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Costume Porn

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Think just looking at this dress is impressive? Try describing it.well... 

I wanted to do a valentine to Hollywood ... This was done through sets, costumes, hair, and makeup. Everything was exaggerated. Shoulder pads were an inch bigger inside, and the ties were made even wider. Giorgio Armani said that he studied the costumes and decided to make clothes, "like New York, New York".
Martin Scorsese, Martin Scorsese: A Journey, Page 102-103, explaining the appeal of the trope and its influence on fashion.

This trope is about extremely detailed clothing, either seeing it or describing it. Seems to be more as a form of Author Appeal or Fanservice than for any important details to the plot. Seems to be most common in stuff aimed at girls and women.

This trope is usually written, but if the clothing is elaborate enough, it can be shown visually. This was especially true when royalty invokes the Ermine Cape Effect, or in period drama films from The Golden Age of Hollywood. With both, the point was in the fanciest, flashiest clothing possible.

A Super-Trope to:

Sister Tropes include:

Compare: Description Porn, Scenery Porn, Technology Porn, Modeling Poses.

Contrast: Modest Royalty; Impossibly Tacky Clothes (making it clear the detailed outfit is bad).

Compare / Contrast Simple, yet Opulent.

Not to be confused with porn costumes, which tend to be a single layer to provide an excuse for the actors to strip, or with Sexy Whatever Outfit — though there is much overlap there.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • ×××HOLiC: Yuuko Ichihara's wardrobe is a veritable catalog of ludicrously orgasmatastic clothing designs. The only times Yuuko ever wears the same outfit twice is once in a dream sequence and once in real life, and it is in-universe memorable enough that Watanuki comments on it... and even gets worried because of it. His fear is justified.
    • Since Yuuko's death, Watanuki has taken over not only her role as shopkeeper but also as CLAMP's mannequin for unique and frequent Costume Porn.
    • Similarly, anything Tomoyo makes for Sakura in Cardcaptor Sakura. Really though, just CLAMP in general.
    • The splash pages of many CLAMP manga are used primarily as an excuse to dress the characters up in elaborate and exquisitely detailed costumes. Pick up any of their artbooks and see.
  • Adekan: Anri's, Shiro's, and numerous female characters outfits are a thing of beauty. Anri, Shiro, and Kojiro frequently get put on covers in suggestive positions around each other while wearing incredibly elaborate outfits.
  • AKB49 – Renai Kinshi Jourei features intricate costumes for idol group members performing on stage, and a single performance will involve multiple costume changes as well.
  • Due to the pretty blatant Author Appeal, Ai Yazawa sometimes devotes endless panels and splash pages to showcasing the costumes her fashion designer characters create from every possible angle. Yukari modeling the Pimped-Out Dress from Paradise Kiss is probably the worst offender, but it happens many other times both in that series and Gokinjo Monogatari.
  • The Amawakuni clothing in Arata: The Legend are all beautifully designed and detailed in the Oriental fashion.
    • This isn't new for someone like Yuu Watase, as they often drew Miaka Yuuki from Fushigi Yuugi wearing really pretty Chinese-styled robes. Yui Hongou's Belly Dancer-like outfits were very easy in the eyes as well.
  • The Storas of Amuri in Star Ocean are essentially personalized space-suits that look like very elaborate (and rather revealing) Magical Girl costumes. They also enhance and control the powers of their wearers, generate blunt projectiles seemingly out of thin air, as well as undress their users and neatly store their clothes away before covering them up again.
  • Most of the outfits in Black Butler. Special mention goes to the gown Ciel wore at a ball when cross-dressing.
  • The Bride of the Water God has a vast array of beautiful Korean costumes.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura has a lot of this, since Sakura has a different, detailed, cute costume for every card she confronts, courtesy of her best friend Tomoyo. It's a rare instance of it being justified In-Universe: when your best friend is a highly talented costume designer and videographer and has heavy Single-Target Sexuality towards you and feels the camera loves you as much as she does and believes that you have to look your best when capturing magical cards that are wreaking havoc, you can expect to be the guinea pig for her new creations Once an Episode. The anime even has a special segment at the end of many episodes which is dedicated to pointing out the specific details of Sakura's costumes.
  • In-universe case in Case Closed the "Kimono Goddess" filler case happens in an inn that possesses LOTS of beautiful and very pricey female kimonos (which make Ran squeal in amazement) and is near the shrine of the aforementioned Goddess. This becomes a plot-point when the Asshole Victims, two Rich bitches named Asuka and Ema, appear dead in carefully-arranged crime scenes that involve such kimonos: this is because they caused the death of Sakurako, a girl who was a big devotée of the Kimono Goddess, and her long-lost sister Chieri/Eri was also aware of the myth so she used it as criminal theme to signify her revenge against the two assholes who got her sister killed.
    • Even more so, there's a backstory to the myth of the Goddess, and it also brings up the trope. According to it, a Naďve Everygirl named Koharu received a trunk of beautiful kimonos as thanks from a daimyo whose life she saved. The jealous daughters of the village leader accused her of theft to get them, and poor Koharu was executed. That same night, the two girls were found dead — also in carefully-arranged scenes involving these kimonos, which were supposedly caused by Koharu's soul which had become a vengeful spirit. To appease her, she was from then on referred to and venerated as the Kimono Goddess, a Shinto minor deity who is generally seen as the protector of the area... but is believed to be willing to sponsor someone's revenge if they ask her to.
    • Again invoked in another case, where we take a peek at the wardrobe belonging to an Elegant Gothic Lolita fangirl. It's a blink-and-you-may-miss-it moment in the manga version, but the anime gives us quite the tour of the girl's beautiful jewelry and clothes. Too bad that she's actually the victim of the week. And then her frilly black dress is vital to resolve the case.
  • Code Geass:
    • Lelouch's elaborate and nigh-ridiculous emperor outfit. Nice hat too.
    • Everyone else is not far behind either, especially C.C. getting a complete makeover, new hairstyle, and a new ridiculous costume out of nowhere for one episode in Season 2.
    • Not to mention the art books.
      • Well, the character designs were made by CLAMP.

    Comic Books 
  • Artist Colleen Doran in A Distant Soil. The Ageless Human Alien rulers of the Crystal Spires and Togas Ovanan race wear outfits that are literally unbelievable. If only because they probably have to exert some telekinetic effort just to keep all the crystals and gemstones from breaking their necks!
  • Katy Keene actually encouraged this, with fan submissions that the artists would adapt into the actual comics.
  • Millie the Model also did fan submissions adapted into the comics.
  • Ditto Patsy Walker and its associated titles. In both cases, the fan who sent in the costume design would receive a credit.
  • The period clothing in Sasmira is drawn in lavish detail by artists Laurent Vicomte and Anaïs Bernabé, down to every last frill.
  • Thunderstrike: When Marcy opens her health salon, she decides to dress to the nines, including a shimmering evening dress, diamond necklace, and white fur jacket. Though all are cut in ways to show off her figure (hinting that a lady joining the salon could look as good as her).
  • In Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons all of the Goddesses and Amazons have this (save for Aphrodite) but Hera in particular deserves special mention. She wears a new, elaborately detailed, costume for every new scene she's in.

    Comic Strips 
  • One of the defining features of Nell Brinkley's comic serials is the sumptuously illustrated, ultra-stylish costumes her heroines are outfitted in. Her full-color Sunday Strips of the 1920's were typically organized around a full body glamour-shot showing off ruffles and roses, silken stockings, fur trims, feathered hats, and other fine fripperies that adorned the characters:
    • The Adventures of Prudence Prim — Although Prudence lives with her stuffy spinster aunts who explicitly disapprove of modern fashion, she wears some truly fabulous outfits when she sneaks out for her adventures. Highlights include embroidered pink chiffon pajamas, a gold-and-green bathing costume with matching swim cap and flower-print "swagger parasol," and a black dress short enough to show off her "painted knees" (an actual fashion trend from the 1920's).
    • The Fortunes of Flossie — Being a modern sort of woman, Flossie wears only the most stylish flapper togs whenever she goes out or stays in. This includes jewel-blue lounge pajamas with fur trim, a lavishly decorated "Queen of Hearts' costume, and a mod vermillion dress-suit with matching fez.

    Fan Works 
  • Becoming Female does this:
    I was wearing a cream-colored blouse with bright purple polka dots, a fleece jacket with pink and red horizontal stripes and an olive green mini. I was wearing lavender flip-flops with lime green tube socks over my mustard yellow tights. I also had on a bra and panties, but they were under the rest of my clothes so you couldn't see them. I had dyed my hair blue and put it in buns like Princess Leia from Star Wars. All the boys stared lustfully at me while most of the girls looked incredibly jealous.
  • In Child of the Storm and its sequel, the author occasionally indulges, particularly with the Yule Ball in the sequel, which features lovingly detailed descriptions of Harry, Carol, and Diana's costumes.
  • In Chlorine Grown Roses, nearly every chapter describes every characters' outfits and hairstyles (particularly Azusa's), most of which consist of band tees and short skirts.
  • Played for Laughs in the Gintama fic Clothe Me With the Tainted Dress
    […] Takasugi's obstructive clothing: a furisode of deepest crimson whose sleeves and hem trailed on the floor thanks to its wearer's height, adorned with a detailed and grand surihaku depiction of a forest of golden autumn leaves and silver susuki grass - a striking and extravagant ensemble of too much gold and even more silver that gave Takasugi's own butterfly robe a run for its money. That was not to mention the slew of ornaments whose material ranged from wood to brass to gold to tortoiseshell - every single one studded with jewels to boot - stuck into his choppy hair. As if having his neck gone stiff carrying that load atop his head wasn't bad enough, there had to be this blasted kanzashi from which hung long beads of pearls reaching past his chin that kept swinging into his face and against each other, creating those irritating dull clacking noises every time he moved his head. And to top it all off, his face was caked with make-up even under his bandages - he was made to remove them as foundation and powder and eyeliner and mascara was ruthlessly applied onto the part of his face that would be concealed anyway.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh fanfic, Decks Fall Everyone Dies, tries to hide the clothing descriptions by breaking them up, but they're still detailed descriptions:
    "Joey lounged on a couch that had been spray-painted gold, wearing a blue leopard print tunic with a pink bobbed wig. With all the reflective objects and Joey's second skin of body glitter, the downstage area seemed to be bathed in light....All the audience would be able to see was the glow-in-the-dark face and body paint worn by Joey....Glittering sparks shot out of holographic badges behind the two birthday hats on Joey's pectorals."
  • Although in Eternal Flowers the author tends to go into Description Porn, especially when it comes to food, in Chapter Thirty-Seven, the descriptions of the dresses for the Moonlight Gala for each female character get a lengthy paragraph.
  • A Growing Affection has a handful of extended clothing descriptions, but most notably:
    The main portion of Hinata's gown was a shimmering, medium-weight, pure white silk mikado. The edges of the fabric were all stitched with a golden filigree of small, overlapping triangles. The bride's dress was strapless like those of her attendants. But the pale beauty's bodice was so perfectly fitted it almost appeared to be paint instead of fabric. It clung tightly to every curve of her exquisite breasts, dipping slightly between her cleavage. The gown wrapped around her toned stomach, revealing the slight indent of her navel. The upper portion of the dress also had short sleeves connected under her arms, covering from the middle of her biceps to just above Hinata's elbows. Unlike her friends, the young woman wore no gloves, and her engagement ring shone brightly on her finger. The ivory material split just below the waist, creating a wide slit in front while the rest of the dress flared out dramatically, flowing around her in vertical pleats. A cape-like extension off the back of the bodice and sleeves added an additional layer to the back of the gown. The silk ended a full six inches above the floor. Underneath there was an underskirt of pale lavender, but unlike the white silk this part of the dress had a matte finish. The second layer went all the way to the floor, and as was also visible through the gap in the front. The bride wore a simple silver circlet on her head, with a veil of lace hanging out of the headpiece down to just below her chin.
  • In Homestuck fandom, redesigning the characters' simple outfits, either for cosplay purposes or fashion purposes, is absurdly common. Rumminov's Fancy Dreamers and Fancy Tier designs are extremely popular, as well as Mookie's various J-fashion designs, but there are many more popular ones as well. Some of these popular designs, such as Meenah's various custom God Tier outfits, Porrim's "party dress" (based on Asian fashion) and Equius's fetishistic maid costume (which the artist apparently never sent to Hussie, but which he put in anyway) were canonised in the "Ministrife" flash.
  • Fanfiction author Khaosomega is notoriously prone to this, especially if an outfit includes some hot high heels. This often comes at the expense of other areas, however, especially if said area relates to the porn half of the trope name.
  • Used in the Lost Girl/Merlin (2008) crossover fic Lost in Camelot, as Bo and Kenzi are sent back in time to Camelot and learn that they cannot return to the twenty-first century, with Kenzi in particular revelling in the opportunity to explore now outfits (the author notes that some of her costume designs draw inspiration from Oz the Great and Powerful)
  • The author of Moon Daughter, a Percy Jackson fanfiction, does this a lot:
    I was resolved so I put on some black eyeliner and some dark red lipstick that was the color of blood to remind me of my mission. I put on a silver tank top and a blavk jacket that was made from lether with a sliver zipper and a sliver moon on the cuffs, I put on black skinny jeans with sliver threads sown threw them and a pair of black converse with dark red laces. My hair I cut on the edges a little to make it more ragged.
  • My Immortal:
    • Half of the text is the main character describing her "goffic" clothing and that of her friends (never mind that Hogwarts requires wizard robes as uniform in the source material). All descriptions are nearly identical.
      • Her outfit changes and those of her friends are rendered with such love and detail, that she didn't reserve any for the rest of the text.
    • The best description of the "Black Leather Pajamas".
    • Pfff, "black leather bar."
  • The Zelda fanfiction My Inner Life has loads of this when describing the lovely new dress and hairstyle Jenna currently has. Bonus points for the fact that some of the things she wears would look just horrid if drawn or worn in real life.
    I went to the wardrobe closet and selected a low cut pink dress with long selves and the Triforce symbol over my right breast. A pink feathery lace ran underneath my breasts. And a crisscross pattern held the back together. I pulled my hair into a bun and went downstairs.
  • Cinderella fanfiction The Rose and the Crown will sometimes stop for a lengthy description of Cinderella's fancy new gown and whatever jewelry comes with it.
  • Spongebob's First Time is full of this. Every single thing Sandy wears is described in such exorbitant detail that it just gets funny after a while. Some of these things would probably look revolting if someone managed to even wear them.
    Sandy was wearing an ivory-onyx tearaway striped crop top with a ruby ribbon around her neck. She also wore an onyx beret studded with studs, and short lingerie exhibiting a tad of her pussy. Her stockings were made of the most exotic french samite, with gorgeous french jewels cascading down the sides. She wore such divin, élégant chaussures with lots of bijoux on them. She wore a leather cape en cuir with sultry strass roses and hermine sexy that l'a bordée'd it. She also wore a sexy bra with holes so you could see her mamelons marrons and aréoles brun clair. She also wore jeweled gants esclavage ivoire with fingerless tips.
  • Just like the source material, the fan art for the Tokimeki PokéLive! and TwinBee series has the female characters wearing all sorts of nice-looking clothes and on occasion, there are also descriptions of outfits the characters are wearing in-story despite the descriptions being a sentence or two at most.
  • Unchained contains a lot of lavish descriptions of kimono and obi as Izuna enjoys clothing her concubine with garments worthy of his new station. On Tobirama's side, the narration often emphazises just how expensive his new wardrobe is — something that horrifies him.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Anastasia movie is full of this. Most notable examples would have to be Anya's yellow silk Dream Sequence dress, the svelte navy and sparkly Parisian Opera dress, her blue court dress at the beginning of the movie, and her yellow court dress at the end of the movie.
  • The Barbie films are full of this. Good Lord are they ever. Usually there are characters who are supposed to be poor, but their regular clothes are just as opulent as the inevitable ball gowns they get at later points.
  • Coraline proves that with sufficiently careful art direction, mundane everyday clothes can look just as good if not better than the most elaborate dresses.
  • As seen in the page picture, Disney Princess costumes can be very elaborate. Note that usually the most elaborate costuming is on the merchandise more than the movies, since the more detailed the costume, the harder it is to animate.
  • Frozen II deserves a mention, because the first film only had two outfits for its female leads - each with a ballgown for the coronation, and then a practical mountain climbing dress for Anna and a Simple, yet Opulent ice dress for Elsa. In the sequel however, the characters get multiple outfits per scene, taking advantage of the Animation Bump (the first was somewhat rushed and had to be ready in a year, while the second had a higher budget and longer development). And as it ends with Anna becoming Queen of Arendelle, she gets a fancy gown to go along with it.
  • Nearly everyone in How to Train Your Dragon is wearing a bearskin vest, which must have been terrible for the animators considering how difficult fur is to animate. For individual characters, Hiccup's riding vest is meticulously detailed to the last buckle. Meanwhile, Astrid's distinctive shirt and armwarmers are made with naalbinding (a traditional Viking form of knitting), and the yarn is of many different shades and thickness to showcase a rough, homespun, and hand-dyed look.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The entire Elizabeth Taylor Cleopatra was one huge orgy of this. The film set a Guinness World Record for most costume changes in a film (sixty-five, if you're curious). Despite being considered such a financial failure that it nearly killed 20th Century Fox (it was such an expensive film, its $40 million worldwide gross was still $3 million short of breaking even) - it won an Oscar for its costumes.
  • The 1934 Claudette Colbert version (which the Elizabeth Taylor film was a loose remake of) is likewise splendid in its Art Deco design.
  • Clueless: So much so that the costumes designed for this film became a staple of 90s fashion, despite originally being intended to counter the actual fashion trends at that time, which was grunge. Main character Cher wears thirty-five different outfits alone and her yellow plaid outfit is still iconic and recognisable today.
  • Cruella writes this into the story, with the plot being two fashion designers constantly trying to outdo each other. Cruella's elaborate costumes do have a practical purpose as well; the fancier outfits allow her to hide her identity when she's 'Estella', where she dresses more mundanely.
  • The Bollywood epic Devdas was an amazing example of this, and at the time broke records for the sheer amount spent on costume and design.
  • Curse of the Golden Flower pays special attention to the ridiculously opulent costumes and stylized armor worn by every character in the film. At one point, the king beats someone to death with his solid-gold belt.
  • The Danish Girl: The film showcases gorgeous, 1920's clothing.
  • Designing Woman has Lauren Bacall as a designing woman who wears beautiful 1950s clothes, and has a gorgeous fashion show full of them.
  • The Fantastic Beasts series is filled to the brim with Colleen Atwood's immaculate and gorgeous period costumes.note  So much that the first film's Oscar for Best Costume Design is its parent franchise's first and only Oscar, nine movies in. Some highlights:
  • Another Lana Turner example is Imitation of Life (1959). In the book it was adapted from (and original 1934 film), her character was a businesswoman who became successful via a pancake empire. The 1959 remake decidedly made her an actress that becomes a Broadway star, allowing for a fancier wardrobe. Her clothes altogether cost over $1 million, making it one of the most expensive cinema wardrobes at the time. This also allows Sandra Dee as her daughter to have fancy dresses of her own, and Susan Kohner (whose goes from waitress to chorus girl) to wear more than one nice evening gown. This was a deliberate move by director Douglas Sirk to draw in more female viewers (as the film actually deals with very ahead-of-its time themes about racism and sexism).
  • Jupiter Ascending:
    • Jupiter's silver, white, and red gown with matching headdress. It's her wedding dress.
    • Likewise Kalique's own dresses and gowns fit this trope too.
    • The shoes! Jupiter especially ends up in some fantastic heels, some of which even Mila Kunis is visibly uncomfortable and/or struggling in.
    • Blue Morpho butterfly; fitting given the butterfly motif of the film (and indeed, butterflies are present on the gown's neckline).
  • Keira Knightley has a tendency to be cast in period pieces that shamelessly revel in this trope.
    • The Duchess has her in a new dress in every single scene, with plenty of nice hats to go with them. Naturally its only Oscar win was for the costumes.
    • Special mention must go to that damn gorgeous green dress she wore in Atonement. It outranked Audrey Hepburn's Little Black Dress and Marilyn Monroe's iconic white number on a list of most beautiful dresses ever used in film! It's played with in the sense that she willingly gives up that pampered lifestyle to volunteer during World War II.
    • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl naturally has an extended sequence where she's attending a formal ceremony in a fancy 18th-century gown, and then spends the second act of the film in a darker (but no less elaborate) number given to her by Barbossa. The sequels avert this by having her disguised as a man and wearing men's clothes for the most part.
  • Last Night in Soho is about a fashion design student with a love of the 1960s, so of course when she has psychic visions of 60s London, we see splendid dresses and suits in most scenes. This is of course subverted when Sandie (who Eloise is having visions of) ends up a prostitute, and her outfits become slightly tackier.
  • Downplayed in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings. According to Bernard Hill (King Théoden), many of his costumes had elaborate golden embroidery that was too detailed to ever be appreciated (or even noticed) on the camera. The meticulous costume designers added it anyway in order to help him get into character. The armorers even added an elaborate gold design to the inside of his breastplate, which they justified as a protective thing.
    • The above can be seen in the appendices included in the DVD release of The Return of the King, where the costume designers show some of their work, including Gandalf the White's undershirt which has elaborate gold embroidery despite being completely concealed by the rest of his clothes in every scene, and a dress that Arwen wears for a single sequence lasting no more than a minute, yet the dress itself is so beautifully stitched and made of such exotic materials (including silk shipped in from India) that it seems like a tremendous waste of money.
      • This is true for almost all the costumes and props made for the films; Jackson could frame his shots ad-lib and not accidentally capture someone whose sword was made of cardboard wrapped in tinfoil.
    • The Mordor Orcs in The Return of the King have very elaborate armor and banners, but you will hardly notice it.
    • Since the Bagginses are relatively wealthy, Frodo's clothing is made from richer materials, though of the same style as that of the other Hobbits.
      • This doesn't quite make sense, since the Tooks are richer than Bagginses, and Brandybucks at around the same level, yet Merry and Pippin still wear simpler materials than Frodo.
      • Both of those families are quite large; there is only one Baggins at Bag End, at that point in the story.
    • The armour that Aragorn wore when Gondor and Rohan marched to Mordor was beautiful, featuring silver threaded embroidery in the shape of the Tree of Gondor. Let that sink in. They embroidered boiled leather with silver thread. There is not an appropriate metaphor to convey how difficult that is to do.
    • The armour that Sauron wore at the beginning of the film was only onscreen for about 45 seconds, but the whole thing was covered in an extremely subtle poison ivy motif engraved and acid etched into the steel.
  • Marie Antoinette (2006): The titular queen wears several lavish and detailed dresses, from the wide caged white dress she wears on her wedding, a refined blue gown accompanied with a chic tricorne hat and rich trimmings, to a green and pink striped gown with dozens of ruffles and bows whose accessory consists of a diamond-encrusted fan.
  • Phantom Thread is rife with gorgeous 1950s haute couture dresses. Fitting, as it's the story of a renowned dressmaker.
  • Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet. The Renaissance costumes are absolutely breathtaking and absolutely period-accurate, with hundreds of yards of elaborately pleated cotton velvet on the women and raunchy, colourful tights and codpieces on the men.
  • Played to the max is Snow White & the Huntsman, especially with Ravenna who wears a new dress in almost every scene. Also everyone during King Magnus and Ravenna's wedding and later at Snow White's coronation.
  • Queen Amidala of Star Wars. Each of those dresses is based on a Real Life cultural dress, by the way. One of the most iconic outfits is based on a Mongolian wedding dress.
    • There was a point to this, but All There in the Manual. As Queen, she's not supposed to be a person but a living symbol of her people's culture and traditions. They went over the top on traditional designs and makeup so people would first think Queen of the Naboo, not Padmé Naberrie. Even the neat little mark on her lower lip was symbolic. It's the Mark of Remembrance to serve as a constant reminder of Naboo's bloody past.
    • It did have a plot purpose because she is supposed to be in disguise as a handmaiden on Tatooine and not revealed to be the same person until later in the movie.
    • When Padmé's "just" a senator (and even in private) her clothes continue to be elaborate and beautiful; there was a tie-in website written as a Coruscant news site where a fashion critic gushed over her outfit.
    • Also averted. While Padmé's (massive) wardrobe gets plenty of time onscreen, the costume department also dedicated tremendous effort to outfitting extras that only got about 3 seconds of screentime during a crowd scene. Case in point: Opula Deget.
  • Sylvie's Love: The costuming of the '50s and '60s is out in full force; Sylvie and Mona don many put-together and fashionable ensembles throughout the film.
  • Spoofed in one segment in the comedy What a Way to Go!, with Shirley MacLaine's character going through five or six extravagant gowns in as many scenes.
  • Yves Saint Laurent: The 2014 Biopic of the fashion designer was authorized by the St. Laurent estate and uses the designer's authentic creations, including the famous Mondrian dress and the first ladies pantsuit. Curators from the St. Laurent archive were on set to make sure none of the 77 historic garments were damaged. The models were cast based on size, given the clothes could not be altered, and the models wore special underwear so their skin never touched the clothes.

  • The Marquis de Sade's The 120 Days of Sodom has as many detailed descriptions of the characters' costumes as it does their depravities.
  • This is done in the book version of American Psycho, but is partially a subversion: while the narration makes it sound like the '80s businessmen are clad in the most powerful of power suits if one were to actually look at the items in question, they'd realize they look absolutely ridiculous. The film adaptation went with expensive and stylish but otherwise normal-looking late-'80s suits, instead applying its Description Porn to business cards.
  • Laurell K. Hamilton abuses this no end in Anita Blake, especially when Jean-Claude and his sexed-up get-ups make an entrance. Parodied excellently here.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club does this. Any given book will have several detailed descriptions of all the girls' outfits, but especially Claudia's. There's usually a shopping trip to the local mall, too, which enters Fridge Logic territory when one wonders how they manage to afford all that stuff on their $4.00-an-hour babysitting gigs.
  • The Bible has lovingly exact specifications for the garments of the priests in the Book of Exodus.
  • Barbara Hambly uses this trope very well to contribute to characterization and atmosphere in Bride of the Rat God. The book is loaded with this, from the dresses to the furs Christine lets Norah wear.
  • A Brother's Price: The everyday clothes are given no description other than colour, but when some members of the main cast stay at the palace and are given new clothes so that they don't look out of place, those new clothes are described in detail.
  • The Clique does this a lot.
  • A Clockwork Orange has main character Alex giving very detailed descriptions of "the heighth of fashion" that he and his droogs wore as part of the latest trends. These include very bizarre and intricate details, both in the first chapter and the final 21st chapter. Sadly, the outfits of Alex and his droogs in the movie were very little like the outfits described in the book.
  • Judy from Daddy-Long-Legs often describes dresses she bought with allowances from the titular character in detail.
  • Likely to occur with anything William Marsh is wearing in Darkness Visible - azure silk waistcoats and nice hats abound.
  • In his Diogenes Club series, Kim Newman writes what can only be described as costume Gorn. Occult detective Richard Jeperson wears only the most eye-searingly hideous of '70s fashions, and Newman describes his outfits in detail every story. "The Man Who Got Off the Ghost Train" has a double dose, as it features a flashback to Richard's youth that contains an equally detailed description of his wearing eye-searingly hideous '50s fashions.
  • The Irish children's series The Drumshee Timeline series mainly centres around various poor or working class Irish children throughout history. But its third book The Secret of Drumshee Castle is about a young heiress to the titular castle. Despite her fondness for casual clothes (as she was raised on a farm) and hating the fancy dresses required for dinners - there's a sequence where she meets her cousin Judith, who then proceeds to have Grace try on multiple gowns that are described in great detail. Then they go to England for an audience with Queen Elizabeth I, which of course requires a lot of page time describing both Grace and Judith's gowns. And when they leave, the narration describes Grace's fancy dresses as she puts them in a chest to be sealed. The dresses show up in a later book Dark Days at Drumshee, when Grace's granddaughter is to be married and selects which of them she'll wear (and her younger sister says which one she'll take too).
  • Comes up a lot in the Earth's Children series. Ayla was raised by a Clan who did not decorate their clothing and is impressed by and eager to learn other groups' methods for beading and embroidery. Jean Auel did lots of research, and it shows.
  • The Empirium Trilogy: The outfits Rielle wears for the Sun Queen trials, as well as her wedding dress, are all lovingly described whereas all other forms of clothing are given basic descriptions.
  • The short story The Eye of Argon would periodically skid to a halt to describe a character's clothing in elaborate Purple Prose. This would happen whether the character in question was a Main or merely a Mook who would be killed off seconds after being introduced.
  • The description of the heroine's gorgeous 17th-century clothes in the historical romance Forever Amber is quite impressive.
  • In The Goblin Emperor, the clothes Maia must wear as emperor are described in some detail, only further emphasizing the contrast to what he's used to. The hair decorations of nobles also get a lot of descriptions, which in some cases is a way of showing who has taste and who hasn't.
  • In every single Gossip Girl book (and all of its copycats), the author spends paragraphs discussing what each character is wearing down to the shoes and the lingerie, so much so that if a character is wearing jeans and t-shirt it begins to sound opulent.
  • The Hermux Tantamoq Adventures includes vivid descriptions of the characters' luridly-coloured clothing, particularly the bizarre outfits worn by Rich Bitch Tucka Mertslin.
  • The Hunger Games : Each tribute gets a personal stylist and the series includes costumes that are literally on fire; Costume Porn is basically Cinna's entire job. Looking flashy outside of the arena serves a practical purpose, though: tributes who catch the audience's eye are more likely to receive sponsors who can help them survive the arena. Mentioned to have sometimes in the past been literal costume porn; the Capitol is not afraid to incorporate nudity or partial nudity as part of a child's costume for the cameras. Beyond that, Suzanne Collins uses this trope more generally to illustrate the absolute excess of the Capitol citizens.
  • Laura always describes her semi-trashy, over-the-top outfits in If I Go It Will Be Double. This makes sense. After all, she's a girly, fashion-loving dancer... and the book itself is supposed to be her diary.
  • Older Than Feudalism: The description of the staggeringly elaborate decorations on the Shield of Achilles in The Iliad goes on for several pages. The more important a character is, the more time is spent describing his battle armor.
  • Michael Moorcock was fond of this in Jerry Cornelius stories, with the titular sci-fi antihero's outfit always being described down to the last article whenever a new story starts, or he visits one of his hideouts and puts on a new outfit.
  • Trying to imagine brightly colourful, The Late Middle Ages clothes Zbyszko wears in The Knights of the Cross may fill your mind's eye with tears.
  • Jerry B. Jenkins, 'co-author' and actual writer of the Left Behind books, spends more time in Tribulation Force describing Hattie and Steve's new Antichrist-approved outfits than he ever spent describing the scenes of horror that surely must have been unfolding in the first book following the disappearance of a third of the world's population in the Rapture.
  • Sara Crewe's shopping trip with her daddy at the beginning of A Little Princess.
  • The Mabinogion brings us the early-medieval Dream of Macsen Wledig, which is stuffed full of characters who turn up only to get the beautiful colors and magnificent materials of their clothes, armor, and horses described. Oh, and drop off messages. ​This is theorized to have happened mainly because the story was composed when 'writing stuff down' was just making a comeback in the British Isles. Somebody thought it was orgasmically awesome to be able to put in this many details and be able to get them right next time without killing your brain. An amazing memory was an important necessity to the job, but remembering many long stories was much more important than getting one right after days of wandering around madly muttering, ', yellow, then sable...'* At the end of The Man Who Was Thursday, Chesterton places each character in ceremonial garb meant to personify the days of the week. They are all described, though not in excruciating detail - it only takes up a few pages.
  • The descriptions of the kimonos in Memoirs of a Geisha have been described as the best part of the book.
  • Mercedes Lackey:
    • Occasionally the more elaborate outfits worn by the Hawkbrothers in the Heralds of Valdemar series will get this treatment. One particular example of this was during the many ceremonies held toward the beginning of Owlknight, with each of the participants wearing a separate costume for each one, all described in detail.
    • Lackey goes into enough detail on Tudor and Elven attire in the four-novel series about the young (Queen) Elizabeth that reproducing the outfits for a costuming competition would be child's play.
    • And in her Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series, where the female protagonist's Gorgeous Period Dress (and most of the rest of her wardrobe) gets a loving description.
    • And in her Elemental Masters series, which transcribes the basic details of fairy tale plots into urban Victorian London.
    • And in... well. Suffice it to say Mercedes Lackey really loves this trope.
  • Throughout its length, The Night Circus regularly takes the time to describe the lovely outfits, accessories, and even hairstyles of its female characters in particular. Since the book centers on the performing arts and illusion magic, which are two very visual story elements, it'd arguably be somewhat odd to not address how those elements interact with characters' clothing and overall appearance. When combined with the book's many examples of Scenery Porn as well, the author's overall use of this trope comes across as tasteful worldbuilding rather than pure Fanservice.
  • Nightfall (Series): Vampires are vain and always wear ornate clothing, which is described in detail.
  • The Phryne Fisher mysteries star a wealthy, stylish woman in a Genteel Interbellum Setting, and feature many loving descriptions of Phryne's glamorous 1920s outfits.
    • The series also dips into Costume Gorn on occasion, when Phryne has to go undercover. Her "bedraggled tart" disguise in Cocaine Blues was already the tackiest kind of cheap floozy-wear (which was entirely the point), and then she distressed it to make it look realistically worn-down.
  • Parodied in The Princess Bride book, where supposedly pages of such description were redacted from the "original version".
  • The Reynard Cycle: Each entry in the series features at least one scene where what characters are wearing is described in lavish detail. It's probably worth mentioning that the author is a theatrical costume designer.
  • Gwen's historical costumes in The Ruby Red Trilogy are always described in loving detail.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire spends paragraphs describing the clothing and heraldry of the characters. The greater the detail, the greater the chance the wearer will be/do/experience something significant by the end of the chapter. Though, most of these descriptions are expositional to the character and the event at present, also to establish the social statuses, and importance of appearances.
  • In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight the clothing worn by both of the title characters is described in loving detail.
  • Spitfire, fittingly for a book whose POV characters are all royals or extremely high nobility, delivers this trope regularly. Princess Allene in particular is something of a vain dresser, and frequently spends a few paragraphs of narration at a time on the state of her clothing, as well as hair and makeup. Feon and Caederyn pay less attention to their own dress, but both demonstrate a keen eye for the outfits of other characters they encounter.
  • Much of the elaborate description of costume is left out of modern translations of The Tale of Genji as modern readers are unable to interpret the delicate social nuances, key to characterization, that would have been obvious to Murasaki Shikibu's contemporaries.
  • Tamora Pierce describes all articles of clothing in great detail. This applies to both the Tortall Universe and the Circle of Magic series. In some cases, this is understandable for characterization reasons (Sandry, a seamstress and "stitch witch," naturally takes interest in fashion while Beka Cooper makes detailed observations of any suspect or persons of interest) but it's present no matter whose viewpoint you're looking through.
  • In the Time Scout series, small mistakes in costume downtime can be deadly. For some reason, the characters never end up in a place where drab, simple clothes are the norm. Instead, they end up mingling with high society in Victorian London. Coincidence. Yeah.
  • Every outfit in The Time Traveler's Wife is described. In detail.
  • The Twilight Saga often gets into this, especially when Bella is whining about some spectacular designer outfit Alice forced her to wear and of course whatever beige ensemble Edward is wearing at the moment. Admittedly, Meyer manages to tone it down by the last book by staggering the descriptions instead of creating walls of text.
  • Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles:
    • The Vampire Lestat's protagonist always goes to great length to describe his wardrobe.
    • The same's true for the other books "written" by Lestat, as well as in The Vampire Armand (narrated by the title character), possibly the purplest of the novels.
  • The Wheel of Time. Suffice to say that if one removes all the gratuitous clothing descriptions from the novels, the total page count would likely go down at least 40%.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "A Witch Shall Be Born", Salome goes in for this.
    Salome was clad in the barbaric splendor of a woman of Shushan. Jewels glittered in the torchlight on her gilded sandals, on her gold breast-plates and the slender chains that held them in place. Gold anklets clashed as she moved, jeweled bracelets weighted her bare arms. Her tall coiffure was that of a Shemitish woman, and jade pendants hung from gold hoops in her ears, flashing and sparkling with each impatient movement of her haughty head. A gem-crusted girdle supported a silk shirt so transparent that it was in the nature of a cynical mockery of convention.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Alias has a lot of this when Sydney needs a fancy disguise. Costumes involved range from traditional style kimono to outrageous party outfits.
  • Blackadder: The second and third series in particular had very detailed costumes. Queenie's dress from the second series, Prince George's clothes (especially the trousers) and all of Blackadder's clothes were exquisitely detailed.
  • Boardwalk Empire. Those gangsters were sharp dressers! As were their ladies, of course.
  • Bridgerton, which politely tips its hat in the direction of actual Regency fashion and then skips on its merry way into a land of incredibly bright colors, ribbons, ruffles, and flashy embroidery. The costume designers deliberately went for aesthetics over historical accuracy, in keeping with the show's romance-novel origins.
  • Jason King, on both Department S and Jason King.
  • Doctor Who has done this from the start:
  • Downton Abbey: The Crawley sisters in particular seem to have an inexhaustible supply of gorgeous evening gowns.
  • Game of Thrones, especially in opulent King's Landing and faraway lands like Qarth. Here is an article about the detail put into the costumes. Renly Baratheon's ostentatious armour and Margaery Tyrell's sumptuous wedding gown are excellent examples.
    • House of the Dragon: The dresses, robes and tunics of the nobles look absolutely gorgeous, laced with gold and jewels. Daemon's armour is intricately decorated with a dragon motif. It's quite fitting as this was the apex of Targaryen wealth and power.
  • Dressing characters - especially the villains - in gorgeous opulent clothing is a particular strength of Gotham. Penguin, Fish, and Barbara after her Face–Heel Turn all have at least one new beautiful outfit per episode, especially in the later seasons.
  • Hockey Night in Canada host Don Cherry wears, uh... very flamboyant outfits.
  • Chairman Kaga in Iron Chef, ranging from rather understated but still stylish outfits to outfits that laid on the gold brocade and sparkles hard to fricken capes in the specials. One of the few things the ill-fated Iron Chef USA got right was the Chairman's ostentatious style. (Iron Chef America instead opted for Badass in a Nice Suit.)
  • Gentleman Jack: Rare in its relatively accurate portrayal of 1830s dress and hairstyles, Gentleman Jack is absolutely adored by fashion historians.
  • The Good Place: Most of the costumes are pretty normal, but some of the dresses and accessories they put Tahani in are simply gorgeous. She was a socialite and former model from an extremely wealthy family, so it makes sense she'd have access to the finest couture and fashion.
  • JAG features full display of uniforms from the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps worn by mostly good looking people.
    • Ironic though is that the episode ("Gypsy Eyes") for which they won an Emmy for costumes featured no naval uniforms at all.
  • The Legend of Zhen Huan: Expensive costumes for even commoners.
  • About half the costumes on Merlin probably qualify. Gwen's purple dress is probably the best example, but Merlin's every day clothes manage to be impressive just by how natural they look. The detailing on Arthur's armor is also pretty much invisible in everything except high-res promo shots. And that's not even touching on what Morgana wears...
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power The Elves, the Númenórians and the Dwarfs of Khazad-dûm all wear absolutely gorgeous clothing with elaborate golden embroidery and jewelry, while still keeping their cultural individualities. This reflects how those Races are at the height of their power and prosperity. In fact, Morfydd Clark declared in an interview that Kate Hawley, the costume designer, intentionally wanted the keep costume designs complicated enough to challenge cosplayers, especially for the character of Galadriel.
  • Dr. Lucy Worsley in her history documentaries just loves dressing up in period costumes and will get through at least half a dozen in a typical episode, along with a similar number of natty modern-day outfits in between.
  • The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House: There's a lot of detail given to the ornate traditional dresses worn by the geisha and geisha-in-training.
  • Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries features Phryne's absolutely glorious wardrobe, which is straight out of 1920s fashion magazines. She seems to have two or three gorgeous new outfits per episode, and that doesn't include recurring pieces like her luxurious satin dressing gowns. All in all, your average period fashion enthusiast's response to her wardrobe can basically be described as "Hnnnngh". And then there's the natty suits and nice hats Jack Robinson swans around in....
  • Noah's Arc: The fashion show, which has some wildly elaborate outfits even by fashion show standards.
  • Once Upon a Time is known for this, especially for the villainous characters whose outfits are usually very detailed and flamboyant as opposed to their Disney counterparts. Regina in particular sports a different elaborate outfit in every Evil Queen flashback - whereas other villains tend to have just the one costume.
  • Pretty Little Liars
  • The designs on Project Runway sometimes veer into this, particularly the Fashion Week final collections.
  • The Queen's Gambit: After she starts making money, the protagonist Beth grows into quite The Fashionista, wearing the most gorgeous 1950s/1960s fashion since Mad Men. This is even lampshaded, with some of her rivals believing she's too feminine and glamorous to be a "serious" chess player. They are very wrong. Pretty much every review of this show takes a moment to gush over how beautiful Beth's outfits are, and how well Anya Taylor-Joy carries them off.
  • Salem: Just look at Mary's wardrobe.
  • Schitt's Creek The formerly wealthy Rose family has retained their clothing, and all four dress in high-end designer clothes that are out of place in their new hometown. Moira and David, in particular, regularly wear over-the-top designer looks.
  • Stargate SG-1 has its fair share of this, with the different clothing styles on the various planets they visit. This is especially true in the early seasons when they were trying to show off, and in the later seasons, when they had a huge budget.
  • The Tudors has some seriously impressive costuming, even if it does leave fashion historians foaming at the mouth. The gowns are glorious, and the men's costumes are no less impressive and in some cases even more flashy than the women's. Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, and Catherine Howard in particular get some stunning dresses.
  • Winter Begonia: Being a show about Peking opera, it shows a lot of Peking opera costumes (which are works of art on their own). And if you like suits, this show, being set in the 1930s, has also got plenty of that.
  • Wolf Hall: A rare Tudor drama that attempts to get the costumes right, women wear hoods, men wear (smaller than accurate) codpieces and there's not a zipper in sight.

  • Female-fronted metal bands are known for having their lead singers dress in numerous elaborate dresses, especially gothic, power, and symphonic metal bands. Within Temptation and Nightwish are two examples.
  • David Bowie, especially during his Glam Rock period in The '70s (Ziggy Stardust, and the Earthling era in The '90s (which featured Alexander McQueen-designed frock coats).
  • One Direction's "Kiss You" video dresses the band up in various co-ordinated, Fanservice outfits. Sailors! Skiiers! Surfers! Prisoners! Naked! (?)
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic does this on tour; his Jedi costume, the Fat suit, and more recently a Lady Gaga-inspired purple peacock outfit.

    Puppet Shows 

  • In text-based chat rooms used for online role-playing, many players adopt the habit of using a cut-and-paste "description drop" for their character, either upon entering a room or if a new player arrives and requests a quick description of who is already there. While most players will keep it to a short summary of what a casual appraisal would reveal, a significant portion indulge in extreme Costume Porn. Not only are the outfit and physical attributes described in excruciating detail, but often bits that are completely unseen (such as tattoos and piercings in areas not available for public consumption) are included, as are historical notes that no casual observer could know. In extreme cases, these will even go so far as to exceed the chat-room's character limit, forcing the player to split it into two or more posts.
  • Both played straight and averted on MU* Games. These have an on-demand version of the "description drop" mentioned above triggered by using the "look" command on something. Any player, room, or thing on the game can, and usually will, have one of these. As the content of these descriptions is entirely up to the person who can edit them, they can run the gamut of sizes. They might be an image link, a few sentences, or a huge wall of text containing massive amounts of costume porn that describes every little detail of the thing in question. They also end up averting this trope in the actual roleplay, however, because if you can stuff all your costume porn into the description of something, there's no need to repeat it in the actual roleplay.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Most of the WWE divas tend to wear fancy and extravagant wrestling attire so that when WWE has as many divas in the ring as they can fit, the overall effect is a bunch of multi-colored outfits bouncing around that could probably cause a few TVs to explode.
  • "Exotic" Adrian Street and Miss Linda are well known for sowing designing ring gear for other wrestlers, at one point having a website dedicated to the business of doing so. Their most famous client was perhaps Mick Foley, his Dude Love stuff especially.
  • Ric Flair had a thing for frilly, sparkly and flamboyant robes which he wore during his entrances.
  • Macho Man Randy Savage was known for his flamboyant clothes and hats.
  • Rey Mysterio Jr. is famous for all his unique outfits and masks that we wonder who comes up with them. He has a tradition of wearing a unique costume every WrestleMania. XIX he wore a Daredevil costume, XX he dressed as The Flash, etc. His most recent addition was a Na'vi-inspired costume from Avatar.
  • In addition to his masks and or face paint, the entrance attire of Japanese legend Keiji Mutoh's alter ego, The Great Muta, is this in spades.
  • Even though The Undertaker dresses mostly in black, his more elaborate outfits, especially those for WrestleMania, definitely qualify for this trope.
  • Chris Jericho and his light-up jacket.
  • Christian Cage used to wear an assortment of shiny hooded jumpsuits from 2004-2009 (although he did usually keep the hood off his head for the jumpsuits he started wearing as the Instant Classic in '07).
  • Daizee Haze is known for sewing ring gear and was an ideal partner for shirt salesman Matt Sydal, as well as Delirious after his mask was damaged by Sydal, Jimmy Jacobs, and Hangmen 3. Also provided new gear to her rival MsChif, who had been accused of wearing the same thing for years.
  • Daffney Unger is known for sewing entrance attire and designing all sorts of ring gear and fashions for herself, as befitting of any self-styled "goth goddess". This was brought to the forefront in SHINE, where Daffney formed her own squad. Tiny tilted top hats for everyone!
  • This became a calling card of Zenjo after the Beauty Pair took off, and for a while, gaijin in Japan were baffled by the number of money promotions spent on multiple sets elaborate ring gear that could hold up under the pressures of ring work for decades. You'd much more likely see an Ayako Hamada's skin give way before the butterflies she wore look wrinkled yet she'd be in crosses the next show anyway. Even wrestlers with fairly plain ring gear like The Crush Gals Chigusa Nagayo and Lioness Asuka would make up for it with lots of entrance attire. While promotions like Zenjo, GAEA, and even some tiny enterprises like REINA tended to cover the athletes from neck to toe(sometimes head to toe) in eye-catching patterns and frills, a notable minority such as JD Star an infamously more fanservice driven direction.

    Tabletop Games 

  • Anastasia: As one might expect from a fairy-tale-tinged period piece, the costumes are incredibly detailed and exquisite. Special notice must go to the glittering, detailed Romanov women's costumes in the prologue and dream sequences, as well as Anya's pink silk ballet dress and full-skirted princess gown.
  • Camelot's first-act finale is largely concerned with parading the Arthurian court in its fullest finery.
  • Cesare - Il Creatore che ha distrutto: It's the Renaissance, the Borgias, the Medici. Priests are supposed to be humble, you say? Well, one future pope who appears here wears fur and a golden collar; another always has silk robes with sleeves down to the floor. Cesare himself has several fine costumes as well — the black with gold embroidery, or the green with feathered hat and gloves draped over his belt that he wears in the act 1 finale.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The 2013 West End musical won the 2014 Olivier Award for its lavish and plentiful costumes, including an array of trick outfits that transform the full-sized adults in the ensemble into the diminutive Oompa-Loompas. Willy Wonka's outfit alone could qualify for this trope — not only is it directly based on the description in the source novel, the details go even further, all the way down to the actor's socks (white with multi-colored, pastel polka dots).
  • Cirque du Soleil shows, to the point that the company's 25th-anniversary book (2009) was a retrospective of costumes from all the shows over the years! Especially costume-riffic shows include Alegria, "O", and KA.
  • Disney on Ice shows, especially when the Disney Princess characters are put through their paces.
  • Follies was designed to showcase a wonderful variety of both contemporary fashions and period stage costumes. Some of the dresses in the original production's "Loveland" number were so massive that they had to be lowered onto the performers from flies.
  • ISP Presents A Midsummer Night's Dream: Titania wears a Pimped-Out Dress and her magnificent head of hair comes with numerous little gems and other trinkets mixed in. Oberon's robes are very fine and majestic.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Galadriel's headdress in the Toronto production. They changed her costume for the London production, but it was still quite opulent.
  • The Metropolitan Opera's costume shop is famous for its creations.
  • Most productions of The Phantom of the Opera turn out like this (including the film), particularly during the "Masquerade" song.
  • Shrek: The Musical brings fairy-tale creatures to life: Exhibit A.
  • Takarazuka Revue productions. The costuming budget on those things must be higher than the gross domestic product of many third-world countries.
  • Wicked has won multiple awards for its lush costume design, including the 2004 Tony Award. Every character down to the ensemble cast has an intricate and intensely detailed wardrobe — though special mention should be made of Elphaba's Act II dress, everything that G(a)linda wears, and Madame Morrible's elaborate attire.
  • The Ziegfeld Follies were famous for the elaborate costumes worn by the performers.

    Video Games 
  • This is a Characteristic Trope of Final Fantasy, where one of the main appeals of the series is criticising/coveting the gorgeous outfits, and the designers know it. There have been fashion collaborations where the characters have modelled real clothes for Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Roen (with Roen designing the characters' actual in-game outfits in that case).
    • In terms of on-screen Costume Porn, Final Fantasy XII probably takes the cake with Balthier's vest/cuirass alone. Every main character (and many side characters) has a substantial amount of intricate filigree and lace-like patterns in their outfits - even if they're supposed to be dirt-poor street rats.
    • Tetsuya Nomura likes to give his characters a stylish Visual Kei feel with lots of punky and gothic elements, with Lulu's belt-dress from Final Fantasy X and Squall's leather jacket and bondage pants in Final Fantasy VIII being a couple of more obvious cases. Yoshitaka Amano dresses his characters in floaty, clashing florals and organic armour inspired by stage costumes for ballet, like Terra's scarf-skirt, dotted tights, and sparkly flower-embroidered leotard being a clear example of his style.
    • Final Fantasy XV contains a sidequest where you have to look at a wedding dress. Designed by Vivienne Westwood.
    • Final Fantasy VII Remake spawned at least two official guidebooks of the fashion - a Materials Ultimania with costuming references for cosplayers, and with hairstyle methods included in A Walk Through Midgar - along with how long each of the characters spends doing their hair in the morning (Cloud's Memetic Hair apparently takes him 30 minutes).
  • Anything that's non-Stripperific designed by Satoshi Urushihara for Growlanser and Langrisser.
  • Ayami Kojima's art for Castlevania: Symphony of the Night features some very detailed clothing. Let's take Alucard for example. The inside of his coat (not his cape) has an extreme amount of detail.
  • Dwarf Fortress allows you to create this trope through decoration, randomly determined between menacing spikes, hanging rings, encircling bands, and images, with no regard to practicality. Entirely described through text, no less. Artifacts have many diverse materials as decoration, usually covering all the above decorations. Some even have images of themselves on them.
  • Pokémon:
    • In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, the outfits worn by Team Galactic are otherworldly and elaborate. Gym Leaders and other major bosses in general may also fall into this category.
    • Pokémon Conquest, the crossover between Pokémon and Nobunaga's Ambition, freely uses the Pokemon side of the crossover to get really fantastic with the Warlord outfits, especially after they promote.
  • The Dynasty Warriors series is the eastern version of Satoshi Urushihara's works in terms of extreme pornography. Even when someone has a plain and basic outfit there's an 80% chance of nice hat after nice hat after... It seems the only place they skimped on the clothing was for the create-a-character 'edit generals'. See also: Kessen and Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but DW is where they save the most fantastical designs for.
  • Ragnarok Online's Maestro.
  • Assassin's Creed II goes its way to show off the opulent outfits of the Renaissance period, unusually focusing mainly on the male wardrobe. The Assassin's uniform is of course the most notable example and a major departure from the simple robes of the first game.
    • Ezio in Brotherhood with this outfit.
      • That costume is loosely based on the Renaissance fashions and should accommodate walking, running, and possibly even semi-formal duelling. However, there's no way that anyone could climb in it without the loose cloth sticking to every nook imaginable.
  • In Lusternia, trademasters can periodically submit a number of cartel designs. The result is extreme customization of everything from robes to platemail to furniture. Your character can be as richly (or as drably) attired as you desire. And - like the Dwarf Fortress example above - this is achieved entirely through text!
  • The Growlanser games are loaded with this. Just peruse this official art page to see how much detail goes into the clothing.
  • The Touhou Project series is bursting at the seams with Costume Porn. Just take a gander at this, and this, and that a starfield in her cape?!
  • So prevalent in Eternal Sonata that is listed on the game's character page under "tropes all characters have in common."
  • Barbie Super Model lapses into this sometimes, as it's a game about trying to make Barbie a great supermodel.
  • Love Live! School Idol Festival is officially a Rhythm Game but for most people, the main reason they play is to collect as many cards of cute idols dressed up in extremely detailed and cool-looking costumes - from angels to mermaids to wedding dresses - as possible. However, just lucking out on one card is enough - that only nets you the unidolised version, which tends to be a much more casual outfit (though often still a very well drawn one) - to get the real costume porn, you need two versions of the same card so you can fuse them together in a process called Idolisation, a feat which ranges from 'very easy' for Normal rarity cards to 'start saving up money months in advance' for prized Ultra Rares. ALL STARS takes it a step further, as the characters can also be seen performing in elaborate costumes for certain songs.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: Throughout the Dragon Age games, the kingdom of Orlais (a medieval fantasy France) is said to enjoy opulent fashions, and masquerade masks are a part of everyday wear in their culture, but we never actually see any of it until Inquisition. And when we do, whew boy. Men and women alike are dressed in colorful, elaborate outfits and masks. Even the Enslaved Elves, while wearing much simpler outfits than the humans they serve, are still dressed to the nines compared to the rags Ferelden city elves generally wear.
  • Most of the characters in Hidden City wear highly elaborate outfits. Special mention goes to Lady Peacock's luxurious feather gown, the Mistress of the Manor's fine lace dress and Salem's Halloween gown. Even the deceptively simple wear of the Conductor's is incredibly detailed, with multiple layers of different textured fabrics.

  • In the Buildingverse if the fae "choose" someone's wardrobe chances are it will be either this trope or Stripperific. Like this pink wedding cake dress from Girls Next Door but then again that happened at a fairy tale ball so probably everybody aimed at costume porn (some missed). And to be fair to the fair ones, even the regular characters can go overboard with clothing like this incident from Roommates.
  • Fairest Cruelest Fitting, considering the main characters are royalty, both the "evil" Queen and Princess Delilah have closest full of sumptuous dress
  • Girl Genius: The various outfits Agatha wears are rendered in a quite lovely fashion and depict her character development as she adjusts to wearing pants and acquires expensive ball gowns as the Heterodyne. It helps that one of her two love interests is very fashion conscious.
  • Sire opens with this straight-jacket dress. Sadly it does not appear in the comic proper.
  • Sunstone regularly shows off some stunning pieces of fetish fashion, often dedicating entire pages to showing the full costume of a character.
  • In Your Throne the leads, Lady Medea and Lady Psyche, as well as other nobles, wear very intricate, embroidered and often bejewelled dresses that look nothing short of spectacular.

    Web Original 
  • In his review of Darksiders, Yahtzee Croshaw of Zero Punctuation claims that this is a problem in World of Warcraft, Warhammer 40,000, and the game being reviewed. He goes at length here.
  • Need one yourself? Use this handy generator
  • The Right Writing in detail about when to use it in a written medium.
  • Video essayist Izzzyzzz wears incredibly detailed and artistic makeup for every video, with even her less dramatic looks being expertly crafted to fit the topic of that day's video. Sometimes she'll also dye her hair to match. Much of her audience was intially drawn in by the cool makeup, before deciding to stick around for the discussion.

    Western Animation 
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Suited for Success" is very much a display of Costume Porn, featuring Rarity's creative efforts in designing evening wear for her friends.
  • Prevalent in Winx Club each of the girls have unique costumes for various occasions and get newer ones every season.

    Real Life 
  • Marie Antoinette gets associated with this, when she actually tried to make dress at Versailles more modest (although she was still required to wear the most elaborate dresses). Other Queens and Empresses have fit this trope far better, owning up to thousands of dresses. It is true that Marie Antoinette preferred simpler styles and tried to get them accepted at court; however, she still wore some seriously fancy dresses. Just take a look at this! It's got ruffles, bows, and tassels.
  • Imelda Marcos's Shoe Porn.
  • The traje de luces worn by bullfighters.
  • Many of the uniforms worn by the Nazis, especially the SS. Hugo Boss designed them, so they looked great and have held up for decades. Some Internet pundits suggest that the great costumes are the reason World War II movies will continue to be made for a long time. This is also a good example of clothes that are too fancy to be practical. The all-black suits were eyecatching, but they were also worn by SS officers in summer. In full sun. Without air conditioning. One can only wonder if this was a deliberate move on Boss' part.
    • SS uniforms were actually designed by a graphic designer Walter Heck and Karl Diebitsch, an artist and an SS officer himself. Hugo Boss was merely a manufacturer of SS uniforms and one of many at that. Furthermore, white versions of SS uniform existed, albeit were not widely used.
  • Henry VIII and his second daughter Elizabeth I were known for their opulent clothes. This is partly because Portraiture was starting to become an established art form in Britain at their time: meaning their fancy clothes could be seen by more than just their courtiers. The Tudor period in general was very fancy: even relatively simple outfits consisted of many more pieces and were much more structured than outfits from the previous centuries. Even the Puritan all-black get-up was less Spartan and more Simple But Elegant: getting clothes to be truly black and stay that way was actually difficult. Everyone was pimping their outfits as much as they could, at least in portraits, to show off their wealth and power. This led to the passage of Sumptuary Laws, which regulated who could wear which type of fancy clothes: so that people of different backgrounds could still be readily distinguished (and nobody would upstage the Queen).


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Gratuitous Costume Description


Beautiful Girls

Beautiful girl, for you I've got a passion.
Beautiful girl, you're my queen of fashion.
I'm in a whirl, over my beautiful girl.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / CostumePorn

Media sources: