[[quoteright:225:[[Creator/MarilynMonroe http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ladyinredsubstitute.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:225:I Dream Of Red!]]

->''"Red. Red. RED. '''RED''', Charlie boy. Red is the color of sex! Burgundy is the color of hot water bottles! Red is the color of '''sex''' and '''fear''' and '''danger''' and signs that say, '''"Do. Not. Enter."'''''
-->-- '''Lola''', ''KinkyBoots''

Lady in Red is something of a old fashion trope, where TheVamp or the FemmeFatale was designated by having her wear bright red formal wear. The Lady in Red wasn't necessarily a slut, but she was strongly sexual, and often had a strong personality. In more prudish times the Lady in Red was considered almost dangerous. Red clothing is also associated with prostitutes, chorus girls and other dancers, and other women attempting to be sexy.

''This trope is about the character type, not the dress itself.'' A character wearing a red outfit does not always make her a Lady In Red.

The GlamorousWartimeSinger is often a Lady In Red, as is TheChanteuse; sometimes, the dress will be a HappyHolidaysDress or SexySantaDress.

Unlike WomanInWhite, this trope is grown women only; for little girls, see LittleDeadRidingHood and compare PrincessesPreferPink.

In terms of concept and symbolism, this trope is the polar opposite of the WomanInBlack. A Lady in Red is sexy. She might be morally ambiguous but she mostly displays a form of sexual availability, a signal that she's ready to fulfill a guy's sexual desires. The Woman in Black may be sexy and enticing but, in sharp contrast to her crimson counterpart, she is also openly menacing and sexually unavailable, especially if her outfit covers her whole body. In any case, the Woman in Black clearly conveys that approaching her is ''not'' a good idea, whereas the Lady in Red ''means'' to arouse lust.

Compare SugarWiki/TheLittleBlackDress, PinkMeansFeminine.

Please note, that according to Chinese mythology, a woman who dies in a red dress, or commits suicide in one, is able to come back to haunt those who wronged her, which leads to a multitude of ladies in red dresses in Hong Kong horror movies. These ladies are not necessarily a Lady In Red. Additionally, in UsefulNotes/{{Bollywood}} and throughout Southeast Asia, red is more associated with marriage and love instead of sex. Thus, a woman in a red sari is almost never a Lady In Red


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/{{Madlax}}'' wears a crimson red cocktail dress in the first episodes [[ImpossiblyCoolClothes into battle]]. And even the man she's about to kill admits she looks gorgeous.
* Kaolinite from ''Franchise/SailorMoon''. Interestingly, she changes to a WomanInBlack after her [[spoiler: apparent death and resurrection]].
* Yumi Komagata from ''Manga/RurouniKenshin''. Notably, she used to be [[HighClassCallGirl an oiran]] before [[UnholyMatrimony joining up with Shishio.]]
* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'': Played for laughs with Ranma Saotome's [[GenderBender girl form]]. He's one of the most (if not ''the'' most) attractive women in the entire series. He knows it and [[ManipulativeBastard plays it up for all the benefits he can possibly get]], especially in the manga. Ranma's seductive ways are highlighted by his typical red shirt, his red hair in the anime, and, at one point, a red {{Qipao}} dress from some official art. Plus, in general, he's just seen in a lot of red clothing.
* ''Anime/YuugenKaisha'': Ayaka Kisaragi is stunning for [[ChristmasCake a woman her age]] and is the series' resident [[MsFanservice fanservice character.]] Each episode opens with her wearing form-fitting red dress (also featured on the cover art), which has [[SexyBack a low-cut back]] and a split seam to [[ShesGotLegs show off her legs]], along with a matching pair of high-heels. It gives her the look of a lounge singer[[note]]fittingly enough, Ayaka actually sings the opening number at the start of each episode, and [[KaraokeBox karaoke]] is one of her hobbies in-series[[/note]], but she's actually an OccultDetective.

* Kate Kane, [[spoiler: aka {{Batwoman}}]], in her first appearance in the DCU series ''ComicBook/FiftyTwo''. She "has the kind of beauty that leaves you ''breathless''," and she wears the ''hell'' out of that dress.
* The titular [[http://pdsh.wikia.com/wiki/Woman_in_Red Woman in Red]], a character who debuted in 1940, called by some the first female superhero.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Subverted, then the subversion is [[LampshadedTrope lampshaded]] by Jessica Rabbit from ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit''. She's gorgeous and wears a very revealing long slinky shiny dress, showing some legs and lots of cleavage, but:
--> '''Jessica:''' I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way.
* Esmeralda wore red poledancing outfit in the "Topsy Turvy" number in ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame''. Ironically, in real life, red is considered bad luck for Gypsies, and Judge Frollo was watching her dance in public... Bad luck indeed.
* In ''TheSwanPrincess'', the imposter Odette's dress was slinky red and black, as opposed to Odette's usual virginal white.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheMatrix'': "Were you listening to me, Neo? Or were you looking at the woman in the red dress?"
* ''Film/TheWomanInRed'': The woman from the title.
* FemmeFatale Violet from ''Film/{{Bound}}'' spends a good chunk of the film in a sexy red dress.
* Inverted in ''Film/RequiemForADream'', in which an elderly woman destroys herself trying to fit into her old red dress.
* In the film adaptation of the Creator/StephenKing short story ''[[Literature/NightmaresAndDreamscapes Umney's Last Case]]'', the wife of the [[RageAgainstTheAuthor author who created]] the 1930's PrivateEye protagonist dresses up in a slinky red dress in order to seduce him, acting like TheVamp character from one of her husband's books.
* The Devil (Liz Hurley) in ''Film/{{Bedazzled 2000}}'' starts off in a red dress.
* ''The Thin Blue Line'' [[ConversedTrope references]] the famous woman in red who shot notorious gangster John Dillinger. The movie then goes on to note that the woman was actually wearing orange at the time, it just seemed red because of the lighting. This ties into the theme of inaccurate memory.
* In ''Film/GoneWithTheWind'', Scarlett shows up at Ashley's birthday, amid rumors of them having been caught in an embrace, in a red dress, which her husband Rhett has demanded that she wear.
-->'''Rhett:''' "I want you to look your part tonight."
* Early in ''Film/TheMask'', Tina shows up at the bank wearing a clingy red dress, distracting Stanley while innocently inquiring about opening an account and surreptitiously casing the joint.
* ''Film/SwingKids'': After being called a "priss" and presumed to be uptight for the earlier part of the movie, Evey shows up at a swing party in a bright red dress. The look on Peter's face when he sees her is priceless.
* ''Film/{{Frantic}}''. Emmanuelle Seigner changes from her [[HellBentForLeather black leather look]] to a tight red dress when they go to an expensive nightclub; it's probably not a coincidence she [[MatingDance dances uncomfortably close]] to Harrison Ford in this scene.
* In ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'', Peggy Carter (Steve Rogers' ally and love interest) wears a rather [[MsFanservice impressive]] red dress in one scene, which particularly stands out in a pub full of drab-uniformed soldiers, [[DistractedByTheSexy all of whom fall silent when she enters]].
* In ''Film/{{Jezebel}}'', Julie Marsden (played by Bette Davis) scandalizes polite society when she shows up to her débutante ball wearing a red dress instead of virginal white.
* ''Film/TheCityOfLostChildren'': The woman in the bar who tries and comically fails to seduce One wear a red dress. At the time, he is devastated over the death of Miette.
* The Empress wears either red or black for most of ''Film/LegendOfTheBlackScorpion''. Scenes emphasizing her sexual dominance over the Emperor show her in, or surrounded by, red fabric.
* ''Film/GhostShip'': Francesca, the ship's former singer, was dressed like this. She reappears on the ship as a [[TheVamp vamp-like]] ghost, and is later revealed to have participated in the original massacre, tempting one of the crewmen to kill the other conspirators for her.
* ''Film/DeepRising'': This is Trillian's outfit for the first half of the movie, as she was a thief and conman on the cruise liner who used it to distract the captain so she could steal his keycard as part of her scheme.

* In ''Declarations of War'' by Creator/LenDeighton, a woman traveling with the protagonist has two dresses, black and red. She declines to wear the red one in a small Latin American town, as it is pointed out that only one type of woman wears red in those types of towns.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', Melisandre of Asshai always appears in a red dress or robes that mark her as a priestess of R'hllor. She's a particularly interesting example, as she first appears to be very morally ambiguous, but later proves to be [[KnightTemplar ''ruthlessly'' determined]] to fight off [[TheFairFolk the Others]], who very possibly trying to end humanity. Her itinerary includes introducing a fanatical new religion to the Seven Kingdoms, seducing Stannis after he declared himself king, being fond of making [[BurnTheWitch sacrifices of the unfaithful]], and proving to be something of a slight temptress to the men around her, not always deliberately.
* The Whore of Babylon or "Babylon the Great Harlot" in the [[Literature/TheBible Revelation of John]] is described as a woman wearing scarlet.
* In ''Literature/APrayerForOwenMeany'', the narrator's mother only dresses in black and white, except for a single red dress she wears to special, mysterious occasions.
* ''InDeath'': a number of female characters put on red outfits in the series. Eve put on a red outfit to seduce Roarke in ''Witness In Death'' and Magdalana wore a red dress early on in ''Innocence In Death''.
* ''Literature/WhiteAsSnow'': At the height of her beauty, power, and sexuality, Arpazia is seen wearing a particular red gown.
* Imabelle, the FemmeFatale in ''A Rage in Harlem'', wears red throughout the story.
* Hadith Sarim, the first time Rayojini meets her in ''Literature/BuryingTheShadow''.
* Phèdre at the Midwinter Masque in ''[[Literature/KushielsLegacy Kushiel's Chosen]]'', which she plays up by wearing a gown that exposes [[SexyBacklessOutfit her entire back]], letting all the peerage of Terre d'Ange know that she is returning to [[HighClassCallGirl Naamah's Service]].
* Rose Cross in the ''Literature/LeagueOfMagi'' stories wears exclusively red and is even known as the "Red Lady."

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/ICarly'': Miss Ackerman. Carly calls her hot, Freddie goes "Woah" 5 times (and this is the Season 1 Freddie who hasn't really hit puberty yet).
* Number Six from the reimagined ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}''. It's her default outfit. Tight, revealing, sexy. She's a Cylon and seduces Baltar.
%%* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
%%** Lucy Saxon in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E13LastOfTheTimeLords "Last of the Time Lords"]].
%%** Miss Hartigan in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E14TheNextDoctor "The Next Doctor"]].
* Oswin Oswald in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E1AsylumOfTheDaleks "Asylum of the Daleks"]].
* Jilly Kitsinger from ''Series/TorchwoodMiracleDay'', playing the temptress role for a convicted paedophile and murderer, no less.
* ''TheNanny'': The opening theme lampshades that Fran is Lady in Red: "She's the lady in red while everybody else is wearing tan". In the pilot episode, she comes down the stairs to a party wearing a red dress while the piano player sings "The Lady in Red".
* In the first episode of ''AshesToAshes'', Alex Drake arrives in 1981 in a short red dress. She later comments that she wants to get out of the dress before ChrisDeBurgh writes a song about her.
* In ''TheGoldenGirls'', Blanche's ''wedding gown'' was red. Considering Blanche, it suited.
* ''Series/RobinHood'': In the series 2 episode "The Booby and the Beast", Marian wears a red dress to attract Count Friedrich at the insistence of the Sheriff.
* ''Series/TheXFiles''. Agent Scully wears a red cocktail dress in "Triangle", where she's [[AndYouWereThere an OSS spy in 1939]]. It's notable that this is the [[KissMeImVirtual first time Mulder kisses Scully]], and quite passionately too, though she still gives him a MegatonPunch in response.
* ''Series/{{Glee}}'': This is what the local MsFanservice Santana picks for her prom dress. [[TheFashionista Kurt]] even lampshades it, saying it goes wonderfully with her personality.
* Daphne wears a stunning red dress in the classic ''{{Frasier}}'' episode "Moon Dance", where she and Niles dance a [[MatingDance passionate tango]] and come within a hair's breadth of a LoveConfession, after their {{UST}} gets ramped up higher than it had ever been before.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''
** In "Amends", Willow wears a tight red dress to show Oz she's ReadyForLovemaking. In the same episode, the First is trying to incite Angel into having sex with Buffy so he'll lose his soul; when Angel runs into Buffy [[IDidntMeanToTurnYouOn in her bedroom]] wearing a [[WarmBloodBagsAreEverywhere blood-red dress that exposes her neck]], he has to jump out the window to stop himself from jumping on her then and there.
** In "Surprise", Drusilla wears red in contrast to virginal WomanInWhite Buffy; Drusilla having already been 'corrupted' by Angel, like Buffy soon will be. In conjunction with her dark hair RedAndBlackKeepBack also applies, given Drusilla's role [[spoiler:as the killer of Kendra, and the wanton who turns Spike and Angelus against each other.]]
** In "Wild At Heart" sultry nightclub singer [[AlwaysVSexy Veruca]] [[ArousedByTheirVoice makes love to the microphone]] while wearing a red blouse and red lipstick, all the while [[HeldGaze locking eyes with Oz]]. Willow is not happy; quite rightly as it turns out, as Oz cheats with Veruca later in the episode.
** Glory, the BigBad of Season 5, as befits her personality. She vamps everyone she talks to and is quite TheFashionista.
* In C-drama ''Series/TheHolyPearl'', Mo Yin wears red throughout her EstablishingCharacterMoment (sentencing the main character to death), marking her as a more sensual and passionate character than her WomanInWhite sister.
* ''Series/SixHundredSixtySixParkAvenue'': Olivia buys Jane a very expensive red dress as a welcome present (and an incitement).
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'': Inara Serra is a classy companion, which is something between a therapist, geisha and courtesan. Captain Mal Reynolds would describe her profession as whoring. She wore such a dress at the beginning of "Shindig". It is bright red and in two pieces, conveniently showing Inara's midriff. The skirt part is very long and rather slinky and tight.
* ''Series/MurdochMysteries'': In "Twentieth Century Murdoch" [[note]]season 5's last episode and originally intended as the finale of the whole series[[/note]], Detective Murdoch's on-again-off-again LoveInterest Dr. Julia Ogden wears an off-the-shoulder red dress to the New Year's ball in 1899. They look ''very'' modern and sexy, especially compared to other ladies' outfits.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'':
** Kochanski is Dave Lister's LoveInterest and, most would agree, out of his league. In season 7, Kochanski's default outfit is a tight red shiny uniform which screams "sexy lady". In one episode, Lister gives Kochanski a beautiful red sparkly dress as a present, but she wears it only in Kryten's ImagineSpot where he imagined Lister and Kochanski as a couple who sent him away.
** Princess Bonjella, rescued by Ace Rimmer from Space Nazis in "Stoke Me a Clipper", wears a long tight red dress. There'll be time for explanations later. And hopefully, some sex...
* GlamorousWartimeSinger Greta Müller from ''Series/UnsereMuetterUnsereVaeter''.
* EvilIsSexy example from the ''Series/UpstairsDownstairs'' revival, Lady Persie; she's a [[SpoiledBrat selfish and petulant]] but alluring young aristocrat... and a [[BlackShirt Fascist and Nazi sympathizer]]. She likes flowing red gowns.

* ThePolice: ''Roxxxxxannnnnneeeee! You don't have to wear that dress tonight!
* There is a gem of a song from Allie Wrubel: "The Lady in Red, the fellas are crazy for the Lady in Red..."
* Morrighan the Temptress from ''Lord of the Dance''.
* Gord Bamford's "Blame It On The Red Dress".
* TheGratefulDead mention one in the song "Casey Jones".
-->"Trouble ahead, a lady in red!/Take my advice, you'd be better off dead..."
* Music/TheBeatles' song "Yes It Is" is about a man pleading with his lover ''not'' to wear red, because it would bring up painful memories of a lost love for him.
%%* "Red Dress" by Lovehatehero.
%%* A few of Lana Del Rey's songs:
%%** "Summertime Sadness"
%%** "Off to the Races"
%%** "Carmen"
* Chris Deburgh's "Lady In Red"
--> I never seen so many men ask you if you wanted to dance\\
Looking for a little romance\\
Given half the chance\\

[[folder:Myth and Legend]]
* Kuchisake-Onna, a vain, murderous, and ([[GlasgowSmile mostly]]) extremely attractive {{youkai}}, has gone from a red kimono to a slinky red dress, with a surgical mask to hide her mouth. In some modern retellings, she even drives a red sports car.

* In ''Pinball/CactusCanyon'', Rosie the saloon bargirl is wearing a low-cut red dress.
* Trixie, the mafia {{Moll}} in Creator/{{Capcom}}'s unreleased ''Pinball/{{Kingpin}},'' wears a sexy red dress that emphasizes her cleavage and legs.

* In Edward Arlington Robinson's "Llewellyn and the Tree", the titular character escaped from a miserable marriage and excessive timidity by running off with a "scarlet" woman, who is described in terms of the roses, coral, and the rouge she wears. Since her effect on Llewellyn was positive, the connotations of red shift from the sin that neighbors impute to her to life and vibrancy instead.

* In ''Theatre/AnyoneCanWhistle'', "Ze Lady from Lourdes" who comically seduces Hapgood is Nurse Fay Apple + [[WigDressAccent red dress + wig + outrageous French accent]].
* In ''Theatre/{{Follies}}'', Phyllis wears a fringe-skirted dress in flaming red for "The Story of Lucy and Jessie." The chorus boys' top hats and tails match her color.
* In the 2000 revival of ''Theatre/JesusChristSuperstar'', Mary Magdalene wears a slinky red dress.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* 'VideoGame/TheSims'': A vamp character in a red or black dress.
* ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'''s [[ChineseGirl Litchi Faye Ling]]. Red {{Qipao}}? Check. {{Stripperiffic}} and [[{{Fanservice}} flattering]]? Due to AbsoluteCleavage present, check. It's slightly sleeveless, revealing her shoulders, so semi-check on that. [[ShowSomeLeg Reveals luscious legs?]] Check. Is she the resident MsFanservice of the game? Hell yes.
* Princess Caeda from ''FireEmblem'' wears red and is seductive. Her [[RedemptionEarnsLife seductions save lives]].
%%* ''VideoGame/DoubleSwitch'': Elizabeth, the apartment manager
%%* ''BushidoBlade'': Red Shadow.
%%* The [=PC=] of ''VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines'', if you play as a female and choose the Tremere clan.
%%* Miranda Lawson in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' dons one in her second Citadel DLC personal scene in the casino, in a thematically appropriate 80's futuristic style.
* The Witch Queen in ''VideoGame/TheMatrixPathOfNeo'' wears a short hemmed, long-sleeved red, corset-topped dress with ShowSomeLeg.

* ''Webcomic/TheFoxSister'': The [[FantasticFoxes Kumiho]] wears a sexy red dress when she seduces her first victim.
* In ''Webcomic/LoveAndCapes'', [[http://loveandcapes.com/lnc/?p=57 Mark complains of how long Abby takes to dress until she appears in a red dress.]]
* Althea North, in ''Webcomic/AutumnBay''.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* BettyBoop used to wear a black dress because she was around before the invention of colour, then she switched to a skimpy red dress.
%%* Creator/TexAvery's ''RedHotRidingHood.''
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Wakfu}}'''s Evangelyne appears in a red dress and dances in a dream sequence.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The late, great baseball personality Buck O'Neill had a stated fondness for women in red dresses; he once told his biographer, "Son, in this life, you never walk by a red dress." At his funeral, all the women wore red.
* Scarlet red in [[{{Kimono}} Kimonese]] stands for sexuality and vigour of youth, being a suitable background colour for a young girl's ''furisode'' or the wedding costume's overcoat ''uchikake'', as well as accessories -- however, red ''underkimono'' has been downright scandalous for many a decade, and the only people who get away with wearing such are geisha and such.