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Quirky Girl Quirky Tux

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Putting a female character in a modified tuxedo to exaggerate eccentric character traits.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
lakingsif on Jul 18th 2017 at 2:29:51 PM
Last Edited By:
lakingsif on May 13th 2018 at 9:02:10 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

Some of your female characters can be varying levels of quirky. Beyond using erratic behaviour and strange, sometimes childlike, interests, the best way to show this is the outfits that she wears.

One of the most popular variations is to subvert gender expectations in dressing her in a full tuxedo, but then to re-emphasise her femininity in some way. Maybe it's the colour or the cut or the trimmings. It could also be replacing dress pants with a skirt (for the innocent), or with fishnets (for the daring).

Unless it's being lampshaded, this is Always Female. The outfit demonstrates the girl's uniqueness and individuality.

The girl is likely to be young, but not necessarily. Because of what it demonstrates of her personality, she need only wear a tuxedo at formal events, rather than more regularly, as she is dressing up but not conforming to the expected dress.

See also Cloudcuckoolander, Manic Pixie Dream Girl and Genki Girl. The similar related elegance means characters wearing this may also be a Bifauxnen.


Anime & Manga

  • A lot of Fanservice art for Ranma shows girl Ranma in the fishnets and heels variation of this trope. She's more than a little unusual in that she's not even really a girl, but takes advantage of her sex appeal anyway while in girl form.

Comic Books

  • Zatanna wears the variant that calls for fishnets and heels as a take on the stage magician dressed in evening wear. Since she's a magician, she naturally needs a top hat to pull a rabbit out of as well.
  • Catreece of Reality Check likes to wear the fishnet variation when performing a musical number. She's both lampshading the star quality associated with the tights version of the tux, plus she's quite the unusual female, being a cat pretending to be a young woman in an on-line virtual world.

Film — Live Action

  • note Columbia wears the fishnet stocking variant during the "Time Warp" number in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Her tailcoat and top hat are covered in gold sequins, and her red bow tie is likewise sparkly, all showing off her freakish nature in line with her place in Frank's household. There are also women among the "unconventional conventionists" who wear more traditional tuxedos, as Transylvanians are designed to be really weird.
  • Janice wears a tux to Kermit and Piggy's wedding in The Muppets Take Manhattan. While Janice has some feminine habits (the color pink, make-up, hats with flowers and peacock feathers) she's not as "froofy" as Piggy and expresses her offbeat nature by wearing a tux.

Live-Action Television

  • Shirley MacLaine did a TV special called "Gypsy in my Soul" where she and Lucille Ball wore the fishnet variety of the tux for a comedic dance number. MacLaine at first wore trousers like the backup dancers (mix of men and women) until Ball ripped them off and reminded her she was a star. This lampshades that the purpose of the tights with tux look is to remind everyone this isn't an ordinary performer but a star.
  • A claymation version of Lucille Ball wears the tux and tights outfit in the intro to Here's Lucy. This presents Lucy as a quirky character who's the star of the show.
  • Zatanna wears her tuxedo/fishnets combo again when introduced in Smallville, keeping up her magic comic persona.
  • An episode of Taxi had Elaine have an Imagine Spot where all the characters including herself were dressed in tuxedos and performing "The Lullaby of Broadway". Her tux is not quite the fishnet variety. Her tights are more sheer with sequins.
  • Brittany in Glee is a complete The Ditz, as well as loving unicorns and being all-round kooky, which inspires her white tuxedo with blue tulle skirt and top hat at the dinosaur-themed Senior Prom that she organised. Note that she is also nominated from Prom King, alongside her girlfriend.
  • The "brake for birds" polka-dot loving first grade teacher Jess Day of New Girl wears a suit, or at least a tux jacket, quite frequently, and notably a full one to her dad's wedding in season 4.


  • The dancers in the video for "Blame It on the Girls" by Mika have one half tuxedo with the other half wearing a dress, fitting for his eccentric bubblegum pop image.


  • Sweet Charity downplays the trope by having Charity perform "If They Could See Me Now" with a top hat and cane, but a mini-dress. Bob Fosse seems fond of this trope, putting quirky lead females in the tux with tights outfit for a dance number.
  • Sally Bowls may wear the fishnet variant in some of the numbers in Cabaret. The Emcee may play with the trope by wearing the tux (or at least pieces of it), but also while wearing very feminine make-up. Sally is a quirky person who lives by her own rules and is the star attraction of the Kit-Kat Club Caberet. The Emcee gets honorable mention for wearing a tux in a way that flouts gender norms.
  • In the original production of Chicago Velma wears a tux and tights for the "All That Jazz" number. Velma has just murdered her sister (and Velma's husband, for sleeping with Veronica), meaning she's now a star rather than co-star. "Now I'm no one's wife but, how I love my life!"

Western Animation

Feedback: 18 replies

Jul 18th 2017 at 6:50:21 PM

The title doesn't explain how the quirky girl and the quirky tux relate... Maybe:

Quirky Girls Get Quirky Tuxes or something?

Jul 18th 2017 at 7:01:25 PM

So... is this a trope? I mean, you argued pretty intensely that it isn't for the Tux She Do trope. Just wondering about the salient differences here, especially since Tux She Do got discarded and locked.

Jul 18th 2017 at 7:31:25 PM

^ - Why was Tux She Do locked? Was it mainly 'cause of the argument in the comments?

Jul 19th 2017 at 3:07:59 AM

^^ Well yeh, my argument there was that it would be best breaking off and clarifying the reasons. So, this is that.

Jul 19th 2017 at 1:27:48 PM

I did a little research and want to add one more for Theater. Bob Fosse loved girls in tuxes!

  • In the original production of Chicago Velma wears a tux and tights for the "All That Jazz" number.

Nov 21st 2017 at 9:10:45 AM

Does Zatanna count? She's not that quirky.

Apr 2nd 2018 at 1:28:07 AM

^^ not sure — I hadn't seen your comment!

Apr 2nd 2018 at 1:38:47 PM

My hat was the fifth, but No Launching Please because there's a bomb. Who left the bomb, why, and has the reason been addressed yet?

Apr 2nd 2018 at 1:57:53 PM

^ don't know who left the bomb and they have not given a reason. the TLP has trolls and it's honestly getting annoying.

Apr 2nd 2018 at 2:41:12 PM

Isn't announcing bombs against the rules?

Apr 2nd 2018 at 3:02:17 PM

GREAT trope. I can't believe no one's thought of this. Have a hat.

Apr 2nd 2018 at 3:58:48 PM

^^ it's encoraged so people can improve the draft

Apr 2nd 2018 at 5:08:06 PM

Do we have a trope for women wearing perfectly normal tux (or 3 piece suit) that shows how formal, stern and business-like they are?

May 13th 2018 at 9:02:10 PM

^ then you can put it in the description as a contrast.