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"Red. Red. RED. RED, Charlie boy. Red is the color of sex! Burgundy is the color of hot water bottles! Red is the color of sex and fear and danger and signs that say, 'Do. Not. Enter.'"
Lola, Kinky Boots

Lady in Red is something of an old-fashioned trope, where The Vamp or the Femme Fatale was designated by having her wear bright red formal wear. A Lady in Red is sexy. The Lady in Red wasn't necessarily a slut, but she was strongly sexual, and often had a strong personality. In more prudish times, the Lady in Red was considered almost dangerous. Red clothing is also associated with prostitutes, chorus girls and other dancers, and other women attempting to be sexy.

This trope is about the character type, not the dress itself. A character wearing a red outfit does not always make her a Lady in Red. For example, according to Chinese mythology, a woman who dies in a red dress, or commits suicide in one, is able to come back to haunt those who wronged her, which leads to a multitude of ladies in red dresses in Hong Kong horror movies. These ladies are not necessarily a Lady In Red. Additionally, in Bollywood and throughout Southeast Asia, red is more associated with marriage and love than with sex. Thus, a woman in a red sari is almost never a Lady In Red. The basis of this trope comes mostly from Western culture.

This trope is for grown women only; for little girls, see Little Dead Riding Hood and compare Princesses Prefer Pink.

Compare Little Black Dress, Pink Means Feminine, Pink Is Erotic. Contrast with Virgin in a White Dress, Widow's Weeds, and Red Hot Masculinity. The Glamorous Wartime Singer is often a Lady In Red, as is The Chanteuse; sometimes, the dress will be a Happy Holidays Dress or Sexy Santa Dress.

Not to Be Confused with The Woman in Red, though Kelly LeBrock certainly wears one in the film and all promotional materials.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Butler has Madame Red (her real name is Angelina Dalles-Barnett but it's a nickname she earned due to her red hair), Ciel's aunt. She's a free-spirited young widow who likes to have fun and is flirty with everyone she meets. She wears red because it's the color of blood: she is Jack the Ripper.
  • Erica Blandelli of Campione! is a quite beautiful Magic Knight Lady of War, often seen wearing an elegant red dress (she's even known as "Diavolo Rosso", which means "Red Devil" in Italian). She's very passionate and forward about her feelings for Godou Kusanagi, making her a rare heroic example of a Femme Fatale.
  • Honoo no Alpen Rose: In the anime, Jeudi gets dolled up in a red dress when the Count abducts her to his Big Fancy House and shows her off to the partygoers at the ball.
  • Madlax wears a crimson red cocktail dress in the first episodes into battle. And even the man she's about to kill admits she looks gorgeous.
  • Kaolinite from Sailor Moon. Interestingly, she changes to black after her apparent death and resurrection.
  • One Piece: In her introductory arc, Boa Hancock wore a revealing red blouse that showed much of her chest and a loose sarong that exposed her long, slender legs.
  • Yumi Komagata from Rurouni Kenshin. Notably, she used to be an oiran before joining up with Shishio.
  • Ranma ½: Played for laughs with Ranma Saotome's girl form. She's one of the most (if not the most) attractive women in the entire series. She knows it and plays it up for all the benefits she can possibly get, especially in the manga. Ranma's seductive ways are highlighted by her typical red shirt, her red hair in the anime, and, at one point, a red Qipao dress from some official art. Plus, in general, she's just seen in a lot of red clothing.
  • Phantom Quest Corp.: Ayaka Kisaragi is stunning for a woman her age and is the series' resident fanservice character. Each episode opens with her wearing a form-fitting red dress (also featured on the cover art), which has a low-cut back and a split seam to show off her legs, along with a matching pair of high-heels. It gives her the look of a lounge singer,note  but she's actually an Occult Detective.
  • Ran of Ryu the Cave Boy is a dark-skinned woman who wears a red dress and no shoes, alongside a pretty red flower in her hair.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena:
    • In the anime version of Revolutionary Girl Utena, Anthy wears a red dress during the Rose Duels as she's the bride and the prize of the tournament. The sexual and dangerous connotations become more and more apparent as the show goes on as it's realized that she's sleeping with her brother, serves as his Dragon and seduces and tempts various other characters (often at Akio's behest)
    • Touga and Akio are a Rare Male Example. Touga is associated with red roses, has red hair and his outfit is lined with red. Akio wears red and drives a red sports car. They're both a bit slutty, serve as the main Mr. Fanservices and use sex and love to manipulate and charm everyone around them.
  • Zombie Land Saga: Yugiri's association with red and the adult nature of her work as an oiran evoke this trope. Though she subverts the moral ambiguity of the classic Lady in Red, instead being a kind and heroic figure. Her red dress while performing "Saga Jihen" evokes the image even further, as the song itself is written as a tragic song of romantic yearning.

    Comic Books 
  • Batwoman: Kate Kane in her first appearance in the DCU series 52. She's described as having "the kind of beauty that leaves you breathless," while wearing a brilliantly red dress.
  • Crimson: The series had two prominent ladies in red: the resident monster hunter Scarlet Thinbaut X, who wore an all-red sexy combat suit evocative of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Lisseth, dressing in a long-red gown sporting some Navel-Deep Neckline. While both characters qualify as Ms. Fanservice, they fit the trope in different ways with Lisseth being openly seductive, while Scarlet serves as The Hero's Love Interest. Scarlet's ancestor Marraine also used to be one, wearing a red cape that marked her as off-limits to any lower louts and available only to noblemen.
  • Daredevil: Elektra wears a red Leotard of Power and is as known as a devilish temptress as she is for her deadly fighting skills.
  • Lady Death: Satasha wears a red Stripperiffic outfit and is a Lipstick Lesbian. Her friend Wargoth harbors feelings for her despite being aware of her orientation.
  • The Mighty Thor: When Thor was first dating Jane, Odin did not approve of his son dating a mortal, so he sent Amora the Enchantress to seduce him and break them up. Amora chose the best vamp outfit she could: a red slinky dress complimented with a white mink coat.
  • Raptors: Camilla Molina wears a bright-red fetishistic bondage gear with a red coat, as befitting a sexy vampire temptress like her. At the end of the series, Vicky Lenore takes up her mantle by wearing the same outfit and continuing Camilla's mission.
  • Sin City: The title character in "The Babe Who Wore Red" is a beautiful Damsel in Distress whose striking red dress is the only object of color in the otherwise black-and-white noir story. She turns out to be a subversion of the trope, as she's actually a nun who considered forsaking her vows.
  • Vampirella: Vampirella is a female vampire who wears a red sling-bikini and whose seductiveness is her trademark.
  • Wonder Woman: In The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016), Etta spends months trying to get Diana "Prince" to wear something that flatters her, and when she finally manages it at a dance Diana is in a floor-length sparkling red dress that clings to her curves and leaves Steve Trevor momentarily speechless.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animated 
  • Aladdin: When Jafar takes over, he puts Jasmine in a skimpy red harem dress, for obvious reasons. She is still wearing it when she tries to seduce him.
  • Esmeralda wears a red pole-dancing outfit in "Topsy Turvy" in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Ironically, in Real Life, red is considered bad luck for the Romani, and Judge Frollo was watching her dance in public... Bad luck indeed.
  • In The Swan Princess, the imposter Odette's dress was slinky red and black, as opposed to Odette's usual virginal white.
  • Subverted, then the subversion is lampshaded by Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. She's gorgeous and wears a very revealing long slinky shiny dress, showing some legs and lots of cleavage, but she is a Nice Girl through and through.
    Jessica: I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 8 Women: Of the cast of Color-Coded Characters, it's Pierrette, the seductress who has no shame in being a whore by profession and takes pride in her sexual freedom, who wears bright red clothes.
  • Ava downright features in the poster the scene where the title protagonist played by Jessica Chastain is Kicking Ass in All Her Finery with a red dress.
  • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) is introduced wearing a red dress that certainly gets her noticed by Bruce even while she steals note  a hacking device containing all of Lex's files from under his nose.
  • Bedazzled (2000): The vast majority of the Devil's costumes are red such as the cocktail dress she's wearing when Elliot first sees her. Aside from the obvious color association with the devil, the red costumes were chosen deliberately to play up the seductive nature of the character.
  • Violet from Bound (1996) is a Femme Fatale who spends a good chunk of the film in a red dress.
  • Boy Eats Girl: While Glenda is the least assertive of the boy-crazy Girl Posse, she does wear a striking red dress to the school dance and flirts with an older guy to get him to buy drinks in a later scene (although she's not wearing red then).
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula: Lucy Westenra wears a red gown whenever she is attacked by Dracula, and these attacks are often sexualized.
  • In Captain America: The First Avenger, Peggy Carter (Steve Rogers' ally and Love Interest) wears a rather impressive red dress in one scene, which particularly stands out in a pub full of drab-uniformed soldiers, all of whom fall silent when she enters.
  • The title character in Carlota Joaquina, Princesa do Brasil is a completely insatiable man-eater that takes several men as lovers (both young and old) and is dressed exclusively in red all the time.
  • The City of Lost Children: The woman in the bar who tries and comically fails to seduce One wears a red dress. At the time, he is devastated by the death of Miette.
  • Cries and Whispers: This movie is famous for the red decor of the setting, but the only character to actually wear red is Maria, who engages in extramarital affairs with zero shame and wears a lacy red dress while seducing David.
  • Deep Rising: This is Trillian's outfit for the first half of the movie, as she was a thief and conperson on the cruise liner who used it to distract the captain so she could steal his keycard as part of her scheme.
  • Eve of Destruction: Eve steals a red leather jacket from a clothing shop, which she later uses to seduce a bar patron.
  • Fatal Instinct: Lola Cain, the Femme Fatale, appears in a red dress when she seduces Ned Ravine.
  • Final Girl: Veronica appears in a red dress during the hunt at Jameson's request. She definitely looks classy in it, but it's also to make her Damsel out of Distress nature a surprise.
  • Frantic: Emmanuelle Seigner changes from her black leather look to a tight red dress when they go to an expensive nightclub; it's probably not a coincidence she dances uncomfortably close to Harrison Ford in this scene.
  • In a film which combines bodyswap tropes with Horror ComedyFreaky when the Blissfield Butcher is in the body of petite blonde teen girl Millie he dresses her in a Red Leather Jacket over a black low cut halter-top, blue jeans, and matching red lipstick whilst going on his murder rampage in her body.
  • Ghostbusters: Dana Barrett, the Ghostbusters' first client, wore a shiny, bright red dress after becoming possessed by Zuul, one of Gozer's demon dogs. Under demonic possession her behavior was overtly sexual, initially attempting to seduce Peter Venkman then kissing and mating with Louis Tully, who was also possessed by a demon at the time.
  • Ghost Ship: Francesca, the ship's former singer, was dressed like this. She reappears on the ship as a vamp-like ghost and is later revealed to have participated in the original massacre, tempting one of the crewmen to kill the other conspirators for her.
  • A different take in The Girl (1987), where the Fille Fatale wraps herself in a red towel when seducing Franco Nero's character (having already stripped off her blue dress).
  • In Gone with the Wind, when rumors abound that Scarlett and Ashley have been caught in an illicit embrace (Scarlett is married to Rhett at the time), Rhett demands that she wear a red dress to Ashley's birthday party.
    Rhett: I want you to look your part tonight.
  • Downplayed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Hermione wears a red dress to Bill and Fleur's wedding and when she first appears wearing it, Ron can be seen gazing at her with a slight look of lust on his face. In the book, the dress was lilac and it was more of a She Cleans Up Nicely moment.
  • Head in the Clouds: Mia favors wearing a lot of red, befitting her status as a Latin Lover, often acting sultry and work as a stripper.
  • Heathers:
    • Heather Chandler, Her outfit always consists of her signature red she also wears a red scrunchie, her "crown."
    • After Heather Chandler death, Heather Duke is convinced by J.D to be the new leader of the Heathers, and he gives her Chandler's red scrunchie as symbolism of passing over power. Once that event has occurred, for the rest of the film, she wears red and ties her hair back with the former leader's scrunchie.
  • In Horrors of the Black Museum, Bancroft's mistress Joan combines this with Pretty in Mink. It is especially noticeable when she is dancing solo to the jukebox and drawing the eye of every male in the room.
  • Hunk: The Devil's assistant, at one of the parties.
  • Idle Hands: Tanya wears a bright red sexy demon costume to the Halloween dance and spends a while flirting with and kissing Pnub.
  • In Inglorious Basterds, near the climax, Shoshanna wears a red gown and lipstick as she uses herself as a Honey Trap.
  • James Bond:
    • In Dr. No, Bond is introduced playing baccarat with Sylvia Trench, who's wearing a red dress, and she's why Bond introduces himself in his iconic fashion.
      Bond: I admire your courage, Miss...
      Trench: Trench, Sylvia Trench. I admire your luck, Mister...
      Bond: Bond, James Bond.
    • In Casino Royale (2006), Vesper Lynd is wearing this in her final scenes. Aside from the fact that her duplicity has just been discovered, the color helps Bond spot her as he searches for her in the crowd—note that absolutely no one else in that scene is clad in red. This was deliberately done by the filmmakers to make her stand out.
  • In Jezebel, Julie Marsden (played by Bette Davis) scandalizes polite society when she shows up to her débutante ball wearing a red dress instead of virginal white.note 
  • Jurassic City: Stephanie, the assertive sorority pledge-master wears a tight red dress throughout the film, and once Pippi loses her jacket, it's revealed she has one on as well.
  • The Empress wears either red or black for most of Legend of the Black Scorpion. Scenes emphasizing her sexual dominance over the Emperor show her in or surrounded by red fabric.
  • Early in The Mask, Tina shows up at the bank wearing a clingy red dress, distracting Stanley while innocently inquiring about opening an account and surreptitiously casing the joint.
  • Love Me if You Dare: Discussed by Sophie when she talks about the red dress she put on in a climactic scene to look pretty for Julien:
    Sophie: Like my dress? I hesitated. Nabbed it off my sister. She has another red one, like a thermonuclear bombshell... That's the one I should've worn.
  • The Matrix: In the Agent Training Program, Mouse has inserted a lady in a red dress in order to distract Neo as well as allow Morpheus to make a point about the illusory and transient nature of the Matrix. Mouse later tells Neo he could arrange a "date" with the program. His older crewmates mock him and call him a "digital pimp".
  • It's some crimson-clad satin seduction after strobe room for Max in Max Payne when he meets Natasha.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: Scarlet Witch uniforms colour coded with Red.
  • Polar. Vivian wears a red coat in her final confrontation with the protagonist, to contrast with her black-clad mooks in their black SUVs.
  • Gal Gadot again as the Classy Cat-Burglar Sarah Black in Red Notice.
  • Prom Night (1980): Alpha Bitch Wendy Richards wears red as her main color; in the present day, she wears a red blouse to school and later a glittery red dress to the prom. She winds up getting killed in it by a murderous masked axeman.
  • Inverted in Requiem for a Dream, in which an elderly woman destroys herself trying to fit into her old red dress.
  • Astarte in The Scorpion King II: Rise of a Warrior is a seductive Love Goddess dressed in crimson robes that leave her cleavage exposed. She also doubles as an evil example by virtue of being the Greater-Scope Villain of the movie.
  • Swing Kids: After being called a "priss" and presumed to be uptight for the earlier part of the movie, Evey shows up at a swing party in a bright red dress. The look on Peter's face when he sees her is priceless.
  • The Thin Blue Line references the famous woman in red who shot notorious gangster John Dillinger. The movie then goes on to note that the woman was actually wearing orange at the time, it just seemed red because of the lighting. This ties into the theme of inaccurate memory.
  • In the film adaptation of the Stephen King short story Umney's Last Case, the wife of the author who created the 1930's Private Detective protagonist dresses up in a slinky red dress in order to seduce him, acting like The Vamp character from one of her husband's books.
  • Valentine: Denise Richards' character Paige Prescott is described in-story as the "sexy one", and follows through on that with her clothing choices. These include a red dress in the prologue during a middle-school dance, a red shirt under a leather jacket in a turbo dating session, and another red dress during a Valentine's Day party for the film's climax.
  • Videodrome: When Max is on a talk show to defend his low-brow network, he notes that that the red dress of Nikki, one of his co-guests, is quite alluring. They strike up a relationship not long after. During one of his later sexual-themed hallucinations, she reappears in a red dress.
  • West Side Story (1961): Maria wears a red dress in the film's final scenes. Very symbolic as she's recently lost her virginity, and regarding all the blood that's been shed up to this point. It also harks back for her first scene, where she asked if they could dye her white party dress red so she would look more grown up – by the end, she is more grown up, but not in the way she wanted to be.
  • In When the Bough Breaks, Laura wore a red dress for a party. Latter Anna wear the same dress for a charity party.
  • In Wings of Desire French babe Marion wears a fancy red dress when she finally meets former angel Damiel.
  • The Gene Wilder vehicle The Woman in Red features model Kelly LeBrock as the titular character, which was a Foreign Remake of Un éléphant ça trompe énormément and was riding on the success of 10 (1979). Best known for the Stevie Wonder classic "I Just Called To Say I Love You", which earned the film its sole Academy Award for Best Song. He also sings "The Woman In Red".

  • In Declarations of War by Len Deighton, a woman traveling with the protagonist has two dresses, black and red. She declines to wear the red one in a small Latin American town, as it is pointed out that only one type of woman wears red in those types of towns.
  • Dora Wilk Series: Dora Wilk, a pseudo-succubus, puts a red dress on for a vampire party. Fittingly, she has red hair as well.
  • Hive Mind (2016): Buzz's love of tight, revealing, red dresses shows her forceful personality and Shameless Fanservice Girl tendencies. When she wants to get back together with Forge, she puts on a red dress, commenting, "I think red suits me better than black." He completely agrees and they make plans to see each other that night.
  • In Death: a number of female characters put on red outfits in the series. Eve put on a red outfit to seduce Roarke in Witness In Death and Magdalana wore a red dress early on in Innocence In Death.
  • Phèdre at the Midwinter Masque in Kushiel's Chosen, which she plays up by wearing a gown that exposes her entire back, letting all the peerage of Terre d'Ange know that she is returning to Naamah's Service; that is, going back to being a High-Class Call Girl.
  • In A Prayer for Owen Meany, the narrator's mother only dresses in black and white, except for a single red dress she wears for special, mysterious occasions.
  • Shaman Blues: Konstancja, Witkacy's Femme Fatale, always has most of her clothes and accessories red.
  • Six of Crows: Slightly downplayed example. Nina, whose favorite color is red and to whom the color is most associated, is also sensual, really knows how to enjoy the finer things in life, and is "built like the figurehead of a ship carved by a generous hand". She also works in a brothel and could be considered a Femme Fatale (literally, if you take into account her Grisha abilities).
  • White as Snow: At the height of her beauty, power, and sexuality, Arpazia is seen wearing a particular red gown.
  • Woman in the Dark (Dashiell Hammett, 1933): Luisa Fischer is not a Femme Fatale in the Brigid O'Shaughnessy class. But when she shows up on Brazil's doorstep in a red dinner dress, signs that she will bring him trouble are well and fully telegraphed.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agent Carter: Her signature look is a long red coat with matching wide-brimmed hat. In this case, her glamorous appearance is used to contrast with the suit-and-tie-wearing male agents she works with.
  • American Gods (2017): Bilquis is a Love Goddess who's a seductress and seems to favor shades of red.
  • Number Six from the reimagined Battlestar Galactica. It's her default outfit: tight, revealing, sexy. She's a Cylon and seduces Baltar.
    • In "Unfinished Business", flashbacks show Laura Roslin wearing a bright red dress to a ceremony on New Caprica. While the dress is relatively modest, it still catches Bill Adama's attention as he tells her it's a good color on her in a flirtatious way.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "Amends", Willow wears a tight red dress to show Oz she's Ready for Lovemaking. In the same episode, the First is trying to incite Angel into having sex with Buffy so he'll lose his soul; when Angel runs into Buffy in her bedroom wearing a blood-red dress that exposes her neck, he has to jump out the window to stop himself from jumping on her then and there.
    • In "Surprise", Drusilla wears red in contrast to the virginal Buffy, Drusilla having already been 'corrupted' by Angel like Buffy soon will be. In conjunction with her dark hair, Red and Black and Evil All Over also applies, given Drusilla's role as the killer of Kendra, and the wanton who turns Spike and Angelus against each other.
    • In "Wild at Heart", sultry nightclub singer Veruca makes love to the microphone while wearing a red blouse and red lipstick, all the while locking eyes with Oz. Willow is not happy; quite rightly as it turns out, as Oz cheats on her with Veruca later in the episode.
    • Glory, the Big Bad of Season 5, as befits her personality. She vamps everyone she talks to and is quite The Fashionista.
  • The Cape: In the final act of her titular episode, Dice strolls into Peter Fleming's party in a very tight red dress, with a complex plan to kill him that owns the scene.
  • Doctor Who: "The Next Doctor" has Miss Hartigan, who wears a bright red dress while crashing a funeral and responds to a cleric's criticism with "Is it too exciting?" Given the time period, such bright outfits were commonly worn by prostitutes to attract the attention of potential clients, hence their outrage when she should be wearing something more somber.
  • Firefly: Inara Serra is a classy companion, which is something between a therapist, geisha, and courtesan. Captain Mal Reynolds would describe her profession as whoring. She wore such a dress at the beginning of "Shindig". It is bright red and in two pieces, conveniently showing Inara's midriff. The skirt part is very long and rather slinky and tight.
  • Daphne wears a stunning red dress in the classic Frasier episode "Moon Dance", where she and Niles dance a passionate tango and come within a hair's breadth of a Love Confession, after their UST gets ramped up higher than it had ever been before.
  • Glee: This is what the local Ms. Fanservice Santana picks for her prom dress. Kurt even lampshades it, saying it goes wonderfully with her personality.
  • In The Golden Girls, Blanche's wedding gown was red. Considering Blanche, it suited—she admits that even she would not have been able to keep a straight face had she worn a white dress.
  • Played for drama in The Handmaid's Tale where all handmaids are assigned with red uniforms, but not because they are sexy but to represent their fertility as breeding slaves, in contrast to the menial servants that wear green (Marthas), the training overseers that wear brown (Aunts) or the commanders' wives that wear blue.
  • In C-drama The Holy Pearl, Mo Yin wears red throughout her Establishing Character Moment (sentencing the main character to death), marking her as a more sensual and passionate person than her white-clad sister.
  • Its Always Sunnyin Philadelphia: In "The Janitor Mops Twice", the black-and-white noir motif is interrupted by the waitress in a red dress. She's designed to be an object of desire for Charlie.
  • Jane the Virgin:
    • Jane briefly has an advisor who—upon reading the romance novel she's working on—gives her the vague and frustrating advice to "turn up the volume" and "make it all more sparkly". Jane briefly tries using this trope to do so, before concluding that it's just not working.
      She was wearing a red dress. Not because she looked good in red. But she wanted to have been wearing red, later, in the retelling of the story.
    • At one point, Luisa gets very into describing how good Rose looked in a form-fitting red dress, to the point of making Michael uncomfortable.
  • Kamen Rider Revice: Aguilera, the Cute and Psycho leader of the Deadmans, wears a fanciful mariachi-style red dress. She wears a different red dress for her marriage ceremony to the cult's idol Giff.
  • Lucifer (2016): Eve is often dressed in red when she's encouraging Lucifer to indulge in his impulses for sex and violence. She also tells Trixie that it's her favorite color.
  • Magnificent Century: Hürrem wears red noticeably more often than any other color. Sexiness aside, the red of her dress reinforces the red of her hair and her role as a Fiery Redhead.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: Late in "Twentieth Century Murdoch", it's New Year's Eve 1899 and Julia is slowly getting ready to accompany her husband Darcy to a private party hosted by one of his colleagues. Darcy chides her as she's fussing with jewelry to go with her dark, long-sleeved gown (they're long overdue at the party), then he tells her she should be with whom she chooses that night and leaves the room. She next appears at the constabulary's New Year's gala ball in an off-the-shoulder red dress with a beaded fringe, together with a red feathered hair ornament. After telling William about her decision to become a psychiatrist, he expresses doubt that she came there to tell him that, and she blurts out that she and Darcy have separated. Moments later, they're kissing, framed in a doorway with fireworks exploding in the sky around them.
  • The Nanny: The opening theme lampshades that Fran is Lady in Red: "She's the lady in red while everybody else is wearing tan". In the pilot episode, she comes down the stairs to a party wearing a red dress while the piano player sings "The Lady in Red".
  • Red Dwarf:
    • Kochanski is Dave Lister's Love Interest and, most would agree, out of his league. In season 7, Kochanski's default outfit is a tight red shiny uniform that screams "sexy lady". In one episode, Lister gives Kochanski a beautiful red sparkly dress as a present, but she wears it only in Kryten's Imagine Spot where he imagined Lister and Kochanski as a couple who sent him away.
    • Princess Bonjella, rescued by Ace Rimmer from Space Nazis in "Stoke Me a Clipper", wears a long tight red dress. There'll be time for explanations later. And hopefully, some sex...
  • Robin Hood: In the series 2 episode "The Booby and the Beast", Marian wears a red dress to attract Count Friedrich at the insistence of the Sheriff.
  • Riverdale: Cheryl Blossom embodies this trope, in every episode in the series she is wearing red.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: In "Second Sight", Fenna isn't really a Femme Fatale, but she's mysterious, extremely sexy, and deep trouble... and a besotted Sisko can barely give Odo a more specific description of her than "she was wearing red!" Turns out she's a telepathic projection by Nidell, a professor's dutiful Halanan wife; Nidell looks exactly like Fenna but is distinguished by a much dowdier outfit.
  • Toei Tokusatsu series of the late '80s and early '90s loved this, with both villainesses and heroines donning what was essentially the same figure-hugging red dress with some modifications in between.
    • In episode 41 of Hikari Sentai Maskman, the heroic Momoko wears the red dress as she and Haruka play the role of brainwashed armed robbers.
    • In episode 22 of Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya, the villainous Butterfly Ninja Benikba wears the red dress as a disguise.
    • In episode 12 of Kidou Keiji Jiban, the red dress is worn by the henchlady Karsha (Ami Kawai).
    • In episode 7 of Choujin Sentai Jetman, Kaori wears a red dress while posing as the jilted lover of Ryu.
    • In episode 17 of Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, the Yokai Amikiri (also Ami Kawai) wears a red dress in her human form, not so different than the one from Jiban.
    • In episode 9 of Chouriki Sentai Ohranger, Ohranger ladies Juri and Momo both try on the red dress.
      • In episode 44, Multiwa wears the dress in her human form to seduce the Ohranger men.
  • Jilly Kitsinger from Torchwood: Miracle Day, playing the temptress role for a convicted paedophile and murderer, no less.
  • In Veronica Mars, a flashback shows Lily and the titular character picking out dresses. Veronica — then a fragile, demure handmaiden for richer characters — chooses a pink dress, but Lily insists that red suits her more. The scene shows how well Lily understood her friend and serves as in-universe Foreshadowing for the sort of person Veronica would become.
  • The X-Files. Agent Scully wears a red cocktail dress in "Triangle", where she's an OSS spy in 1939. It's notable that this is the first time Mulder kisses Scully, and quite passionately too, though she still gives him a Megaton Punch in response.
  • Zoey 101: Zoey wears one for the beauty pageant in the episode "Miss PCA."

  • The Beatles' song "Yes It Is" is about a man pleading with his lover not to wear red because it would bring up painful memories of a lost love for him.
  • Chris de Burgh's "The Lady in Red".
    I've never seen so many men ask you if you wanted to dance
    Looking for a little romance
    Given half the chance
  • The Grateful Dead mention one in the song "Casey Jones".
    "Trouble ahead, a lady in red!/Take my advice, you'd be better off dead..."
  • Reba McEntire: "Fancy" is about an 18-year-old girl whose ailing mother, desperate to save her from the horrible poverty they live in, spends the last of their money to buy her a very nice red satin dress and turns her out to become a prostitute.
    It was red, velvet trimming, and it fit me good
    Standing back from the looking glass, there stood a woman
    Where a half-grown kid had stood.
  • Lorrie Morgan's "Something in Red." The red dress is what first attracted the singer's husband to her, and she asks for a similar dress decades later to rekindle their romance.
  • The song "Red Dress" by The Radiators (US) is an homage to the concept:
    The parking lot's busting out in fistfights—
    Such disturbance, just to catch her eye.
  • There is a gem of a song from Allie Wrubel: "The Lady in Red, the fellas are crazy for the Lady in Red..."

    Music Videos 
  • "Panic" by the Czech band Lucie is largely centered around a Giant Woman in a red minidress and matching heels (giving her a dose of High-Heel Power as well). She's shown to be seductive and sexually enticing by the way the lead singer is enamored with her, and the way she seems to playfully toy with him throughout the video. However, she's shown to be dangerous at the end when she happily devours him alive and tops it off with a Burp of Finality.
  • The Pretty Reckless: In the "25" music video, Ms. Fanservice Taylor Momsen wears a magnificent red dress and writhes in it.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • In the Book of Revelation of The Bible, the Whore of Babylon is described as wearing red (well, scarlet) and purple (which wasn't always distinguished from red in ancient times) robes.
  • Japanese Mythology: Kuchisake-Onna, a vain, murderous, and (mostly) extremely attractive youkai, has gone from a red kimono to a slinky red dress, with a surgical mask to hide her mouth. In some modern retellings, she even drives a red sports car.

  • In Cactus Canyon, Rosie the saloon bargirl is wearing a low-cut red dress.
  • Trixie, the mafia Moll in Capcom's unreleased Kingpin, wears a sexy red dress that emphasizes her cleavage and legs.

  • In Edward Arlington Robinson's "Llewellyn and the Tree", the titular character escaped from a miserable marriage and excessive timidity by running off with a "scarlet" woman, who is described in terms of the roses, coral, and the rouge she wears. Since her effect on Llewellyn was positive, the connotations of red shift from the sin that neighbors impute to her to life and vibrancy instead.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Clue: The eponymous Lady in Red, Miss Scarlett. Always represented with a red token, Miss Scarlett is consistently depicted as more sexualized than the other female characters and often written as something of a femme fatale.

  • In Anyone Can Whistle, "Ze Lady from Lourdes" who comically seduces Hapgood is Nurse Fay Apple + red dress + wig + outrageous French accent.
  • In Follies, Phyllis wears a fringe-skirted dress in flaming red for "The Story of Lucy and Jessie." The chorus boys' top hats and tails match her color.
  • Maria Reynolds—the woman with whom Hamilton has an affair and opens himself up to Blackmail from her husband—wears red in Hamilton.
  • In the 2000 revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, Mary Magdalene wears a slinky red dress.
  • Some Like It Hot: Daphne accepts a red dress from a colleague for the night out in Tijuana, the first not-so-conservative outfit she wears as a woman. Not only does it reflect her growing confidence, it also fits the Latin-inspired dance of "Let's Be Bad" and the budding romance with Osgood.
  • In West Side Story, Maria complains about the "babyish" white dress she has to wear to the dance and wants to dye it red instead. In the final scene, after having lost her virginity and gone through a tragic coming-of-age arc, the original stage and film versions have her finally wearing a red dress.

    Video Games 
  • BlazBlue's Litchi Faye Ling. Red Qipao? Check. Stripperiffic and flattering? Due to Navel-Deep Neckline present, check. It's slightly sleeveless, revealing her shoulders, so semi-check on that. Reveals luscious legs? Check. Is she the resident Ms. Fanservice of the game? Hell yes.
  • Carmilla in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 plays with this trope: she attempts to seduce Gabriel while wearing a red, hooded robe, which is quite modest unlike most examples of this trope (except for its open cleavage). She still manages to make it sexy enough to trick Gabriel into biting her.
  • Marcia in Colosseum: Road to Freedom. She is the mistress of Emperor Commodus who wears a red dress. She initially appears to be a mysterious and charming gladiator patron who takes an interest in the player character. Her charm is all to get the player wrapped up in a scheme to assassinate the Emperor. She already has another gladiator named Narcissus in on her plan who is infatuated with her and jealous of the player.
  • Ever since her debut, Dead or Alive's Helena Douglas has worn an elegant red tailcoat as one of her costumes. Dead or Alive 6 adds a red Qipao to her wardrobe that can be unlocked.
  • Marian from Double Dragon is the object of desire for both Lee brothers. In the original arcade game, she wears a short red dress. If both players complete the game together, the game will force them to fight each other and she will kiss the last man left standing, making her a bit of a homewrecker.
  • Mai Shiranui of Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters wears a red Stripperiffic ninja garb and is very famous for her sex appeal.
  • Final Fantasy VII features the aptly-named Scarlet, the dangerous and violent head of Shinra's weapons development department. The original game doesn't emphasize her sexiness so much, possibly due to graphics limitations at the time, but the remake puts her into full vamp territory.
    • The Remake also gives Aerith this look for the Corneo mansion infiltration, provided you jumped through enough hoops to earn it. It's a frilly, cleavage-bearing number and she looks so stunning in it that the protagonist actually drops his mercenary tough guy act.
  • Princess Caeda from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light wears red and sometimes uses her very good looks to get what she needs. Her seductions save lives.
  • Max in The God of Crawling Eyes starts colour blind, only to suddenly start seeing the colour red. On the first red things he sees. Lily's dress.
  • Vira Lillie in Granblue Fantasy wears a primarily red dress with a red-colored blade, showing off both her nobility as the Lord of Albion Island. Made even more apparent in her promo-exclusive Fire alt which spots her in a formal red dress and dark red lipstick.
  • Jingi Storm: Takezaki Asuka from this obscure 3D fighting game by Atrativa is a Raven Hair, Ivory Skin beauty clad in a red kimono and will in her pre-match dialogue speak in a seductive manner. However, she invokes this more for the sake of distracting opponents than for any sort of erotic pleasure.
  • Love Nikki - Dress Up Queen has the retired Lady of War Lu Yinian, a Raven Hair, Ivory Skin beauty whose signature outfit is a lovely, luxurious red and golden hanfu.
  • Miranda Lawson in Mass Effect 3 dons one in her second Citadel DLC personal scene in the casino, in a thematically appropriate 80's futuristic style.
  • The Witch Queen in The Matrix: Path of Neo wears a short hemmed, long-sleeved red, corset-topped dress with Show Some Leg.
  • Neon White exemplifies this with the appropriately named Neon Red. With red as her motif color, she's elegant, aloof, flirtatious, and frighteningly competent with a sniper rifle.
  • Kaileena in Prince of Persia: Warrior Within where she wears a revealing red outfit. Kaileena was designed by Ubisoft developers to be a sexually alluring temptress.
  • Ada Wong of the Resident Evil series. She plays both sides of the fence, is less than upfront about her motives, and wears a stunning red dress.
  • The RHEM games feature a few women wearing long red coats throughout the series, starting from the 2nd game. Archaeologist Kales speculates all of RHEM's inhabitants are dressed like this.
  • Sentinel: Descendants In Time: Dormeuse, the AI who guards Tomb 35, is always seen wearing a red dress.
  • The Sims: A vamp character in a red or black dress.
    • Bella Goth in all four games (even as a little girl in the third one), is always depicted in her trademark red dress, usually strapless.
  • Story of Seasons uses this to fit its Retro Universe aesthetic:
  • Anna Williams of Tekken is the series' most prominent Ms. Fanservice and wears a red Qipao. She wore a red satin dress in the first game and Tekken Tag Tournament 1. Her ending in 6 has her in a red mini dress.
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link: In most towns, there is a woman in a red dress who will take Link into her house and bring him to full health. This has still led to some speculation that Link is visiting a prostitute.

    Visual Novels 
  • Tamara from Double Homework has shades of this. She wears fairly revealing clothing, and generally acts in a way to get sexual attention - but only from the protagonist.
  • Vivienne Tang in Queen of Thieves is the Seductress of the Gilded Poppy, the Caper Crew that is the focus of the story. Her signature color is accordingly red, and every outfit she wears prominently features bright scarlet. Even her lipstick, nail polish, and lingerie are red.
  • Togainu no Chi: Emma is never seen without her long red coat, which conceals a Spy Catsuit and her severed left arm.


    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Animated Series: In her debit episode Pamela Isley is seen wearing a sexy red cocktail dress while having dinner with Harvey Dent.
  • Betty Boop used to wear a black dress because she was around before the invention of colour, then she switched to a skimpy red one.
  • The music video for the Alvin and the Chipmunks song "Crocodile Rock" from The Chipmunks: Rockin' Through the Decades shows Alvin pining for a pretty female chipmunk with blonde hair in a red dress wearing heels. She doesn't look much older than Alvin.
  • From Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, Gadget wears a red dress with a slit up the skirt in the episode "Double 'O Dale" as part of her femme fatale costume, and one of the few times that she shows awareness of her own sexuality (though later she notes that it's all "part of the act").
  • In the Snow White adaptation episode of Happily Ever After Fairytales For Every Child, White Snow's father remarries an Obviously Evil woman named "Sly Fox". While everyone else dresses in traditional clothes, she wears a (rather modern-looking) western-style red dress with traditional designs on the trimmings.
  • Jessica Cat from The Jungle Show is always seen in a red dress.
  • The Mask: Eve who is the alter ego of Evelyn wears a red dress with her legs showing and the colour of her heels is the same as her dress which does make her very attractive despite her quirks.
  • The singer/showgirl/stripper in Red Hot Riding Hood. She's even unofficially named "Red", probably as much from her hair as her costume (which is white in several of the shorts). In any case, her clothing certainly draws attention. Her grandmother also wears a red dress, her behavior is anything but sexy.
  • The Simpsons, "The Fabulous Fake Boy": Bart has a huge crush on Zhenya, his piano teacher. He imagines himself as playing the piano while Zhenya as a seductive chanteuse who is dressed in a tight-fitting red dress. She's also Sitting Sexy on a Piano.
  • Terrytoons: In a short called "The Wolf's Pardon", a grown-up Red Riding Hood wears a very sexy red dress. She is later revealed to be hideous in looks.

    Real Life 
  • The late, great baseball personality Buck O'Neill had a stated fondness for women in red dresses; he once told his biographer, "Son, in this life, you never walk by a red dress." At his funeral, all the women wore red.
  • Scarlet red in Kimonese stands for sexuality and vigour of youth, being a suitable background colour for a young girl's furisode or the wedding costume's overcoat uchikake, as well as accessories — however, red underkimono has been downright scandalous for many a decade, and the only people who get away with wearing it are geisha and such.
  • Anna Sage became known as the Lady in Red when she helped the FBI bring down John Dillinger.


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