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Costume Porn
Think just looking at this dress is impressive? Try describing it.well... 

This trope is about extremely detailed clothing, either seeing it or describing it. Seems to be more as a form of Author Appeal or Fanservice than for any important details to the plot. Seems to be most common in stuff aimed at girls and women.

This trope is usually written, but if the clothing is elaborate enough, it can be shown visually. This was especially true when royalty invokes the Ermine Cape Effect, or in period drama films from The Golden Age of Hollywood. With both, the point was in the fanciest, flashiest clothing possible.

Shows up a lot in Mary Sue stories, where it tends to be a pretty blatant display of Author Appeal. Most have at least one scene describing the character's outfit as if the clothes were part of the supporting cast.

A Super Trope to:

Sister Tropes include:

Compare: Description Porn, Scenery Porn, Technology Porn.

Contrast: Modest Royalty; Impossibly Tacky Clothes (making it clear the detailed outfit is bad).

Compare / Contrast Simple Yet Opulent.

Not to be confused with porn costumes, which tend to be a single layer to provide an excuse for the actors to strip.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Cardcaptor Sakura. Sakura has a different, detailed, cute costume for every episode, courtesy of her best friend Tomoyo.
  • Trinity Blood combines this with Scenery Porn: all characters dress breathtakingly cool and the locations look like a tourist ad for wherever in Europe they happen to be.
  • Vision of Escaflowne is slightly guilty, especially, with Allen's costume.
  • Lelouch's elaborate and nigh-ridiculous emperor outfit. Nice Hat too.
    • Everyone else is not far behind either, especially C.C. getting a complete makeover, new hairstyle and a new ridiculous costume out of nowhere for one episode in Season 2.
    • Not to mention the art books.
      • Well the character designs were made by CLAMP.
  • Ronin Warriors loves showing off how complex and intricate the various armors are. A lot of the Stock Footage revels in showing off the heroes suits from every conceivable angle.
  • Due to the pretty blatant Author Appeal, Ai Yazawa sometimes devotes endless panels and splash pages to showcasing the costumes her fashion designer characters create from every possible angle. Yukari modeling the Pimped-Out Dress from Paradise Kiss is probably the worst offender, but it happens many other times both in that series and Gokinjo Monogatari.
  • Yuuko Ichihara's wardrobe is a veritable catalog of of ludicrously orgasmatastic clothing designs.
    • Special points to Xxx HO Li C here because the only times Yuuko ever wears the same outfit twice is once in a dream sequence and once in real life, and it is in-universe memorable enough that Watanuki comments on it... and even gets worried because of it. His fear is justified.
    • Since Yuuko's death, Watanuki has taken over not only her role as shopkeeper, but also as CLAMP's mannequin for unique and frequent Costume Porn.
    • Similarly, anything Tomoyo makes for Sakura in Cardcaptor Sakura. Really though, just CLAMP in general.
    • The splash pages of many CLAMP manga are used primarily as an excuse to dress the characters up in elaborate and exquisitely detailed costumes. Pick up any of their artbooks and see.
  • Gankutsuou takes this trope to eye-bleeding extremes.
  • Rose of Versailles revels in this. (See the pictures on PimpedOutDress.Anime And Manga and Requisite Royal Regalia pages for just an idea.)
  • The Bride Of The Water God has a vast array of beautiful Korean costumes.
  • Pet Shop of Horrors, both D and thepets.
  • Most Magical Girl anime tend to have at least a little of this, but Prétear takes it above and beyond normal usage. Every one of the seven Leafé Knights transform with the Magical Girl and give her a new costume based on their Elemental Powers. And then to top it off she has a final ultimate form, the "White Prétear", who wears a regal Pimped-Out Dress. In fact, considering the Transformation Sequence with the knights is packed full of Does This Remind You of Anything?, you might consider it literal Costume Porn. The tagline when ADV Films brought the show over to America was "Wearable Bishounen!"
  • Most of the outfits in Black Butler. Special mention goes to the gown Ciel wore at a ball when cross-dressing.
  • Taken Up to Eleven in the manga A Kiss To The Prince.
  • Glass Fleet could be considered hardcore costume porn, with some of the most off the wall outfits of any show.
  • Mihara Mitsukazu's mangas (Dokuhime, The Embalmer) are filled with this, which is unsurprising since she's published in a Gothic Lolita magazine.
  • The works of Miyabi Fujieda tend to run into this fairly frequently. But it's so worth it.
  • The Storas of Amuri in Star Ocean are essentially personalized space-suits that look like very elaborate (and rather revealing) Magical Girl costumes. They also enhance and control the powers of their wearers, generate blunt projectiles seemingly out of thin air, as well as undress their users and neatly store their clothes away before covering them up again.
  • In Ouran High School Host Club, the costumes that the titular host club wear for special Cosplay events are as stylish and drool-worthy as can be expected of a rich kids' club.
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni features this. Nearly every character has a fancy elaborate outfit.
  • Reimei No Arcana also features this.
  • AKB49 - Renai Kinshi Jourei features intricate costumes for idol group members performing on stage, and a single performance will involve multiple costume changes as well.
  • Girl Friends is an interesting example - it focuses very heavily on all the different kinds of make-up and clothing the main characters play around with in luxurious detail...but since the girls are just normal middle-class Japanese high schoolers, the clothes involved are the sort that you'd expect girls in real life to be wearing, being pretty mainstream and relatively affordable. This article explains in a little more detail.
  • The Amawakuni clothing in Arata Kangatari are all beautifully designed and detailed in the Oriental fashion.
    • This isn't new for someone like Yuu Watase, as she often drew Miaka Yuuki from Fushigi Yuugi wearing really pretty Chinese-styled robes. Yui Hongou's Belly Dancer-like outfits were very easy in the eyes as well.
  • In-universe case in Detective Conan the "Kimono Goddess" filler case happens in an inn that possesses LOTS of beautiful and very pricey female kimonos (which make Ran squeal in amazement) and is near the shrine of the aforementioned Goddess. This becomes a plot-point when the Asshole victim}s, two Rich bitches named Asuka and Ema, appear dead in carefully-arranged crime scenes that involve such kimonos: this is because they caused the death of Sakurako, a girl who was a big devotée of the Kimono Goddess, and her long-lost sister Chieri/Eri was also aware of the myth so she used it as criminal theme to signify her revenge against the two assholes who got her sister killed.
    • Even more so, there's a backstory to the myth of the Goddess, and it also brings up the trope. According to it, a Naïve Everygirl named Koharu received a trunk of beautiful kimonos as thanks from a daimyo whose life she saved. The jealous daughters of the village leader accused her of theft to get them, and poor Koharu was executed. That same night, the two girls were found dead — also in carefully-arranged scenes involving these kimonos, which were supposedly caused by Koharu's soul which had become a vengeful spirit. To appease her, she was from then on referred to and venerated as the Kimono Goddess, a Shinto minor deity who is generally seen as the protector of the area... but is believed to be willing to sponsor someone's revenge if they ask her to.
    • Again invoked in another case, where we take a peek at the wardrobe belonging to an Elegant Gothic Lolita fangirl. It's a blink-and-you-may-miss-it moment in the manga version, but the anime gives us quite the tour of the girl's beautiful jewelry and clothes. Too bad that she's actually the victim of the week. And then her frilly black dress is vital to resolve the case.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • Half the text of My Immortal, the infamous Harry Potter Fan Fic, is the Mary Sue in question describing her "goffic" clothing and that of her friends (nevermind that Hogwarts requires wizard robes as uniform in the source material). All descriptions are nearly identical.
    • The best the description of the "Black Leather Pajamas".
    • Pfff, "black leather bar."
  • The Zelda fanfiction "My Inner Life" has loads of this when describing the lovely new dress and hairstyle Jenna currently has. Bonus points for the fact that some of the things she wears would look just horrid if drawn or worn in real life.
    I went to the wardrobe closet and selected a low cut pink dress with long selves and the Triforce symbol over my right breast.A pink feathery lace ran underneath my breasts. And a crisscross pattern held the back together. I pulled my hair into a bun and went downstairs.
  • Becoming Female does this:
    I was wearing a cream-colored blouse with bright purple polka dots, a fleece jacket with pink and red horizontal stripes and an olive green mini. I was wearing lavender flip-flops with lime green tube socks over my mustard yellow tights. I also had on a bra and panties, but they were under the rest of my clothes so you couldn't see them. I had dyed my hair blue and put it in buns like Princess Leia from Star Wars. All the boys stared lustfully at me while most of the girls looked incredibly jealous.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh fanfic, Decks Fall Everyone Dies, tries to hide the clothing descriptions by breaking them up, but they're still detailed descriptions:
    "Joey lounged on a couch that had been spray-painted gold, wearing a blue leopard print tunic with a pink bobbed wig. With all the reflective objects and Joey's second skin of body glitter, the downstage area seemed to be bathed in light....All the audience would be able to see was the glow-in-the dark face and body paint worn by Joey....Glittering sparks shot out of holographic badges behind the two birthday hats on Joey's pectorals."
  • A Growing Affection has a handful of extended clothing descriptions, but most notably:
    • The main portion of Hinata's gown was a shimmering, medium-weight, pure white silk mikado. The edges of the fabric were all stitched with a golden filigree of small, overlapping triangles. The bride's dress was strapless like those of her attendants. But the pale beauty's bodice was so perfectly fitted it almost appeared to be paint instead of fabric. It clung tightly to every curve of her exquisite breasts, dipping slightly between her cleavage. The gown wrapped around her toned stomach, revealing the slight indent of her navel. The upper portion of the dress also had short sleeves connected under her arms, covering from the middle of her biceps to just above Hinata's elbows. Unlike her friends, the young woman wore no gloves, and her engagement ring shone brightly on her finger. The ivory material split just below the waist, creating a wide slit in front while the rest of the dress flared out dramatically, flowing around her in vertical pleats. A cape-like extension off the back of the bodice and sleeves added an additional layer to the back of the gown. The silk ended a full six-inches above the floor. Underneath there was an underskirt of pale lavender, but unlike the white silk this part of the dress had a matte finish. The second layer went all the way to the floor, and as was also visible through the gap in the front. The bride wore a simple silver circlet on her head, with a veil of lace hanging out of the headpiece down to just below her chin.
  • In Homestuck fandom, redesigning the characters' simple outfits, either for cosplay purposes or fashion purposes, is absurdly common. Rumminov's Fancy Dreamers and Fancy Tier designs are extremely popular, as well as Mookie's various J-fashion designs, but there are many more popular ones as well. Some of these popular designs, such as Meenah's various custom God Tier outfits, Porrim's "party dress" (based on Asian fashion) and Equius's fetishistic maid costume (which the artist apparently never sent to Hussie, but which he put in anyway) were canonised in the "Ministrife" flash.
  • The author of Moon Daughter, a Percy Jackson fanfiction, does this a lot:
    I was resolved so I put on some black eyeliner and some dark red lipstick that was the color of blood to remind me of my mission. I put on a silver tank top and a blavk jacket that was made from lether with a sliver zipper and a sliver moon on the cuffs, I put on black skinny jeans with sliver threads sown threw them and a pair of black converse with dark red laces. My hair I cut on the edges a little to make it more ragged.

    Films — Animated 
  • Coraline proves that with sufficiently careful art direction, mundane everyday clothes can look just as good if not better than the most elaborate dresses.
  • Nearly everyone in How to Train Your Dragon is wearing a bearskin vest, which must have been terrible for the animators considering how difficult fur is to animate. For individual characters, Hiccup's riding vest is meticulously detailed to the last buckle. Meanwhile, Astrid's distinctive shirt and armwarmers are made with naalbinding (a traditional Viking form of knitting), and the yarn is of many different shades and thickness to showcase a rough, homespun and hand-dyed look.
  • As seen in the page picture, Disney Princess costumes can be very elaborate. Note that usually the most elaborate costuming is on the merchandise more than the movies, since the more detailed the costume, the harder it is to animate.
  • The Barbie films are full of this. Good Lord are they ever.
  • The Anastasia movie is full of this. Most notable examples would have to be Anya's yellow silk Dream Sequence dress, the svelte navy and sparkly Parisian Opera dress, her blue court dress at the beginning of the movie, and her yellow court dress at the end of the movie.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The entire Elizabeth Taylor Cleopatra was one huge orgy of this.
  • The Bollywood epic Devdas was an amazing example of this, and at the time broke records for the sheer amount spent on costume and design.
  • Queen Amidala of Star Wars. Each of those dresses is based on a Real Life cultural dress, by the way. One of the most iconic outfits is based on a Mongolian wedding dress.
    • There was a point to this, but All There in the Manual. As Queen, she's not supposed to be a person but a living symbol of her people's culture and traditions. They went over the top on traditional designs and makeup so people would first think Queen of the Naboo, not Padme Naberrie. Even the neat little mark on her lower lip was symbolic. It's the Mark of Remembrance to serve as a constant reminder of Naboo's bloody past.
    • It did have a plot purpose because she is supposed to be in disguise as a handmaiden on Tatooine and not revealed to be the same person until later in the movie.
    • When Padme's "just" a senator (and even in private) her clothes continue to be elaborate and beautiful;there was a tie-in website written as a Corruscant news site where a fashion critic gushed over her outfit.
    • Also averted. While Padme's (massive) wardrobe gets plenty of time onscreen, the costume department also dedicated tremendous effort to outfitting extras that only got about 3 seconds of screentime during a crowd scene. Case in point: Opula Deget.
  • Curse of the Golden Flower pays special attention to the ridiculously opulent costumes and stylized armor worn by every character in the film. At one point, the king beats someone to death with his solid-gold belt.
  • Downplayed in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings. According to Bernard Hill (King Théoden), many of his costumes had elaborate golden embroidery that was too detailed to ever be appreciated (or even noticed) on the camera. The meticulous costume designers added it anyway in order to help him get into character. The armorers even added an elaborate gold design to the inside of his breastplate, which they justified as a protective thing.
    • The above can be seen in the appendices included in the DVD release of Return of the King, where the costume designers show some of their work, including Gandalf the White's undershirt which has elaborate gold embroidery despite being completely concealed by the rest of his clothes in every scene, and a dress that Arwen wears for a single sequence lasting no more than a minute, yet the dress itself is so beautifully stitched and made of such exotic materials (including silk shipped in from India) that it seems like a tremendous waste of money.
      • This is true for almost all the costumes and props made for the films; Jackson could frame his shots ad lib and not accidentally capture someone whose sword was made of cardboard wrapped in tinfoil.
    • The Mordor Orcs in the third movie have very elaborate armor and banners, but you will hardly notice it.
    • Since the Bagginses are relatively wealthy, Frodo's clothing is made from richer materials, though of the same style as that of the other Hobbits.
      • This doesn't quite make sense, since the Tooks are richer than Bagginses, and Brandybucks at around the same level, yet Merry and Pippin still wear simpler materials than Frodo.
      • Both of those families are quite large; there is only one Baggins at Bag End, at that point in the story.
    • The armour that Aragorn wore when Gondor and Rohan marched to Mordor was beautiful, featuring silver threaded embroidery in the shape of the Tree of Gondor. Let that sink in. They embroidered boiled leather with silver thread. There is not an appropriate metaphor to convey how difficult that is to do.
    • The armour that Sauron wore in the beginning of the film was only onscreen for about 45 seconds, but the whole thing was covered in an extremely subtle poison ivy motif engraved and acid etched into the steel.
  • The Fifth Element. Costumes by Jean-Paul Gaultier!
  • Zeffirelli's 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet. The Renaissance costumes are absolutely breathtaking and absolutely period-accurate, with hundreds of yards of elaborately pleated cotton velvet on the women and raunchy, colourful tights and codpieces on the men. It deservedly won an Oscar for Best Costume Design that year.
  • The Duchess. Keira Knightley wore a new dress every single scene!!!
    • In general, anything with Keira Knightley will follow this trope.
      • Special mention must go to that damn gorgeous green dress she wore in Atonement. It outranked Audrey Hepburn's Little Black Dress and Marilyn Monroe's iconic white number on a list of most beautiful dresses ever used in film!
  • Marie Antoinette films. The Sofia Coppola one in particular set out to deliberately invoke the trope.
  • Velvet Goldmine is a hardcore costume porn orgy.
  • Dangerous Liaisons, the 1988 film. The costumes were so amazing you see them popping up in later historical dramas, too.
  • Another huge fashion show was from the pages of Vogue in The Devil Wears Prada.
  • Xerxes's entire gold ensemble in 300.
  • The 1936 musical The Great Ziegfeld. Good gods and demons, the film is loaded with it.
  • Some Hammer Horror. Definitely.
  • Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula was a feast of fruitcake, opulent costumes.
  • The Cell, outfitted by the same designer, took Dracula's costumes Up to Eleven due to being set mostly in a psychotic Living Doll Collector's Mental World.
  • Mirror, Mirror, by the same director, is this "dialed down" for a kid's movie.
  • W.E., about Prince Bertie's brother's affair with Wallis Simpson. Not surprising since Wallis was more glamorous than Elizabeth and the film was produced by Madonna.
  • The kimonos in Memoirs of a Geisha.
  • A few gowns in Ever After, most notably the gown Danielle wears to the masquerade ball.
  • Film/[Enchanted: Giselle makes her own costume porn, for the most part; the evil queen's outfit is just ridiculous.
  • Spoofed beautifully in one segment in the comedy What A Way To Go!, with Shirley MacLaine's character going through five or six extravagant gowns in as many scenes.
  • The Lana Turner vehicle Love Has Many Faces is less well-remembered for its paper-thin plot than for its exorbitant “million dollar wardrobe” (courtesy of legendary Hollywood costumer Edith Head, no less). Some have jokingly referred to the film as Love Has Many Costume Changes.
  • Played to the max is Snow White & the Huntsman, especially with Ravenna who wears a new dress in almost every scene. Also everyone during King Magnus and Ravenna's wedding and later at Snow White's coronation.
  • The dapper suits in the 2011 film adaptation Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

    Literature 
  • The Baby-Sitters Club does this. Any given book will have several detailed descriptions of all the girls' outfits, but especially Claudia's. There's usually a shopping trip to the local mall, too, which enters Fridge Logic territory when one wonders how they manage to afford all that stuff on their $4.00-an-hour babysitting gigs.
  • The Clique does this a lot.
  • The Reynard Cycle: Each entry in the series features at least one scene where what characters are wearing is described in lavish detail.
  • Every outfit in The Time Traveler's Wife is described. In detail.
  • Sara Crewe's shopping trip with her daddy at the beginning of A Little Princess.
  • According to a reviewer, the description of the heroine's gorgeous 17th century clothes in the historical romance Forever Amber is quite impressive.
  • Parodied in The Princess Bride book, where supposedly pages of such description were redacted from the "original version".
  • Likely to occur with anything William Marsh is wearing in Darkness Visible - azure silk waistcoats and nice hats abound.
  • The Wheel of Time. Suffice to say that if one removes all the gratuitous clothing descriptions from the novels, the total page count would likely go down at least 40%.
  • Occasionally the more elaborate outfits worn by the Hawkbrothers in the Heralds of Valdemar series will get this treatment. One particular example of this was during the many ceremonies held toward the beginning of Owlknight, with each of the participants wearing a separate costume for each one, all described in detail.
    • Mercedes Lackey also goes into enough detail on Tudor and Elven attire in the four-novel series about the young (Queen) Elizabeth that reproducing the outfits for a costuming competition would be child's play.
    • And in her Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series, where the female protagonist's Gorgeous Period Dress (and most of the rest of her wardrobe) gets a loving description.
    • And in her Elemental Masters series, which transcribes the basic details of fairy tale plots into urban Victorian London.
    • And in... well. Suffice it to say Mercedes Lackey really loves this trope.
  • The novel The Vampire Lestat's protagonist always goes to great length to describe his wardrobe.
  • The short story The Eye of Argon would periodically skid to a halt to describe a character's clothing in elaborate Purple Prose. This would happen whether the character in question was a Main or merely a Mook who would be killed off seconds after being introduced.
  • While it can of course be overdone costume description, if done well can contribute to characterization and atmosphere. A writer that tends to use it very well is Barbara Hambly.
  • In every single Gossip Girl book (and all of its copycats) the author spends paragraphs discussing what each character is wearing down to the shoes and the lingerie, so much so that if a character is wearing a jeans and t-shirt it begins to sound opulent.
  • Twilight often gets into this, especially when Bella is whining about some spectacular designer outfit Alice forced her to wear and of course whatever beige ensemble Edward is wearing at the moment. Admittedly, Meyer manages to tone it down by the last book by staggering the descriptions instead of creating walls of text.
  • This is done in the book version of American Psycho, but partially in a subversion: while the narration makes it sound like the '80s businessmen are clad in the most powerful of power suits, if one were to actually look at the items in question, they'd realize they look absolutely ridiculous.
  • At the end of The Man Who Was Thursday Chesterton places each character in ceremonial garb meant to personify the days of the week. They are all described, though not in excruciating detail - it only takes up a few pages.
  • Comes up a lot in the Earth's Children series. Ayla was raised by a Clan who did not decorate their clothing, and is impressed by and eager to learn other groups' methods for beading and embroidery. Because Jean Auel did lots of research, this is one way she shows her work.
  • Laurell K. Hamilton abuses this no end, especially when Jean-Claude and his sexed-up get-ups make an entrance. Parodied excellently here.
  • The Hermux Tantamoq Adventures includes vivid descriptions of the characters' luridly-coloured clothing, particularly the bizarre outfits worn by Rich Bitch Tucka Mertslin.
  • Jerry B. Jenkins, 'co-author' and actual writer of the Left Behind books, spends more time in Tribulation Force describing Hattie and Steve's new Antichrist-approved outfits than he ever spent describing the scenes of horror that surely must have been unfolding in the first book following the disappearance of a third of the world's population in the Rapture.
  • The Mabinogion brings us the early-medieval Dream of Macsen Wledig, which is stuffed full of characters who turn up only to get the beautiful colors and magnificent materials of their clothes, armor, and horses described. Oh, and drop off messages.
    • This is theorized to have happened mainly because the story was composed when 'writing stuff down' was just making a comeback in the British Isles. Somebody thought it was orgasmically awesome to be able to put in this many details and be able to get them right next time without killing your brain. An amazing memory was an important necessity to the job, but remembering many long stories was much more important than getting one right after days of wandering around madly muttering, 'green...blue...red...sable...no, yellow, then sable...'
  • In his Diogenes Club series, Kim Newman writes what can only be described as costume gorn. Occult detective Richard Jeperson wears only the most eye-searingly hideous of '70s fashions, and Newman describes his outfits in detail every story.
  • In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight the clothing worn by both of the title characters is described in loving detail.
  • Much of the elaborate description of costume is left out of modern translations of The Tale of Genji as modern readers are unable to interpret the delicate social nuances, key to characterization, that would have been obvious to Murasaki' Shikibu's contemporaries.
  • Older Than Feudalism: The description of the staggeringly elaborate decorations on the Shield of Achilles in The Iliad goes on for several pages.
  • The Bible has lovingly exact specifications for the garments of the priests in the Book of Exodus.
  • The Marquis de Sade's The 120 Days of Sodom has as many detailed descriptions of the characters' costumes as it does their depravities.
  • The Hunger Games, anyone? Examples include costumes that are on fire.
    • Somewhat justified, since looking good to the viewers gets a tribute more sponsors, which in turn gives them a better chance of surviving.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "A Witch Shall Be Born", Salome goes in for this.
    Salome was clad in the barbaric splendor of a woman of Shushan. Jewels glittered in the torchlight on her gilded sandals, on her gold breast-plates and the slender chains that held them in place. Gold anklets clashed as she moved, jeweled bracelets weighted her bare arms. Her tall coiffure was that of a Shemitish woman, and jade pendants hung from gold hoops in her ears, flashing and sparkling with each impatient movement of her haughty head. A gem-crusted girdle supported a silk shirt so transparent that it was in the nature of a cynical mockery of convention
  • The descriptions of the kimonos in Memoirs of a Geisha have been described as the best part of the book.
  • Judy from Daddy-Long-Legs often describes dresses she bought with allowances from the titular character in detail.
  • In the Time Scout series, small mistakes in costume downtime can be deadly. For some reason, the characters never end up in a place where drab, simple clothes are the norm. Instead they end up mingling with high society in Victorian London. Coincidence. Yeah.
  • George R.R. Martin can spend paragraphs describing the clothing and heraldry of his characters. The greater the detail, the greater the chance the wearer will be/do/experience something significant by the end of the chapter.
  • Tamora Pierce describes all articles of clothing in great detail. This applies to both the Tortall Universe and the Circle of Magic series. In some cases, this is understandable for characterization reasons (Sandry, a seamstress and "stitch witch," naturally takes interest in fashion while Beka Cooper makes detailed observations of any suspect or persons of interest) but it's present no matter whose viewpoint you're looking through.
  • Gwen's historical costumes in The Ruby Red Trilogy are always described in loving detail.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Tudors
  • The Borgias
  • Game of Thrones, especially in opulent King's Landing and faraway lands like Qarth.
  • Boardwalk Empire. Those gangsters were sharp dressers! As were their ladies, of course.
  • The designs on Project Runway sometimes veer into this, particularly the Fashion Week final collections.
  • Chairman Kaga in Iron Chef.
  • The current (late 2009) TV ads for BBC Radio One
  • Stargate SG-1 has its fair share of this, with the different clothing styles on the various planets they visit. This is especially true in the early seasons, when they were trying to show off, and in the later seasons, when they had a huge budget.
  • Hockey Night in Canada host Don Cherry wears, uh... very flamboyant outfits.
  • Jason King, on both Department S and Jason King.
  • Doctor Who has done this from the start:
    • Tom Baker's famous bohemian outfit and the Time Lords' exquisitely layered robes and headdresses were designed by James Acheson, who later went on to win three Oscars for his stupendous costumes for Hollywood movies. Check out "The Masque of Mandragora" and "The Deadly Assassin" for his best work on the series. Also, Amy Roberts designed some rather gorgeous pieces for the stories she worked on ("Image of the Fendahl", "State of Decay", "The Keeper of Traken", "Mawdryn Undead" and the Ainley Master's velvet costume). June Hudson's work on Season 17 and 18 is also worthy of attention, particularly her radical redesign of Tom Baker's costume to give him a darker, sharper look.
    • "Pyramids of Mars". The Fourth Doctor permanently alters his style of dress from this point onwards and his new look is announced with a long shot of him slowly revealing his face from under his Eye-Obscuring Hat, then striking a pose while the camera pans out and down his body. Sarah Jane gets to wear a floaty, sparkly Victorian gown and point a rifle at people. And everyone else is in Gorgeous Period Dress.
    • Due to improved budget at the time, the entirety of Season 14. See "The Deadly Assassin", the Gorgeous Period Dress-heavy Costumer "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" and the awesome Raygun Gothic Art Deco couture headdresses in "The Robots of Death".
    • Doctor Who had an episode of this in the form of "The Girl in the Fireplace". Not just Reinette's gorgeous period dresses, but the outfits the clockwork robots were wearing.
  • About half the costumes on Merlin probably qualify. Gwen's purple dress is probably the best example, but Merlin's every day clothes manage to be impressive just by how natural they look. The detailing on Arthur's armor is also pretty much invisible in everything except high-res promo shots. And that's not even touching on what Morgana wears...
  • Downton Abbey: The Crawley sisters in particular seem to have an inexhaustible supply of gorgeous evening gowns.
  • Alias has a lot of this, partly justified by Sydney's need to blend in. Costumes involved range from traditional style kimono to outrageous party outfits.
  • Sex and the City
  • Gossip Girl
  • Ru Pauls Drag Race
  • Pretty Little Liars
  • Black Adder The second and third series in particular had very detailed costumes. Queenie's dress from the second series, Prince George's clothes (especially the trousers) and all of Blackadder's clothes were exquisitely detailed.
  • Noah's Arc: The fashion show, which has some wildly elaborate outfits even by fashion show standards.
  • Dr Lucy Worsley in her history documentaries just loves dressing up in period costumes and will get through at least half a dozen in a typical episode, along with a similar number of natty modern-day outfits in between.
  • JAG features full display of uniforms from the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps worn by mostly good looking people.
    • Ironic though is that the episode ("Gypsy Eyes") for which they won an Emmy for costumes featured no naval uniforms at all.

    Music 

    Online Role Playing Games 
  • In text-based chat rooms used for online role-playing, many players adopt the habit of using a cut-and-paste "description drop" for their character, either upon entering a room, or if a new player arrives and requests a quick description of who is already there. While most players will keep it to a short summary of what a casual appraisal would reveal, a significant portion indulge in extreme Costume Porn. Not only are the outfit and physical attributes described in excruciating detail, but often bits that are completely unseen (such as tattoos and piercings in areas not available for public consumption) are included, as are historical notes that no casual observer could know. In extreme cases, these will even go so far as to exceed the chat-room's character limit, forcing the player to split it into two or more posts.
  • Both played straight and averted on MU* Games. These have an on-demand version of the "description drop" mentioned above triggered by using the "look" command on something. Any player, room, or thing on the game can, and usually will, have one of these. As the content of these descriptions are entirely up to the person who can edit them, they can run the gamut of sizes. They might be an image link, a few sentences, or a huge wall of text containing massive amounts of costume porn that describes every little detail of the thing in question. They also end up averting this trope in the actual roleplay, however, because if you can stuff all your costume porn into the description of something, there's no need to repeat it in the actual roleplay.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Rey Mysterio is famous for all his unique outfits and masks that we wonder who comes up with them. He has a tradition of wearing a unique costume every WrestleMania. XIX he wore a Daredevil costume, XX he dressed as The Flash etc. His most recent addition was a Na'vi inspired costume from Avatar.
  • Macho Man Randy Savage was known for his flamboyant clothes and hats.
  • Ric Flair had a thing for frilly, sparkly and flamboyant robes which he wore during his entrances.
  • Most of the WWE divas tend to wear fancy and extravagant wrestling attire so that when WWE has as many divas in the ring as they can fit, the overall effect is a bunch of multi-colored outfits bouncing around that could probably cause a few TVs to explode.
  • The entrance attire of Japanese legend Keiji Mutoh's alter ego, The Great Muta, is this in spades.
  • Even though The Undertaker dresses mostly in black, his more elaborate outfits, especially those for WrestleMania, definitely qualify for this trope.
  • Chris Jericho and his light up jacket.
  • Christian Cage used to wear an assortment of shiny hooded jumpsuits from 2004-2009 (although he did usually keep the hood off his head for the jumpsuits he started wearing as the Instant Classic in '07).
  • Daizee Haze is known for sewing ring gear and was an ideal partner for shirt salesman Matt Sydal, as well as Delirious after his mask was damaged by Sydal, Jimmy Jacobs and Hangmen 3. Also provided new gear to her rival MsChif, who had been accused of wearing the same thing for years.
  • Daffney Unger is known for sewing entrance attire and designing all sorts of ring gear and fashions for herself, as befitting of any self styled "goth goddess". This was brought to the forefront in Shine, where Daffney formed her own squad. Tiny tilted top hats for everyone!

    Tabletop Games 
  • Depending on how skilled you are with a paintbrush, the Bling of War in Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 can get downright ridiculous. Most of the signature characters have incredibly detailed models that are an amateur painter's nightmare.
    • Of course, you can just paint on a few basic colors, use something different for the bling, and slap on some DEVLAN MUD.

    Theater 
  • Takarazuka Revue productions. The costuming budget on those things must be higher than the gross domestic product of many third-world countries.
  • Galadriel in the Toronto production of Lord of the Rings. It was the headdress that did it. Notably, they changed her costume for the London production, but it was still quite opulent.
  • Cirque du Soleil shows, to the point that the company's 25th anniversary book (2009) was a retrospective of costumes from all the shows over the years! Especially costume-riffic shows include Alegria, "O", and KA.
  • Most productions of The Phantom of the Opera turn out like this (including the film), particularly during the "Masquerade" song.
  • Shrek: The Musical, Exhibit A.
  • Disney On Ice shows, especially when the Disney Princess characters are put through their paces.
  • The 2013 West End musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory won the 2014 Olivier Award for its lavish and plentiful costumes, including an array of trick outfits that transform the full-sized adults in the ensemble into the dimunitive Oompa-Loompas. Willy Wonka's outfit alone could qualify for this trope — not only is it directly based on the description in the source novel, the details go even further, all the way down to the actor's socks (white with multi-colored, pastel polka dots).

    Video Games 
  • Virtually every Final Fantasy character, at least going by their original designs.
    • In terms of on-screen Costume Porn, Final Fantasy XII probably takes the cake with Balthier's vest/cuirass alone. Every main character (and many side characters) has a substantial amount of intricate filigree and lace-like patterns in their outfits - even if they're supposed to be dirt-poor street rats.
  • Anything that's non-Stripperific designed by Satoshi Urushihara for Growlanser and Langrisser.
  • Ayami Kojima's art for Castlevania: Symphony of the Night features some very detailed clothing. Let's take Alucard for example. The inside of his coat (not his cape) has an extreme amount of detail.
  • Dwarf Fortress allows you to create this trope through decoration, randomly determined between menacing spikes, hanging rings, encircling bands, and images, with no regard to practicality. Entirely described through text, no less.
    • Artifacts have many diverse materials as decoration, usually covering all the above decorations. Some even have images of themselves on them.
  • In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, the outfits worn by Team Galactic are otherworldly and elaborate. Gym Leaders and other major bosses in general may also fall into this category.
  • The Dynasty Warriors series is the eastern version of Satoshi Urushihara's works in terms of extreme pornography. Even when someone has a plain and basic outfit there's an 80% chance of Nice Hat after Nice Hat after... It seems the only place they skimped on the clothing was for the create-a-character 'edit generals'. See also: Kessen and Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but DW is where they save the most fantastical designs for.
  • Ragnarok Online's Maestro.
  • Assassin's Creed II goes its way to show off the opulent outfits of the Renaissance period, unusually focusing mainly on the male wardrobe. The Assassin's uniform is of course the most notable example, and a major departure from the simple robes of the first game.
    • Ezio takes it Up to Eleven in Brotherhood with this outfit.
      • That costume is loosely based on the Renaissance fashions, and should accommodate walking, running and possibly even semi-formal duelling. However, there's no way that anyone could climb in it without the loose cloth sticking to every nook imaginable.
  • In Lusternia, trademasters can periodically submit a number of cartel designs. The result is extreme customization of everything from robes to platemail to furniture. Your character can be as richly (or as drably) attired as you desire. And - like the Dwarf Fortress example above - this is achieved entirely through text!
  • The Growlanser games are loaded with this. Just peruse this official art page to see how much detail goes into the clothing.
  • The Touhou series is bursting at the seams with Costume Porn. Just take a gander at this, and this, and ...is that a starfield in her cape?!
  • So prevalent in Eternal Sonata that is listed on the game's character page under "tropes all characters have in common."
  • Barbie Super Model lapses into this sometimes. It's a game about trying to make Barbie a great super model, so it's to be expected.
  • Pokémon Conquest, the crossover between Pokémon and Nobunaga's Ambition, freely uses the Pokemon side of the crossover to get really fantastic with the Warlord outfits, especially after they promote.

    Web Comics 
  • Sire opens with this straight-jacket dress. Sadly it does not appear in the comic proper.
  • Shiniez regularly shows off some stunning pieces of fetish fashion, often dedicating entire pages to showing the full costume of a character.
  • In the Buildingverse if the fae "choose" someone's wardrobe chances are it will be either this trope or Stripperific. Like this pink wedding cake dress from Girls Next Door but then again that happened at a fairy tale ball so probably everybody aimed at costume porn (some missed). And to be fair to the fair ones, even the regular characters can go overboard with clothing like this incident from Roommates.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Suited for Success" is very much a display of Costume Porn, featuring Rarity's creative efforts in designing evening wear for her friends.
  • Prevalent in Winx Club each of the girls have unique costumes for various ocations, and get newer ones every season.

    Real Life 
  • Marie Antoinette gets associated with this, when she actually tried to make dress at Versailles more modest (although she was still required to wear the most elaborate dresses). Other Queens and Empresses have fit this trope far better, owning up to thousands of dresses.
  • Imelda Marcos's Shoe Porn.
  • The traje de luces worn by bullfighters.
  • Many of the uniforms worn by the Nazis, especially the SS. Hugo Boss designed them, so they looked great and have held up for decades. Some Internet pundits suggest that the great costumes are the reason World War II movies will continue to be made for a long time.

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alternative title(s): Gratuitous Costume Description
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