Follow TV Tropes


Arsenal Attire

Go To
Dressed to kill! (In more ways than one.)

Some people just don't carry weapons into their fights — not because they actually fight with bare hands, but because their armoury has actually been incorporated into their normal clothing and accessories. Hats, shoes, jackets and scarves can all have hidden weapons. The use of such clothing is not limited to the functions of Rule of Cool, but it also gives the wearer a pass in places where weapons are not normally allowed since the weapons in question are all but invisible to casual observers, and some can even pass a frisking by City Guards.

Subtrope to Hidden Weapons. Sometimes overlaps with Improbable Weapon User. Compare Clothing Combat, where the actual piece of the clothing's fabrics can be used as a weapon; Clothes Make the Superman, where the clothing is responsible for the character having superpowers; and Powered Armor, where a suit of armor enhances a character's abilities.

Supertrope to the following:


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Baki the Grappler includes a very grisly example with the villain Hector Doyle, a serial killer who escaped from death row. Doyle has several box-cutting razors fixed to the inside of his shirt collar, so when an opponent grabs him by his collar he [the attacker] shreds his fingers.
  • In Brave10, both Rokuro and Nanakuma hide their combination whip/rope darts as part of their clothing. Surprising, given there's not much there to begin with.
  • In Et Cetera, Benkate has guns in the heels of her boots and wears guns for earrings.
  • In The Love and Creed of Sae Maki, Sae has customized shoes allowing her to hide a taser in the sole. Misao learns first-hand about it when she tries to change her persona to lose Sae's interest; she's shocked unconscious during lunch after Sae taps her leg with her foot under the table, and nobody has any idea what happened to make her suddenly "faint".
  • One Piece: Diamante of the Donquixote Pirates wears a cape that's actually a steel cube thanks to his Devil Fruit ability, which allows him to flatten solid objects, turning them flexible and weightless like a flag, but keeping other natural characteristics like strength and toughness.
  • In Ranma , aside from the actual arsenal of Hidden Weapons Mousse carries in his robes, his shoes also hide toe-blades, toe-pins, and eagle-like talons, while the frame of his glasses incorporates Razor Floss with a hook at the end. Whether Ryōga's "flying razor" bandannas and sword-belt constitute this or Clothing Combat depends on the reader's interpretation of how he performs such feats.
  • In Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle, the two white fluff balls of Princess Aurora Sya Lis Goodereste's outfit are actually bombs. Turns out that Dawner was the one who added them on her dress (after many trials and errors) so the princess would have weapons for self-defense.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman's cape is weighted for use in attacks.
    • Among Batman's rogues gallery:
      • The plume in the Cavalier's hat is actually a steel-tipped dart.
      • The Monarch of Menace's ermine cape is equipped with a gas ejecting mechanism.
      • Nocturna's jewelry is a vast array of weaponry, from explosive beads to shuriken-like bangles. She has a belt made of crescents, each razor sharp on the underside, that can be used to flay a foe.
  • Doom Patrol: Codpiece was told that he wasn't big enough in High School, and though the girl who said it meant his height, he thought she meant his... penis. Due to an inferiority complex about the size of his wiener, he created a suit with a codpiece weapon system and became a supervillain. Yes, you read that right: his primary weapon is a weaponized codpiece.
  • Peacemaker, in the original Charlton incarnation at least. Almost every element of his costume was some kind of explosive or incendiary, though he was never shown actually using these.
  • Robin (1993): Tim Drake modified his cape so that when it detached he could push a button and it would wrap around and cling to whatever was touching it, which made it a convenient way to take down and detain mooks while fighting.
  • Superman: Several items of Terra-Man's costume were actually high-tech weapons in disguise, such as a serape that would wrap itself around a target and constrict, and spurs that transformed into Deadly Discs.
  • The Ultraverse: Lady Killer from The Strangers is a superhero who's also a fashion designer. Every part of her costume can be used as a weapon.
  • One of Vampirella's weapons in the 2010 run was a necklace in the shape of her signature costume's emblem. It contained silver alloy and was blessed by the Vatican. She used it to cut off the hand of Le Fanu, a French vampire who was in service to Dracula.

    Fan Works 
  • Four Deadly Secrets: A few:
    • Melanie's new weapon is a set of elbow-blades that can be coiled up and hidden.
    • A Faunus gang member shows a belt that doubles as a dust-powered Whip Sword.
  • Hostile Takeover: When Amy heals Taylor's father from a knife wound, she describes Taylor as "a figure in black and weapons."
    You couldn't normally use 'weapons' to describe someone's outfit, but they seemed to be making a go of it.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Discworld:
    • Adorabell Dearhart, AKA "Spike", AKA "Killer", has stiletto heels that can punch through two reinforced layers of cured leather and a human foot and still embed themselves into an oak floorboard.
    • Sam Vimes' butler, Wilikins, used to own a hat with Sharpened pennies sewn into the brim for fighting; when he was a street ruffian in his youth.
      Vimes: You could have someone's eye out with that!
      Wilikins: With care, yes, sir.
    • Granny Weatherwax is never seen without her pointy black hat, held on with several hatpins that she uses as weapons in the rare cases she needs a weapon at all.
    • Inigo Skimmer is a walking armory of concealed weapons, with a palm dagger in his sleeve, blades in his shoes and, like Oddjob, a bowler hat with a razor-sharp edge underneath the felt brim. None of which saves him from the werewolves in the end.
  • Federation of the Hub: In "Lion Loose", Reetal Destone's hair-clasp is actually an energy pistol.
  • The Looking-Glass Wars series: The entire Millenary, but Hatter Madiagan's wardrobe in particular.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: Esmé Gigi Geniveve Squalor, in The Hostile Hospital, wears stiletto shoes with thin knives for heels.
  • The Witch of Knightcharm: The protagonist Emily eventually crafts magical amulets and works them into her shoes. The amulets can project shields, and she uses the shields both to push herself off from the ground and launch into the air, and to create Improvised Platforms that she can land on and jump off of again during combat.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: Minor examples: The Fourth Doctor once covered a Dalek's eye-stalk with his hat, and sometimes used his long, trailing scarf to trip his opponents or tie them up.
  • Hail Tothe Chief: Phelps has a poison dart gun hidden in his eyeglasses.
  • Lexx: His Divine Shadow's personal garments as well as apparently being made out of nano-machines allow his current host to fly and fire deadly sheets of pure energy from its entire surface.
  • In Moon Knight (2022), Moon Knight's crescent darts form the symbol on his chest piece.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Monks; everything they wear can be used as a weapon.
  • Munchkin Impossible, the Spy Fiction set, has the Shooty Hat. It's a gun hidden inside a hat.
  • Pathfinder has a bladed scarf for Improbable Weapon Users. One archetype for the Magus class uses it as a weapon of choice to boost the Magus' defenses and channel some of their supernatural abilities.
  • Shadowrun: The 2nd Edition supplement The Neo-Anarchists' Guide to Real Life has a section dedicated to armor and weapons disguised as clothing. They include the Barton Arms Bracer (a gun disguised as a piece of jewelry) and the Barton Arms Gun Cane (a cane that can fire a bullet). A variety of fashion houses (Armante, Mortimer of London, Vashon Island and Zoe) have formal wear that can stop a bullet.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Battle: Witch Hunters often wear longcoats with lead balls sewn into their rims (for use as bludgeoning weapons if they're otherwise disarmed) and boots with poisoned, spring-powered knives concealed in their heels.

    Video Games 
  • Several of the multiplayer personas in the Assassin's Creed disguise their weapons as attire. For example, one female has blades in her paper fan, and another removes her hair decoration and stabs people's eyes with the metal prongs. Makes sense, because the multiplayer is assassins assassinating other assassins (and trying not to be assassinated themselves) in an assassination training simulator, so they have every reason to go covert.
  • Grandia II: It's a blink and you'll miss it moment, but for her Impact Bomb special, Elena actually takes an orb off of her sash to hurl at her target.
  • In Hidden City, Security Service agent Kira Woodville has plenty of weapons disguised as jewelry, such as brooch and earrings. She mentions that girls aren't allowed to carry weapons from where she came from, so she hid them in her accessories.
  • Hades in Kid Icarus: Uprising.
    Viridi: He's covered from head to toe in weaponry. Like a rainbow apocalypse.
    Hades: I prefer to think of it as my devastation ensemble. I only wear it for very special occasions. You know, weddings, armageddons...
  • In Malicious, the story revolves around a boy or girl called a Spirit Vessel, that have been charged with protecting humanity with scarfs that shapeshift into weapons called Mantle of Cinders. With that, they have to stop a great evil called '"The Malicious"', from destroying the world.
  • Cerebella of Skullgirls wears a monster-hat named Vice-Versa, which acts as the muscles and Cerebella as the knives.

  • In Schlock Mercenary, the standard uniform for Tagon's Toughs is actually nanofiber armor with a deployable breathmask and allows antigrav flight as well. The uniform that Legs uses also has a pair of cannons built into the helmet, as she lacks humanoid hands with which to hold a weapon.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: In "Joker: The Vile and the Villainous", the Weeper has a handkerchief that can be used as a sword and a lasso (amongst other things).
  • In one episode of Adventure Time, Finn and Jake repair a shoe for a funeral attendee with a magic nail. This causes it to sprout a knife from the toe, axes on the side, and lassos from the laces.

    Real Life 
  • The Asiatic practice of making 'weighted sleeves'.
  • Ninjas did this sort of thing constantly.
  • There are kinds of high-heeled shoes that can be used this way.
  • Razor blades or sharpened pennies sewn into a hat-brim are a traditional way of giving yourself an edge -literally- in a Bar Brawl, especially in the less salubrious parts of urban Scotland.
  • While it's more commonly used as an escape tool, some soldiers find ways to conceal razor-sharp wire in their uniforms, commonly concealed in their rank epaulettes. It can be used either as a Gigli saw (for escape as part of a SERE kit) or as a garrote. Other kinds of sharp or pointy bits are routinely hidden in a similar fashion where they can get away with it, making wily, old, cunning soldiers difficult to be considered truly disarmed even if you've taken their rifle, sidearm, and knife.