"Kim, deciding to be badass, tosses her hat into the air, and proceeds to unrealistically fly around with a series of kicks and punches despite, again, wearing the big, flowing dress."Who says that being an ass-whupping Action Girl means you can't wear feminine, pretty, opulent clothes? In some works, the two can go hand-in-awesome-but-elegant-hand. There's hardly any Action Dress Ripping either. These are Impossibly Cool Clothes, that don't get in the way while this lady is mowing down hordes of mooks or blowing stuff up. Conversely she is such a good fighter that she is both aware of and able to overcome the disadvantages of her clothing. Not that there can't be Clothing Damage, but expect the clothes to be fine by the next episode (barring getting a new outfit next season). What weapons she uses can vary, from martial arts (even if a skirt would be too narrow or poofy to kick someone), to conventional weapons, to the more domestic weapons like Parasol of Pain, Rolling Pin of Doom, and Frying Pan of Doom. Although with those latter three, she has to be directly attacking with them, not just conking a guy on the head. The clothes could range from a Simple, yet Opulent evening dress and jewelry, to an ultra frilly Pimped-Out Dress. It can even count if the dress is cut to move around, like a Mini Dress Of Power, but it also has to be otherwise too fancy to fight in. May be the result of the villain trying to ambush the heroine at some sort of formal event that she was going to. A Sub-Trope of Rule of Cool, Rule of Glamorous, Costume Porn. This trope often overlaps with:
- Action Fashionista (if this character has several fancy outfits she fights in)
- Battle Ballgown (the frilled dress with armor variant, not the armor with a skirt variant)
- Elegant Gothic Lolita
- Ermine Cape Effect (for any badass royal or noble lady)
- Femme Fatale and Femme Fatale Spy (especially the latter; a lot of spy movies and TV shows have the heroines or villainesses doing action-y things in evening dresses or gowns)
- Girly Bruiser
- Lady of Black Magic
- Lady of War
- Magical Girl Warrior (although they tend to be outright badass most of the time anyway)
- Qipao (if she's Chinese)
- Pretty Princess Powerhouse
- Silk Hiding Steel
- She Cleans Up Nicely: When a typically un-feminine Action Girl looks good when compelled to wear finery, but then finds herself in a situation where asskicking ensues.
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Anime & Manga
- Elizabeth Middleford of Black Butler is in very nice, prim and proper underwear when she mows down zombies with dual swords.
- Shenhua from Black Lagoon is a deadly assassin who's very talented with kukris and kunai. The difference between her and every other woman in the show is that she kicks ass while wearing an elegant red qipao.
- Dominion Tank Police has a scene where the Puma Twins engage the Red Commandos in a shoot out, in an upscale museum, while decked out in fancy dresses. Annapuma's AK-47 was hidden in her parasol, while Unapuma had a tommy gun tucked under her skirt!
- Shiki from Kara no Kyoukai usually fights wearing a simple kimono and a red jacket for warmth. However, in part five, she instead goes for a borderline Pimped Out Kimono during the climatic battle (not to mention that she also brings a katana to it instead of her usual knife).
- The eponymous heroine of Madlax is shown wearing simple but elegant and very slick cocktail dresses more than once while kicking ass. (And once she takes her dress off to distract her pursuers).
- The eponymous heroine of Murder Princess wears a voluminous white gown. This is really an interesting case, as she became a princess through a "Freaky Friday" Flip, and wasn't this before the flip.
- Most of the dolls in Rozen Maiden fit this, due to their ultra frilly dresses being still worn in intense battles.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist (manga only), when Alphonse is abducted by Greed and his chimera, Al's beloved alchemy master Izumi calmly strolls into the sewers and beats the crap out of anyone who gets in her way. Her chosen attire for the occasion is a slinky black cocktail dress.
- Then, of course, there is Lust who frequently kicks all kinds off ass in her trademark black dress and occasional fur rimmed jacket.
- In episode 9 of K: Return of Kings, Seri and Izumo's Black-Tie Infiltration ends with an Elevator Action Sequence, with her still in her fantastic sparkly light blue gown, and magnificent jewelry.
- Wedding Peach for being a Magical Girl show about girls in wedding dresses has some moments where they fight in their full wedding dresses. This is deconstructed because these were the early episodes before Momoko learns the magic phrase that turns her pimped out wedding dress into a Minidress of Power. The unrealistic aspects of this trope is why she learned how to do this.
- Maken-ki!: Yan-Min dons an elegant full-length qipao for her return appearance in chapter 76. After saving Haruko, she battles Idaten over the next two chapters, which showcases her newly evolved Jingu and establishes her as a certified Lady of War.
- In the One Piece tenth film Strong World, both Nami and Robin dress up in the as part of the climax at Shiki's base, as seen here◊ along with the men.
- Nami also does this during the Alabasta War, where she fights against Miss Doublefinger in a dancer's gown that doesn't leave much to the imagination. Vivi, as well, wears one, but she mostly keeps it concealed under a purple burka and fights while in said attire.
- Fujiko Mine from Lupin III has spent many a gun battle fighting in an evening dress.
- In Sailor Moon, unleashing her full power will require Usagi to transform into Princess Serenity, whose costume is a long (on a girl who doesn't even break five feet) white party dress.
- Deconstructed with Berserk's Farnese. She at one point tries to fight apostles while wearing a ballgown, and discovers it puts her at a disadvantage by constricting her movement.
- In chapter 3 of Chrono Crusade Sister Rose wears a slinky, sleeveless, off-one-shoulder dress and a pair of long opera gloves in order to sneak into a casino for a mission. (She even remarks that she never gets to wear clothes like that (she is a nun, after all).) Of course, she and Chrono end up fighting a monster. The only damage her outfit takes during the fight is self-inflicted- she tears a hip-high slit into her dress, presumably to make her thigh holster easier to reach and make moving around a little easier (and, maybe, a little fan-service in the form of stockings and garters).
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid has Olivie Sägebrecht, who in Chapter 52, snapped an airborne crossbow bolt in half with a somersault kick and killed the hidden assassin with a well-aimed rock, showing that being an armless little girl in a formal princess dress didn't stop her from being a deadly fighter.
- So, I Can't Play H!: Lisara is the heiress of the Restall Family, who are high-ranking nobility among the shinigami of Grimwald. At the start of every battle, she transforms into a form-fitting black gown with red pinstripes, black elbow length gloves, and matching thigh-high stiletto heeled boots. Then magically summons her flaming scythe: Calnoon Pradul.
- In Soul Eater, Maka is able to don a black evening gown through resonance with Soul. The dress is actually practical for battle, as it's formed of Black Blood, which hardens like steel armor when Maka is attacked.
- Princess Kougyoku of Magi – Labyrinth of Magic is probably the best dressed female fighter in the series, usually seen in her Pimped-Out Dress (such as when she beat down Ugo without her full djin equip) and noted to be particularly powerful◊. She lists fashion as her hobby and swordfighting as her specialty, after all.
- The girls of Sands of Destruction would likely be impeded by their clothing if not for Rule of Cool. Rhi'a wears an Elegant Gothic Lolita Minidress of Power, high heels with dainty little straps that would never withstand running around, and thigh-high socks with garters that double as gun holsters. Morte wears equally-high heels and a Dangerously Short Skirt, and her Badass Longcoat is long enough that it drags on the ground behind her, but she never trips on it, and her Rapunzel Hair never gets tangled or impedes her sight despite not being tied back. Perhaps most impressive is that the two of them often end up in a Designated Girl Fight that is utterly devoid of panty shots, despite the fact that Morte is a practitioner of BFS Waif-Fu and Rhi'a flies.
- Wonder Woman was created partly to embody this. As Diana Prince, she had a lot of occasions to go out to dinner parties thrown by military brass in elegant evening gowns, jewelry, etc. She'd always have elbow-length gloves to cover up her bracelets. Sometime during the night it was guaranteed she would have to do some kind of ass kicking while still in her flossy attire. As Wonder Woman her original outfit included knee-length pleated culottes, which looked like a skirt most of the time unless she was doing something extremely active.
- Jean Grey can easily do battle in fancy dresses thanks to her Mind over Matter powers (although she will do an Action Dress Rip when more physical action is called for).
- Yoko Tsuno once pointed out a rifle at two guys after one of them freaks out and almost gets her best friend/prospect boyfriend Vic shot to death while wearing a very fancy pink kimono. And she managed to get them to back down.
- Subverted in an issue of Black Widow, which sees Nat and X-23 raiding a hotel and casino, while dressed to the nines. Laura makes a point of ditching her heels and earrings before the shooting starts, though she's still wearing a very nice top and pants that wouldn't be the most practical to fight in.
- In W.I.T.C.H., both of Cornelia's Guardian forms and Hay Lin's second Guardian form wear outfits that wouldn't be out of place at formal events. Their particular skirts (high-slitted ones for Cornelia, a loincloth-style one for Hay Lin) and footwear (flat-heeled boots for Cornelia, mary janes for Hay Lin) also allow for good movement.
- Spider-Man had a villain called Queen. She wore a simple but beautiful Little Black Dress in her debut issue. She wore similar dress in later issues, except with less coverage. She demonstrates her deadly skills in her debut issue where she overpowers Spider-Man with her Super Strength and Sonic Scream, knocks out Captain America with a kick and ends the issue forcing a big wet kiss on the defeated Spider-Man.
- Twilight Sparkle spends one of her "Groundhog Day" Loop runs in Hard Reset dressed in this: "absolutely phenomenal amethyst earrings and a hoofband of intertwined platinum and crystal, wearing a slinky black cocktail dress I thought would make my flank look good. I was wrong about that last bit, though. This dress makes my flank look spectacular." After a skirmish, she thinks that "Rarity probably wouldn’t approve of accessorizing a dress like this with a baseball bat, but even if she didn’t she’d have to agree that I am pulling it off."
Twilight Sparkle: Eww, I got changeling splattered all over my new dress!
- In The Road Not Taken, Jem'Hadar attack Deep Space 9 and Morgaiah t'Thavrau and Captain Kurland are forced to fight their way to an escape shuttle in their dress uniforms, which in t'Thavrau's case consists of formal robes. She actually uses them as a weapon at one point, throwing them up to blind an opponent in melee while she swings her sword with the other hand.
- Most of the women present when Jadeite attacked Kyouya and Shinobu's wedding in White Devil of the Moon.note Justified, since the last Takamachi family get together was attacked by terrorists, so almost all the guests were armed.
Films — Animation
- Anastasia, at the climax of the film, Anastasia defeats the Big Bad wearing a fine ballroom dress.
- In Epic Queen Tara runs through the forest in a leaf dress while commanding the forest to smack her pursuers around.
- In Frozen Queen Elsa fights and defeats the Duke of Weselton's bodyguards while wearing her conjured gown of ice. Downplayed since she only needs to wave her arms around to fight — her one attempt at dodging an attack sees her trip and knock herself out.
- Mulan dresses like a courtesan (along with three of her fellow soldiers) to infiltrate the invaded palace and together they curbstomp the villain's lieutenants.
- In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, the human counterparts of the Mane Six fight against Sunset Shimmer while wearing school dance dresses.
- Shrek: Princess Fiona takes out Robin Hood and a squad of merry men single-handedly while wearing her signature green princess dress. She's quite put out when a single lock of hair is out of place after the dust settles.
Films — Live-Action
- In the 1940 film My Little Chickadee , Mae West's gorgeous, fancily-dressed character, Flower Belle, is on a train when Indians attack. An arrow lands two feet from her, and she nonchalantly pulls it out of the wall, goes back to filing her nails... and when a second arrow hits, she responds by mowing them down with revolvers akimbo taken from a passenger who wasn't so lucky and a shotgun borrowed from the only other person defending the train... all while uttering one-liners in her signature alluring, devil-may-care voice.
- Princess Vespa spends the entire Spaceballs movie wearing a Fairytale Wedding Dress. She's handed a gun to fight with, and refuses until a laser blast singes the side of her hair. Then she mows down the bad guys.
- Star Wars: Padme Amidala doesn't fight in her Impractically Fancy Outfits, but her "battle gear" is still very fine-looking and stylish.
- And her decoy fights in a fancy royal outfit-and uses it to fool the Viceroy at a vital moment.
- Her daughter Leia continues the tradition by spending the entire first movie in a simple but elegant white dress. Even when she was shooting stormtroopers and leading a prison escape.
- Pam Bouvier wear a slinky, rhinestone blue dress - but enough to have a nice little pistol in her garter, in Licence to Kill.
- Pirates of the Caribbean zig-zags this with Elizabeth. In the first movie, she stabs Barbossa and smacks one of his cursed pirates with the ship's wheel while she's still in the red dress they've forced her to wear, then puts on a spare Navy uniform for her next fight scene. The second movie sees her in her wedding dress holding Cutler Beckett at gunpoint, but again she spends most of the movie in men's clothing. The third movie plays it straight; she spends most of it in practical, gorgeous, and very femme Chinese pirate gear.
- The Bennet sisters, wearing their best gowns (though they wear practical combat boots underneath), drive off a zombie attack on the ball where Elizabeth meets Darcy for the first time in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
- Milady de Winter, wearing a dress in the height of 17th-century fashion, battles numerous guards during the palace-infiltration scene in The Three Musketeers (2011).
- Lady Flavia Geste, all dolled up in a slinky Edwardian evening gown punches out Boldini with a tremendous roundhouse swing in The Last Remake of Beau Geste.
- In Wonder Woman, Diana infiltrates a military ball after "borrowing" a stunning blue evening gown. She believes Ares will be there, so she hides her sword in the back of her dress. While she doesn't actually fight in this scene, the image was so memorable that #WWgotyourback began trending on social media, with young women taking photos in their best dresses with a sword sheathed in the back. Turns out it is doable, but it works best if the sword has a small blade and a broad hilt, and the dress has straps or sleeves to hold the weight.
- The Green Rider series deconstructs this to double subvert it. After a Gentleman Thief escapes her because she couldn't fight while in a dress and corset (and renders her a laughingstock as a result), Karigan makes her swordmaster teach her how to fight in finery.
- Kvothe in "Wise Man's Fear" likes cloaks so much, he learns how to fight in one. (Without spilling anything from all of his little pockets)
- Both Kokoa Shirakawa and Kadiri Miyamoto in Sho Shan Y La Dama Oscura. The first is a fashion victim that managed to almost kill an experienced assassin, and the second one a Shinto priestess who can exorcise demons properly dressed in a kimono.
- Mercedes Lackey's works:
- At one point in Jinx High, Diana Tregarde takes on a much larger jock, who happens to be high on PCP, while wearing a silk formal dress. As the dress was specifically designed with a full enough skirt to allow karate kicks, and she was combining the karate with her Psychic Powers, the dress survived undamaged.
- In the Heralds of Valdemar series, Talia Sensdotter's formal uniform—including her hairdo—is designed so that she can fight to protect the Queen and Crown Princess if she has to and still be perfectly proper afterwards. (Skirt ankle-length rather than floor-length and no train, hidden slit in side-seam providing access to long dagger strapped to thigh, throwing-knives concealed in cuffs, etc.)
- Played with in Mistborn: The Original Trilogy. Heroine Vin's magical powers make her strong and mobile enough that she can fight in a fancy ballgown—if she's not averse to destroying it in the process, of course. In the second book, though, she visits a dressmaker who is accustomed to having female mistborn as customers and knows how to modify his wares to make them somewhat more practical to fight in without sacrificing elegance.
- Played with in A Song of Ice and Fire. Brienne of Tarth, who's usually accustomed to fighting in full armour, is forced into a dress as a form of humiliation and dis-empowerment, and then thrown into a bear pit by the band of mercenaries who are holding her hostage. She's able to fend off the bear until rescue arrives, but had things played out differently she would definitely have died because a dress is not armour and she was fighting a damn bear.
- The Exile's Violin: Defied. When Jacquie goes undercover as a socialite she picks a dress that is simple and has a knee-length skirt so this trope won't be an issue.
- Cleverly averted in The Wheel of Time, the Seanchan Empress has a wardrobe of magnificent, extravagant dresses to put any wedding gown to shame... and under them she wears black combat pants and a tunic.
- Played straight with just about every Aes Sedai.
- Queen Cinder plays it straight in Chronicles Of Magic, shooting and hacking at her enemies with a sword while clad in an elaborate black gown. Averted when the gown (realistically) ends up slowing her down.
- Journey to Chaos: Despite her distate for finery, Tiza ends up having to do this a lot.
- In A Mage's Power she has to wear a long pink skirt, necklace and hair pins because they are required for a formal duel. She wins with guile.
- Looming Shadow: Due to circumstances, she has to march into a Chaotic Zone and rescue her teammate while wearing a silk dress with gold cords and its accessories, High Class Gloves, stockings and a hairbow.
- The Immortals has Queen Thayet, who once rode off to chase bandits in a fine silk dress studded with pearls. The only reason she was wearing it and not more sensible clothes was because she had to leave in the middle of a dinner party, and it was utterly ruined when the chase went through a swamp.
- Ouida had male versions of this in many stories. The stronger and more heroic her men are, the more likely they are to be The Dandy and Real Men Wear Pink. Lots of Ho Yay ensues as well, or at least Romantic Two-Guy Friendships (normal for her era). Ouida was writing in the Aesthetic genre; this was a period in the Victorian era where many people explored alternative sexuality and gender roles. Her friend Oscar Wilde is probably the most famous example.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Game of Thrones:
- Deconstructed when Brienne is forced to fight a bear in just an ugly pink dress, which offers no protection. She holds her own as well as anyone but is obviously fighting a losing battle, especially being armed with only a wooden sword.
- For most of the series Arya kicks ass while dressing like a boy but before her escape from King's Landing, she was also able to hold her own in fights while being dressed like a lady. The two key examples are when she beats (the older and larger) Joffrey in a fight and when she beats Bran at archery.
- In The Vampire Diaries, Katherine is always dressed to kill... and the body count is most impressive. In Season Two, she attends a costume ball in a very slinky evening dress, complete with high heels, elaborately coiffed hair, and a lovely jeweled mask. Over the course of the evening she faced down witches, bodily dragged a fledgling vampire around, fought two more vampires to a standstill, and ripped out some poor girl's spine right in the middle of the dance floor. All without so much as tearing her dress or smudging her makeup.
- In Power Rangers RPM Summer ends up kicking ass in her wedding dress after Tenaya 7 and an army of Grinders attack her wedding. Unusually for this trope, Tenaya 7 stands on her skirt to try and stop her but Summer resorts to using the veil as a weapon too. She also did it again in the same episode in a flashback sequence - Venjix attack bots ambush her while she's still in her party dress.
- In the season two opener of Arrow Laurel Lance disarms a a bad guy and throws him down the stairs - all while wearing a gorgeous full length pink dress.
- While usually preferring practical-if-geeky clothes on the set of Mythbusters, Kari demonstrates◊ that she is quite capable of this to good effect.
- In an episode of Castle, Beckett is on a date in a fancy restaurant and wearing a stunning red dress when she gets interrupted to go make a bust. Outside the scene, she then hilariously pulls her gun from her purse (which is so small that it couldn't have held much else) and asks Castle to hold it for her while she goes inside to kick ass.
- Basically in every single episode of Agent Carter Peggy is kicking ass left and right in the finest 40's fashion, with the only notable aversion being the episode "The Iron Ceiling" when she dons combat gear for a mission to Russia. The first episode is the straightest example, where she takes out a couple of Mooks while wearing a splendid gold dress.
- Downplayed in Angel "Waiting In The Wings". The Fang Gang have all gone to the ballet in formal wear. When the Mooks attack, Fred is able to subdue a couple of them by whacking them with a bucket - in that glittery red dress of hers. Cordelia is able to hold some Mooks off as well in her own gown, though she laments she won't be able to return it afterwards.
- Darla and Drusilla go a murder spree in "Reunion", but takes the time to go clothes shopping while doing it (and killing the shopping assistant). They arrive to Holland's wine-tasting party all dolled up in their new clothes in time for a massacre.
- The final episode of The Mentalist takes place at Jane and Lisbon's wedding, during the course of which the bride and her fellow FBI agents take down the final Big Bad before the ceremony - but after she's changed into her wedding dress.
- In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "Face My Enemy", May kicks ass wearing a slinky party dress after the mission begins to go south. Later, Agent 33, disguised as May using a hi-tech mask, fights May while wearing the same dress.
- In Tricia Brock's "Good to Be a Girl", the singer was "fighting off the bad guys in heels and a dress."
- The "Cholitas" in Bolivia's pro wrestling circuit (New Xtreme Order, etc). They wrestle in traditional dress of the Aymara Indians, along with British bowler hats. Cross promotional events through the World Wrestling League have confirmed Bolivian wrestlers are capable of holding their own with the fiercest competitors the Americas and Caribbean have to offer, Cholitas included.
- Before she became Molly Holly in the World Wrestling Federation, she was Miss Madness in WCW and regularly accompanied Randy Savage to the ring wearing an evening gown, heels, tiara and sash, but never let that from getting in the way of interfering in matches. She also did this as Lady Ophelia, her gimmick in Memphis Championship Wrestling though the dress at least had a slit to help her fighting.
- Any woman who ever competed in an Evening Gown Match. These matches are technically subversions - as the goal is to strip the opposing woman out of her gown to win.
- Sherri Martel was always dressed to kill. She never wrestled an EGM, but often the goal of the babyfaces was to strip her clothes off.
- WWE does have one or two instances of this trope being played straight - a battle royal where the Divas had to compete in evening gowns. Surprisingly enough some like Gail Kim and Kelly Kelly were able to pull off their normal moves just fine.
- Wrestlicious has Charlotte, a literal Southern Belle. Her costume consists of parasol, frilly sleeves, pantaloons and one of the poofiest skirts in existence. Yes she wrestles in it.
- Before battle, the Semitic war goddess Anath anoints herself with expensive perfumes and dresses in purple and golden clothing, the colors of royalty. She then proceeds to cut a bloody swathe through her enemies, wading up to her thighs in gore, wearing the severed heads and hands of her fallen foes as ornaments, and enjoying herself immensely. She ground up the death god and sowed him like grain in revenge for his attack on her brother Ba'al (presumably putting his sartorial choices to shame in the process), and went right ahead and threatened to kill the king of the gods himself if he didn't treat Ba'al fairly.
- While many female characters in Exalted can dress up and kick ass in an undeniably stylish manner, there are several martial arts that work extra well with finery. In fact, many of the higher-level styles do not work in armor, and one - Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Style - specifically uses fans, sashes, shawls, and the like as its style weapons.
- Crane Style is based on beauty and grace, and one of its moves specifically indicates that a warrior wearing 'tall, flowing' garments (think robes or long-sleeved dresses) may add an extra point to their Defense, and such clothes will never be stained or torn while Crane Style is in effect.
- In Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, the "glamered" enchantment allows armor to appear as normal or fancy clothing, which can be used to achieve this effect without the downsides.
- In d20 Modern a platonic is a powerful entity of Shadow devoted to a particular cause or abstract concept, and to any who would violate or endanger such a concept, they show absolutely no mercy. Sraosha is an example one who uses this Trope; the Platonic of Contract Enforcement, she hunts down and punishes anyone who breaks contracts, and usually takes the form of a beautiful woman dressed for a fancy dinner party. Seeing as she keeps a magical sword and an assault rifle concealed in Hammerspace, her victim is almost always taken by complete surprise.
- Cecille of Arc Rise Fantasia punched her way through enemies, while wearing a frilly blue dress. The sisters Paula and Luna use weapons, but still fancy clothes. Luna uses a very pretty Parasol of Pain.
- Rachel Alucard in BlazBlue wears a frilled up Elegant Gothic Lolita dress, in a Fighting Game.
- Dead or Alive: Due to the sheer number of unlockable costumes that are available either in-game, and as dlc, several of the characters exemplify the trope. Such as:
- Lei-fang, whose default attire is her signature red Qipao, which is embroidered with a gold phoenix.
- Pai Chan is her Virtua Fighter counterpart, whose VF 5 attire is an elegant red Chinese robe◊ with detached sleeves, black shorts with gold inlays, and comes complete with a gold pair of sandals.◊
- As heiress of the DOATEC Corporation, Helena Douglas is fabulously wealthy which shows in several of her costumes - ranging from business suits, to evening gowns.◊
- Kokoro as well with her default elegant kimono that she fights in.
- Princess Rozalin of Disgaea 2 starts out as a Princess Classic, and always has her frilly dress with large bows, but as she learns to fight, she becomes deadly with firearms. And that's not even getting to the Superpowered Evil Side of her past life.
- Sapphire of Disgaea 3 has an outfit that's basically pants and a jacket (to help make it easy to fight), but still elegant and fancy enough to count.
- Entirely viable in much of The Elder Scrolls series. Find or buy a Pimped-Out Dress, pump it full of enchantments, and go to town. In games that let you enchant an item with an increase to the wearer's armor rating, the dress can even be made to function almost exactly like armor.
- The Prince class in Etrian Odyssey III has a princess option◊, and they tend to be strong fighters as well as opulently dressed.
- Peach from the Mario franchise. On those occasions when she does kick ass, like the Super Smash Bros. instance below, she is usually doing so in her iconic pink dress.
- The heroine of Princess Crown wears an armored, but fancy, gown.
- Ada Wong in Resident Evil 4 wears an elegant cheongsam dress, that has butterflies embroidered with gold thread, while kicking butt. And despite wearing high heels, she has no problem running at a full sprint for endless amounts of time
- The ladies of the Soul Series often have elegant outfits. Special mention goes to Cassandra◊ and Amy◊.
- Rose from Street Fighter. Her standard outfit is an evening dress with pumps and a Scarf Of Asskicking. It doesn't deter her in the slightest. (and in some Street Fighter IV ports, you can download even prettier dresses for her.) To Rose's credit, her dress is slit up to the waist, allowing her legs free motion. As for the heels, her psychic powers allow her to fly, so it's not a stretch if she uses them to assist her balance.
- In the Super Smash Bros. games, Peach, Rosalina and Princess Zelda qualify for this trope, if rarely in their series proper. They battle in their standard series royal dresses.
- Lady Jane of the TimeSplitters games runs around shooting at bad guys, while wearing an evening dress and fur-trimmed coat.
- There are levels in some Tomb Raider games where Lara wears formalwear. One particularly good example when she's at a party in Legend (which also averts Combat Stilettos; She removes them and goes barefoot).
- With Star Wars: The Old Republic, the Consular's (especially the Sage sub-class) outfits look like they came from Queen Amidala's garage sale, and you're crossing every kind of landscape and warzone laying waste to Sith in what amounts to a ballgown.
- In Fear Effect 2: Retro Helix, Hana has to infiltrate a high-class party in order to find some information for her current mission. She eventually ends up in a gunfight while wearing her evening gown. Before she goes into the party though, her partner Rain questions her choice in attire, sarcastically asking why she doesn't just walk in naked. Hana responds by saying that she'd only have room to hide one gun if she did that. Let that sink in for a moment...
- A staple of the Tales Series, and not just for the ladies. Games with alternate costumes will often include fancy high-class outfits that the character(s) will not only walk around in, but continue to wear while kicking ass in battle. Examples include Symphonia and Legendia, both of which provide this option for almost every playable character (the latter only has the outfits in battle though; they wear their normal outfits on the field for some reason).
- When in Final Fantasy VIII you get Edea into your party, she'll be in her Pimped-Out Dress you know and love. This is downplayed in that her standard attack weapon is a some kind of weak telekinetic punch and her main weapon is magic.
- In Final Fantasy X-2 changing clothes gains new powers for the main characters. Two of these outfits fall under this trope. First is Lady Luck◊ which veers more towards Stripperiffic but still qualifies - though the weapons of choice are cards and dice. Second is Festival Goer◊ where the girls do battle in kimonos.
- Final Fantasy XI has the Wedding Dress Set for sale.
- In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, several of the garbs count as this. Particular mention goes to the Planetary/Color Titled garbs (Japanese and English version respectively) where Lightning battles in ankle-length ballroom gowns with wide, flaring skirts and elegant gloves. Crescent Moon/Midnight Mauve◊ is mandatory to wear during one scene in the game and some garbs, like Rising Venus/Champagne Gold◊ couple the dress with fur-collars.
- Final Fantasy XIV has a wedding dress available as well, and, unlike XI's, which features a miniskirt, has a long, trailing skirt.
- Karma's /joke emote in League of Legends. "This dress may have been impractical."
- Lilli from Tekken who kicks ass wearing a fine white dress.
- Anna Williams fights in a Qipao.
- In some of the Rune Factory games, though not restricted to just women. The player eventually gains access to the dresser, where they can choose to have their protagonist (an available female option being in RF2 and RF4) decide to fight monsters while wearing their (or their parents') wedding attire.
- Fire Emblem:
- In Awakening, the DLC Bride class is usable by all of the females in the game and lets them head to the battlefield in an all-white elegant Fairytale Wedding Dress. They can either support with a staff, or demonstrate the trope to the fullest by fighting with a lance or a bow.
- Fates has the also DLC Witch Class, also usable by all the female characters in the game. It not only gives them access to Dark magic, Teleportation and other skills, but it gives the reclassed lady a Nice Hat plus a lovely black dress with a nice cleavage, a corset and a deep slit that shows off one of the wearer's legs.
- Echoes, the remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden, has several magic-based female classes following this: Saints, Priestesses, the original Witches, the DLC Exemplar and Enchantress classes, etc.
- In the Fighting Game Persona 4: Arena, Mitsuru wears a long, white fur coat, so overlapping with Pretty in Mink and Badass Longcoat.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, you can give Veronica a pretty dress. She is overjoyed and teaches you a special unarmed move in return. In the Dead Money DLC, you can obtain a slinky leg-showing cocktail dress(similar to a qipao) from Vera's suite.
- Aya Brea of Parasite Eve starts the game in a little black dress, platforms, and ... well, first playthrough, a police-issue sidearm. Second? She could be packing a rifle. Justified since she's on a date and intending to have a nice night at the opera, not kick ass. Afterwards, she changes into a more appropriate outfit.
- Ana and Paula in the Earthbound franchise, coupled with their pretty pink dresses.
- Solely for her appearance in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Fat Princess.
- Inevitable in Touhou, due to the Improbably Female Cast. Nearly all characters wear Lolita style frilly dresses. And they can all kick ass.
- Mass Effect:
- Mass Effect 2: In Samara's loyalty mission one of the options for attracting her Serial Killer daughter's attention is to stop an incipient sexual assault by a drunken turian. Naturally this involves Shepard beating the living daylights out of him. What makes it this trope is if you're playing a female Shepard, and wearing the outfit you got in Kasumi's loyalty mission. Yes, you did just thrash somebody in a Bar Brawl while wearing a Little Black Dress and three-plus-inch heels.
- Mass Effect 3 has a similar Little Black Dress (with red piping and a gray panel down the middle) available as an off-duty outfit for FemShep. In the opening of the "Citadel" DLC's main plot, mercenaries come after you while you're at dinner, and you end up in a running firefight with them in whatever off-duty outfit you happen to be wearing at the time. 2 + 2 = This Trope.
- In the Umineko fighting game, the witches. Especially Beatrice, who's handing out Full-Contact Magic in an fancy, full-length ballgown.
- In Perfect Dark, Joanna wears a qipao during the Carrington Institute Defense mission.
- Aveline in Assassin's Creed III: Liberation wears a very fancy green dress and hat when in her "lady" mode. She isn't as skilled a fighter as in her "slave" and "assassin" modes, but she is still formidable, and can hide a fair number of weapons in her frills (including the series's favorite sleeve daggers).
- The Pokémon Gardevoir has a sleek and feminine form, with what resembles a long dress. Its Mega Evolution turns that 'dress' into a full-blown poofy ballgown; despite this, it gains speed as well as attack power.
- Squigly fights in the clothes she was buried in, including an ankle-length hobble dress and a corset. Given the dress, she generally leaves "kicks" to Leviathan, her parasite, who uses his tail and fire breath, but can somehow manage a bicycle kick.
- Black Dahlia is an elder lady wearing a beautiful black dress along with a doilie-shaped half-cape and a Nice Hat. She is also a cold-blooded assassin working for the powerful Medici mafia and has a shotgun in place of her arm.
- In Tears to Tiara 2, of the two from Qart Hadast, Elissa wears a Battle Ballgown while Daphnis wears a maid uniform into battle. Doesn't slow them down in the slightest.
- Fantasy Life lets the player recruit other characters as combat companions, including a couple women whose lifestyle can be summed up as "Standing around in a Pimped-Out Dress by day, Action Girl by night.". Ask them to join you during the daytime part of the In-Universe Game Clock, and you get this trope.
- Elphelt Valentine from Guilty Gear X-rd Sign is a sweet and kinda ditzy Girly Bruiser who fights in this outfit.◊
- Vivienne from Dragon Age: Inquisition often wears courtly clothing into battle, as befits her court enchanter title for the Orlesian Empire. She is also a Knight-Enchanter, who wields a giant Laser Sword and can regularly take on high dragons and win.
- Some games like Eden Eternal this is largely the way they make cash selling fashion items like Maid Outfits and Fairy Dresses that even have stat boosts to help in combat.
- In Xenoblade Chronicles X, you can equip your characters in special costume sets called, "fashion armor". For your female party members, that includes evening wear and accessories. You can see samples of it in GameXplain's 3-hour livestream, where Hope and Alexa are both fancied up in evening gowns and jewelry - while outfitted with melee weapons and heavy artillery.
- The girls of Sands of Destruction would likely be impeded by their clothing if not for Rule of Cool. Rhi'a wears an Elegant Gothic Lolita Minidress of Power, high heels with dainty little straps that would never withstand running around, and thigh-high socks with garters that double as gun holsters. Morte wears equally-high heels and a Dangerously Short Skirt, and her Badass Longcoat is long enough that it drags on the ground behind her, but she never trips on it, and her Rapunzel Hair never gets tangled or impedes her sight despite not being tied back. Perhaps most impressive is that the two of them never flash their male cohorts, despite the fact that Morte is a practitioner of BFS Waif-Fu and Rhi'a flies. You can also buy a Party Dress and even a Wedding Dress for your female team members; they do basically nothing against physical damage, but are apparently enchanted to repel magical damage (and are among the few items which do). Both girls also get gifts of clothing as part of their personal armor quests, and the clothes they receive match their personal styles.
- In the Wii U Bayonetta games there are over-the-top outfits based on Princess Peach and Princess Daisy. In Bayonetta 2 there's also the 'Dress' outfit, two costumes based on fancy dresses Bayonetta wears during the Prologue and Ending of the game (Jeanne also has her own version for the fancy leather dress she wore in the ending).
- Annie from Wild Guns seems to have no problem shooting up bad guys while wearing a frilly, fancy, ankle-length dress with a bustle.
- Fallout 4: If you have a high Armorer skill and some spare Ballistic Fiber, then the Sequin Dress can be made as protective as any regular armour, while still being a glittery dress with a Charisma bonus.
- Phoebe from Battleborn battles whilst wearing a lavish and refined high-tech dress ensemble. Furthermore, her formal wear can be augmented to substantially increase her survivability.
- Miis from the Princess class in Miitopia wear elegant gowns and tiaras and use fancy fans during the battles.
- Knights of Buena Vista when Mary points out that her player character's coronation dressnote has lots of pleats in the skirt so as not to impede a Roundhouse Kick.
- Vampire Cheerleaders: Seen in vol.4, when Stephanie uses her newfound power as the Moth Queen to magically treansform into her battle regalia. Then leads the mothmen against the Reptilians, to avenge their fallen.
- Far Out There: Astrid showed up in a flowing, low cut silver party dress and never changed out of it, so she ends up doing plenty of this.
- In Darken, the Duchess Jill d'Avron fights in opulent gowns with a Combat Hand Fan when her usual Black Widow approach doesn't work. Justified in that it's Stylish Protection Gear with hidden armour; her visit to Miss Fifi's Boutique and Armoury suggests a market of like-minded society ladies.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- The Kyoshi Warriors wear long green dresses, gold headdresses, and feminine face-paint as part of their typical uniform◊.
- As their inspiration, Avatar Kyoshi herself fits.
- Mai◊ interstitially appears a long, elegant dress while throwing knives at people, but the trope is subverted in some scenes that seem to show the "skirt" of the dress is actually wide-legged pants.
- Inverted by Azula; while she always fights in what doubles as her formal attire (not counting while impersonating the above Kiyoshi Warriors), her "formal attire" is less Pimped-Out Dress and more standard Fire Nation army attire with a bit more style.
- Averted in My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic. The fancy dresses that the cast occasionally wear are realistically fragile and impractical, and the characters will normally take them off before any real action starts.
- Star Butterfly of Star vs. the Forces of Evil is introduced in the first episode "Star Comes To Earth" beating up monsters and taming unicorns while wearing a frilly, turquoise Princess Classic dress.
- In the second DTV movie for Kim Possible , the title heroine has not one but two battles with her arch-nemesis, Shego, in two different elegant dresses. The first is because she was undercover, the second because the fight interrupted her prom night.