Gendered Outfit

Often, when a character has a Gender Flipped or Distaff Counterpart version, gender-specific changes will be made to that character's outfit. For example, pants will become a skirt, a necktie will become a scarf, and a vest will become a corset. Other popular, but relatively minor, changes include removing a collar for an Impossibly-Low Neckline or Absolute Cleavage, changing a unitard into a leotard (to show off sexy legs), or changing an outfit that was once loose-fitting into Sensual Spandex. Also, when the male version tends to be a Walking Shirtless Scene, the female counterpart will at least don a complimentary bra, to avoid Nipple and Dimed.

Since Distaff Counterparts are more common than Spear Counterparts, and Stripperiffic costumes are more common amongst women, most changes will be male-to-female and the costume will be Custom Uniform of Sexy.

However, male examples do exist. A tuxedo or a tie, for example. Or a baseball cap.

This is a subtrope of Distaff Counterpart, Spear Counterpart, Rule 63, Gender Flip and Gender Bender.

Often in use because of the Rule of Sexy.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Mary Marvel wears a skirt instead of tights for her uniform.
  • Supergirl's costumes over the years have had many gendered components, including (in various combinations) short skirts, short shorts, low necklines, heels, ballet slippers, thigh-high boots, and bared midriffs.
  • Power Boy, the Spear Counterpart to Power Girl, is a rare male example. More commonly, though, he went from leotard to unitard.
  • As a general rule, the Fantastic Four share the same outfit design. But for a while in the 1990s, the Invisible Woman wore a highly Stripperific version of the FF uniform. She-Hulk wore a leotard version of their costume while she was on the team, but that was arguably more like a feminine analogue to The Thing's shorts (i.e., the The Big Guy of the team wears less clothing, even if she's a Big Girl.)
  • Martian Manhunter's Distaff Counterpart, Miss Martian, wears a cute skirt and a t-shirt under her red "harness."
  • Usually, if a male character has a look that's almost, but not completely, a Walking Shirtless Scene look (like Martian Manhunter, above), his female counterpart will have much more fabric covering her chest. Usually. Some exceptions:
    • This Thanagarian warrior makes Hawkgirl's bustier look downright modest.
    • Some of DC's minor female Martian characters, like Cay'an, nearly let it all hang out.
    • Back when She-Hulk's transformations were uncontrollable, her tops were like cousin Bruce Banner's pants (but not his shirts) - stretching almost to the point of coming off entirely.
  • Galacta, the daughter of Galactus, wears a gendered version of her dad's armor.
  • Ms. Marvel's classic costume (technically her second, but the first one didn't last long) is a gendered version of Captain Mar-Vell's, complete with a Scarf of Asskicking, Thong of Shielding and Bared Midriff. Picture for reference. Her later outfit as Captain Marvel largely averts this, being far more modest and militaristic than her previous outfits. The aforementioned scarf is the only element that she retained from her last costume.
  • During her tenure as the Girl Wonder, Stephanie Brown was the only Robin to wear a skirt.
  • Barbara Gordon, the first Batgirl, wore high heeled boots in her earliest appearances.
  • Batwoman sports a look pretty close to Batman's, but she has fake long hair attached to the cowl as a bit of a disguise (and also very noticeable lipstick).
  • In Earth X, Thor was transformed into a woman as another humility lesson given by his father, Odin. For no explained reason, this costume places Thor's usual metal discs on her breasts like cups, gives her Thigh-High Boots, and frames her figure with holes that show off every curve of her body. Remember, for all intents and purposes, this is a character that was once male. So that means either Thor decided that not having a penis meant that it was time to make a sluttier costume...or Odin did.
  • In 2014, Thor lost his ability to wield Mjolnir, leaving a woman to take up his power herself. The new Thor's costume, though very similar to the original's, lacks any covering on her upper shoulders. Thor's traditional outfit was also bare-armed, but the female Thor's shoulders are bare up to the neck. Also, she wears a Breast Plate which is very form fitting in the front.
  • A number of Spider-Women, both mainstream and alternate universe, tend to be like this, usually exposing the top of their head to show off their hair or perhaps expose their arms and have long gloves. Spider-Girl is a happy aversion, as she wears Ben Reiliy's costume, which still looks the same.

  • In the epilogue of Monstrous Regiment, after the protagonist's status as a woman has been revealed and accepted (along with almost everyone else's), she notes with some dissatisfaction that her new uniform comes with a skirt. She was perfectly okay with the pants.

    Live Action TV 
  • In Super Sentai (and by extension Power Rangers), the designs of most female rangers don't differ that much from their male teammates, save for the addition of a skirt or a leotard-like pattern. Since the teams are all color-coded, the female rangers will usually wear pink and yellow, and occasionally white or blue as well. The skirts do serve a purpose, though. The Japanese stunt team that does most of the show's fight scenes is overwhelmingly male. The skirts are used to cover up the... anatomical differences that are obvious in skintight spandex.
    • In Power Rangers this was avoided with the some of the early female Yellow Rangers, namely the ones in Mighty Morphin', Lost Galaxy, Lightspeed Rescue, Time Force and Wild Force. This was because the Super Sentai counterparts of those Rangers were originally male and the suits in the American footage were kept unchanged to match the Japanese stock footage as much as possible.
    • In Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, Takeru Shiba (Shinken Red) is revealed to be a stand-in for a young girl named Kaoru, who is the real heir of the Shiba clan. When Kaoru takes Takeru's place as (Lady) Shinken Red, her outfit is almost identical aside for the addition of a skirt.
    • In Power Rangers Samurai, in addition to the usual costumes the Rangers have an armored Mega Mode. These lack skirts regardless of gender; instead girls have a different cut to their chestplate and a less scowl-y mouthplate (save Lauren, the counterpart of Kaoru from Shinkenger (above), who uses the male version of the Red Ranger helmet).
    • Nowhere is this better emphasized than in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, where we get several female examples of male suits, and a few male examples of once female suits. This is only averted when Gokai Yellow transforms into Battle Cossack from Battle Fever J. Instead of wearing a leotard like the one wore by Miss America, the Battle Cossack suit remains unaltered when Luka wears it. The Zubaan outfit also remained unchanged when Luka used his Ranger Key in one episode. However, Luka does wear a skirt when she transforms into Vul Panther from Taiyou Sentai Sun Vulcan, despite the fact there were no female rangers in that team.
    • In the Rescue Sentai GoGoFive video special, Kyoko (the wannabe sixth member of Gogo Five) inherits the powers of guest hero Demon Hunter Zeek after he dies. When Kyoko transforms into Zeek-Jeanne, she wears a female version of the Zeektector armor with the helmet that shows the lower half of her face.
  • Two Fourth Doctor companions in Doctor Who get to wear girl versions of his outfit:
    • Sarah Jane ends up in a furry grey frock coat and a long, multicoloured striped scarf in shades of pink in "The Seeds of Doom".
    • Romana II of Doctor Who tried out several outfits/bodies in her first episode, which the Fourth Doctor all complains about. She ended up with clothes exactly like those worn by the Doctor, but pink.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series had the males wear shirts and pants while the females wore longed-sleeved uniforms with high miniskirts. This was then subverted in later shows reflecting the real-life awareness of gender equality. Although the 2009 reboot, naturally being faithful to the original series, brings the miniskirts back.
    • That's before we get to the Mirror Universe. The women wear skirts and bikinis in TOS and a midriff-baring version of the prime universe flight suits in Star Trek: Enterprise. Justified by the Terran Empire being a somewhat chauvinistic society where "Captain's Woman" (read: mistress or concubine for the CO) is a staff position aboard ship.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Take a piece of chest armor in World of Warcraft. Put it on a male human. It covers his entire torso. Now, have the male human take the armor off, and give it to a female human. Have her put on the exact same piece of armor that was just shown obscuring the torso of the male. Inexplicably, she's now baring her midriff.
  • Aion is even more blatant about it. There is a certain questable suit of armor (available around lv30; getting the full set requires repeating the quest with 5 or 6 different characters) which looks like a normal, full-body suit on male characters. For example: the one usable by cleric-types looks like a crimson Badass Longcoat. On female characters, any of these armor sets — including the full-plate heavy set — looks like a frilly pink dress.
  • Much less egregious in Final Fantasy XI, Many outfits look the same regardless of gender, including the stripperiffic subligar sets. When the outfits do have gendered variations the most that tends to happen is the spontaneous generation of Zettai Ryouiki.
  • The Elder Scrolls series provides several examples:
    • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind: Initially averted, but once the Tribunal expansion is installed, the cuirass piece of certain armor types (netch leather and steel, amongst others) now become much more form fitting on female characters with a different model.
    • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: True for armor and clothing. One can take a dress off of a dead female character, put it on their male character, and suddenly it is a suit with pants. The "Huntsman's Leather Vest" in particular switches between an open waistcoat or a Fur Bikini (which is smaller than the default underwear) depending on the gender of the wearer.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Plays it the same as Oblivion above. The very same piece of clothing or armor will change drastically in appearance when equipped onto male or female characters. The most infamous example being the much-sought-after "Tavern Clothes".
  • Darkstalkers, SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos, Capcom Fighting Evolution, and Mugen: All over the place with Dimitri's "Midnight Bliss" technique.
  • In Franchise/Pokémon, the male and female choices for the Pokémon Trainer player class are like this for Pokemon Red And Blue, Pokemon Ruby And Sapphire, the remakes of Gen I and the Pokemon Ranger spinoff series. Also other trainer classes that are essentially gendered counterparts usually have this, such as Cool Trainers and Picnickers/Campers.
  • In The King of Fighters: Maximum Impact 2 and Regulation A, Secret Character Lilly Kane wears a modified version of her brother Billy's garb from pre-Real Bout Fatal Fury and KOF '95. Key differences between their attire includes Lilly wearing a white tank top under her overalls, said overalls having a heart-shaped window (revealing the aforementioned tank top), and her pants being shorts instead of Billy's jeans.
  • Cammy wears a gendered version of Bison's uniform as a downloadable costume in Street Fighter IV.
    • Also, all the Delta Red members (which consists of three males and another girl besides Cammy) that appear at the end of Super Street Fighter II wear the same uniform as Cammy's.
  • Monster Hunter has male and female versions of each outfit. Female versions tend to be more figure hugging and sport fewer Spikes of Doom but they don't usually show more skin.
  • Maki from Final Fight 2 wears a female version of the Bushin gi that serves as Guy's standard outfit.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • In Disgaea Dimension 2, Laharl is transformed into a female version of himself named "Laharl-chan". Her outfit is very similar to the male version, except with longer pants (they're slightly ripped at the thighs instead of completely ripped off at the shins), slimmer shoes, and a bra covering what was the male version's bare chest.
  • Taken to faintly ridiculous levels in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, where the different clothing and armour options change appearance quite drastically depending on the player character's clan and gender. What looks like a kevlar vest on a male Ventrue becomes a stripper cop outfit on a female Malkavian.

    Web Video 
  • Feminist Frequency talks about this sort of character design in the episode "Ms. Male Character".

    Western Animation 
  • In Adventure Time, Fionna, Finn's female counterpart, wears a skort instead of shorts and a bunny-eared hat instead of a bear-eared one.
  • In the DC Animated Universe, Supergirl wore a white t-shirt and blue skirt in contrast to Superman's classic outfit. This outfit later became canonized in the comics.
  • The Powerpuff Girls' Spear Counterparts, the Rowdy Ruff Boys, are another rare male example. Skirts and hair ribbons become pants, shorts, hats and ponytails between the two genders.
  • In Young Justice, Miss Martian wears her same t-shirt and skirt from the comics. In the second season her default outfit changes to one with pants that only leaves her hands and face uncovered.
  • A particularly subtle example: While all of The Incredibles super-suits are similar one piece outfits with a contrasting "gloves, boots and briefs" motif, Helen and Violet's outfits have bikini-style "briefs", thigh-high "boots" and elbow-length "gloves", though the "briefs" are perhaps justifiable as they aren't overtly feminized so much as shaped to fit their bodies.
  • Danny Phantom's Opposite-Sex Clone Dani Phantom wears a different version of his black and white jumpsuit with baggier sleeves and legs with a bare midriff and a touch of Fashionable Asymmetry. It's not a particularly sexier version considering Dani is physically 12 years old.

    Real Life 
  • Commonly downplayed in practice by school, law-enforcement, military or other uniforms which permit female members to wear a skirt instead of trousers but do not usually require it. Presumably the men could as well if they really wanted to. Used as Loophole Abuse to hilarious effect in Sweden. Train conductors were forbidden from wearing shorts, despite the scorching heat, so men began wearing skirts on the job, daring their employer to try and do something about it. If skirts are banned for men, it's sexist. If skirts are banned for EVERYONE, it's ALSO sexist.
  • Traditionally the University of Oxford had two versions of its formal subfusc clothing, for men and women. Since 2012, there are still two versions, but no restrictions on who can wear either.
  • High school or college cheerleading squad uniforms could have a sleeveless shirt and pants format for men while the women wear skirts with a midriff bearing top or tank top.