Segmented skirts (either skirts which consist of four or more overlapping "petal" strips, or actual plates of armour, which come down from the waistband) are often used as a way to make a suit of armour more feminine by adding in an armoured skirt, or, conversely, to mark out one of a group of fabric skirt wearers as tougher than the rest, without breaking the theme by giving her trousers. The correct name for the segments are pteruges.
The reason for this trope is fairly obvious. A short dress is a popular choice of outfit for an Action Girl
, however, it is rather impractical and might look a bit too feminine for some characters. This trope is often used as a compromise.
This attire resembles (or actually is
) armour, and thus, it looks less feminine than a typical dress. An added bonus is that it looks more practical, since the segments won't restrict the wearer's movements.
This trope is also more likely to be combined with Skirt over Slacks
or Modesty Shorts
compared to other dress related tropes, either to re-enforce the idea that it's part of a suit of armour or for modesty.
A Sister Trope
to Battle Ballgown
, Minidress of Power
Compare Showgirl Skirt
, Pimped-Out Dress
, Man in a Kilt
, Badass Princess
Contrast Chainmail Bikini
(although this skirt can be paired with otherwise skimpy armor).
Anime and Manga
- In Bleach, Halibell gets one in her released form. Her fraccion Leona also wears one in her unreleased form.
Film - Animated
- All of Wonder Woman's outfits tend towards this or Leotard of Power.
- The female legionaries in Astérix and the Secret Weapon wear legionary armour that resembles miniskirts and leggings, as they're all huge, model-esque Statuesque Stunners - the similar outfit is drawn to look realistically protective, square and usually rather dumpy on the male legionaries throughout the series. The female centurion has one of these, plus a moulded centurion plate that resembles a woman's torso.
- Astrid in How to Train Your Dragon wears one, featured above. With spikes. She's as tough as any of the other characters, if not tougher.
- Sif's battle armour in Thor: The Dark World includes a segmented skirt made of cloth with mail underneath.
- Female members of the Watch in Terry Pratchett's Discworld are generally drawn wearing armour with this, cf Captain Angua, although the text doesn't specifically say so (except for Corporal Littlebottom, the only dwarf in the Watch who is openly female, and who therefore makes a point of wearing a leather skirt).
- Pathfinder features among it's light armor selection the Armored Kilt, which gives a small bonus to armor that can stack with existing light or medium armor, but carries a number of drawbacks. Notably, it increases the armor's encumbrance category by one step, and is unable to be added to heavy armor. However, it still has a niche as it generally allows for higher AC on high-dexterity characters than a comparable set of standard armor.
- In The Legend of Dragoon, Dark Action Girl Rose sports this trope as part of her armour.
- Charme the Thief from Recettear wears a black segmented skirt with many belts and pouches holding the top part in place (and a second, purple, example underneath the first). This contrasts the other female adventurers; Nagi and Tielle.
- In Titan Quest some of the armors will look this way on a female character. Justified by the setting and the fact that all armors in game are pretty much unisex.
- The Amazon player class from Diablo II wears one.
- In Persona 4, Chie's Persona, Tomoe Gozen is represented as a female warrior wearing one of these.
- Aika from Skies of Arcadia wears a dress that follows the non-armour varient of this trope (with a large belt to hold it in place). She's the tomboy to Fina's girly-girl (doing more physical damage but having less powerful magic than her).
- Leliana from Dragon Age: Origins, although the leather straps don't overlap so much....
- The Amazonian Armor from Drakensang: the upper part is a metallic corset, the lower one is a multi-segmented leather skirt.
- Male version: Barbarians of both genders in EverQuest wear kilts. ALWAYS. If it isn't a cloth kilt, it's a leather kilt. If it isn't a leather kilt, it's a chainmail kilt. if it isn't a chain kilt, it's a platemail kilt that comes included with the greaves and breastplate.
- Female members of the Imperial Legion in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim qualify, predominantly Legate Rikke.
- In the Whateley Universe, Fey tries out a costume with this feature in "The Turks or the Geek". Phase points out the skirt-like thing is technically called 'pteryges' from the Greek, but Phase tends to be Mister Exposition when given the chance.
- Yang of RWBY's skirt is missing a few segments, but her shorts make up for this by having a segmented pattern around each leg. Appropriately, her fighting style and personality make her easily the most aggressive member of the team.