"Just whose idea was it to have this evil general running around wearing neon blue lipstick? It's hard to look like a militaristic badass when you look like you just escaped from a production of Cabaret! I kept wondering if his D&D alignment was Chaotic Fabulous!"
The heroes have had it. They've been captured and tied up, and can only watch mutely and impotently as the Evil Overlord's final plans unfold. The large, oversized doors at the far end of his cavernous control room swing open, and in walks the Big Bad himself in an ominous swirl of purple fog...
Wait. Is that a cocktail dress he's wearing? Is that a bone in his nose? Hoop earrings in his ears? A pink satin turban? Clown makeup?
Did the Evil Overlord suddenly forget that he was in a serious action-adventure and decide to play dress-up with a trunkful of his mother's old castoffs?
Uh-oh. It seems we have a Fashion-Victim Villain on our hands.
This trope comes into play whenever a villain decides to don an outrageous, over-the-top costume, usually replete with Dark Colors, Shoulders of Doom and Spikes of Villainy, thinking it will make him look like a fearless, all-powerful Bad Ass. Instead, it makes him look pitiable and ridiculous, if not slightly unhinged.
It's not hard to see why this should happen. Villainy, as a profession, tends to attract flamboyant personality types. Still, this is no excuse for dressing up as a gothic drag queen during the least appropriate times, and no amount of inhuman strength, dog-kicking, or Magnificent Bastardness can restore a villain's menace once it's been undercut by a move like this, at least most of the time. (Unless the villain happens to be a Monster Clown, and the over-the-top costume and makeup is part of his/her schtick.)
The Fashion-Victim Villain most often dresses in this manner during moments of triumph or when they're first meeting with the heroes (in a failed attempt to impress them). Sometimes they may dress like this unintentionally — a radiation suit, designed for the very utilitarian purpose of protecting the villain, may have ridiculously large hips or a phallic helmet, or be colored with loud shades. Either way, one can expect the audience watching the show to chortle a bit upon seeing the villain's new threads. The heroes themselves may mock the villain for his lack of taste, but just as often will let it pass without comment (especially if they have other, more pressing matters on their minds). The villain's allies and henchmen probably won't dare to even crack a smile around the villain (when he is around).
Of course, it was also stated in the Evil Overlord List #29, which stated "I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion." Still, that's no excuse for not doing it well.
May overlap with Highly Conspicuous Uniform if the Mooks are fashion victims, too. May overlap with Embarrassing but Empowering Outfit if the tacky duds are the source of the villains's powers.
A subset of Narm. Compare What The Hell, Costuming Department?. Contrast Man of Wealth and Taste.
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Anime & Manga
If you're a female villain or Monster of the Week in Sailor Moon, you will have a bad outfit. The rare exceptions are good guys turned into bad guys (Black Lady, Mistress 9) or the Big Bad (Galaxia, Nehellenia, Beryl), and some of them have questionable tastes.
After seeing Lelouch's and Suzaku's new outfits after episode 21, the fanbase spent weeks snickering childishly. The actual outfits really aren't that bad, being designed by CLAMP... but... well, they... are... designed by CLAMP. Lelouch's outfit is the better one of the two, but the Nice Hat just pushes it past the "Pope/Not Pope" outfit threshold. Suzaku looks OK while wearing the cape, but then he takes it off and you see he has skin-tight shoulders. The fact that their arms and legs are so long (as expected of most character designs from CLAMP) doesn't help.
A CLAMP artbook◊ shows that the Nice Hat could have been worse. the original version looked like nothing so much as a kite; the hat he does wear in the show is merely the base of the original.
CLAMP also designed an outfit for C.C. to go along with Lelouch's and Suzaku's. It actually looks pretty good, but unfortunately doesn't show up in the series (she does finally wear it in one of the last Picture Drama features).
For some, the overly fancy looking ornamental sword Lelouch carried was usually taken more seriously after he got fatally skewered by it in the last episode while others have said that the sword actually ruined the aforementioned scene for them.
Several Britannia nobles have hairstyles out of date by at least a hundred years, including the Emperor. The British just really love wigs.
About half of the main villains in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure suffer from this. You probably won't find many fans, even hard core ones, who disagree with the statement that the characters look like they're from a glam version of Fist of the North Star.
The Pillar Men wear nothing but loincloths and over-the-top Aztec accessories.
Most villains would never be able to get away with half of the costumes Dio wears throughout Part 3. Also, his Renfield, Vanilla Ice, has an even sillier outfit.
Pucci and Kira suffer from this the least, as Kira wears business suits and Pucci wears his priest outfit. The President in Steel Ball Run also averts this somewhat, at least as far as clothes - he wears a suit and a Badass Longcoat. His hair, on the other hand, looks like he ripped the banisters off several model staircases and glued them to his skull.
After the first episode of the second season (or after the release of season 2's first character sketches), the fandom has been snickering hard upon the... outfits used by Ribbons and their followers. It is really difficult to take a man in pastels seriously. Especially when he has a "chest window". And the less said about their party outfits, the better. Hilling Care, WTF is up with that tux of yours?
Graham Aker was a whole lot cooler when he wasn't wearing a goofy samurai outfit as Mr. Bushido.
The Trinity Team with their white and yellow spandex bike shorts definately count as well. Nena looks fine in hers, but the problem is that Johan wears spandex shorts and Michael's own pants are horrible as well.
Okay, so Olba Frost from Gundam X wears a purple and white jacket. Fine, doesn't look that bad with the rest of his clothing. But the electric blue boots? Oh crap, that CLASHES.
Fuala Griffon thinks she rocks a look via using cat bells as earrings and putting on a pink spacesuit. She doesn't.
Also, the Zanscare meetings become unintentionally hilarious when you see either grunts or commanders wearing really stupid-looking old-fashioned wigs. Even people who do realize the parallels between the Zanscare "fashion" and traditional looks associated to some officer posts are... weirded out, to say but politely.
Harribel. Her outfit wouldn't be so bad if she actually kept it on. Alas, her Espada tattoo is located on her enormous boobs so she needs to go topless to show it off. It only goes downhill from there.
Oh, you think Harribel is bad? Remember Nnoitora? Remember that spoon thing behind his head? Remember the Parachute pants? Remember the shoes?
Specialty of Mamoru Nagano. Probably the best example would be Possoidal, the Big Bad of Heavy Metal L Gaim. It takes a special kind of person to wear curtain-rods as epaulettes. And then there's at least half the cast of The Five Star Stories...
While Naruto generally averts this, with most villains having outfits much simpler than average for shonen (probably a necessity because everyone moves around so much), two examples still stick out: Orochimaru's otherwise normal usual outfit with the huge purple rope he wears as a belt that is tied up in a ribbon on his back (Sasuke after the Time Skip also has a rope-belt like that, but it's tied at the front and much smaller) and the outfit Sasuke wears after fighting Itachi and joining Akatsuki with the ridiculously over-sized collar.
Agon of Eyeshield 21 seems to incorporate everything that screams "douche" (rather appropriate given that he's a Jerk Jock) in to his look which frankly makes his popularity with the ladies rather perplexing. This is a 17-year-old Japanese boy who wears dreadlocks, sunglasses, and a gold chain around his neck at all times. To say nothing of the huge dragon tattoo on his back and his horrendous clothing choices (wearing an animal print dress shirt to a date is just all kinds of wrong...)
In Shiki, if you are one of the titular Shiki, if you aren't a mook, you get a fabulous outfit. Tatsumi apparently has cat ears as expressive hair and an outfit which probably gets him a lot of willing female Shiki. Then there's the Shiki who apparently is Vampire Lady Gaga. Sunako has utterly insane hair and a Victorian dress, and Megumi's fashion fails could get a page of their own.
In City Hunter, there's an In-Universe example with one of the Villains of the Week: after he managed to capture both Ryo Saeba and the girl he was protecting, a fashion designer, said girl accuses him of poor fashion taste upon seeing his clothes; this flusters him, as when they meet later after Ryo and the girl made their escape, he has put up more tacky clothes, and inevitably gets further mocked by the protagonists, to his embarrassment.
Envy of Fullmetal Alchemist, who's running around in a skirt, and a tanktop, and has his/her/its hair in what looks like a palm tree. First-Anime!Wrath is as bad or worse, since it's that same outfit on a ten-year old boy.
In the first Appleseed movie the officers of the Olympos Regular Army wear completely ridiculous teal uniforms.
While not a villain per se, at least not an outright one, Mello's outfits in Death Note are often bizarre, to say the least.
When Sugata joins the Glittering Crux in Star Driver, he comes out wearing... this.◊ Even in a show full of Camp Straight, and bad fashion choices, his outfit just goes beyond.
Papillion from Busou Renkin is most definitely a deliberate example. After his transformation into a homunculus, he then dons...this◊. Most characters are weirded out by his bizarre fashion sense (except for his family and Cloudcuckoolanders like Kazuki and Captain Bravo.) Anything else he wears post-transformation will be equally strange and unsettling.
And Mysterio, who wears what appears to be an upside-down goldfish bowl on his head. This is especially hilarious because he's supposed to be a Master of Illusion, yet he apparently has never thought that it might be a good idea to create the illusion that he isn't wearing an upside-down goldfish bowl on his head. Eventually they caught on, and when his illusionary gas was enhanced by Dr. Doom, he went around town with the rest of Spider-Man's Rogues Gallery in various disguises — a metal band, a punk band, and a schoolboy — with the rest of them as schoolgirls. They didn't know how they appeared.
The exact same thing was done in the first Spider-Man Playsation game, if "What If?" mode was activated.
It seems that everyone has made fun of Mysterio's headgear — Marvel Ultimate Alliance has Spidey bringing it up if he's part of your team on the helicarrier, for example. In fact, "fishbowl for a head" is Spidey's favorite method of addressing him.
They fixed that in Ultimate Spider-Man where he loses the fishbowl and instead just has a vaguely head-shaped cloud of fog drifting above the metal device he wears around his shoulders. It's actually rather creepy but still, the beads he wears around his left hand look kind of silly.
Electro is another Spider-Man villain who gets a lot of gaffe for his costume. The main thing is that mask resembles a starfish made of lightning bolts, but the rest of his lightning bolt-bedazzled costume is pretty ridiculous too. The Spectacular Spider-Man averts this by giving him an army green insulation suit, and having his mask become real electricity that obscures his face. It's considerably cooler looking. A number of other adaptations avert it these days by going with his Ultimate Marvel version, a blue-white electric Energy Being.
A rather unknown (for a reason) Marvel comic called Thunderstrike featured a villain called Carjack (WHOSE specialty was, well, carjacking. Truly a worthy opponent to the successor of the Norse god of thunder), who had dreadlocks and wore a brown trenchcoat, purple pants, huge boots and gloves and a Dr. Doom-style metallic mask.
The Flash villain The Rainbow Raider, whose armor, wristbands and boots are painted in blazing rainbow stripes. Admittedly, he is colorblind, so it's not really his fault, but still.
Doom Patrol villain Codpiece. He has a laser cannon mounted exactly where you would guess he does◊ from that name, and while he was actually pretty damn dangerous with it, the costume was no less hilarious for many reasons. Then again he fought The Doom Patrol who are... weird...
Deimos◊ from The Warlord. Between the pixie boots, the bare midriff, the long, dangling loincloth, the random high collar and the huge sleeves, there's something here for everybody to laugh at.
Sometime during the '90s, DC introduced Nightwing's future self from an alternate reality. He started a out as a good guy before being turned to the dark side rather quickly. He wasn't the first Bat-family member to do so, or the last, but certainly the worst dressed.◊ Spikes of Villainy. Mullet. Nipple piercing. Only half a shirt, but an enormous 1970's collar to compensate. Surely it all made sense in the mind of a madman. Then it in a shocking twist, it he was actually just some guy who had no relation to Nightwing whatsoever and wasn't really from the future. It was the '90s. His name was Deathwing. Let's play him off.
In Flight 714, Tintin's arch-nemesis Roberto Rastapopopulos, who had until then shown an impeccable taste in clothes, suddenly decides to put on a bizarre pink-and-cream cowboy outfit. He then undergoes a long and painful Villain Decay through the story and the cartoonist later admitted that it was the clothes that did it. Seeing his villain in that outfit had made him lose all respect for the guy.
Keith Giffen's Mister Nebula, a parody of Galactus, might as well be the best example of this trope, considering instead of eating planets, this guy travels around the Universe in his Nebulamobile, redecorating planets according to his own sense of aesthetics, which has a distinctive tasteless flair. DC released a trading card series in the early 90s; Nebula's bio stated that the only place in the universe safe from his villainy is Las Vegas, Nevada.
A lot of Golden/Silver Age villains have costumes which look somewhat outdated today, which is why it's a good thing a lot of them have been updated. They include (and are not limited to...)
Robin's first reaction when seeing The Flamingo, a master assassin who eats people's faces, and wears (well see for yourself◊) was "I was expecting scary, not gay".
No bad costume list could ever be complete without the firstChronos◊ from The DCU. Bright yellow boots; black and white striped leggings (vertical stripes at that); a red, yellow and green leotard with an hourglass symbol on the chest; and a flowing yellow cape with a high collar, topped off with a white wrestling mask that has a clock's hour and minute hands painted on it. Mercifully, the outfit was replaced for his appearance on Justice League Unlimited.
This trope is spoofed in The Return, where Big Bad Alexia and her Dragon Aurora continually dress like catwalk models with OTT fake tans and makeup and are mercilessly mocked by the heroes. Thanks to an Evil MakeoverDark Mercury also comes in for ribbing, but she is acting more as a Card-Carrying Villain on purpose so probably feels she needs the rather hideous and impractical get up.
Queen Of All Oni: Minor villain Lung, at least in the opinion of Tarakudo. And since the former's described as looking like "Ming The Merciless'Goth cousin", the latter may have a point. And in addition to clothes, Tarakudo also derides Lung's choice of lair, viewing his abandoned, ancient, cliffside fortress as an unoriginal cliche.
Xenos, the evil priest king from Outlaw of Gor. Even the fact that he was played by the incredibly Badass Jack Palance couldn't make up for the fact that he was wearing a long dress and a hat that looked like an opening seed pod.
A utilitarian example occurs in the James Bond film, Dr. No. The protective suit the title character wears at the end of the film is Narmtastic.
The above was parodied at the end of the first Austin Powers movie. The clear see-thru suit Dr. Evil is wearing seems to serve no useful purpose, other than making him comically slide off chairs whenever he tries to sit on them.
Dr. Evil: Mr. Powers, how do you like my quasi-futuristic attire? I designed it myself.
The Masters of the Universe movie. Frank Langella's golden Skeletor costume, acquired after he achieves ultimate power, plows a line right through Narm and crosses back over to Awesome again. It's like a gay metallic Chiquita-Banana-ator.
An example occurs in the live-action Dr. Seuss movie The 5,000 Fingers Of Dr. T. The costume the title mad conductor wears at the end is probably the most flamboyant example of this trope ever made. The villain's dress-up routine even gets its own song written about it.
While the franchise is partially based around silly costumes, Riddler's light-up jacket from Batman Forever qualifies. Riddler spent the entire movie getting steadily more ridiculous, culminating in a costume containing five thousand pounds of glitter. It's so bad he makes a jokeabout it:
Riddler: Like the jacket? It keeps me safe when I'm jogging at night.
Two-Face's outfit in the same film gives him a run for his money. The "evil" half of the costume incorporates a fluorescent-pink-and-black zebra stripe suit and a yellow leopard-print shirt and tie combo. (He also has a tuxedo with the "evil" half patterned on a Hawaiian shirt.)
Xerxes in 300 wears a gold cape and speedo and is covered in gold chains and facial piercings. The facial piercings are a shared trait among the Persians, while the speedo seems to be a universal trait in the film's warped version of reality.
Averted in Labyrinth: clothes that would look ridiculous on a lesser man actually look pretty spectacular on David Bowie.
In its deconstruction of superheros, Watchmen features a lot of snide comments about the intentionally silly costumes that heroes and villains wear. Veidt's bright purple-and-gold suit and mask are overtly compared to Studio 54 excess.
In Zoolander, Mugatu looks like an unholy mixture of Satan, Cruella DeVille, and a poodle. He also dresses up as a young German boy during the brainwashing scene in a discutible attempt of looking like a child.
Funnily enough, Javier Bardem's two best-known characters fall prey to this trope. But where Skyfall's Raoul Silva has a tendency to dress oddly◊, Anton Chigurh's strange 70s haircut◊ only serves to make him scarier.
Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. After switching to the metal full-head helmet, suddenly his skinniness becomes more apparent and he looks like a bobblehead or lollipop. One of the few cases where Shoulders of Doom might help.
Kick-Ass 2: The Motherfucker's new costume is pieced together from bondage equipment, and thus is black leather covered in zippers and chains. He's even treated as this In-Universe.
Let's face it, the helmet that Shaw wears and Erik takes in X-Men: First Class, to block telepathy is a little ridiculous looking. Lampshaded by Shaw when he invades the CIA building where Xavier's team is staying, and on learning Xavier isn't present quips, "Well, at least I can take this silly thing off." And as silly as it looks with Shaw, it's even worse when Erik has it repainted into the same color scheme as the comic book and adds the horns to the front.
One goblin villain in The Legend of Drizzt series combined this with Rummage Sale Reject — all his clothing was scavenged at random off slain humans, and he had no idea what went with what. For that matter, he had no idea that bras are female-only.
Joel: You can bet that anybody seriously interested in world domination is gonna end up looking like a real snickerdoodle. Dr. Forrester: (in a ridiculous outfit) What is that supposed to mean?! I’ll deal with you later! Back to the drill, Frank. You will bow down before me, Son of Jor-El!Bow down!
The Master's outfit from the end of the Doctor Who movie. Seriously. Pictures here. The outfit is supposed to be Time Lord formal wear, most famous for its abundance in "The Deadly Assassin". The serial was aired twenty-one years before the movie however, so introducing it without any explanation nor the outfit's Nice Hat results in this trope. It's very much not the Time Lord clothing of the classic series, either; it's like someone saw Time Lords with their giant formal collars, thought that the collars were made of fabric and part of the robes (which means that the gigantic evil pointy collar droops a bit), and then dyed the whole thing black, red, and gold so we could tell that the guy possessing his murder victim's corpse was evil.
The short-lived Sid and Marty Krofft superheroine series Electra Woman And Dyna Girl featured some truly crazed villain outfits, but special mention must be paid to evil musician Glitter Rock, who wore a huge sparkling green afro wig paired with equally enormous star-shaped sunglasses. Glitter rock musicians' outfits tended strongly to the ridiculous, even for the '70s. Glitter Rock's outfit was ridiculous by glitter rock standards.
In The Mighty Boosh, Vince is such a fashionista that he'll always comment on the villain's taste, whether good or bad. Vince himself makes some pretty eccentric fashion choices.
Every Goa'uld overlord on Stargate SG-1 qualifies for this trope. Bad taste must be encoded in Goa'uld DNA. Along with Dr. Doom rhetoric.
Ba'al swings widely: from looking like he's wearing a bathrobe to leather longcoats... (And don't forget the biggest aversion—the rather spiffing suit he wore when pretending to be an executive on Earth!)
The Riddler Unitard was so hated by Frank Gorshin, his actor on the 1960s' Batman series, that he designed a new outfit for himself. The green three-piece suit and bowler hat with question mark tie that resulted is now the character's most common outfit.
While Ming in the short-lived Flash Gordon TV series avoids this most of the time, preferring to pass himself off like a benevolent dictator of a Third World country ("Ming the Merciless" is what his subjects call him behind his back) by wearing a military uniform, he does wear an ornate robe in an episode where Mongo commemorates the Sorrow, a manmade cataclysm that destroyed the previous Mongo civilization and left their world in ruins. Ming's Dragon Rankol wear a long black robe and some sort of a metal plate on his head.
A lot of hostile and friendly species on Star Trek tended to have rather questionable fashions, in fact: those Romulan fashions were borrowed liberally from the Vulcans. Cardassians in early appearances looked a lot like the later ones except for wearing really dorky clothes, and the Ferengi, villainous or heroic, almost always wore clothes with loud colors and tacky designs as part of their "oily used car salesman" aesthetic.
An episode of Deep Space Nine even had Odo say, when Romulans were suspected of an attempt on Garak's life, "Considering those uniforms of theirs, you'd think they'd appreciate a decent tailor."
Triple H's entrance from WWE Wrestlemania 22 definitely qualifies here, for the worst Conan outfit ever. Should have saved that one for Halloween, Trips... Not that faceJohn Cena's homage to Al Capone was much better.
Damien Demento, especially his hairy Venus flytrap shoulder pads.
Nelson Frazier (Mabel/Viscera/Big Daddy V) used to wear body suits that resemble balloons or garbage bags (especially the latter when he was Viscera), then pajamas, and finally pants and suspenders but no shirt (his cup size must be bigger than even the most well endowed Divas).
Zack Ryder wore bright purple tights with different length pants legs, a see through jacket (which closer inspection shows to really be an extremely gaudy dress shirt), swimming goggles, and a head ban on his first ECW appearance. Just in case that look wasn't bad enough he also spiked all of his hairs straight up. Thankfully his outfit became more bearable as time went on, acquiring solid jackets, ditching the goggles for shades, and finding sensible tights.
Inverted at SummerSlam 2010 in the WWE.Divas' Title match. The heel Alicia Fox wore a respectable outfit while her opponent Melina came out decked in a yellow and orange ensemble complete with an excess of feathers and a garish Aztec headdress.
Speaking of Alicia Fox, during her title reign, she had a nightmarish pink and silver outfit that consisted of a skirt and sports bra covered in fringes and tassels, making people wonder if she'd robbed a pińata from some kid's birthday party. She keeps doing it now she's gone and given herself red hair and insists on wearing the pink pińata gear, giving her the look of a melting iced-cake.
Beth Phoenix showed up at SummerSlam wearing a cross between a 50s waitress uniform and a nurse's costume. Sadly she's brought out even more of them since.
At Payback 2014, for the Shield versus Evolution match, almost everybody kept it simple. The Shield were in their typical SWAT-team tactical vests, and and Randy Orton and Triple H wore their typical black trunks. Batista, on the other hand, out of absolutely nowhere, chose that night to debut a set of trunks, shin-guards, and armband/elbow-pad/sleeve things that were an alarmingly bright shade of blue.◊ Comparisons to everything from the Smurfs to the Power Rangers to Megaman soon followed. What makes it stranger is that he never wore those blue trunks before (instead wearing red or black,) and walked out of the company the next night (a planned walkout, as he needed to leave to promote Guardians of the Galaxy,) making their appearance all the more sudden and unexplainable. And this doesn't even begin to get into his wearing of leather vests and skinny jeans (which, on his muscular build, look strange and uncomfortable, not to mention making it impossible to properly do his Batista Bomb, leading to one noticeable blowout on Raw.)
Many villains in the Final Fantasy series. A lot of the Amano designed villains look particularly effeminate, all the way back to Final Fantasy II which gave us Emperor Palamecia, his sexy black lipstick, and his multi-colored hair. These include...
Kuja from Final Fantasy IX is the most over the top example of this trope, what with his man-thong. Not shockingly, his original character design was done by Amano, and was one of the few that made it to the final game relatively intact.
Seymour, with his chest-baring technicolor robes and Picasso-esque hair follows close behind, though at least he can keep his manliness intact.
Kefka from FFVI, although being a Monster Clown, is one of the few where this look actually makes him menacing.
Not even the women are safe. While Edea from Final Fantasy VIII (designed by Tetsuya Nomura, not Amano) looks suitably goth in her pitch-black dress (and, being a witch, she doesn't require much freedom of movement) Ultimecia wears an eye-searing red evening gown with a plunging neckline... plunging all the way to her naughty bits, a split skirt, and painted feet instead of shoes. That's before discussing her makeup, too.
Zaki from Live A Live wears a lizard. And nothing else.
Dantel, the final boss of the laughably awfulMortal Kombat ripoff Survival Arts is best described as an "incredibly cheap and hilarious white trash ripoff of Shang Tsung". Or more like "Amakusa on the change from someone's couch cushions".
Team Plasma has their agents dressed like Crusade-era knights, complete with Chi Rho on their chest cloth. A few folks on the internet think of them as Renaissance Faire rejects.
And then, there's Ghetsis.◊ His abomination of fashion doesn't take centre stage to his unrelenting,sociopathicbastardy. And it does fit with the yin-yang theme.
Team Flare in Pokémon X and Y, while they view themselves as Sharp-DressedMooks, the in-game NPCs think their bright orange outfits are too tacky and excessive, even one of them rejected joining Team Flare because of their dress code.
Almost everyone from Mortal Kombat, but special care must be taken to name Shinnok, Quan-Chi, Sindel, Shang Tsung in MK3, Kano in MK3, and many others. For some reason they don't seem so goofy in the game (except Shang Tsung and his dorky fighting stance), but if you've ever seen pictures of the actors wearing their actual costumes, it is very hard not to laugh. Most of the Earth Realm warrior look rather normal, particularly dressed down characters like Lu Kang and Johnny Cage. Unless doing everything shirtless counts. Sonya, and the ninjas (well, male ninjas anyway) also look rather normal.
The Lin Kuei cyborgs would be a bit more menacing if they weren't bright red and yellow. There's a reason Sektor and Cyrax are referred to as "Ketchup and Mustard".
Jeanne from Bayonetta wears a red jumpsuit with a huge poofy collar and a bow just above her ass, open-toed, high-heeled sandals, and fluffy tassels on her guns. However, she has nothing on Balder, who wears a dead white peacock stole, a golden quarter mask, and an earring-attached monocle over said mask. And a single glove.
One of Big Bad Sadler's The Dragons Ramon Salazar from Resident Evil 4. Not only does he look like a wrinkly literal manchild, his outfit makes him look like a mini-Napoleon wannabe that makes it practically impossible to take seriously (if not for his better dressed towering mutant mooks).
Shen Yu (a Fu Manchuexpy) wears a long, ornate robe of yellow, black, red, and white, complete with a dragon medallion the size of his head and a jade jewel in his forehead. He's almost completely bald, save for a single ponytail. He appears to be wearing blue eye shadow and has perfectly-groomed eyebrows, a ridiculous mustache, and painted fingernails.
Some of the henchmen aren't much better, such as Jubei (an Anime-inspired samurai) and Moko (a tribal protector).
The obscure Japan-only Data East game Garyo Retsuden takes place in Three Kingdoms-era China, and for the most part, the enemy forces don't look out of place there. At least until you reach the final boss. Red-and-yellow garb you'd normally expect to see in a superhero comic, wild blond hair, red eye-mask, green gloves...you get the idea. Even better, he's none other than Lu Bu. Yes, thatLuBu.
A hilarious example in an NPC Black Phantom called Xanthous King Jeremiah (Jeremiah the Yellow King in Japanese). As expected from his Boss Subtitles, he wears yellow getup, which is about as close an equivalent to a near gold yellow yogist's gear (think Dhalsim) with an overly huge, pointy suppository-shaped turban. Even the item description snarks about its color which "hurts the eyes".
The yellow turban however, is a legacy item from Demons Souls, where it is awarded to players who play the role of a Boss in a certain map. While the Dark Souls example doesn't do anything special (except being traded for a very rare ring), the Demons Souls variation gives an increase in magic damage, at the cost of wearing what looks like a custard tornado.
Another unfortunate example is Demons Souls' Garl Vinland. Say what you will about his supposed villainy (or rather, lack thereof), but the man is very knightly and very badass-like, if not for his squid head-shaped ornament on his helmet. The nicknames "Squid-head" and "Squid-knight" are particularly frequently mentioned.
Soul Calibur 3- as if Asteroth didn't have enough going against him with his low tier rating (well, aside from his Good Bad Bug), his alternate costume from the first two games (an executioner's hood and Spikes of Villainy coming from his shoulders) got modified into a claw hammer hat and nails protruding from his shoulders. So much for his having any chance of being taken seriously.
Terrormisu in Wario: Master of Disguise. Yeah, there's nothing much to say other than making your Big Bad look like a fifty plus year old Princess Peach cosplayer makes them look about as far from menacing or badass as you can imagine. It just has to be seen to be believed.
While what's evil depends on your alignment, the fusion of Lucifer and Walter in Shin Megami Tensei IV. A gold outfit that bares the chest and a weird distorted head? They might have been going for something that mixed otherworldly with regal, but what they got just looked ridiculous. The second formis a bit more impressive, though underwhelming.
Gilgamesh from Fate/stay night seems to love tacky, ridiculously over-the-top outfits and accessories for his "casual" clothing. Pretty much the only normal-looking outfit he has is the track suit he wears in Unlimited Blade Works. And this is to say nothing of his golden armor.
Sluggy Freelance: in the Punyverse story arc, the Evil Overlord wears lipstick and goes pantsless. Even his minions consider him a walking fashion disaster, and some of them are dumb enough to call him up on it.
Black Mage from 8-Bit Theater heralds his transformation into a walking nexus of destructive evil force by wearing a clown costume. This was not his idea, he just annoyed the dark god who was granting him his new powers, and has suffered numerous jokes about his appearance.
An argument can be made for Gamzee as well, depending on whether you find his clown makeup and scars combination to be scary or hilarious. Certainly his God Tier outfit raised a few eyebrows, thanks to its Huge, Purple, Codpiece.
The antagonists from season 2, the C.C Corporation, were a company in charge with designing suits for superheroes; their fashion designers, Déborah Levinski and Maxcence, had such a horrible sense of fashion that Carla used it to push Cindy to demission merely by ordering them to do a relooking for her.
Then we have supervilain-wannabe Kevin, who joins the C.C Corporation later. He dresses such a ridiculously and horribly flashy way that a mere look at him cause pure pain to Hippolyte. Carla even states once that his mere haircut was "an invitation to murder".
While Aegis are a Knight of Cerebus with relatively acceptable costums, their member Pyro has a clear poor sense of fashion, which was lampshade by Mello. Hippolyte describes her as "a Godzilla ŕ la Drag Queen".
The Animaniacs episode "Good King Yakko" (a pastiche of Duck Soup) has the Warners meeting with an evil dictator from a neighboring country. They mock his formal, pseudo-historical garb.
Wakko: Oh boy! The clown is here! Dictator: This is the uniform of a great man! Yakko: Does he know you're wearing it?
When Valmont from Jackie Chan Adventures is possessed by the demon Shendu, Shendu forces him to wear sorcerer's robes, which Valmont comments on looking like a dress.
Dr. Venture: Every professional nemesis has weaknesses. One, they wear goggles. Peripheral vision is shot! Two, helmets with logos and stuff on them? A guy with a big metal piece of punctuation on his hat can't turn his head fast!
Among the tons of examples of actual characters, The Monarch stands out quite nicely in black and orange spandex with armored bits and huge butterfly wings.
St. Cloud, ultra-rich fanboy and Billy and Pete White's arch-enemy, is an interesting case. His regular outfit (a plum-coloured suit and round glasses) is definitely not an example. However, in his first professional encounter with his nemesis, he dresses up in a truly ludicrous outfit that includes a black robe and a Greek helmet with a cloud and lightning-bolts attached (punning on his name). He also has a tendency to dress up as a reference to various media, for example dressing like a Spartan from 300 (complete with painted-on abs) when in Greece in the episode "Spanakopita!".