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Hates Wearing Dresses

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A (usually tomboyish) female character dislikes dresses and skirts.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
Pichu-kun on Oct 15th 2014 at 2:37:53 PM
Last Edited By:
Pichu-kun on Apr 13th 2018 at 2:09:06 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: Trope

You set my heart on fire,
On that day when I didn't know if you were gay,
So please say yes,
You don't have to wear a dress!
Syd in their promposal song to butch girlfriend Elena, One Day at a Time (2017)

In real life, some women don't like dresses or skirts for a variety of reasons. They don't think they look good in them, they don't accentuate their figures the right way, they don't like the image they give off, they're too frilly, they're too girly, etc. Sometimes, they just don't like dresses with no specific reason behind it. They're just not their style.

In fiction, however, mainly two types of characters hate dresses: tomboys or Butch Lesbians who dislikes "girly" stuff and Action Girls who finds their looseness too cumbersome. There's often an overlap between them. Sometimes the character's belief that Real Women Don't Wear Dresses is behind their disdain for dresses and skirts. Other times they're just not used to loose-fitting, frilly garments due to their normal rough-and-tumble attitude

A girl who doesn't like dresses or skirts will inevitably be put into one eventually. She will look nice in it, however will not enjoy the experience (at least not explicitly) and will often be insecure of herself.

See also Of Corset Hurts, for the common depiction in historical fiction of corsets as instruments of misogynist torture.


Examples:

Anime and Manga

  • Akane from Bokura no Hentai isn't much of a tomboy anymore, but in a preschool flashback, Marika's mom mentions how she let her child wear dresses until "he" begins school because Marika hated pants. Akane's mom says her daughter is the opposite— a girl who won't wear skirts. Akane doesn't appear to be dysphoric like Marika though and she eventually outgrew her dislike of skirts.
  • Kaoru in Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z is reluctant at first to become a Magical Girl because she has to wear a skirt. Ironically, Buttercup from the original series perpetually wore a dress (she obviously didn't mind dresses, just overly frilly dresses).
  • The Bifauxnen Rico from Gunslinger Girl dresses in rather androgynous clothing due to her handler. In order to move unnoticed in an opera house where she's supposed to assassinate her target, Rico has to wear a dress. She complains that a dress is "too loose" for her. Justified in that she hates the idea of being restrained in any way since she used to be an Ill Girl who was bed bound her entire life.
  • Sailor Uranus from Sailor Moon has "skirts" listed in her profile under things she dislikes. She does however wear a skirt as her Magical Girl attire and has been shown wearing a skirt as a part of her school uniform (though she's usually depicted in the boy's pants, especially in the 90s anime).
  • Takatsuki from Wandering Son is a complicated example. She's introduced as a boyish child who wants to be be seen as a boy. When she enters middle school and is forced to wear a skirt, she's miserable and embarrassed by it. Partway through middle school she begins using the male uniform, however after her trans girl friend Nitori gets bullied for going to school in a Sailor Fuku she goes back to the normal attire. Takatsuki signed up for her high school specifically because it was a no-uniform school where she could dress in casual attire. Eventually Takatsuki becomes an androgynous Fashion Model. During this period she begins having insecurities about her gender. By the time she finishes high school, she's gone from hating skirts to liking them and no longer wants to live as a boy, though her actual gender is still vague.

Comic Books

Film

  • The tomboyish Kristy from The Babysitters Club doesn't like wearing dresses in the film incarnation, unlike her book counterpart who doesn't particularly mind wearing them.

Literature

  • In The Dresden Files: Blood Rites Harry's Friend on the Force Karrin Murphy turns up to a family reunion wearing a dress, surprising Harry when he arrives to pick her up for an attack on a Black Court stronghold. She explains she hates dresses but she wanted to make her mom happy.
  • The Worst Thing About My Sister: Martina, or "Marty", the main character doesn't like wearing dresses because she thinks she looks silly in them.
  • Hunky Dory: Dorian's friend Rosemary, a.k.a "The Herb", doesn't like dresses but it's not the dresses themselves so much as not being allowed to get them dirty (because she likes digging and she only wears dresses on special occasions.)

Live-Action TV

  • The Facts of Life: Tomboy Jo was not a fan of dresses. They weren't practical enough for her.
  • Played with on House of Anubis. While Patricia, the most tomboyish girl in Anubis House, had been seen wearing dresses willingly during the big dances in each season, she hated having to wear a frilly pink one in The Touchstone Of Ra. She wore it because Sophia thought Eddie would like it, and spent the rest of the movie rather disgruntled about it, especially when her friends teased her for it.
  • In The Flash, Caitlin's Killer Frost side dislikes wearing girly dresses.

Newspaper Comics

  • Tomboy Alix from Stone Soup prefers 'boys clothes' and thinks dresses are gross.
  • Peppermint Patty from Peanuts was the first girl in the series to wear shorts. She always wears shorts and is the most tomboyish character. In 1972 her school began using a dress code and she had to wear dresses and shoes (instead of sandals) to school. In the first time this occurs she complains because she never wears dresses and punches a boy for laughing at her in a dress. She ended up going to court to abolish the dress code.

Video Games

  • One of the endings to Final Fantasy V shows that Sweet Polly Oliver Faris dislikes wearing dresses.
  • The Elder Scrolls Online: Naryu Virian is a Dark Elf assassin who teams up with the Player Character on numerous occasions. During one quest, she goes undercover wearing a very effeminate dress. The player can choose to tell her she looks good in it, which makes Naryu blush and say that though she normally hates this sort of thing, she wouldn't mind wearing something a lot more elegant for you sometimes...only to immediately backtrack on that and insist that you focus on the mission.

Western Animation

  • Pepper Ann's tomboyish sister Moose from Pepper Ann is shown to dislike wearing dresses.
  • Played with when it comes to Buttercup from The Powerpuff Girls (2016). She is the most tomboyish Powerpuff, but like her sisters, the only clothes she wears most of the time is a green dress. However in the extended intro, Buttercup is annoyed at wearing a frilly "pretty skirt".
  • Jade Chan from Jackie Chan Adventures is a supreme tomboy, who never wears anything feminine except for a few cases. When her uncle Jackie signed her up with some girl scout troop, Jade was of course very dismayed by the uniform she was expected to wear.
  • Laney Penn from GrojBand hates being girly, which includes wearing dresses. In "Queen Bee", with a pageant contest at stake she has no choice but to enter as a contestant. She makes it clear she dislikes the idea of pageants, being viewed as a sweetheart, and is all to glad when she no longer has to wear the dress.

Feedback: 33 replies

Oct 15th 2014 at 2:51:51 PM

Please stop writing pages with no description. It looks like People Sit On Chairs.

Oct 15th 2014 at 3:35:33 PM

I can't figure out how to do descriptions half the time. I'd either let someone better do it or do it later

Oct 15th 2014 at 3:38:42 PM

I'm almost certain we have a very similar YKTTW; not necessarily about tomboys hating dresses, but rather, tomboys that are somehow forced to wear a dress.

Oct 15th 2014 at 4:14:27 PM

If you can't do the description you should take it to Trope Finder. In this case we have the YKTTW called Unwillingly Girly Tomboy.

Oct 17th 2014 at 10:54:44 PM

Unwillingly Girly Tomboy is when they're made to wear dresses for whatever situation. This has nothing to do with wearing dresses, it can just be a comment made by a character.

Real Women Never Wear Dresses is even more different. It's about when a series has a bias.

Oct 18th 2014 at 11:00:27 AM

Literature:

  • In The Dresden Files: Blood Rites Harry's Friend On The Force Karrin Murphy turns up to a family reunion wearing a dress, surprising Harry when he arrives to pick her up for an attack on a Black Court stronghold. She explains she hates dresses but she wanted to make her mom happy.

Jan 23rd 2015 at 1:46:39 PM

  • Sailor Uranus from Sailor Moon has "skirts" listed in her profile under things she dislikes. Considering the uniform, sucks to be her!

Mar 28th 2015 at 3:05:34 PM

Plz make it clear in the title that we're talking about females.

Mar 31st 2015 at 12:13:43 PM

Pre Teena: central character Teena Keene is happiest in jeans and tee-shirts and tends to passively resist her mother's attempts to feminize her. She does not like dresses.

Mar 31st 2015 at 1:40:18 PM

  • Jennifer Mosley from Neds Declassified School Survival Guide. Being the Passionate Sports Girl tomboy she is, she tends to prefer simple, confortable sweat suits, and is specially evident in an episode regarding fashion, when she tries a girly skirt with heels and feels unconfortable and out of place for the rest of the episode.

Mar 31st 2015 at 3:38:49 PM

Webcomic:

  • In El Goonish Shive, the local feminist Susan objects to having to wear a skirt as part of the school uniform. She wears a boy's uniform and admits to her friend that she will transfer schools before being forced to wear a dress.

As for the name, I think it's fine as is. Obviously, this is about female characters, since men who hate wearing dresses falls under Sits On Chairs.

Mar 31st 2015 at 7:23:16 PM

Anime And Manga

  • Saotome Ranma from Rumiko Takahashi's Ranma One Half has been changed into a girl as the result of an ancient Chinese curse. Episode 4 of the series has Ranma loudly refusing to wear girls' clothes as that would undermine his masculinity. Tendo Nabiki points out that by running around topless, Ranma is effectively insulting his host, Tendo Soun. Cowed at being so dishonorable, Ranma accedes to being dressed by Soun's daughters ... who make the matter much worse by dressing Ranma in a formal kimono (not too bad), then a corset and fishnet stocking (disturbing) and finally a showgirl outfit replete with ostrich feathers. That last one nearly gives Tendo Soun an aneurism. Ranma normally wears a qipao that functions as a unisex outfit.

Sep 15th 2015 at 8:58:20 PM

an episode of the 2002 He Man series opens with Adam and Teela going on an ambassadorial visit. Teela is giving Adam a long list of things he must do so they make a good impression and Adam turns the tables on her by giving her a formal dress she must wear during the visit. Teela is clearly unhappy about it and sure enough, as soon as they leave she rips the dress off (wearing her normal attire underneath) and throws it away.

Sep 25th 2015 at 5:41:56 PM

  • Blaz Blue: in one of the gag scenarios, where she's forced to cosplay, Bullet the mercenary goes on a rant on how she hates wearing skirts; she normally wears short shorts. Tsubaki and Noel pointed out that a skirt shouldn't be too risque for her as she wears those shorts everyday.

Jul 16th 2016 at 11:40:07 AM

^ I haven't read the books but I know Jo wears dresses due to the time period. She doesn't like dresses though?

Jun 22nd 2017 at 3:48:04 PM

  • The Facts Of Life: Tomboy Jo was not a fan of dresses. She was a biker though as I recall. Not practical

Jun 23rd 2017 at 12:11:01 AM

Who's managing this draft?

Sep 21st 2017 at 4:16:22 PM

"Another possibility is that she just does't like dresses." Doesn't this addition pretty much kill the tropeability? A dislike of dresses indicating tomboyishness, or being an Action Girl, or one of the other specific reasons mentioned is potentially tropeable. But "person dislikes dresses for any of these disparate meaningful reasons, or just doesn't like them without any reason" is classic People Sit On Chairs. It explicitly makes it so general that it loses all meaning as a trope.

Sep 21st 2017 at 4:51:48 PM

  • Laney Penn from Groj Band hates being girly, which includes wearing dresses. In "Queen Bee", with a pageant contest at stake she has no choice but to enter as a contestant. She makes it clear she dislikes the idea of pageants, being viewed as a sweetheart, and is all to glad when she no longer has to wear the dress.

Sep 22nd 2017 at 8:49:36 AM

^^ I was trying to add a sentence about how being tomboyish or active aren't the only reasons for this trope. I'll fix it.

Sep 22nd 2017 at 8:02:40 PM

Betty from Archie Comics 2015 looks like a subversion of this.

Mar 7th 2018 at 10:12:39 PM

  • Played with on House Of Anubis. While Patricia, the most tomboyish girl in Anubis House, had been seen wearing dresses willingly during the big dances in each season, she hated having to wear a frilly pink one in The Touchstone Of Ra. She wore it because Sophia thought Eddie would like it, and spent the rest of the movie rather disgruntled about it, especially when her friends teased her for it.

Mar 16th 2018 at 1:45:44 PM

Apr 9th 2018 at 4:50:47 PM

There are unadded examples.

Apr 10th 2018 at 2:39:38 PM

  • The Worst Thing About My Sister: Martina, or "Marty", the main character doesn't like wearing dresses because she thinks she looks silly in them.
  • Hunky Dory: Dorian's friend Rosemary, a.k.a "The Herb", doesn't like dresses but it's not the dresses themselves so much as not being allowed to get them dirty (because she likes digging and she only wears dresses on special occasions.)

Apr 10th 2018 at 10:47:43 PM

Comic Book:

Apr 10th 2018 at 4:27:19 PM

Suggestion for page quote:

You set my heart on fire,
On that day when I didn't know if you were gay,
So please say yes,
You don't have to wear a dress!
Syd in their promposal song to butch girlfriend Elena, One Day At A Time 2017

Apr 11th 2018 at 8:55:19 AM

  • The Elder Scrolls Online: Naryu Virian is a Dark Elf assassin who teams up with the Player Character on numerous occasions. During one quest, she goes undercover wearing a very effeminate dress. The player can choose to tell her she looks good in it, which makes Naryu blush and say that though she normally hates this sort of thing, she wouldn't mind wearing something a lot more elegant for you sometimes...only to immediately backtrack on that and insist that you focus on the mission.

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