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Kicking Ass in All Her Finery

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That gun is a great accessory to her glittery dress and fur cape.note 
"Kim, deciding to be badass, tosses her hat into the air, and proceeds to unrealistically fly around with a series of kicks and punches despite, again, wearing the big, flowing dress."

Who says that being an ass-whupping Action Girl means you can't wear feminine, pretty, opulent clothes? In some works, the two can go hand-in-awesome-but-elegant-hand.

There's hardly any Action Dress Ripping either. These are Impossibly Cool Clothes that don't get in the way while this lady is mowing down hordes of mooks or blowing stuff up. Conversely she is such a good fighter that she is both aware of and able to overcome the disadvantages of her clothing. Not that there can't be Clothing Damage, but expect the clothes to be fine by the next episode (barring getting a new outfit next season).

Note that in spite of appearing impractical at first, a ball gown is actually pretty excellent for this, as ball gowns are designed to afford good freedom of movement (seeing as how they're designed for dancing in) and thus, also good for fighting in, especially in styles that don't require the fighter to be a Kick Chick.

What weapons she uses can vary, from martial arts (even if a skirt would be too narrow or poofy to kick someone) to conventional weapons to the more domestic weapons like Parasol of Pain, Rolling Pin of Doom, and Frying Pan of Doom. Although with those latter three, she has to be directly attacking with them, not just conking a guy on the head.

The clothes could range from a Simple, yet Opulent evening dress and jewelry, to an ultra frilly Pimped-Out Dress. It can even count if the dress is cut to move around, like a Mini Dress Of Power, but it also has to be otherwise too fancy to fight in. May be the result of the villain trying to ambush the heroine at some sort of formal event that she was going to.

A Sub-Trope of Rule of Cool, Rule of Glamorous.

This trope often overlaps with:

Compare Badass in a Nice Suit, Stylish Protection Gear, Bling of War, Agent Peacock (the Spear Counterpart), Beauty Is Never Tarnished.

Contrast Stripperific, Real Women Don't Wear Dresses.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Matoi of Ayakashi Triangle is perfectly willing to fight in a pencil skirt, heels, and a fur Coat Cape. Even her Combat Hand Fan is fairly ornate. Her actual combat suit is a Battle Ballgown that switches the coat for a fur neck wrap and long, flowing sash.
  • Deconstructed with Berserk's Farnese. She at one point tries to fight apostles while wearing a ballgown and discovers it puts her at a disadvantage by constricting her movement.
  • Black Butler:
    • Elizabeth Midford is in very nice, prim, and proper underwear when she mows down zombies with dual swords.
    • Similarly, her mother, Francis Midford is in a full, floor-length Victorian dress as she protects the passengers of the Campania alongside her husband and son and goes Back-to-Back Badasses with Sebastian.
  • Shenhua from Black Lagoon is a deadly assassin who's very talented with kukris and kunai. The difference between her and every other woman in the show is that she kicks ass while wearing an elegant red qipao.
  • Kouyou Ozaki from Bungo Stray Dogs doesn't even tarnish her Pimped-Out Dress when taking out enemies with some help from Golden Demon...but is also more than capable of kicking your ass with her own skills.
  • In chapter 3 of Chrono Crusade Sister Rose wears a slinky, sleeveless, off-one-shoulder dress and a pair of long opera gloves in order to sneak into a casino for a mission. (She even remarks that she never gets to wear clothes like that (she is a nun, after all).) Of course, she and Chrono end up fighting a monster. The only damage her outfit takes during the fight is self-inflicted- she tears a hip-high slit into her dress, presumably to make her thigh holster easier to reach and make moving around a little easier (and, maybe, a little fan-service in the form of stockings and garters).
  • Dominion Tank Police has a scene where the Puma Twins engage the Red Commandos in a shoot out, in an upscale museum, while decked out in fancy dresses. Annapuma's AK-47 was hidden in her parasol, while Unapuma had a tommy gun tucked under her skirt!
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • When Alphonse is abducted by Greed and his chimera, Al's beloved alchemy master Izumi calmly strolls into the sewers and beats the crap out of anyone who gets in her way. Her chosen attire for the occasion is a slinky black cocktail dress.
    • Then, of course, there is Lust who frequently kicks all kinds off ass in her trademark black dress and occasional fur rimmed jacket.
  • Shiki from the Garden of sinners usually fights while wearing a simple kimono and a red jacket for warmth. However, in part five, she instead goes for a borderline Pimped Out Kimono during the climactic battle (not to mention that she also brings a katana to it instead of her usual knife).
  • While the Cures of Go! Princess Pretty Cure might always start out in a Minidress of Power, using their Finishing Move transforms it into a full ballroom gown. And they keep getting more and more elaborate.
  • In episode 9 of K: Return of Kings, Seri and Izumo's Black-Tie Infiltration ends with an Elevator Action Sequence, with her still in her fantastic sparkly light blue gown, and magnificent jewelry.
  • Fujiko Mine from Lupin III has spent many a gun battle fighting in an evening dress.
  • The eponymous heroine of Madlax is shown wearing simple but elegant and very slick cocktail dresses more than once while kicking ass. (And once she takes her dress off to distract her pursuers).
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid has Olivie Sägebrecht, who in Chapter 52, snapped an airborne crossbow bolt in half with a somersault kick and killed the hidden assassin with a well-aimed rock, showing that being an armless little girl in a formal princess dress didn't stop her from being a deadly fighter.
  • Princess Kougyoku of Magi: Labyrinth of Magic is probably the best dressed female fighter in the series, usually seen in her Pimped-Out Dress (such as when she beat down Ugo without her full djin equip) and noted to be particularly powerful. She lists fashion as her hobby and sword fighting as her specialty, after all.
  • Maken-ki!: Yan-Min dons an elegant full-length qipao for her return appearance in chapter 76. After saving Haruko, she battles Idaten]] over the next two chapters, which showcases her newly evolved Jingu and establishes her as a certified Lady of War.
  • May I Ask for One Final Thing?: Scarlet El Vandimion happened to be wearing a luxurious red dress complete with floor length skirt, puff sleeves, and ribbon accents when her fiancé Prince Kyle von Pallistan chose to publicly denounce her over false charges and introduce his new intended bride. Fortunately, all the tucks and folds provided Scarlet with room to bring her favorite punching gloves. The lucky ones made it out a window.
  • The eponymous heroine of Murder Princess wears a voluminous white gown. This is really an interesting case, as she became a princess through a "Freaky Friday" Flip, and wasn't this before the flip.
  • One Piece
    • In the tenth film Strong World, both Nami and Robin dress up in as part of the climax at Shiki's base, as seen here along with the men.
    • Nami also does this during the Alabasta War, where she fights against Miss Doublefinger in a dancer's gown that doesn't leave much to the imagination. Vivi, as well, wears one, but she mostly keeps it concealed under a purple burka and fights while in said attire.
    • Boa Hancock's is as fashionable as she is powerful. During the Marineford arc, she wore an elegant, purple dress while dishing out a lot of pain.
  • Most of the dolls in Rozen Maiden fit this, due to their ultra frilly dresses being still worn in intense battles.
  • In Sailor Moon, unleashing her full power will require Usagi to transform into Princess Serenity, whose costume is a long (on a girl who doesn't even break five feet) white party dress.
  • The girls of Sands of Destruction would likely be impeded by their clothing if not for Rule of Cool. Rhi'a wears an Elegant Gothic Lolita Minidress of Power, high heels with dainty little straps that would never withstand running around, and thigh-high socks with garters that double as gun holsters. Morte wears equally-high heels and a short skirt, and her Badass Longcoat is long enough that it drags on the ground behind her, but she never trips on it, and her hair never gets tangled or impedes her sight despite not being tied back. Perhaps most impressive is that the two of them often end up in a Designated Girl Fight that is utterly devoid of panty shots, despite the fact that Morte is a practitioner of BFS Waif-Fu and Rhi'a flies.
  • So, I Can't Play H!: Lisara is the heiress of the Restall Family, who are high-ranking nobility among the shinigami of Grimwald. At the start of every battle, she transforms into a form-fitting black gown with red pinstripes, black elbow-length gloves, and matching thigh-high stiletto-heeled boots. Then magically summons her flaming scythe: Calnoon Pradul.
  • In Soul Eater, Maka is able to don a black evening gown through resonance with Soul. The dress is actually practical for battle, as it's formed of Black Blood, which hardens like steel armor when Maka is attacked.
  • In Spy X Family, Yor Forger performs her assassin job while wearing a black, halter-top dress with the skirt being about thigh length in front and down to her ankles in the back and a pair of overknee Combat Stilettos. It doesn't seem to hinder her, at all, when it comes to her graceful and fast movements while killing.
  • Wedding Peach for being a Magical Girl show about girls in wedding dresses has some moments where they fight in their full wedding dresses. This is deconstructed because these were the early episodes before Momoko learns the magic phrase that turns her pimped-out wedding dress into a Minidress of Power. The unrealistic aspect of this trope is why she learned how to do this.

    Comic Books 
  • Subverted in an issue of Black Widow, which sees Nat and X-23 raiding a hotel and casino, while dressed to the nines. Laura makes a point of ditching her heels and earrings before the shooting starts, though she's still wearing a very nice top and pants that wouldn't be the most practical to fight in.
  • Played with in Championess and doubling as Truth in Television. The clothes the female boxers fight in aren't opulent in the context of the setting, as they're bascially just everyday working-class outfits, similar to this. But such outfits are still far more ornate and cumbersome than what a modern fighter would wear.
  • Jean Grey can easily do battle in fancy dresses thanks to her Mind over Matter powers (although she will do an Action Dress Rip when more physical action is called for).
  • During an early 2019 storyline of The Phantom Heloise Walker, teenage daughter of The Phantom, undergoes several hand-to-hand fights and forces the small plane she's on to crash-land while wearing a black cocktail dress and moderate heels. On one hand, the cut of the dress note  means that she has as much freedom of movement as you can get in semi-formal wear; on the other hand, Heloise is the daughter of 21 Phantoms, so it's highly possible she and her mother had the dress made that way on purpose.
  • Spider-Man had a villain called Queen. She wore a simple but beautiful Little Black Dress in her debut issue. She wore a similar dress in later issues, except with less coverage. She demonstrates her deadly skills in her debut issue where she overpowers Spider-Man with her Super-Strength and Sonic Scream, knocks out Captain America with a kick and ends the issue forcing a big wet kiss on the defeated Spider-Man.
  • In W.I.T.C.H., both of Cornelia's Guardian forms and Hay Lin's second Guardian form wear outfits that wouldn't be out of place at formal events. Their particular skirts (high-slitted ones for Cornelia, a loincloth-style one for Hay Lin) and footwear (flat-heeled boots for Cornelia, mary janes for Hay Lin) also allow for good movement.
  • Wonder Woman was created partly to embody this. As Diana Prince, she had a lot of occasions to go out to dinner parties thrown by military brass in elegant evening gowns, jewelry, etc. She'd always have elbow-length gloves to cover up her bracelets. Sometime during the night, it was guaranteed she would have to do some kind of ass-kicking while still in her flossy attire. As Wonder Woman, her original outfit included knee-length pleated culottes, which looked like a skirt most of the time unless she was doing something extremely active.
  • In the first X-Factor series, Jean even played with this. After she bought a white fur coat to go with her Little Black Dress, she started a Snowball Fight with Scott using their superpowers.
  • Yoko Tsuno once pointed out a rifle at two guys after one of them freaks out and almost gets her best friend/prospect boyfriend Vic shot to death while wearing a very fancy pink kimono. And she managed to get them to back down.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm has, in the sequel, Carol idly wonder, while wearing an elegant dress, if she'd be able to do this if she and Harry were randomly attacked at a formal occasion.
  • Twilight Sparkle spends one of her "Groundhog Day" Loop runs in Hard Reset (Eakin) dressed in this: "absolutely phenomenal amethyst earrings and a hoofband of intertwined platinum and crystal, wearing a slinky black cocktail dress I thought would make my flank look good. I was wrong about that last bit, though. This dress makes my flank look spectacular." After a skirmish, she thinks that "Rarity probably wouldn't approve of accessorizing a dress like this with a baseball bat, but even if she didn't she'd have to agree that I am pulling it off."
    Twilight Sparkle: Eww, I got changeling splattered all over my new dress!
  • While Roboco doesn't usually invoke this trope in Holo-Chronicles, when she goes into her Bionic Bride form, she dons — as the name of the form implies — a beautiful wedding dress adorned with rose ornaments. She can also fight Sora Tokino to a standstill in this form. So by all means, she kicks the most ass in her finery.
  • In The Road Not Taken, Jem'Hadar attack Deep Space 9 and Morgaiah t'Thavrau and Captain Kurland are forced to fight their way to an escape shuttle in their dress uniforms, which in t'Thavrau's case consists of formal robes. She actually uses them as a weapon at one point, throwing them up to blind an opponent in melee while she swings her sword with the other hand.
  • Most of the women present when Jadeite attacked Kyouya and Shinobu's wedding in White Devil of the Moon.note  Justified, since the last Takamachi family get-together was attacked by terrorists, so almost all the guests were armed.
  • Several examples in Zero Context: Taking Out the Trash:
    • When Circe's wedding was attacked, she retaliates while still garbed in her wedding dress and everything that entails.
    • Likewise Ellen, one of the saboteurs, gets involved in a pitched fight while attired in a very sharp-looking pale purple dress and amethyst earrings. It's implied that the dress' durability is enhanced somehow, as Ellen was struck by a giant clawed hand without it sustaining any damage.
    • Another saboteur, Claire de Loon, wears a turquoise dress while stalling a giant crab mecha with a rocket launcher.
    • Callista plays this straight for the first half of the assault, taking on a four-armed powerhouse while attired in a sapphire-blue dress and diamond earrings. After the dress is obliterated by one of Marc's attacks, it comes to light that she was actively warping reality to hide any evidence of the T-shirt and jeans she was wearing underneath.

    Films — Animation 
  • Anastasia: At the climax of the film, Anya defeats Rasputin wearing a fine ballroom dress.
  • In Epic, Queen Tara runs through the forest in a leaf dress while commanding the forest to smack her pursuers around.
  • In Frozen, Queen Elsa fights and defeats the Duke of Weselton's bodyguards while wearing her conjured gown of ice. Downplayed since she only needs to wave her arms around to fight — her one attempt at dodging an attack sees her trip and knock herself out.
  • Mulan: The titular character dresses like a courtesan (along with three of her fellow soldiers) to infiltrate the invaded palace in the climax, and together they curbstomp Shan-Yu's lieutenants.
  • In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, the human counterparts of the Mane Six fight against Sunset Shimmer while wearing school dance dresses.
  • Shrek: Princess Fiona takes out Robin Hood and a squad of merry men single-handedly while wearing her signature green princess dress. She's quite put out when a single lock of hair is out of place after the dust settles.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Atomic Blonde Lorraine takes down entire squads of police officers and assassins while wearing some very high class 80s fashion. The trope is played with in that she fights in fashionable clothes only when she's ambushed, and she wears more practical clothes when she knows she's entering a situation where she'll have to fight. She even laments in her interrogation about having to get into brutal fights while wearing rather impractical clothes.
    Lorraine: If I knew he was going to call the police I would have worn a different outfit.
  • Ava has the title character (Jessica Chastain) executing her assassination mission - that is extended to a shootout with security - while wearing a very flattering red dress.
  • In Black Panther (2018), Okoye infiltrates a casino in South Korea. After one of the goons spots her, she takes off her wig but fights on in her flowing red evening gown.
  • James Bond:
  • Jurassic World has Claire having a terrible day in white business clothes that fit perfectly the meeting she had before a bloodthirsty dinosaur went on a rampage. She slightly adapts it first (rolling back her sleeves and tying up the front of her shirt), before suffering continuous Clothing Damage - only the high heels never change.
  • Kamikaze Girls:
    • In the climax, Momoko crashes a yanki gang fight in a delicate white sweet lolita dress by real-life brand Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. It gets thoroughly trashed by the end of the scene.
    • The yankis themselves count too, to some degree, given their bright purple, satiny, heavily embroidered 'kamikaze coats' which give the film its (English-language) title.
  • Lady Flavia Geste, all dolled up in a slinky Edwardian evening gown punches out Boldini with a tremendous roundhouse swing in The Last Remake of Beau Geste.
  • Miss Meadows: Miss M is never seen in anything except a frilly, old-fashioned dress but it doesn't stop her from being a deadly vigilante, blowing away any criminals she comes across.
  • The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor: Evy spends a while fighting The Emperor and Choi while wearing a fancy pink evening gown. She displays some good martial arts moves and pulls a knife from her garter belt at the start.
  • In the 1940 film My Little Chickadee , Mae West's gorgeous, fancily-dressed character, Flower Belle, is on a train when Indians attack. An arrow lands two feet from her, and she nonchalantly pulls it out of the wall, goes back to filing her nails... and when a second arrow hits, she responds by mowing them down with revolvers akimbo taken from a passenger who wasn't so lucky and a shotgun borrowed from the only other person defending the train... all while uttering one-liners in her signature alluring, devil-may-care voice.
    Flower Belle: There he goes, in a shower of feathers!
    Gunman: Nice shootin'!
    Flower Belle: I almost broke one of my fingernails.
  • Lampshaded by Sigourney Weaver’s character “the Big Guy” in Paul who appears to have come from a Presidential reception in her single appearance and is wearing an appropriately fancy dress. She holds the heroes at gunpoint, and is capable of shrugging off punches and bites to the arm while decking several of her opponents. Then she is abruptly killed by the access ramp of the alien spacecraft...
  • Pirates of the Caribbean zig-zags this with Elizabeth. In the first movie, she stabs Barbossa and smacks one of his cursed pirates with the ship's wheel while she's still in the red dress they've forced her to wear, then puts on a spare Navy uniform for her next fight scene. The second movie sees her in her wedding dress holding Cutler Beckett at gunpoint, but again she spends most of the movie in men's clothing. The third movie plays it straight; she spends most of it in practical, gorgeous, and very femme Chinese pirate gear.
  • The climax of the Polite Society takes place during a wedding within a South Asian community, so everyone is dressed for the occasion in pimped out traditional clothes. It's also an all-out brawl full of Wire Fu, while the main character is a teenage girl that trains martial arts as her hobby and dreams about being a stuntwoman. Roundhouse kicks never involved so many floating skirts. Even the poster has the Khan sisters taking fighting stances in their Pimped Out Dresses.
  • The Bennet sisters, wearing their best gowns (though they wear practical combat boots underneath), drive off a zombie attack on the ball where Elizabeth meets Darcy for the first time in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
  • The Rocketeer: Jenny spends nearly half of the movie wearing a fancy white evening gown. During that time, she whacks two villains over the head, nearly escapes from Sinclair's mansion, and knocks a Nazi out of the zeppelin to his death after a struggle.
  • In The School for Good and Evil (2022), all the times Agatha is handling a sword she is doing it while wearing a beautiful, pimped-out gown.
  • Princess Vespa spends the entire Spaceballs movie wearing a Fairytale Wedding Dress. She's handed a gun to fight with, and refuses until a laser blast singes the side of her hair. Then she mows down the bad guys.
  • Special Female Force: The protagonists have to wear Pimped Out Dresses in a mission infiltrate a nightclub the Big Bad is in. When a fight inevitably breaks out, they fight off a bunch of Mooks in their fancy attire. Notably, the Tank-Top Tomboy member of the team is the only one not wearing an evening dress, opting for a suit instead.
  • Star Wars:
    • Padme Amidala doesn't fight in her Impractically Fancy Outfits, but her "battle gear" is still very fine-looking and stylish. And her decoy fights in a fancy royal outfit-and uses it to fool the Viceroy at a vital moment.
    • Her daughter Leia continues the tradition by spending the entire first movie in a simple but elegant white dress. Even when she was shooting stormtroopers and leading a prison escape.
  • Milady de Winter, wearing a dress in the height of 17th-century fashion, battles numerous guards during the palace-infiltration scene in The Three Musketeers (2011).
  • Anna Valerious fights vampires and werewolves in a corset and high heeled thigh-high boots in Van Helsing
  • In Wonder Woman, Diana infiltrates a military ball after "borrowing" a stunning blue evening gown. She believes Ares will be there, so she hides her sword in the back of her dress. While she doesn't actually fight in this scene, the image was so memorable that #WWgotyourback began trending on social media, with young women taking photos in their best dresses with a sword sheathed in the back. Turns out it is doable, but it works best if the sword has a small blade and a broad hilt, and the dress has straps or sleeves to hold the weight.
  • Carrie White in the 2013 adaptation of Carrie. While she wasn't portrayed as particularly physically active during her Roaring Rampage of Revenge in the other adaptations, mostly standing and walking in a creepy trance-like state while her telekinetic powers did the talking, here she raises up her hands and gestures wildly as she tears up the High-School Dance, literally flies her way out of the burning gymnasium, and stomps her foot on the ground to open up a sinkhole to block Billy and Chris' escape. All in a fancy, blood-stained prom dress.
  • The Suicide Squad. Harley Quinn spends most of the film fighting in a beautiful (if progressively damaged) flamenco dress. Subverted in that she grabs a pair of combat boots the first chance she gets, averting the usual Combat Stilettos (they come in handy for kicking down doors and slamming them into mooks' faces).
  • My Young Auntie have the heroine fighting a bunch of hooligans while dressed in a qipao in the streets of Shanghai. The movie does avert High-Heel Power though, with her ditching her heels before the fight.

  • Angie's First Case: In the climax, Kit knocks two burly criminals unconscious while wearing a sundress and high heels.
  • The Green Rider series deconstructs this to double subvert it. After a Gentleman Thief escapes her because she couldn't fight while in a dress and corset (and renders her a laughingstock as a result), Karigan makes her swordmaster teach her how to fight in finery.
  • Kvothe in "Wise Man's Fear" likes cloaks so much, he learns how to fight in one. (Without spilling anything from all of his little pockets)
  • The author ofDagger Eyes makes a point to simultaneously describe Princess Alanitora's illustrious dresses and her repeated abilities in combat while wearing said dresses.
  • Both Kokoa Shirakawa and Kadiri Miyamoto in Sho-shan y la Dama Oscura. The first is a fashion victim that managed to almost kill an experienced assassin and the second one a Shinto priestess who can exorcise demons properly dressed in a kimono.
  • Mercedes Lackey's works:
    • At one point in Jinx High, Diana Tregarde takes on a much larger jock, who happens to be high on PCP, while wearing a silk formal dress. As the dress was specifically designed with a full enough skirt to allow karate kicks, and she was combining the karate with her Psychic Powers, the dress survived undamaged.
    • In the Heralds of Valdemar series, Talia Sensdotter's formal uniform—including her hairdo—is designed so that she can fight to protect the Queen and Crown Princess if she has to and still be perfectly proper afterwards. (Skirt ankle-length rather than floor-length and no train, hidden slit in side-seam providing access to long dagger strapped to the thigh, throwing-knives concealed in cuffs, etc.)
  • Played with in Mistborn: The Original Trilogy. Heroine Vin finds herself getting in Allomantic fights in her fancy ballgowns more than once, although it tends to go more in the Losing a Shoe in the Struggle direction as she shamelessly tears off any part of the dress that's in the way. In the second book, though, she visits a dressmaker who is accustomed to having female allomancers as customers and knows how to modify his wares to make them somewhat more practical to fight in without sacrificing elegance.
  • Played with in A Song of Ice and Fire. Brienne of Tarth, who's usually accustomed to fighting in full armour, is forced into a dress as a form of humiliation and dis-empowerment, and then thrown into a bear pit by the band of mercenaries who are holding her hostage. She's able to fend off the bear until rescue arrives, but had things played out differently she would definitely have died because a dress is not armour and she was fighting a damn bear.
  • The Exile's Violin: Defied. When Jacquie goes undercover as a socialite she picks a dress that is simple and has a knee-length skirt so this trope won't be an issue.
  • Cleverly averted in The Wheel of Time, the Seanchan Empress has a wardrobe of magnificent, extravagant dresses to put any wedding gown to shame... and under them, she wears black combat pants and a tunic.
    • Played straight with just about every Aes Sedai.
  • Queen Cinder plays it straight in Chronicles Of Magic, shooting and hacking at her enemies with a sword while clad in an elaborate black gown. Averted when the gown (realistically) ends up slowing her down.
  • Journey to Chaos: Despite her distaste for finery, Tiza ends up having to do this a lot.
    • In A Mage's Power she has to wear a long pink skirt, necklace, and hairpins because they are required for a formal duel. She wins with guile.
    • Looming Shadow: Due to circumstances, she has to march into a Chaotic Zone and rescue her teammate while wearing a silk dress with gold cords and its accessories, High-Class Gloves, stockings, and a hairbow.
  • The Immortals has Queen Thayet, who once rode off to chase bandits in a fine silk dress studded with pearls. The only reason she was wearing it and not more sensible clothes was because she had to leave in the middle of a dinner party, and it was utterly ruined when the chase went through a swamp.
  • Ouida had male versions of this in many stories. The stronger and more heroic her men are, the more likely they are to be The Dandy and Real Men Wear Pink. Lots of Ho Yay ensues as well, or at least Romantic Two-Guy Friendships (normal for her era). Ouida was writing in the Aesthetic genre; this was a period in the Victorian era where many people explored alternative sexuality and gender roles. Her friend Oscar Wilde is probably the most famous example.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, due to Tellos being a World of Badass, a lot of higher class women wear dresses specially made to hold swords and not impede their agility in a duel, and others carry their swords in sheaths that double as parasols.
  • The girls at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing School learn how to fight in full Victorian ball gowns, using ribbons and fans (with hidden blades) as highly effective weapons.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Word of Honor: After Cao Weining's death, Gu Xiang goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge while wearing her wedding dress.
  • Love and Destiny: The Heaven contingent never seem to change out of their gigantic-sleeved robes even when marching into battle.
  • General and I: Lady Thirteen fights a group of soldiers while wearing a long dress.
  • Lost Love in Times: Qing Chen fights off Yuan Zhan's soldiers while unarmed and in her wedding dress.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In the season 1 finale, Buffy goes to fight The Master in her prom dress. Almost everyone (including the Master) likes it.
    • Averted in the Halloween Episode where Buffy's princess gown turns her into a Damsel in Distress. Although technically played straight at the end when the spell wears off.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Deconstructed when Brienne is forced to fight a bear in just an ugly pink dress, which offers no protection. She holds her own as well as anyone but is obviously fighting a losing battle, especially being armed with only a wooden sword.
    • For most of the series, Arya kicks ass while dressing like a boy but before her escape from King's Landing, she was also able to hold her own in fights while being dressed like a lady. The two key examples are when she beats (the older and larger) Joffrey in a fight and when she beats Bran at archery.
  • In The Vampire Diaries, Katherine is always dressed to kill... and the body count is most impressive. In Season Two, she attends a costume ball in a very slinky evening dress, complete with high heels, elaborately coiffed hair, and a lovely jeweled mask. Over the course of the evening she faced down witches, bodily dragged a fledgling vampire around, fought two more vampires to a standstill, and ripped out some poor girl's spine right in the middle of the dance floor. All without so much as tearing her dress or smudging her makeup.
  • In Power Rangers RPM Summer ends up kicking ass in her wedding dress after Tenaya 7 and an army of Grinders attack her wedding. Unusually for this trope, Tenaya 7 stands on her skirt to try and stop her but Summer resorts to using the veil as a weapon too. She also did it again in the same episode in a flashback sequence - Venjix attack bots ambush her while she's still in her party dress.
  • In the season two opener of Arrow Laurel Lance disarms a bad guy and throws him down the stairs - all while wearing a gorgeous full-length pink dress.
  • While usually preferring practical-if-geeky clothes on the set of Mythbusters, Kari demonstrates that she is quite capable of this to good effect.
  • In an episode of Castle, Beckett is on a date in a fancy restaurant and wearing a stunning red dress when she gets interrupted to go make a bust. Outside the scene, she then hilariously pulls her gun from her purse (which is so small that it couldn't have held much else) and asks Castle to hold it for her while she goes inside to kick ass.
  • Basically in every single episode of Agent Carter Peggy is kicking ass left and right in the finest '40s fashion, with the only notable aversion being the episode "The Iron Ceiling" when she dons combat gear for a mission to Russia. The first episode is the straightest example, where she takes out a couple of Mooks while wearing a splendid gold dress.
  • Downplayed in Angel "Waiting In The Wings". The Fang Gang have all gone to the ballet in formal wear. When the Mooks attack, Fred is able to subdue a couple of them by whacking them with a bucket - in that glittery red dress of hers. Cordelia is able to hold some Mooks off as well in her own gown, though she laments she won't be able to return it afterwards.
    • Darla and Drusilla go a murder spree in "Reunion" but takes the time to go clothes shopping while doing it (and killing the shopping assistant). They arrive at Holland's wine-tasting party all dolled up in their new clothes in time for a massacre.
  • The final episode of The Mentalist takes place at Jane and Lisbon's wedding, during the course of which the bride and her fellow FBI agents take down the final Big Bad before the ceremony - but after she's changed into her wedding dress.
  • In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "Face My Enemy", May kicks ass wearing a slinky party dress after the mission begins to go south. Later, Agent 33, disguised as May using a hi-tech mask, fights May while wearing the same dress.
  • Happens a lot in Blake's 7 given the tendency of women to wear an Impractically Fancy Outfit even when engaging in running battles with mooks in a BBC Quarry.
  • In NCIS season 8 episode 7 ("Broken Arrow") Special Agent Ziva David speedily defeats an attacker while wearing a full-length dress, one which demonstrates that she's got legs.
  • On NCIS: Los Angeles, Kensi ends up violently kicking out uninvited, criminal guests from her bridal suite in her wedding gown.
  • Wonder Woman: In the later episodes of the series, wardrobe made effective use of the fact that their star was an actual beauty pageant winner. She was dressed in the latest fashions, and occasionally fought the thugs as Diana Prince, such as in "Skateboard Wiz".
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Amy is in the middle of trying on wedding dresses when they get a report of a perp fleeing, and charges out of the shop still wearing one to take him down. Even Rosa is impressed.
  • Nikita: Happens a number of times throughout the show. Likely most notably when the titular character kicks ass in a silver evening gown during a hostage situation in episode 1x13.
  • CSI: NY:
    • In 'Risk,' Mac and Lindsay are called to a crime scene that Danny is already working. Mac shows up in a tux, having been at a benefit for the mayor. Lindsay arrives wearing a formal dress since she was at the opera. Danny makes a comment about being underdressed.
    • In another episode, Stella is in a revealing Little Black Dress when the deputy mayor is found dead at the fundraiser she's attending with a date. She starts processing the scene immediately & doesn't change until Mac brings her something else to wear from the Lab.
  • Relic Hunter: Sydney and Nigel get into more than one fight while dressed up for formal parties. The villain of "Nothing But the Truth" also gets into a martial arts fight with Sydney while wearing yellow high-heels, a halter top, and a short skirt, and is winning until Nigel helps out in a Combat Pragmatist fashion.
  • In Absentia Emily wears a glamorous very low-cut dress for most of "Cover" with stiletto heels, beating up a man trying to rape her in that outfit, as well as riding a motorbike, although she does add a biker jacket and helmet in the latter case.

  • In Tricia Brock's "Good to Be a Girl", the singer was "fighting off the bad guys in heels and a dress."

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The "Cholitas" in Bolivia's pro wrestling circuit (New Xtreme Order, etc). They wrestle in traditional dress of the Aymara Indians, along with British bowler hats. Cross-promotional events through the World Wrestling League have confirmed Bolivian wrestlers are capable of holding their own with the fiercest competitors the Americas and Caribbean have to offer, Cholitas included.
  • Before she became Molly Holly in the World Wrestling Federation, she was Miss Madness in WCW and regularly accompanied Randy Savage to the ring wearing an evening gown, heels, tiara and sash, but never let that from getting in the way of interfering in matches. She also did this as Lady Ophelia, her gimmick in Memphis Championship Wrestling though the dress at least had a slit to help her fighting.
  • Any woman who ever competed in an Evening Gown Match. These matches are technically subversions - as the goal is to strip the opposing woman out of her gown to win.
    • Sherri Martel was always dressed to kill. She never wrestled an EGM, but often the goal of the babyfaces was to strip her clothes off.
    • WWE does have one or two instances of this trope being played straight - a battle royal where the Divas had to compete in evening gowns. Surprisingly enough some like Gail Kim and Kelly Kelly were able to pull off their normal moves just fine.
  • Wrestlicious has Charlotte, a literal Southern Belle. Her costume consists of a parasol, frilly sleeves, pantaloons and one of the poofiest skirts in existence. Yes, she wrestles in it.

  • Before battle, the Semitic war goddess Anath anoints herself with expensive perfumes and dresses in purple and golden clothing, the colors of royalty. She then proceeds to cut a bloody swathe through her enemies, wading up to her thighs in gore, wearing the severed heads and hands of her fallen foes as ornaments, and enjoying herself immensely. She ground up the death god and sowed him like grain in revenge for his attack on her brother Ba'al (presumably putting his sartorial choices to shame in the process), and went right ahead and threatened to kill the king of the gods himself if he didn't treat Ba'al fairly.
  • Norse Mythology: Thor once had to disguise himself as the goddess Freyja to get his hammer back from the ice giants (their king demanded Freyja as his bride, Freyja making her refusal clear, Thor had to go to Loki for help), including a bridal veil. Thanks to Loki intercepting awkward questions like how the bride could eat an entire ox or down several barrels of mead or had a beard, Thor went undetected up until the moment the hammer was brought out to bless the couple. Thor grabbed his hammer and immediately started beating down the giants, still wearing the wedding dress.

    Tabletop Games 
  • While many female characters in Exalted can dress up and kick ass in an undeniably stylish manner, there are several martial arts that work extra well with finery. In fact, many of the higher-level styles do not work in armor, and one - Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Style - specifically uses fans, sashes, shawls, and the like as its style weapons.
    • Crane Style is based on beauty and grace, and one of its moves specifically indicates that a warrior wearing 'tall, flowing' garments (think robes or long-sleeved dresses) may add an extra point to their Defense, and such clothes will never be stained or torn while Crane Style is in effect.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, the "glamered" enchantment allows armor to appear as normal or fancy clothing, which can be used to achieve this effect without the downsides.
  • The armorer subclass for artificers describes itself as a Tony Stark style suit of power armor, nothing’s stopping you from flavoring your armor as, say, a nanotech infused ball gown.
  • In d20 Modern a platonic is a powerful entity of Shadow devoted to a particular cause or abstract concept, and to any who would violate or endanger such a concept, they show absolutely no mercy. Sraosha is an example one who uses this Trope; the Platonic of Contract Enforcement, she hunts down and punishes anyone who breaks contracts and usually takes the form of a beautiful woman dressed for a fancy dinner party. Seeing as she keeps a magical sword and an assault rifle concealed in Hammerspace, her victim is almost always taken by complete surprise.
  • Arkham Horror: Jenny Barnes is a rich Socialite who starts investigating the mysteries of the Cthulhu Mythos to find her lost sister, and who goes Guns Akimbo in fine dresses and jewellery. The 2018 re-release even gives her an optional "Dressed to the Nines" ability that boosts the effects of her Heroic Willpower.
  • In Pathfinder, this is the domain of Falayna, an Empyreal Lord who intersects martial discipline with feminine beauty. She's described as being very beautiful and wearing silk robes over silver armor, as well as a large collection of jeweled rings on her fingers.
  • Princess: The Hopeful: Many of the titular Hopeful wear Impossibly Cool Clothes in their Transformed state, but as a magical manifestation of her Inner Light, a Princess's Transformed apparel will never impede her motion or inconvenience her in battle.


    Video Games 
  • A Hat in Time: With the Seal the deal DLC, completing the "Snatcher coins in Subcon forest" challenge unlocks queen Vanessa's dress as an outfit for Hat Kid.
  • Cecille of Arc Rise Fantasia punched her way through enemies, while wearing a frilly blue dress. The sisters Paula and Luna use weapons, but still fancy clothes. Luna uses a very pretty Parasol of Pain.
  • Rachel Alucard in BlazBlue wears a frilled up Elegant Gothic Lolita dress, in a Fighting Game.
  • Danger Girl: One level starts with Abbey infiltrating a gala while clad in a fine, skimpy silk gown, before uncovering the Hammer Empire's underground base and subsequently taking down scores and scores of enemies (at one point even picking up a rocket launcher!) while wearing that gown.
  • Dead or Alive: Due to the sheer number of unlockable costumes that are available either in-game and as DLC, several of the characters exemplify the trope. Such as:
    • Lei-fang, whose default attire is her signature red Qipao, which is embroidered with a gold phoenix.
    • Pai Chan is her Virtua Fighter counterpart, whose VF 5 attire is an elegant red Chinese robe with detached sleeves, black shorts with gold inlays, and comes complete with a gold pair of sandals.
    • As heiress of the DOATEC Corporation, Helena Douglas is fabulously wealthy which shows in several of her costumes - ranging from business suits, to evening gowns.
    • Kokoro as well with her default elegant kimono that she fights in.
  • Lady Waltaquin Redditch of The Dio Field Chronicle has snow-white robes with plenty of gold accents and buckles to accentuate her elegance and prestige as the daughter of one of the most powerful noble houses on in the kingdom. This is, however, combat-ready armor, and she's just as capable of dealing tremendous amounts of damage and death to the enemies you encounter.
  • Disgaea:
    • Princess Rozalin of Disgaea 2 starts out as a Princess Classic, and always has her frilly dress with large bows, but as she learns to fight, she becomes deadly with firearms. And that's not even getting to the Superpowered Evil Side of her past life.
    • Sapphire of Disgaea 3 has an outfit that's basically pants and a jacket (to help make it easy to fight), but still elegant and fancy enough to count.
  • Entirely viable in much of The Elder Scrolls series. Find or buy a Pimped-Out Dress, pump it full of enchantments, and go to town. In games that let you enchant an item with an increase to the wearer's armor rating, the dress can even be made to function almost exactly like armor.
  • The Prince class in Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City has a princess option, and they tend to be strong fighters as well as opulently dressed.
  • Peach from the Mario franchise. On those occasions when she does kick ass, like the Super Smash Bros. instance below, she is usually doing so in her iconic pink dress.
  • The heroine of Princess Crown wears an armored, but fancy, gown.
  • Ada Wong in Resident Evil 4 wears an elegant cheongsam dress, that has butterflies embroidered with gold thread, while kicking butt. And despite wearing high heels, she has no problem running at a full sprint for endless amounts of time
  • The ladies of the Soul Series often have elegant outfits. Special mention goes to Cassandra and Amy.
  • Rose from Street Fighter. Her standard outfit is an evening dress with pumps and a Scarf of Asskicking. It doesn't deter her in the slightest. (and in some Street Fighter IV ports, you can download even prettier dresses for her.) To Rose's credit, her dress is slit up to the waist, allowing her legs free motion. As for the heels, her psychic powers allow her to fly, so it's not a stretch if she uses them to assist her balance.
  • In the Tekken series, Anna Williams fights wearing, in most of her appearances, a striking red Chinese-inspired dress. This is in contrast to her sister Nina, who wears more utilitarian clothing (although her default costume in Tekken 7 is a lightly distressed wedding dress). There's also Lilli from, who kicks ass wearing a fine white dress.
  • In the Super Smash Bros. games, Peach, Daisy, Rosalina and Princess Zelda qualify for this trope, if rarely in their series proper. They battle in their standard series royal dresses.
  • Lady Jane of the TimeSplitters games runs around shooting at bad guys, while wearing an evening dress and fur-trimmed coat.
  • There are levels in some Tomb Raider games where Lara wears formalwear. One particularly good example when she's at a party in Legend (which also averts Combat Stilettos; She removes them and goes barefoot).
  • With Star Wars: The Old Republic, the Consular's (especially the Sage sub-class) outfits look like they came from Queen Amidala's garage sale, and you're crossing every kind of landscape and warzone laying waste to Sith in what amounts to a ballgown.
  • In Fear Effect 2: Retro Helix, Hana has to infiltrate a high-class party in order to find some information for her current mission. She eventually ends up in a gunfight while wearing her evening gown. Before she goes into the party though, her partner Rain questions her choice in attire, sarcastically asking why she doesn't just walk in naked. Hana responds by saying that she'd only have room to hide one gun if she did that. Let that sink in for a moment...
  • A staple of the Tales Series, and not just for the ladies. Games with alternate costumes will often include fancy high-class outfits that the character(s) will not only walk around in but continue to wear while kicking ass in battle. Examples include Symphonia and Legendia, both of which provide this option for almost every playable character (the latter only has the outfits in battle though; they wear their normal outfits on the field for some reason).
  • When in Final Fantasy VIII you get Edea into your party, she'll be in her Pimped-Out Dress you know and love. This is downplayed in that her standard attack weapon is some kind of weak telekinetic punch and her main weapon is magic.
  • In Final Fantasy X-2, changing clothes gains new powers for the main characters. Two of these outfits fall under this trope. First is Lady Luck which veers more towards Stripperiffic but still qualifies - though the weapons of choice are cards and dice. Second is Festival Goer where the girls do battle in kimonos.
  • Final Fantasy XI has the Wedding Dress Set for sale.
  • In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, several of the garbs count as this. Particular mention goes to the Planetary/Color Titled garbs (Japanese and English version respectively) where Lightning battles in ankle-length ballroom gowns with wide, flaring skirts and elegant gloves. Crescent Moon/Midnight Mauve is mandatory to wear during one scene in the game and some garbs, like Rising Venus/Champagne Gold couple the dress with fur-collars.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has a wedding dress available as well, and, unlike XI's, which features a miniskirt, has a long, trailing skirt.
  • Karma's /joke emote in League of Legends. "This dress may have been impractical."
  • In some of the Rune Factory games, though not restricted to just women. The player eventually gains access to the dresser, where they can choose to have their protagonist (an available female option being in RF2 and RF4) decide to fight monsters while wearing their (or their parents') wedding attire.
  • Fire Emblem:
  • In the Fighting Game Persona 4: Arena, Mitsuru wears a long, white fur coat, so overlapping with Pretty in Mink and Badass Longcoat.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, you can give Veronica a pretty dress. She is overjoyed and teaches you a special unarmed move in return. In the Dead Money DLC, you can obtain a slinky leg-showing cocktail dress(similar to a qipao) from Vera's suite.
  • Aya Brea of Parasite Eve starts the game in a little black dress, platforms, and ... well, first playthrough, a police-issue sidearm. Second? She could be packing a rifle. Justified since she's on a date and intending to have a nice night at the opera, not kick ass. Afterwards, she changes into a more appropriate outfit.
  • Ana and Paula in the Mother franchise, coupled with their pretty pink dresses.
  • Solely for her appearance in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Fat Princess.
  • Inevitable in Touhou Project, due to the Improbably Female Cast. Nearly all characters wear Lolita style frilly dresses. And they can all kick ass.
  • Mass Effect:
  • In the Umineko fighting game, the witches. Especially Beatrice, who's handing out Full-Contact Magic in a fancy, full-length ballgown.
  • In Perfect Dark, Joanna wears a qipao during the Carrington Institute Defense mission.
  • Aveline in Assassin's Creed III: Liberation wears a very fancy green dress and hat when in her "lady" mode. She isn't as skilled a fighter as in her "slave" and "assassin" modes, but she is still formidable and can hide a fair number of weapons in her frills (including the series's favorite sleeve daggers).
  • The Pokémon Gardevoir has a sleek and feminine form, with what resembles a long dress. Its Mega Evolution turns that 'dress' into a full-blown poofy ballgown; despite this, it gains speed as well as attack power.
    • Champions Iris and Diantha both fight while wearing very expensive dresses. Iris was given hers by Drayden upon becoming Champion because he thought it would suit her new position better than the outfit she wore in the previous games.
    • Diancie normally looks like a cute girl with a rock for a lower body. Upon mega evolving, it now looks like a proper pink princess with huge gaudy dress made of crystals.
  • Skullgirls:
    • Squigly fights in the clothes she was buried in, including an ankle-length hobble dress and a corset. Given the dress, she generally leaves "kicks" to Leviathan, her parasite, who uses his tail and fire breath, but can somehow manage a bicycle kick.
    • Black Dahlia is an elder lady wearing a beautiful black dress along with a doilie-shaped half-cape and a hat. She is also a cold-blooded assassin working for the powerful Medici mafia and has a shotgun in place of her arm.
  • In Tears to Tiara 2, of the two from Qart Hadast, Elissa wears a Battle Ballgown while Daphnis wears a maid uniform into battle. Doesn't slow them down in the slightest.
  • Fantasy Life lets the player recruit other characters as combat companions, including a couple of women whose lifestyle can be summed up as "Standing around in a Pimped-Out Dress by day, Action Girl by night.". Ask them to join you during the daytime part of the In-Universe Game Clock, and you get this trope.
  • Elphelt Valentine from Guilty Gear X-rd Sign is a sweet and kinda ditzy Girly Bruiser who fights in this outfit.
  • Vivienne from Dragon Age: Inquisition often wears courtly clothing into battle, as befits her court enchanter title for the Orlesian Empire. She is also a Knight-Enchanter, who wields a giant Laser Blade and can regularly take on high dragons and win.
  • Some games like Eden Eternal this is largely the way they make cash selling fashion items like Maid Outfits and Fairy Dresses that even have stat boosts to help in combat.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles X, you can equip your characters in special costume sets called, "fashion armor". For your female party members, that includes evening wear and accessories. You can see samples of it in GameXplain's 3-hour livestream, where Hope and Alexa are both fancied up in evening gowns and jewelry - while outfitted with melee weapons and heavy artillery.
  • The girls of Sands of Destruction would likely be impeded by their clothing if not for Rule of Cool. Rhi'a wears an Elegant Gothic Lolita Minidress of Power, high heels with dainty little straps that would never withstand running around, and thigh-high socks with garters that double as gun holsters. Morte wears equally-high heels and a short skirt, and her Badass Longcoat is long enough that it drags on the ground behind her, but she never trips on it, and her hair never gets tangled or impedes her sight despite not being tied back. Perhaps most impressive is that the two of them never flash their male cohorts, despite the fact that Morte is a practitioner of BFS Waif-Fu and Rhi'a flies. You can also buy a Party Dress and even a Wedding Dress for your female team members; they do basically nothing against physical damage but are apparently enchanted to repel magical damage (and are among the few items which do). Both girls also get gifts of clothing as part of their personal armor quests, and the clothes they receive match their personal styles.
  • Bayonetta
    • In the Wii U Bayonetta games there are over-the-top outfits based on Princess Peach and Princess Daisy. In Bayonetta 2 there's also the 'Dress' outfit, two costumes based on fancy dresses Bayonetta wears during the Prologue and Ending of the game (Jeanne also has her own version for the fancy leather dress she wore in the ending) Notably, Bayonetta would rather avert this trope, never leaving her mink on longer than she has to.
      Bayo: (Prologue) You know, I try to avoid doing this in my Sunday best.
      Bayo: (Epilogue) That's the second dress in a month!
    • Bayonetta 3 introduces a new demon summon, Baal Zebul, who is a huge Cute Monster Girl in an opulent Pimped-Out Dress complete with Parasol of Prettiness who fights using her powerful soprano alone.
  • Annie from Wild Guns seems to have no problem shooting up bad guys while wearing a frilly, fancy, ankle-length dress with a bustle.
  • Fallout 4: If you have a high Armorer skill and some spare Ballistic Fiber, then the Sequin Dress can be made as protective as any regular armour, while still being a glittery dress with a Charisma bonus.
  • Phoebe from Battleborn battles whilst wearing a lavish and refined high-tech dress ensemble. Furthermore, her formal wear can be augmented to substantially increase her survivability.
  • Miis from the Princess class in Miitopia wear elegant gowns and tiaras and use fancy fans during the battles.
  • The Dark Souls series allows you to invoke this by simultaneously wielding a gigantic sword and wearing one of many ornate dresses, depending on the game. Bloodborne and Demon's Souls also allow this, making this a recurring theme in modern FromSoftware titles.
  • Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE: Due to the nature of their powers, Mirage Masters typically wear elaborate costumes that wouldn't be out of place in their chosen performance art - in one case a character's Mirage Master outfit was directly used as the model for their first outfit because footage from their first boss fight was co-opted into their debut music video. The practicality of this is Hand Waved in an optional conversation, where one Mirage mentions that the Master's defences are magically provided by their partner, so really they can wear what they like (which justifies the option of putting characters in tracksuits and sneakers instead).
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In Twilight Princess, Zelda (or rather, her body being puppeted by Ganondorf) serves as the first phase of the final boss battle, still wearing her long gown and jewelry from the player's previous meetings with her. Justified; the outfit is implied to be ceremonial wear for her coronation as Hyrule's queen, which was interrupted by Zant's invasion. In addition, most of her attacks rely on magic, negating any disadvantage the impractical clothing would impose in a physical fight.
    • Downplayed in Hyrule Warriors. Zelda wears what's implied to be her everyday royal garb, complete with jewelry and crown, into battle, and her outfit leaves some areas exposed for the sake of Fanservice. Overall, however, the dress is a Battle Ballgown with a split skirt that ends at her knees and functional pieces of armor as accessories. Averted by her alter ego Sheik, who wears a lightly armored bodysuit and keeps their hair braided back.
    • Zig-zagged in Age of Calamity; in her earliest playable levels, Zelda wears her travelling outfit, consisting of a practical shirt, trousers, and boots. Later levels, however, have her fighting in her prayer dress, which was designed for meditating in springs, not running across a battlefield. The game's files also contain data for the long, formal gown she wears inside of Hyrule Castle, though that outfit is only accessible via hacking. Neither of the latter two outfits impact her ability to fight in any way.
    • Subverted in Spirit Tracks; Zelda is controllable and will assist Link in battle, but she does so by possessing hulking suits of armor, not by fighting in the long dress she wears the rest of the time. Even during the fight against her possessed physical body, Malladus just stands there and shoots beams of magic while Link and Zelda slowly make their way toward him. After Zelda gets her body back, she stands back and snipes Malladus with arrows while Link does the up-close fighting.
  • Azur Lane's skins system allows the shipgirls to go to war in, among others, ballgowns, kimono and wedding dresses.
  • Sdorica has several women who fight in opulent dresses, such as Sione SP who wears a ballroom dress, Fredrica SP who wears a wedding dress, and Yamitsuki SP with her gorgeous kimono.
  • In Reverse: 1999, Druvis III wears an elaborate evening gown that hugs her figure and her legs, even if she's hanging out on the upper eaves of a burnt-out Rowan tree or fighting enemies in combat. None of this impedes her ability to fight in any way, though this may be because she lagely uses her Green Thumb incanations to grow roots, trees, and other plants to attack her enemies wherever she may be standing.

    Visual Novels 
  • Saber of the Fate/stay night series likes wearing fine dresses, even if they are armored.
  • Stella and Meryl as well as Rapunzel in Rose Guns Days don't need to wear ergonomic clothing to kick ass when needed.
  • While Arcueid from Tsukihime simply wears a sweater and a long skirt in present day, she used to wear a more elaborate dress in the past. She's also an exceptionally powerful Artificial Human Living Weapon made by the True Ancestors. This is especially noticeable in Melty Blood Current Code, where her Superpowered Evil Side Archetype: Earth takes the form of past Arcueid complete with the classy dress, and is easily one of the most powerful being on the planet.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Weiss's combat clothing tends to be styled on evening wear themes. In Volumes 1-3, her clothing includes intricate lace, droplets and a bolero jacket. While trapped in Schnee Manor during Volume 4, she dresses very smartly as befits a wealthy heiress and is wearing these clothes when she flees; for the next two volumes she therefore travels and fights in extremely elegant clothing compared to her peers. In Volume 7, her outfit evolves into what is effectively a "battle ballgown", complete with puff shoulders, opera-style gloves, droplets on her skirt, and frilled knee-high boots.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • The Kyoshi Warriors wear long green dresses, gold headdresses, and feminine face-paint as part of their typical uniform.
    • As their inspiration, Avatar Kyoshi herself fits.
    • Mai interstitially appears a long, elegant dress while throwing knives at people, but the trope is subverted in some scenes that seem to show the "skirt" of the dress is actually wide-legged pants.
    • Inverted by Princess Azula; while she always fights in what doubles as her formal attire (not counting while impersonating the above Kiyoshi Warriors), her "formal attire" is less Pimped-Out Dress and more standard Fire Nation army attire with a bit more style.
  • Star Butterfly of Star vs. the Forces of Evil is introduced in the first episode "Star Comes To Earth" beating up monsters and taming unicorns while wearing a frilly, turquoise Princess Classic dress.
  • In the second DTV movie for Kim Possible , the title heroine has not one but two battles with her arch-nemesis, Shego, in two different elegant dresses. The first is because she was undercover, the second because the fight interrupted her prom night.
    • In one episode when infiltrating a dog show with Ron, she wears a nice black dress that can convert into a stealth suit. She ends up converting back into the dress to use as a parachute for an escape.
  • Sofia the First: While normally rough-and-tumble, in the climax of "Undercover Fairies", Chrysta chases down the main antagonist while wearing a fancy dress and High-Class Gloves from her makeover earlier in the episode.
  • Rose Quartz from Steven Universe wore a floor-length pink and white dress and her hair is in Regal Ringlets. With a matching One-Handed Zweihänder and shield. It does little to hide her build, though — quartzes are warriors by design; put on a Disney princess dress and it just makes you eight feet of pleasantly plump Amazonian tank in pink.


Video Example(s):


Formal Kim vs Formal Shego

Kim and Shego duke it out while wearing gorgeous evening dresses.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / KickingAssInAllHerFinery

Media sources: