A dress that is lightly to heavily armored, and thus would fit in either a social gala or an epic melee. The form of the dress can range from a fancy dress accessorized with armor and/or weapons (even if it also has typical dress trimmings), to basically a suit of armor with a skirt.
The point of this dress seems to be a combination of Rule of Glamorous
and Rule of Cool
, as such an outfit will almost always be Impossibly Cool Clothes
. Armored skirts were
historically used (and mostly for men
at that) as they allowed waist protection to be maximized without obstructing the legs but they never got as large as many of the examples in this article as the sheer weight would restrict mobility anyway.
Naturally the ladies wearing these kinds of dresses are almost always Action Girls
: Ladies Of War
and Badass Princesses
or other tropes related to Silk Hiding Steel
(literally inverted in this case). If the dress is on the fancy end, it overlaps with Kicking Ass in All Her Finery
. If any other girl ends up wearing this, expect her to fall over almost immediately, if she can even move.
of Pimped-Out Dress
and Costume Porn
A Sister Trope
to Lady Legionnaire Wear
Compare Stylish Protection Gear
, Scary Impractical Armor
, or Powered Armor
Contrast Chainmail Bikini
Remember that this is an armored dress, not simply a fancy dress worn in battle.
Anime and Manga
- Paintings of Joan of Arc often show her in armor with a skirt.
- At the end of Under the Bridge, Widget Hackwrench wears a wedding dress made of Kevlar. The fact that Widget is a mouse makes it even more remarkable.
- In The Wheel of Time, 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.
- Honor Harrington's tunics and tabards are made of a material with (limited) anti-ballistic properties. Mostly because 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 "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 Crazy-Prepared she's just more comfortable if she has the option open.
- In "The Sleeping Beauty" of the Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series, the princess wears dresses with plated corsets, leather collars, and special pockets for weapons.
- In "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 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.
- From Infinity Game 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.
- In the art for the Everquest pen & paper RPG book, the studded leather armor is drawn like an armored dress.
- In Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, the "glamered" enchantment allows armor to appear as normal clothing, which can be used to achieve this effect.
- In "Unhallowed" Mourners wear mourning garments that have been styled to include battle corsets (armored), and pocket-slits in the skirt part for drawing their blades.
- The hoplite class in Etrian Odyssey III, pictured above.
- The Princess class has a lighter armor dress, with tiaras, frills, and fur trim, on the one hand, but metal boots, gauntlets, and one dress with a breastplate, on the other hand.
- Chris Lightfellow of Suikoden III
- Vanillaware often uses this design for female fighters, especially those with heavy armor.
- Soul Calibur IV, Ashlotte's outfit.
- Soul Calibur III offered this as an option for female created fighters, whether mix-and-match or complete armoured outfit.
- Wild ARMs XF has Alexia◊, who wears a Pimped-Out Dress accessorized with plate mail into battle.
- Samurai Shodown's Charlotte goes tank on top, skirt on bottom.
- 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 Reality Warper, 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 Monster Hunter games are either this or Stripperiffic.
- Tactics Ogre, at least in the 2011 re-imagining of Let Us Cling Together, features this geddup◊ for its female knights.
- Mabinogi features several sets of female armour that qualify as this, with skirts ranging from knee-length to full-length, like 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 Chrono Trigger, the Prism Dress◊ is the strongest armour, and can only be worn by women.
- Lenneth, Hrist, and Silmeria from the Valkyrie Profile series all have outfits that fit this trope.
- Special mention goes to Dark Souls. 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.
- Sengoku Rance has Uesugi Kenshin, who wore her kacchu styled Japanese armor over her hakama/gii and a Nice Hat.
- Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia 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 Sexy Backless Outfit, a sturdy breast plate, and plated thigh-high boots.
- In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, 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 Sigma Harmonics, one of Neon's possessions has her wearing one of these. With multiple swords built into the dress.
- Fire Emblem Awakening introduced the War Cleric class, a female-only class that promotes from the standard Cleric class. The outfit that War Clerics wear consists of a normal dress covered with leather armor, gauntlets, a helmet, and a metal farthingale-like structure around the skirt.
- Lady Aribeth de Tylmarande in Never Winter Nights wears an ankle-length long skirt over her armor, tucked under her breastplate to 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.
- Saber of Fate/stay night has a regular Pimped-Out Dress that she wears armor over when she heads into battle.
- All 6 contestants in the Princess Waltz, 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.
- The outfit Mamma Gkika of Girl Genius wears when she's introduced looks like it could probably deflect a battleaxe stroke.