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Black Bra and Panties

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"You don't buy black lingerie unless you want someone to see it."
Bianca Stratford, 10 Things I Hate About You

A woman in fiction-land showing black lingerie is doing it for a reason. She's doing it because she wants to show it off. Because she wants to give someone else a thrill. These are the underwear she wears for someone else. It can be sexual, it can be sensual, but it's not something she wants to keep hidden.

The sight of black lingerie is an instant alarm bell for bad news. If a woman is seen wearing it or admits to wearing it, she's The Vamp for sure; if someone else finds it snooping through her drawer, it's a sure sign she's loose. What other women must wear as a substitute under their black clothing is never explained. Lingerie is Colour-Coded for Your Convenience, and as with most other things, black = bad/hot.

Of course in Real Life, it doesn't work that way. Sometimes it can happen, but most of the time, it's because it fits with a woman's black clothes, the same as white lingerie fits with her white clothes, and blue fits with her blue clothes, etc.

Compare Fur Bikini, Seashell Bra, Of Corsets Sexy, Ready for Lovemaking, Sexy Coat Flashing and Slip into Something More Comfortable.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Lelouch from Code Geass, with his obsession for black stuff, wears a black banana hammock underneath his Zero costume as depicted in official linearts. As a result, fan art frequently depicts him wearing Black Bra and Panties on the inevitable Gender Bender fanarts. It's the rule 63 of the internet.
  • Golden Boy
    "A BLACK is a mystery..."
  • In the penultimate volume of Great Teacher Onizuka, while a nurse is attending Uchiyamada and Onizuka and two of his students are under the bed making bets in which color the nurses panties are, Onizuka is betting purple, one student bets black and the last one bets white, the trope is mentioned. The result purple with a Garter belt.
  • Spoofed in an early chapter of the Sgt. Frog manga, where Keroro rushes into the room with a pair of black panties belonging to Natsumi, saying they're far too racy for a teenager to be wearing. Natsumi promptly kicks him across the room.
  • Subverted with Fate Testarossa who wears this after she's grown up in the third season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. Merely a reminder of her Dark Magical Girl past, she's one of the most motherly characters in the show now.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi references this trope. Koyomi is designed to fit the calm, shy archetype in Fate's team. During her battle with Jack Rakan, using his Super-Speed, he tells her after a quick observation that black doesn't suit her.
  • A School Rumble Hentai doujin began with Eri buying black lingerie. The desire to show it off to someone (and a bit of poor communication) is what leads to the Hentai part.
  • Inaba of Kokoro Connect. Shows up when she tries to seduce Taichi while not in her normal state of mind.
  • In an early chapter of Soul Eater, Tsubaki's skirt gets pulled up to reveal some lacy black panties. No explanation for why she was wearing these has ever been given.
  • Lunamaria Hawke from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny is seen wearing black panties. Not sure about her bra, though.
  • The perfect example for women wearing these in real life would be Perrine from Strike Witches - her stark white panties stick out terribly underneath her black tights.
  • Nyarko from Nyaruko: Crawling with Love! wears a pair under almost every outfit; we know this because half the time she's taking them off in an attempt to seduce her love interest Mahiro.
  • In the prequel OVA Ghost in the Shell: Arise Motoko Kusanagi wears this for her Ms. Fanservice moments instead of the "battle teddy" we're all familiar with.

    Comic Books 
  • Although the Lingerie Scene had been around in comics since (at least) the 1930s, black underwear was virtually unseen until the war, and then only in certain kinds of male publications. All this changed during the late 50s, when the British press decided that nice girls could wear black after all.
  • A prime example of this changing attitude was Pat Tourret's Tiffany Jones. Essentially a single-girl romance set in Swinging London, the strip featured regular fanservice as the title character modelled the latest in sixties underfashions (usually accomplished via a perfectly normal domestic activity, such as ironing a dress in her bra and panties). The ongoing stripteases were vaguely surprising, given that the artist and writer were both female. Maybe it was meant to be a proto-feminist statement on the exploitation of women's bodies. Or maybe the Daily Sketch just wanted to sell more papers; who knows?
  • Veronica Chase wears this when she "rewards" Deadpool in Merc With A Mouth #9.
  • During Howard Chaykin's run as artist on Hawkgirl, Shayra was shown to be wearing a black lace brace under her costume. Various female commentators remarked on how this black lace bra appeared to have the same support qualities as a good sports bra and wondered where they could purchase one.
  • Modesty Blaise was famous for this.
  • This is what Cindrella is wearing when she is captured and tied to a chair in Fairest #21. (And what she proceeds to kick ass in once she busts loose.)

  • In Dressed to Kill, Nancy Allen strips down to black lingerie to entrap Michael Caine.
  • In 10 Things I Hate About You, when the younger sister is snooping through her older sister's room with some guy, she finds a pair of black underwear and immediately uses it as evidence that she wants to have sex eventually.
  • Angela Hayes wears black panties in American Beauty, probably as part of her effort to seem as sexual and experienced as possible.
  • In Black Swan, virginal and repressed Nina wears white underwear, while sensual and free-spirited Lily wears black.
  • To demoralize a children's book writer in Closetland, Alan Rickman dresses an unconscious Madeline Stowe in these and wakes her with a blaring repetition of "Women who wear black underwear are closet whores!"
  • Dick Tracy: Breathless Mahoney wears black underwear to mourn for her ex. And to flirt with Tracy a day later.
  • Horrible Bosses: Julia deliberately undresses in front of window and then parades around the house in nothing but black bra, panties, suspenders and stockings while Kurt watches in amazement.
  • In Love and Death, Woody Allen's character hooks up with a gorgeous countess - at a rendezvous, she walks in in very erotic black underthings; Allen deadpans "I...would have preferred something sexy, but..."
  • Picture comes from Mannequin, where she wears nothing but these under a fur coat.
  • The villain of Men in Black II, a shapeshifting Alien, chooses a supermodel ad wearing a Black Bra and Panties to imitate and uses it to seduce other characters.
  • In the porno film Nipples, the narrator has a fantasy about two women: one in red lingerie and one in black. His comment is "Woman in red, trouble ahead. Woman in black... trouble ahead".
  • Used with purpose in the Alfred Hitchcock movie Psycho, where Janet Leigh's character, Marion Crane (Mary Crane in the original novel), starts the film wearing a white bra and slip. When she decides to make off with stolen cash, she changes to a black bra and slip to symbolize her fall from grace. After a discussion with another character, she then goes into a cleansing shower. She doesn't come out under her own power.
  • In Cameron Crowe's Singles, Kyra Sedgwick's character strips down to these prior to having sex with Campbell Scott's character for the first time.
  • The striptease in True Lies involves black underwear after the character had been told to "dress sexy".
  • While You Were Sleeping has a slight Level Breaker scene that gets a callback later involving the universal appeal of black underwear. Sandra Bullock's character is feeling vulnerable, and her sleazy Joisey neighbour (who, the script implies, has spent months if not years trying to flirt his way into her pants) shows concern for her. She ends up giving him a which he says, "Are you wearing a black bra?" She promptly leaves, even as he protests, "I love black underwears!" Later, a knock at the door, which she assumes is him, drives her to storm towards the door shouting several refutations of his crush on her, including "No, I am not wearing black underwear!"...and Bill Pullman's character is at the door. He responds to her comments, including noting that he wouldn't mind seeing her in black underwear, but that he certainly isn't expecting it.
  • In X-Men: First Class, FBI Agent Moira MacTaggart strips down to reveal her black lingerie in order to go undercover at the Hellfire Club.
  • In DOA: Dead or Alive, Christie escapes from the police wearing nothing but a black bra, panties and high heels.
  • In the film adaptation of RENT, Mimi takes off her silver robe for these at the beginning of "Out Tonight".
  • In Coffy, the vigilante title character poses as a High-Class Call Girl to get close to and assasinate a number of drug lords. In one of these scenes strips down to this, then pulls out a a gun from her bag.

  • In Mordechai Richler's The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Duddy mistakenly comes to the conclusion that a married woman is extremely promiscuous based solely on this trope.
  • In the James Patterson novel Sail, it is stated that a lawyer likes it best when his mistress is wearing black underwear.
  • Used in a rather questionable leap of logic in the first Inspector Morse novel, in which Morse deduces that 1) the murdered girl only had black bras, 2) she was wearing a white blouse when she was murdered, 3) girls would never wear a black bra under a white blouse, so 4) she wasn't wearing a bra, therefore 5) she was putting out for sex.
  • In the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton the heroine wears them in the novels Blue Moon (they are a matched set) and Obsidian Butterfly. In the latter work she dons them in two separate instances, when Edward, her male vampire hunting colleague with whom she has a totally platonic relationship brings her a change of clothes to wear after she checks out of hospital stays. In both books the panties are said to be satin. On another occasion, however, Anita (of all people!) actually references the pragmatic reason for wearing black undies in so many words: "Flashing a white bra strap from under a black dress is tacky".
  • Lara Raith wears this in her first conversation with Harry, because it takes place in a porn studio where she's acting. She later has a gun fight in same outfit. Her Dad lampshades it later on.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Mild subversion in Alias when Sydney comes out seductively in sexy black lingerie and is told by her mark to go back and put on 'the red one'. She doesn't take kindly to this.
  • Elvira, Mistress of the Dark wears a black bra and panties, complete with black corset.
  • In The Lakes, philandering bully Gary Alcock makes his wife's life a misery with violence, the threat of violence, and frequent undisguised affairs. After he is knocked down and temporarily paralysed, Ruth Alcock gets her own back by dressing in the sexiest underwear possible for a night out and an equally undisguised affair, and as she dresses in the classic black set, tells her bedridden husband in explicit detail what she intends to do that night, and for him not to wait up for her. She blows him a kiss on the way out of the bedroom door.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Veruca walks around like this while looking for clothes to steal from the campus's laundry room. She's in no hurry to get dressed, and would much rather try to seduce Oz and convince him to live as she does.
  • Agent Olivia Dunham from Fringe. Interestingly, her Alternate Universe counterpart wears white.
    • This is actually an inversion because her Alternate Universe counterpart is shown to be much more open than the original.
  • Criminal Minds:
    • Lila Archer in "Somebody's Watching" wears a black bikini and black bottoms for precisely the same effect- trying to seduce her security detail, Spencer Reid.
    • Megan Kane in "Pleasure Is My Business" works as a call girl for high-paying, usually executive-class, clients. She would walk in with businesslike attire only for her to immediately strip it off to her underwear (described by this trope) when she would start her "service".
  • Star Trek: Enterprise. The Mirror Universe episode brought out the ho in Ensign Hoshi, who spends a lot of time slinking around in the captain's quarters regardless of who's captain, (un)dressed in a black bra, panties and transparent nightie.
  • Bo in Lost Girl usually wears black lingerie and knows how to use it for seduction purposes.

  • In Fire Emblem Fates, female Nohrians wear this type of underwear either as daily wear or when their go to the hot spring in My Castle, including the female Avatar and Kana. Most notably, Camilla and Sophie have panties-baring outfits in their default class (Malig Knight and Cavalier, respectively).
  • In Mass Effect 2, Miranda Lawson shows the first half of this trope off at the end of the Optional Sexual Encounter.
  • In Mass Effect 3 Fem!Shep is shown in these during the romance scenes. It's not just Fem!Shep, either. She, Ashley, and Traynor seem to wear identical sets of lacy black lingerie.
  • Shizune Hakamichi from Katawa Shoujo. Doubled by how her Panty Shot in Act 1 shows white knickers... yet she wears black and lacy lingerie in her sex scenes.
    • Fridge Brilliance: The panty-shot scene occurs before Hisao has established any sort of real relationship with her. Her change in lingerie demonstrates that she knows their relationship is developing and shows just how far she wants to take it.
  • In Plumbers Don't Wear Ties, Jane strips herself down to these while wearing black gloves. And not only that, but she also takes out her whip and handcuffs!

  • Jessica is shown to wear them in Loserz. Subverted when we learn later that she's actually a virgin.
  • In one Misfile strip boy-turned-girl Ash pairs a black bra with a white t-shirt. Emily (who is a real girl) is quick to point out this trope.
  • Tsukiko of The Order of the Stick is shown to be wearing these under a transparent black negligee during a few Fanservice-y strips; the all-black ensemble suits her Perky Goth style. She's also carrying a Xykon plushie, which she seems to sleep with
  • The titular sissified star of The Adventures of Aryan Boy, Aryan Boy, is rumored on the streets of London to wear a black bra and panties at all times under his casual clothing, to seek "thrills." When he arrives in New York, the rumor shifts to that of him wearing pink thongs.


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Streneous Activity

In order to get a clean bill of health for active duty, Bond seduces Dr. Molly Warmflash.

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