wedding.jpg pretty damn cool]].
** Also [[http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/7859/xena81re0.jpg this little number]] from "Return of The Valkyrie".
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Cersei has a dress with a plate of metal in it as armor, which she sports in the last half of "Blackwater" although it's abundantly clear that it's all just for show.

[[folder: Manhua]]
* From ''Manhua/InfinityGame'' most of the female warrior [=NPCs=] from the previous game had this as a uniform, such as D.D. who still wears hers in combat.

[[folder: Mythology and Religion]]
* Greek Athena is typically depicted as wearing a helmet (as a cap so that it doesn't obscure her head) and a varying amount of armor over her dress.

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* In the art for the ''VideoGame/{{Everquest}}'' pen & paper RPG book, the studded leather armor is drawn like an armored dress.
* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons 3.5'', the "glamered" enchantment allows armor to appear as normal clothing, which can be used to achieve this effect.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' has the artifact silken armor. It's ordinary clothing made out of a magical silk that offers the protection of light armor, allowing for this look.
* In ''[[TabletopGame/UnhallowedMetropolis Unhallowed Metropolis]]'' Mourners wear mourning garments that have been styled to include battle corsets (armored), and pocket-slits in the skirt part for drawing their blades.
* Bujinki Amaterasu, of the Bujin archetype in the ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh OCG'' is wearing Bujingi Peacock as a skirt, and she has the highest attack out of the Bujin.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* The hoplite class in ''VideoGame/EtrianOdyssey III'', pictured above, wears dresses that are loaded with armor plating.
** The Princess class has a lighter armor dress, with [[RequisiteRoyalRegalia tiaras]], frills, and [[PrettyInMink fur trim]] paired with metal boots, gauntlets, and one dress with a breastplate.
* Chris Lightfellow of ''VideoGame/SuikodenIII'' wears armor with a skirt.
* Creator/{{Vanillaware}} often uses this design for female fighters, especially those with heavy armor.
** The eponymous heroine of ''VideoGame/PrincessCrown''.
** Homaged with Princess Eclair in ''VideoGame/LaPucelle''.
** Gwendolyn, from ''VideoGame/OdinSphere''. Her supposed battle dress is fabulous, having loads of FluffyFashionFeathers and ruffles.
** Appears in ''VideoGame/GrandKnightsHistory''.
* ''VideoGame/SoulCalibur IV'', [[http://soulcalibur.wikia.com/wiki/Ashlotte Ashlotte's outfit.]]
** ''Soul Calibur III'' offered this as an option for female created fighters, whether mix-and-match or complete armoured outfit.
* ''VideoGame/WildArmsXF'' has [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100623051909/wildarms/images/7/7f/Untitled.jpg Alexia,]] who wears a PimpedOutDress accessorized with plate mail into battle.
* ''VideoGame/SamuraiShodown''[='s=] Charlotte goes tank on top, skirt on bottom.
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' has Yukari Yakumo. While her battle dress ''looks'' normal, Hong Meiling's victory quote against her implies that Yukari has some sort of armor underneath her gown, saying "I felt some odd resistance. What are you wearing underneath your clothes?" Being both a supernatural being and a RealityWarper, it could very well be that Yukari's skin and/or bones are incredibly tough, so much so that it feels as hard as armor.
* Most of the armor sets for the female avatars in the ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'' games are either this or {{Stripperiffic}}.
* ''VideoGame/{{Mabinogi}}'' features several sets of female armour that qualify as this, with skirts ranging from knee-length to full-length, like [[http://wiki.mabinogiworld.com/index.php?title=Leminia%27s_Holy_Moon_Armor_%28F%29 Leminia's Holy Moon Armor]] for female characters. It's pretty much the male version with a skirt and is the most expensive armor buyable from [=NPCs=].
* In ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'', [[http://images.wikia.com/chrono/images/a/ae/Prism_Dress.jpg the Prism Dress]] is the strongest armour, and can only be worn by women.
* Lenneth, Hrist, and Silmeria from the ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile'' series all have outfits that fit this trope.
* Special mention goes to ''VideoGame/DarkSouls''. While there are "gown"-looking armor in the game, there's usually no reason to equip it except for the (now-patched and nerfed) Antiquated Skirt, which has disproportionately high defense compared to the rest of the set. Coupled with real armor for the upper body and a female character, and you have this trope.
* Alva's Set from ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsII'' plays this straight to a tee, it's a knight armor with a red skirt. Unlike most examples, not only it can be worn by both gender, Alva, the owner of this armor was ''male''.
* ''VideoGame/SengokuRance'' has [[GenderFlip Uesugi Kenshin]], who wore her ''kacchu'' styled Japanese armor over her hakama/gii and a NiceHat.
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderOfEcclesia'' gives the heroine Shanoa the option of wearing either heavy armor or dresses into battle. The armor usually has the higher defense, but the dresses tend to increase other stats in addition to defense. Her standard outfit is a high-slit SexyBacklessOutfit, a sturdy breast plate, and plated thigh-high boots.
* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'', characters can reproduce this effect by wearing their armor with a robe or skirt, which will hang out over any trousers or leg armor.
* In the Japan-exclusive game ''VideoGame/SigmaHarmonics'', one of Neon's possessions has her wearing one of these. With multiple swords ''built into the dress''.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' has some rather recent examples:
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' introduced the [[CombatMedic War Cleric]] class, a female-only class that promotes from the standard Cleric and Troubadour classes. The outfit [[http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130119123312/fireemblem/images/d/d0/Cleric.jpg War Clerics]] wear consists of a normal dress covered with leather armor, gauntlets, a helmet, and a metal farthingale-like structure around the skirt.
** The Shrine Maidens and Priestesses from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'' [[http://fireemblem.wikia.com/wiki/File:FE14_Shrine_Maiden_(Generic).jpg wear]] [[http://fireemblem.wikia.com/wiki/File:FE14_Priestess_(Generic).jpg outfits]] that look like a cross between this trope and traditional {{miko}} robes. It's further empathized with [[http://fireemblem.wikia.com/wiki/File:FE14_Shrine_Maiden_(Sakura).jpg Princess]] [[http://fireemblem.wikia.com/wiki/File:FE14_Priestess_(Sakura).jpg Sakura's]] unique models.
** In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemEchoesShadowsOfValentia'', the women in the [[http://fireemblem.wikia.com/wiki/Saint Saint]] class wear [[http://fireemblem.wikia.com/wiki/File:Echoes_Saint_Concept.png long and puffy dresses]] plus breast plates to battle. Their Over Class/Promotion, the [[http://fireemblem.wikia.com/wiki/Exemplar Exemplar]], take the trope UpToEleven by adding a BadassCape and a golden shield.
* Lady Aribeth de Tylmarande in ''VideoGame/NeverWinterNights'' wears an ankle-length long skirt over her armor, tucked under her breastplate to [[http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m67e9uhNu01qa64bjo1_500.jpg give this appearance.]] However, this is only in character portraits, promotional art, and cutscenes, her in-game model lacks this long skirt and shows her armored boots and greaves which would otherwise be underneath it.
* Some of Refia's outfits in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII'', like the [[http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110115113800/finalfantasy/images/f/f5/Refia-Knight.png Knight]] and [[http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110115113758/finalfantasy/images/c/cc/Refia-Dragoon.png Dragoon,]] have a short skirt attached to the armor, perhaps to set her apart from her male companions.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'', some of the generic female job classes have this look, particularly heavily armored classes like the [[http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20111202162738/finalfantasy/images/8/86/FFTKnightFemale.png Knight]] and [[http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20111202171531/finalfantasy/images/e/ed/FFTDragoonFemale.png Dragoon.]]
* ''VideoGame/TacticsOgre'', at least in the 2011 re-imagining of ''Let Us Cling Together'', features [[http://blog-imgs-37.fc2.com/s/a/l/saloonrpg/tacticsogre_class_knight_8_JPG.png this geddup]] for its female knights.
* ''Videogame/FalloutNewVegas'' DLC 'Dead Money' introduces Vera's dress. An armour rating of 2 is nothing to boast about when you have access to 18 to 25 later on, but it's still an armoured LittleBlackDress. With the right build (and accessories), you can have a very satisfying time assaulting Caesar's Legion wearing this thing.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'' allows ballistic weave to be applied to some clothing including various sequined dresses. The weave makes the dress much more effective than most of the armor in the game and puts the wearer into high heals in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
* Some of the higher level [[AnAdventurerIsYou tank armor sets]] in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' qualify as unisex Battle Ballgowns - such as the [[http://img2.finalfantasyxiv.com/accimg2/0e/96/0e96c72f546ab0440126f9327aa41d55690a3463.png Valerian Terror Knight's set,]] or the [[http://img2.finalfantasyxiv.com/accimg2/5e/fe/5efe826f3d1094c8fc017dbb0a86388b8d181786.jpg Orthodox Fending set,]] combining heavy armor plating with long, flowing skirts.
* Phoebe from ''VideoGame/{{Battleborn}}'' a high-tech yet fashionable gown into battle that both aids her and makes her look fabulous.
* Princess Zelda in ''VideoGame/HyruleWarriors'' is an active playable character and as such an active combatant. As such, wears a battle dress with plate gauntlets and greaves. [[http://www.zeldadungeon.net/wiki/images/b/b9/Hyrule_Warriors_Artwork_Zelda_Baton.png See for yourself.]]
* The Taken Shape is the best armor available in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'', although it's only found in the ''Trespasser'' DLC. It's probably not intended to be this, since it can be worn by literally any character regardless of gender or race, but the nature of the design gives it a distinctly dress-like appearance.

[[folder: Visual Novels]]
* Saber of ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' has a regular PimpedOutDress, but when she heads into battle she adds an armor overdress to it.
* All 6 contestants in the ''VisualNovel/PrincessWaltz'', whose dresses (being comprised of magic and being of varying designs) ''are'' their armor. Particular note goes to Angela, who flawlessly accents her dress with a breastplate.

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* The Kyoshi Warriors' uniforms from ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Danny Phantom}}'' episode "Beauty Mark" Sam wears one.
* One of the "Princesses on Parade" in ''WesternAnimation/TheSwanPrincess'' wears one of these.

[[folder: Webcomics]]
* The outfit [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20080425 Mamma Gkika]] of ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' wears when she's introduced looks like it could probably deflect a battleaxe stroke.
** However, the outfit ''General'' Gkika wears is a [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20111230 lot more reasonable]]. Battleaxe included.
* Downplayed in ''Webcomic/{{Darken}}'', where [[TheBaroness Duchess Jill d'Avron]] patronizes [[http://darkencomic.com/?webcomic_post=20051128 Miss Fifi's Boutique and Armory]] for SimpleYetOpulent dresses with plenty of discreet reinforcements.
--> '''Komiyan:''' You don't look like you're wearing armour.\\
'''Jill:''' Discretion is the better part of fashion.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* The Lorica Segmentata of UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire is a segmented armor placed on a red tunic, soft on the inside and hard on the outside. Being a tunic, it is already skirt-like even without the armor pieces.
* The Surcoat is a cloth piece placed on chainmail armor; it covers the metal parts from sunlight to prevent burning, as well as being decorative.
* Many regnant queens in Medieval Europe wore these at some point or another. As monarchs, their presence at the battlefield with armor on like their men was a great popularity boost and inspiration for the troops, but ''not'' wearing female clothing under (i.e. dresses) would have been a scandal. The problems derived from fighting with long skirts that could be easily grabbed and used to throw them off a horse weren't such because they never got into combat proper anyway.