How people dress says a lot about them, even when they don't dress to make a statement. So when Alice walks in wearing [[WomaninBlack all black]], chains, SpikesOfVillainy, and sundry other signs of violence and villainy, Bob can assume they mean meanness.

[[DarkIsNotEvil Except]], once Bob actually sits down and talks to Alice, he realizes she is possibly the nicest person he could hope to meet, be she a calm, friendly [[AllBikersAreHellsAngels "Hells Angel"]], or an EvilOverlord offering cookies, not to mention the entire PerkyGoth trope. Alice may wear Freaky Fashion, but she has a Mild Mind.

The cause can vary. The most common comes from the [[AnAesop Aesop]] not to judge a book by its cover. Bob may have been wildly misinformed as to how Alice's group acts and is like, leading to a bad stereotype. Another possibility is that the group is very diverse, and the bad apples give the rest a bad name. Lastly, Alice may be a DefectorFromDecadence, or dresses tough to present a tough exterior, or simply likes the fashion statement without understanding what it means. In this last case, expect rank and file members of the group (who ''are'' as mean as they look) to give her grief over it.

[[OppositeTropes Antonym]] [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal to]] AstonishinglyAppropriateAppearance.

See also PerkyGoth, KillerRabbit, and ScaryMusicianHarmlessMusic. Compare WasActuallyFriendly, EruditeStoner (who also have more insight than they let on) and AffablyEvil (characters who appear completely sensible and level-headed, but are actually quite twisted and disturbed). Contrast with ClothesMakeTheManiac.



* An English ad for [[ sherry]] shows a girl introducing her extremely punk boyfriend to her traditional father. When she comes back from changing, they're sipping the sherry and chatting happily.
* One ad for the Real Yellowpages featured a mohawked, tattoo-and-piercing encrusted punker sitting around his apartment, obviously bored. Not finding anything to do around the house, he picks up the yellow pages and starts leafing through it. Cut to the punk sitting at a table, happily sewing on a quilt, sipping tea, and chatting with a circle of old ladies, all of whom seem happy to have him there.

* Similarly, Ichigo of ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' is often mistaken for a rebel or a delinquent because of his red hair, which is actually natural. This causes Ichigo's teachers to assume he's a troublemaker and give him grief, driving Ichigo to become a model student just to spite them, and is also contrasted with an actual delinquent who dyes his hair and attacks Ichigo for copying his look.
* The Demon Queen in ''LightNovel/MaoyuuMaouYuusha'' is a busty redhead dressed in RedAndBlackAndEvilAllOver. She is actually a huge nerd, an expert in Economical Science, and wants to save the world.
* Nakanojo, a boy in ''{{Nichijou}}'' has a natural mohawk that leaves others thinking he's a delinquent (and at least one girl was [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys attracted to him because of it.]]) However, he's a fairly kind and mild guy whose hobby is attempting to debunk the supernatural.
* In ''LightNovel/OokamiSan and Her Seven Companions'', Ryoko dresses and acts tough, and if it really came down to it, she could probably kick most people's asses, but she also loves cute dogs and light novels.
* This seems to be the case, oddly, for Yugi Mutou from ''Manga/YuGiOh'', who gets increasingly punky looking as time passes (his tame SuperpoweredEvilSide has probably been shopping) but actually becomes less dangerous and more reliable. Both halves.
** It never actually comes up outside a first-chapter remark from Ushio about cosplay.
** And also when Bandit Keith refers to him as a "baby goth" early on in Duelist Kingdom.
** ''Yami Yugi himself'' teases Yugi about his fashion taste, and even states to Anzu during their date that it isn't really his style. Interestingly, it seems ''Yugi'', not the Other Yugi, is the one who chooses all of his wardrobe; he uses his trademark collar and a black leather shirt underneath his school uniform since chapter one. Yami Yugi just shows it off more.
* Kazuma from ''Manga/KareKano'' dresses like a delinquent, which actually gets him in trouble with the police one time. Personality wise, he's very innocent and pure which often charms his band-mates (and was partly how he was able to join them in the first place).

* Nico Minoru of the ComicBook/{{Runaways}} dresses like a goth and has a stereotypically "gothy" power (magic fueled by her own blood), but as the series went on, she increasingly embraced her role as the TeamMom.

* One side character in ''Film/RatRace'' is this. While the family in the contest makes a detour to visit the Barbie Museum, their tour guide is dressed from head to toe like a Neo Nazi, while giving a low key and professional tour. In a bit of subversion, he ''is'' a [[ThoseWackyNazis Neo Nazi]], and "Barbie" was [[ a member of the Gestapo]], not the doll.
* The two bikers (complete with helmets and heavy metal T-shirts) in Creator/TakeshiKitano's ''Kikujiro no Natsu'' are actually the most harmless members of the cast, and are bossed around by Kitano's pathetic Yakuza has-been.
* In the 1982 dark comedy ''Film/EatingRaoul'', when Doris the Dominatrix isn't dressed in black leather and ordering worthless male S&M slaves to lick her filthy boots clean, she's a rather mousy but friendly suburban housewife who worries whether her finicky toddler is getting enough vitamins in his baby food.
* In his cameo in the movie ''Film/WaynesWorld'', AliceCooper proves to be friendly, soft-spoken and surprisingly knowledgeable of Illinois history. Given the differences between his stage persona and the way he appears in TV interviews, this is pretty much TruthInTelevision.

* In ''Literature/DragonBones'', Alizon, the king's illegitimate brother, dresses like a peacock, which makes him look like an useless dandy. However, he's actually a good war strategist, and much less superficial than his clothes suggest.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'': [[TheIgor Igors]] all have scars/stitches or something else suitably odd (to us), but are generally kind, responsible, and ''always'' very capable surgeons. Enough that they will not use, "He has his father's eyes" figuratively.
* Claudia Kishi from ''TheBabySittersClub'' is dressed in over-the-top, ridiculous outfits, even though she is a normal, if artistic teenager.
* The Harper Connelly mysteries have Manfred Bernardo. He shaves his head, has a lot of piercings and likes to dress in head to toe leather. Also, he's friendly, polite and supportive to his grandmother. [[spoiler: And he's a touch telepath.]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In ''Series/DeadLikeMe'', Daisy once reaped a menacing, huge, bald biker who happened to be very friendly and erudite.
* Abby Sciuto from ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' is a goth, with dyed black hair, a studded choker, spiked wrist bands, and black t-shirts and mini-skirts. She is explicitly stated to sleep in a coffin. She is also arguably the smartest member of the team, [[PerkyGoth perky beyond belief]], fiercely loyal to the rest of the team, and the first one they will rush to defend, under any circumstances. [[RedundantRescue Not that they really need to.]]
* Ellie in ''Series/{{Degrassi}}'' was introduced as a full on goth-punk, but still acted like a normal girl who just happens to dress like a 90's super villain. Her fashion sense tones down to a more mundane style later.
* God in ''Series/JoanOfArcadia'' frequently showed up in the form of a spiky haired gothic boy who wears full face paint, to give charming and reasonable advice to her.
* Creator/ElviraMistressOfTheDark. Wears vampy, dominatrix-esque outfits, but is really a good-natured - if a little snarky - ValleyGirl. Plays PerkyGoth to a tee.
* Played with by the Fourth Doctor in ''Series/DoctorWho''. You might expect a striking, imposing, [[Really700YearsOld 760-years-old but young-looking man]] with IcyBlueEyes and an unusually deep voice who wears [[MessyHair long dark curly hair]], muttonchops, a variety of beautiful dark velvet frock coats, patterned velvet waistcoats with red ascots, poet shirts and pirate boots to have a [[ByronicHero severe, brooding]], [[GothicHorror vampiric]] personality. [[CloudCuckooLander You]] [[ManChild might]] [[{{Adorkable}} expect]]. Of course, the fact that he thinks the stylish accessory that goes best with this outfit is eighteen feet of clashing stocking-stitch scarf causes his outfit to paradoxically reflect his personality while at the same time fitting this trope. It's also interesting since despite the Fourth Doctor being unexpectedly a [[PerkyGoth cheerful, amiable and rather undignified]] NiceGuy, his dark side is even [[CreepyGood madder and weirder]] than the melodramatic Victorian poets he resembles could even hope to be.

* In [[ Goth Girl]] by Anthony and Those Other Guys, the main character gets himself into detention just to see this goth girl. Goth girl didn't get detention though.
* In the video for "Who I Am" by NickJonas and The Administration, one of the characters is a girl dressed up like a stereotypical {{Goth}} girl, holding a sign that says "Who I Am". During the scene where all of the characters flip their signs over, she breaks into a smile and reveals her sign: "Honor Student".
%% * Music/LadyGaga
* Michaela Paige wears very unique outfits to put it mildly and her hair is a multicolored mohawk. However, she's one of the sweetest, kindest, most generous and humble people you'll ever meet. She spends her free time doing stuff like mentoring kids who were victims of bullying and giving to charities. She even said after being eliminated from The Voice that she cares more about inspiring others than her own success.
* MarilynManson, for all his weird or gothic outfits, is a well-spoken, intelligent, witty, extremely well-read [[TheStoner stoner]] geek. Oh, and he's a huge ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' fan, apparently.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Used in a ''ComicStrip/DickTracy'' storyline; one of his daughter's classmates is a scary-looking Goth guy, the daughter turns him down for a dance date because she's afraid of him. He's actually a nice, friendly, and law-abiding guy who just happens to be a little too into a certain genre of music.
* Dethany Dendrobia in ''ComicStrip/OnTheFastrack''.

* The [[MixedMartialArts UFC]] tries to hammer this trope home in regards to their fighters in their quest to legitimize the sport. Many fighters are covered in tattoos and wear flashy, punk-inspired haircuts, but behind-the-scenes features will usually attempt to paint the fighters as dedicated family men who are simply earning a living. Management will occasionally even cut a fighter who behaves in a way that breaks this characterization.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'', Kanji Tatsumi skips school, dresses in gang-like clothes, and then goes to school in those same clothes when he starts to attend again, and was suspected of bullying and being in a biker gang. In reality, he was fighting the biker gangs for keeping his mother up at night, comes from a textile shop, is interested in sewing, and despite speaking what's on his mind to the point that he frightens a police officer away, is a really nice guy to be friends with.
* Nicole from ''VideoGame/{{Fallout|1}}'' looks somewhat like a raider, with a punk mohawk, leather clothing, and an eyebrow piercing. She's the founder of the Followers of the Apocalypse, an ActualPacifist group dedicated to the peaceful spread of knowledge and technology to all people of the wastes, and whose members offer free education, medicine, and scientific expertise to those in need.
* Likewise, Julie Farkas from ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' is the leader of the Followers' branch in Vegas and sports a prominent mohawk as well. She's dedicated to helping the poorer inhabitants of outer Vegas, and is exceedingly kind and well spoken.
* Nikki from ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' is a {{Bishonen}} RockStar who wears makeup, lots of leather and an outfit that [[BareYourMidriff bares his midriff]], but he's also a very kind and thoughtful person.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* [[BenevolentBoss Tai]] from ''Webcomic/QuestionableContent'' might qualify. Probably a lot of {{Butch Lesbian}}s, actually; "steel covering velvet", you know.
** Also, Raven. To quote Dora, "Is she too shallow to be concerned with identity issues, or am I too shallow ''not'' to be?"
* Back before ''Webcomic/WapsiSquare'' involved deities and saving the world, one of its storylines featured some cool bikers.
** By "cool", they mean mild mannered and friendly, while decked out in leather and tattoos. IIRC, one of them was a dentist.
* Clarice from ''Webcomic/GirlsWithSlingshots'' moonlights as a dominatrix and decorates her bedroom with whips and paddles. Her dream career? Librarian. She's also generally the most levelheaded and patient of the main cast, and even helps [[{{Jerkass}} Candy]] find safer outlets for her aggression and misandry.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/{{Worm}}'''s main character, Taylor, dresses in a black costume made of Black Widow spidersilk and armor plates with yellow lenses for eyes, and later uses her bug control powers to use bugs as a mask. She was assumed to be a villain from her first time out in costume, and many characters find her disturbing, intimidating, and an overall badass (though her actions while in costume certainly help those views along). Seeing things from her point of view, she's bluffing or has practical reasons for such a costume (Black Widow silk is really hard to cut with a knife). She's just an awkward and insecure teenage girl who's had a tough time.
* [[ This scary-looking punk girl]] on Website/NotAlwaysRight just wants to buy sandwiches and coffee for the homeless.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* WesternAnimation/SouthPark zig-zags this trope for comedic effect or to deliver an Aesop. A few examples:
** The character of Big Gay Al is every CampGay stereotype amplified to offensive levels, but is one of the few truly positive role models in South Park's CrapSaccharineWorld. He is even willing to give up Scouting, which he is very passionate about, in order to protect the Boy Scout's First Amendment right of freedom of association (a subset of free speech). He vows to convince the Boy Scouts to accept gays, not to trample their rights with a court order.
** Mr. Slave one-ups him by being a blend of CampGay, HardGay, and a "total whore." He regularly wears outfits that wouldn't look out of place in a fetish club. He's initially shown willing to perform quite perverse acts (involving small furry animals, tubes, and his colon) in front of kids just to help defraud the school district out of money, but later winds up becoming a genuinely "decent" character who occasionally mentors the kids. That doesn't stop him from performing a similarly perverse act involving his bowels, Paris Hilton, and no tube.
** Another episode, "The Ungroundable," had the Vampire Kids whose fad threatened the Goth Kids' style and identity. The Vampire Kids are all genuinely good kids, each of them a RuleAbidingRebel who won't even drink coffee. The Goth kids have no problems [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking stealing a car, abducting another kid, burning down a store, smoking, and drinking coffee.]]
** Petey the Sexual Harassment Panda insisted he was a panda and never removed his fur suit, yet was the voice of reason in his episode, even finding a new purpose in life as "Petey the Don't-Sue-People Panda".
** Robert Smith of the Cure had a guest appearance as a super hero able to stop Mecha-Streisand. Music/{{Korn}} had a guest appearance where they acted like incredibly nice Franchise/ScoobyDoo expies. They subverted this trope by exchanging their [[ usual style]] for clean cut track suits.
** Inverted in "South Park is Gay," where all the men latch on to the metrosexual craze to become CampGay stereotypes aside from remaining heterosexual. The expected Aesop was one of tolerance and not following fads. The actual resolution was that metrosexuality was a way of "wussing down" the human male so crab people could conquer the now "unmanly" human race.
** Satan looks like a massive red demon in a loin cloth. In most episodes he's a completely ineffectual HarmlessVillain whose gender issues and relationship problems with Saddam Hussein and a very wimpy man named Chris are played for laughs. Saddam was the real evil force behind Hell in the movie. On rare occasions, Satan breaks character and actually does start acting like an evil BigBad.
*** In his first appearance he was genuinely a big, buff, scary-looking MagnificentBastard who challenged Jesus to a boxing match and deliberately lost so he could win all the [[MoneyDearBoy gambling money.]] Later appearances made him more of [[VillainDecay a pansy.]]
** Butters tries to do this with his super-villain persona, Professor Chaos, but he's much too nice to possibly be a real villain. Dougie, as General Disarray, is a little more menacing, but not much. Despite this, adults actually react to his harmless schemes as if he really were about to destroy the earth. Kenny and Cartman both take on the role of TheCowl in "The Coon" and the Mysterion Rises three-episode miniseries. Kenny acts truly heroically in both, reveling in this trope. Cartman dives straight into evil.
** Finally, in "Child Abduction is Not Funny," a group of Mongolian warriors turn out to be benevolent pranksters who care for children and teach good family values. They look like they're ready to help Temujin come back to power.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* [[RealityTV Billy the Exterminator]] (and the rest of his family to a lesser extent) looks like a punk/biker/badass-wannabe with his spiky mullet and uniform of black, leather, skulls, and studs but is really a [[PerkyGoth friendly]], intelligent [[NiceGuy guy]] who is serious about his job, cares about the environment, avoids hurting animals whenever possible, and rarely uses stronger language than "[[GoshDangItToHeck hauling butt]]" or the occasional "damn".
* MarilynManson is this in pretty much every cameo he has.
* A United States Secret Service agent (who protected the President) wore a wig on the job because of his punk haircut. He has a number of stories of his and his girlfriend's off duty encounters with people. Let's just say, they never expect him to be a federal agent.
* Music/OzzyOsbourne may have been shocking once upon a time, but his stage persona as the Prince of Darkness is completely contrary to his music and his real-world, nice guy family man persona.
* Music/LadyGaga is one of the most outrageously dressed pop singers around (like if DavidBowie and MarilynManson somehow gave birth to a female sex god), but in interviews, she seems quite polite and well spoken.
* [[DavidBowie Bowie]] himself came off this way in some interviews, especially as Ziggy. [[ This interview]] with Russell Harty has him dressed in a most bizarre manner, but he is actually quite soft-spoken and polite.
* HenryRollins is the muscular, heavily tattooed singer for hardcore punk band BlackFlag. He's also an eloquent public speaker, a published poet, and considered to be one of the nicer folks in the music business.
* Listen to an interview with the monster-costumed Finnish metal band Lordi sometime. In character, they're ferocious, out of character (but still in costume, they never remove the outfits in public), they're very calm and polite. Awa is supposedly a school teacher in her civilian life, although no one knows their true identities.
* Porn star Nicki Hunter specializes in rough, rude femdom videos, but also hosts a show on Playboy Radio, in which she's easygoing and a [[GenkiGirl little boisterous]], and outside the adult world, she's [[OneOfUs very, very nerdy]]. (Does nudity qualify as a fashion?)
* [[ Impending Doom]] look like a bunch of guys you wouldn't want to run into in a back alley, and their name certainly gives this impression too. But their music is actually ''Christian'' metal and, by all accounts, they are extremely kind, down to earth guys.
* [[{{KISS}} Gene Simmons]] may wear spikes and full makeup on stage, but he's actually fairly mild mannered and very intelligent.
* The TNA tag team the Motor City Machine Guns dress in a style that Alex Shelley (who often has 50/50 blond/black hair) called [[ cyberpunk-pirate]], and yet they're both known for being pretty polite and mellow in reality.
* Matthias Isecke-Vogelsang, punk and primary school principal ([[ photo]]).
* Music/EltonJohn, certainly in TheSeventies, was known for [[ImpossiblyCoolClothes colorful and outrageous (though more silly/campy than sinister) clothing]], hats, [[MakingASpectacleOfYourself eyeglasses and sunglasses]], furry boas, and platform shoes with eight-inch heels. He adopted these to hide his shyness and un-rock star-like build, and to have fun onstage. In fact, he unfortunately took to substance abuse partly as a way to open up to people offstage. He sobered up in 1990, not long after toning down his image in 1988.
* Bikers. Sure, there are the self-identified 1%'ers, who run in gangs and act like the criminal scum of the [[AllBikersAreHellsAngels Hollywood Biker stock character]]. Yet for every one of those guys, there are dozens of clubs who join charitable causes such as Bikers Against Drunk Drivers, Pony Express Relay (against breast cancer), Dykes on Bikes who support Gay Pride and LGBT rights causes, and the Perth Biker's Charity Ride (an annual event to support the Salvation Army). There are also religious biker organizations such as the Jewish Motorcyclist's Alliance, who work for Holocaust remembrance and anti-Anti-Semitism causes, and Bikers for Christ, who are dedicated to charitable fundraisers for the disabled and spreading the Gospel of their Christian faith. Of course, they all dress like, well, bikers.
** In the US, one of the most sympathetic organizations is the Patriot Guard Riders. The organization would escort the funeral processions of deceased American service personnel and maintain a ring around the funeral ''as the request of the deceased's family''. Their main adversary, the Westboro Baptist Church, was infamous for protesting funerals with signs such as "Thank God for [=IEDs=]" and claiming that the deaths of US troops was divine retribution for toleration for homosexuals. Since the PGR limits themselves only to keeping protestors from harassing the family at the actual service, has no stance on the war, only attends if given permission by the family of the deceased, and doesn't care what the protestors do away from the funeral, very few Americans disagree with them. They still dress like bikers everywhere.
** During the height of the DC Sniper incident, it was reported that local bikers in the DC-metro area volunteered to form [[TakingTheBullet human shield]] lines outside schools to protect children while they were outside.
** Bikers Against Child Abuse: [[ Cue]] CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming.
* There was a journal article in an APA associated journal (sadly forgotten by now - if it can be found please cite) which discussed this phenomenon in terms of the gay rights movement. The author, a homosexual professor of the social sciences, was observing the Gay Pride March in NYC when he saw a family of bewildered tourists from Middle America who were shocked and somewhat offended by the event. For those not in the know, the event certainly includes a lot of public behavior and forms of dress that on most days would be considered shocking. He noticed that the family had a teenage son. The author recounted many feelings at the event, including being glad that so many people accepted the marchers as decent folks despite their open homosexual behavior and extreme fashion. In other words, most straight observers of the parade recognized this trope was in effect. He ''also'' recounted wishing that homosexuals were accepted just as homosexuals, with no qualifiers, no undue focus on their sexuality and practices, and no stereotypes. He finally wrote about his thoughts should teenager be gay. How would his coming out to his conservative parents be made more difficult by failure to see this trope? Coming out to conservative parents would be hard enough, but coming out to them if their memory of a LGBT event involved lots of fetish wear would be worse. The author ended up painfully describing the double-bind which traps anyone whose sexuality forms a big part of how society perceives them.
* Ian Anderson of JethroTull took to wearing [[ outrageous clothing]], especially in TheSeventies (long coats, unkempt hair and beard, tights, long boots, oversized codpiece). made psychotic, bug-eyed faces, and performed with hammy, theatrical, flamboyant (and sometimes saucy) stage moves. He was well-known for tongue-in-cheek, sometimes playfully risqué, self-deprecating humor (or teasing humor towards his bandmates), especially in between songs. Often his fans misbelieved he took drugs, but in spite of having a free-thinking personality, did not like hippies, and was quite outspoken against audience misbehavior[[note]]He understandably has called out audience members over excessive marijuana smoke (as it interfered with his singing) or for throwing dangerous objects onstage (he once was hospitalized when a thorny rose thrown by a fan [[EyeScream caught him in the eye]])[[/note]]. He is very straight-edged, mild-mannered, and a family man, raises wildcats, promotes wildlife conservation, and, as can be noticed by the tone and lyrics of his music, is one of the most intelligent and eloquent rock stars in the world.
* Pete Burns of Dead or Alive. Even [[TheWoobie sadder]] when you consider his disfigurement from addiction to plastic surgery.
* MileyCyrus following her pixie haircut and occasional use of punkish wardrobe might count as this. She might lapse into slightly less Disney-approvable language or personal conduct in her twenties, or {{Fanservice}}, but otherwise can hardly be considered a social menace.
* Also true of fellow ex-DisneyChannel star (and friend) DemiLovato, who might in more recent years sport [[DyeHard dyed hair or colorful hair streaks]] (or colorful extensions) and tattoos, and punkish clothing, but is normally sweet, playful and charming in person.
* Mark Oshiro of Blog/MarkDoesStuff is a heavily tattooed, pierced guy who's famous for his completely {{Adorkable}}, nerdy fanboy personality.
* In a letter to the UK ''Magazine/ReadersDigest'', a businessman describes being on the way back from work when he realised he was alone in the train carriage with a "gang" in biker gear. He tried to concentrate on his crossword, expecially when he realised they were whispering to each other and glancing at him. When one of them finally moved towards him, he thought he was about to be mugged, until the man said "That ''The Times'', mate? Any idea about six across? We're stumped."