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Action Fashionista

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When ass-kicking needs a little variety.

Rainbow Dash: Rarity! Blast [the enemy]! Pretend it's last year's fashion or something!
Rarity: Eep! Leg warmers and stirrup pants?! Not in my Spring Line!
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Some people like to look good, damn good, and they like to do it in as many different ways as possible while they kick ass. Take a character with those traits and you've got the Action Fashionista.

The Action Fashionistas are some type of badass partly characterized by the vastness of their wardrobe. While they may have a standardized costume or uniform, they almost never seem to wear it to its strictest definition. The vast majority of their screentime features them with different articles of clothing or major alterations of the same outfit. (For example, what was a blouse in one scene has become chainmail in a later scene, a mink coat in another, and a pink-and-white jacket in another.)

This trope is reserved for characters who prefer a varied and unique wardrobe. It is not for plot-related costume changes (such as an Evil Costume Switch, Frilly Upgrade or Fanservice Pack). The character must also be an active badass or Adventurer.

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This can overlap with Stripperiffic, The Dandy, Costume Porn, Unlimited Wardrobe, Impossibly Cool Clothes, Custom Uniform of Sexy, and Impractically Fancy Outfit (especially if some of them are different outfits).

May possibly be Ms. or Mr. Fanservice. Possibly used as a means to show off that they're a Cultured Badass. Male examples are also likely to be an Agent Peacock, or a Sharp-Dressed Man, while female versions usually overlap with Kicking Ass in All Her Finery and Royals Who Actually Do Something.

May necessitate Changing Clothes Is a Free Action or Clothing Combat.

A Sub-Trope of The Fashionista and (if female) Action Girl.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Lucy Heartfilia is constantly seen changing outfits throughout the series and while she mostly prefers adventuring in her blue-and-white default, she has been prone to wear whatever is convenient. She later gains the Stardress ability that allows her to dawn outfits granting her powers of her Zodiac keys.
    • Pictured above: Erza Scarlet, who has over 100 outfits, and has the ability to rapidly switch between the (very fancy) Powered Armors, bunny suits, cat suits, dresses, pajamas, etc. she stores in Hammerspace.
  • Sakura from Cardcaptor Sakura though enforced on her by others. Her best friend Tomoyo is explicitly stated to make Sakura a new costume for every single clow card incident (of which there are fifty-two clow cards, though a few were caught in the same chapter/episode). She herself doesn't particularly care for the outfits, except for the times when she had to fight in her school uniform, but she does it to keep Tomoyo and her mentor animal Kero-chan happy.
  • Maken-ki!: Himegami is of royal descent, so she often goes shopping for new clothes and lingerie sets - with a strong preference for silk and lace. And because she lets her shikigami deal with nuisances for her, she rarely has to worry about ruining any of those expensive dresses.
  • In Nurse Angel Ririka SOS, Sixth Ranger Dewey develops an interest in fashion. His outfits run the gamut from sweatshirt and jeans to three-piece suits and classy cravats.
  • Erika from Heartcatch Pretty Cure. Her entire family is in the fashion business. On the villain side, there is also Cobraj.
  • Villainous example with Shuu Tsukiyama from Tokyo Ghoul, a wealthy Agent Peacock with a seemingly unlimited supply of designer clothing. The very nature of his kagune means he tears holes in his clothing any time he fights, though he doesn't seem particularly concerned about this. On one occasion, he even wears a white suit that develops an elaborate pattern when soaked in blood.
  • Nui Harime from Kill la Kill is a villainous example, working as the Grand Couturier at the REVOCS Corporation, while also being a Humanoid Abomination capable of easily defeating some of the most powerful characters on the show.
  • The Sumeragi Half-Identical Twins from Tokyo Babylon, with the powerful Onmyouji Subaru wearing very nineties-like outfits courtesy of his sister Hokuto, and Hokuto herself as a super fashionable Badass Normal. It says a lot that Subaru resorts to far simpler clothing (save for a Badass Longcoat) in the sort-of sequel X1999 when Hokuto is not around.
  • My Hero Academia: Best Jeanist is one of the top four heroes, and also a trendsetter. He has his own fashion line and has owned the real world Best Jeanist design award multiple times as well.
  • In Mei Company, Helene liked the cute magical girl outfits the most while battling the forces of evil. The main reason why she joined Mei Company is that the uniform resembles their old outfits.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!: Along with being an uber-powerful sorceress, Eva loves dressing up fancy. When she gets bored, she dresses up other people too. She also declares that Asuna must wear black, frilly Elegant Gothic Lolita clothing after deciding to make her a "videogame miniboss".

    Comic Books 
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Vol 1: During Diana's depowered "Mod" phase she was constantly getting new hip outfits to fight in.
    • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016) finally returns Etta Candy to her roots as a Big Fun Boisterous Bruiser, but instead of spending all her time a jersey and shorts or cowgirl duds she's been given the added characterization as a Big Beautiful Woman who is incredibly fashion conscious and is constantly making herself, and Diana, new clothing and is only seen in one outfit on more than one occasion, and that outfit is a uniform.
    • Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman: "Venus Rising": Diana claims having a "different Wonder outfit for every occasion" is one of the "perks of the job" when she changes into a Wonder Woman themed spacesuit.
  • X-Men's Kitty Pryde had a period where she was designing her own costumes, especially when she gets her hands on an alien device that allows instant clothes changes. However, being a young teenager at the time, she tended to have a questionable taste in fashion.
  • Supergirl, who's one of the more powerful heroes of The DCU, loves buying and trying new clothes, as well as changing or tweaking her superhero costume. She's worn over thirty costumes since her first appearance. Some few of them can be seen here. As of that picture date, she has added at least five new costumes.
  • The Wasp : Probably has the largest wardrobe in comic book history. Justified, as she actually is The Fashionista. See portrayals of and information about each costume here.
  • Britanny Elin Diggers from Gold Digger: is a mall rat supreme, and a Running Gag throughout the series is her (and her sisters) running multi-million dollar credit cards completely dry and having to perform her adventures (at least partially) to pay the banks. Of all three sisters she's the one that mostly wastes money on clothes (also at least partially justified because being an Action Girl Clothing Damage happens to her very often).

    Fan Works 
  • In Wonderful!, Wonder Star is an aspiring model as well as a super-hero. Her best friend Wonder Red jokes she'll burn a costume if she deems it an affront to her fashion sense.
  • Like One Sundered Star: Kanaya's not surprising, given her canon badassery and love of sewing. Dave as her runner-up for Most Fashion Savvy might surprise some readers, but remember he's the kid who alchemized himself an entire wardrobe of snazzy suits. The Dolorosa's cameo in IITF reveals her to be as adept at costumes and disguises as her descendant.
  • Worm/DCU crossover Echoes Of Yesterday has Kara as the local clotheshorse super-hero, following her canon characterization. She goes through at least two hero costumes in the two first story arcs, and she's very fussy regarding what clothes she will and will not wear.
  • Invoked in RWBY story Four Deadly Secrets. Junior pokes fun at his newly hired bodyguard for wearing sunglasses indoors past midnight, but she shoots back that she has to make some concession to fashion because the uniform is not her style.
  • Ashes of the Past has has Furfrou, who has very exquisite and refined habits, such as keeping up with fashion. Not even using Surf underground will get mud on her fabulous coat. That would be barbaric.

    Literature 
  • Animorphs' Rachel is this all over. A fierce Blood Knight who keeps spare outfits at the barn where their team meets. Not even clothes. Outfits. Of course, she can't actually use them in a fight, since Shapeshifting Excludes most Clothing.
    • Interestingly enough, she undergoes Literal Split Personality once and it turns out the shopper and the fighter are two entirely distinct entities (Nice Rachel plans out her shopping trips with surgical precision but breaks down crying at the drop of a hat, Mean Rachel goes on a one-woman raid against Yeerk facilities but is entirely helpless when caught in a trap she can't fight her way out from.)
  • Inquisitor Amberley Vail from the Ciaphas Cain novels has an enormous amount of various outfits and disguises. Cain suspects she adopts them for fun as much as for subtlety.
  • Katia, a necromancer from Dora Wilk Series and Shaman Blues. When with Dora, she usually takes her for shopping sprees, spa, manicure and the such, and she dresses in the latest fashions, even going on cons to buy stuff. She's also one of the most powerful necromancers, easily beating her colleagues.
  • Lonely Werewolf Girl:
    • Malveria; her species has Fashionista as its Hat. She has several dragonskin outfits made from the dragons she has personally slain, and although she acts like a high-class ditz most of the time, she occasionally likes to remind everyone she earned the right to do so by personally wiping her enemies from existence in combat.
    • And then there's her designer, Thrix, who puts up with Malveria's bizarre demands because she truly loves high fashion. She's also not just a werewolf, but an extremely powerful sorceress.
  • Most of the girls in The Finishing School Series. Since they attend a school in Steampunk Victoriana that teacher both social graces and espionage.
  • The War Gods: Brandark Brandarkson is consistently the best-dressed person in the room (and often the city), and adopts various foppish mannerisms. He is also known to overcome four to five picked warriors singlehandedly when the need arises.
  • The werewolf, Emilia from The Angaran Chronicles will always, always dress with fashion trends even if they are impractical and they will almost always wind up destroyed when she inevitably transforms.
  • The Parasol Protectorate: Lord Akeldama's band of dandies are quite handy during the Hipocras club debacle. Alexia notes that their fine clothing is cut to hide their musculature. Lord Akeldama is also shown to be a skilled fighter since he a lone vampire and one of the oldest vampires in the series.

    Live-Action Film 
  • The main heroines of Charlie's Angels (2000) are as stylish as they are skilled. Vivian Wood and Madison Lee, the female villains of the first and second movies respectively, give the Angels a run for their money in both fashion sense and martial arts.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The title character has an amazing wardrobe. Even when she is working at a fast food restaurant.
    • The vampire Sunday in "The Freshman" weaponizes her fashionista tendencies by insulting Buffy's fashion sense, then punching her while she is distracted. She also steals clothes from her victims, throwing out anything she thinks is "not" and keeping anything she thinks is "hot".
  • Charmed (1998) has all Halliwell sisters often vanquishing demons while wearing the latest fashions - with perfect hair and make-up too. Phoebe is the most noticeable example.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • La Morena, a women's champion of CSP/WWC and WWL, styles herself a fashion queen and will take breaks in between her assaulting of victims to let the camera focus on her newest clothing and hairstyles.
  • Calvin Couture isn't just fashionable, but bringing the fashion culture and industry "back" into professional wrestling was his entire reason for becoming an active wrestler. To this end he spends more time looking through clothing magazines and opinion pieces than watching tape and strives to strike the most memorable poses possible regardless of match type, opponent or venue.

    Video Games 
  • The King of Fighters:
    • Athena Asamiya of Psycho Soldier fame is infamous for changing her outfits with nearly every installment. She even goes so far as to invoke this trope as one of her HDMs (which has her magically change into each of her outfits along with each hit) and some of her intros (where she either changes from one costume into another, or goes through each one of her previous costumes before ending in the newest one and keeping it as her fighting clothes).
    • Robert Garcia, originally from Art of Fighting, isn't as extreme as Athena in his wardrobe changes, but as the closest to a Princely Young Man in the cast, he also likes to dress up nicely on the battlefield. (It helps that he's the heir to an Italian conglomerate and thus has the finances to afford such lavish clothing.) One of his HDMs even has him quickly fixing his sleeveless vest before delivering the final blow to his rivals.
  • Assassin Anna Williams from Tekken (usually) sports a long qipao as her default outfit, and has a few other stylish others, like fur coats, matching hats and other long dresses. Lee Chaolan has a tuxedo as a recurring P2 outfit, and he gets an even fancier suit-slash-Badass Longcoat as his default attire in 7.
  • Vivienne from Dragon Age: Inquisition is a high-ranking mage from Orlais, a medieval France stand-in where fashion is an integral part of the Decadent Court. Her default outfit looks like Maleficent pulling a Good Costume Switch, and her character kit goes into some detail on this mindset.
    "Leave the stained tunics and rough cloaks to the commoners and their mud farms–a proper Orlesian climbs mountains in her evening gown, standing taller at the summit in her formidable high-heeled shoes."
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes takes place in a fashion-forward version of Hyrule, thus Link and his impersonators can wear outfits that give you perks, such as the Spin Attack Attire, the Lucky Loungewear, the Big Bomb Outfit, and the Zelda Dress. Yes, we're serious about that last one.
  • Sands of Destruction doesn't change sprites due to the Law of Conservation of Detail, but both Morte and Rhi'a have personal armor quests that invoke this trope (contrary to the male members, whose armor quests involve things which are personally significant, such as Agan's father's coat). Morte trades outfits with a group of Feral sisters who are scattered across the world; each one is more garish than the last (the final one is actually see-through and even she is a little reluctant to wear it). Rhi'a just gets gifts of Elegant Gothic Lolita dresses from Felix Rex, since he's always fretting over her.
  • Final Fantasy X-2 has this trope as the battle system. The Dresspheres as they are called contain individual sets of abilities (Warrior, Thief, Black Mage, etc.) and each one comes with a unique outfit for each of the three leads. Yuna, Rikku, and Paine are actually questing to collect as many as possible.
  • Josephine in Suikoden V has this as part of her personal take on The Fighting Narcissist trope.
  • Both Oboro and Forrest from Fire Emblem Fates enjoy fashion, making clothes, and dressing others up, and they're pretty competent on the battlefield. In Oboro's case, she'll even occasionally ask "How do I look?" after finishing a fight.
  • Rose from Street Fighter is a lovely-looking Lady of Black Magic who fights in a dress and Combat Stilettos, and in IV can get very pretty outfits via DLC.
  • Splatoon and Splatoon 2 are about two things: ink-based combat and collecting a variety of vibrant, wild outfits for said ink-based combat. The Sunken Scrolls even comment that fashion and battle are the two dominant interests of an Inkling. The Big Bad of Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion, Commander Tartar, doesn't consider this a good thing, as it believes the Inklings' obsession with them hinders their true potential as a species. Therefore, they must be exterminated.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • The Nostalgia Critic created a humorous variant of this trope during a skit which mocked dialogue from After Earth. During the film, the protagonist states that they like the color change of their outfit but thinks it "means something bad". The following skit features a soldier under fire reporting to her commanding officers, but they all take more priority over how the soldier (and the enemy are dressed) than exchanging tactical information. They are therefore disgusted that the enemy is wearing outdated clothes, but are pleased that their soldier (who is quickly shot) is wearing something very stylish.
  • RWBY:
    • During Volumes 2-3, Cinder undergoes multiple wardrobe changes. Initially driven by the fact that she is infiltrating Beacon Academy and needs to hide her identity by avoiding the iconic dress she wore in the pilot episode, she develops a range of different clothing for different situations, even spending some scenes sewing the clothing in her dorm room. In addition to the Haven Academy student uniform, and a paramedic uniform, she has: a tournament outfit that consists of skin-tight trousers, bandages covering her chest, and an unbuttoned, sleeveless jacket; a black skin-tight catsuit for infiltrating the CCT, and a glittering black ballroom dress. She has Dust sewn into the catsuit to enable it to transform into the ballroom gown so that she can escape from her infiltration straight back into the ball that's happening next door.
    • During Volumes 2-3, Neo undergoes a range of wardrobe changes to suit her circumstances. She has the ability to disguise her entire appearance through illusion, so her wardrobe changes can happen rapidly. Her signature outfit is a steampunk bodice coat and trousers; she fights in the tournament in a frilly gothic skirt design; she also disguises herself as a paramedic when helping to frame Yang and, disguised as an Atlesian soldier, she helps Roman take control of General Ironwood's flagship.

    Western Animation 
  • In Kim Possible, the title character will not be caught fighting supervillains in last year's fashion. It's the basis for several episodes.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has Rarity, a fashion designer who fights many monster and villains with her friends, included teen dragons who would hurt her little Spikey-Wikey. One particular moment of note is the fighting montage in the season 2 finale episode. Of all of the Mane Six who are fighting the Changelings, Rarity is the only one visibly taking some satisfaction out of punching one in the jaw. Rarity apparently knows some form of martial arts, as she often assumes a vague stance when about to physically fight. It's most noticeable when she's threatening teenage dragons that are about to hurt Spike:
    Rarity: Fighting's not my thing, I'm more into fashion; BUT I'll RIP YOU TO PIECES IF YOU TOUCH ONE SCALE ON HIS CUTE LITTLE HEAD!!
  • Kaz from Neo Yokio has a great love of clothes and prides himself on his personal fashion. If he's stuck fighting demons, he's going to make sure he looks good doing it.
  • Stella of Winx Club has a very large wardrobe selection, though it's not typically worn in battle.
  • Kimiko from Xiaolin Showdown has an Unlimited Wardrobe; except for her regular monk attire, you'll never see her wearing the same clothes (or hairstyle... or even hair color) twice.

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