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Quirky Girl, Quirky Tux

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Some of your female characters can be varying levels of quirky. Beyond using erratic behaviour and strange, sometimes childlike, interests, the best way to show this is through the outfits that she wears.

One of the most popular variations is to subvert gender expectations by dressing her in a full tuxedo, but then to re-emphasise her femininity in some way. Maybe it's the colour or the cut or the trimmings. It could also be replacing dress pants with a skirt (for the innocent), or with fishnets (for the daring).

Unless it's being lampshaded, this is Always Female. The outfit demonstrates the girl's uniqueness and individuality.

The girl is likely to be young, but not necessarily. Because of what it demonstrates of her personality, she needs only wear a tuxedo at formal events, rather than more regularly, as she is dressing up but not conforming to the expected dress.

A Sub-Trope of Clothing Reflects Personality. See also Cloudcuckoolander, Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and Genki Girl. The similar related elegance means characters wearing this may also be a Bifauxnen. Contrast Lady in a Power Suit.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • A lot of Fanservice art for Ranma ½ shows girl Ranma in the fishnets and heels variation of this trope. She's more than a little unusual in that she's not even really a girl but takes advantage of her sex appeal anyway while in girl form.
  • Catreece of Reality Check likes to wear the fishnet variation when performing a musical number. She's both lampshading the star quality associated with the tights version of the tux, plus she's quite the unusual female, being a cat pretending to be a young woman in an online virtual world.

    Comic Books 
  • Zatanna wears the variant that calls for fishnets and heels as a take on the stage magician dressed in evening wear. Since she's a magician, she naturally needs a top hat to pull a rabbit out of as well.

    Fan Works 
  • Chloe Cerise in Infinity Train: Seeker of Crocus changes into an outfit — which she says is based on the demon Belial — that gives her a suit jacket along with a matching black skirt with leggings. She's notably a Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak and she stated prior that many of the outfits she "designed" on an app were more for men in mind.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Janis wears one to the Spring Fling in Mean Girls. It matches Damian's.
  • Janice wears a tux to Kermit and Piggy's wedding in The Muppets Take Manhattan. While Janice has some feminine habits (the color pink, make-up, hats with flowers and peacock feathers) she's not as "froofy" as Piggy and expresses her offbeat nature by wearing a tux.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show:
    • Columbia wears the fishnet stocking variant during the "Time Warp" number. Her tailcoat and top hat are covered in gold sequins, and her red bow tie is likewise sparkly, all showing off her freakish nature in line with her place in Frank's household.
    • There are also women among the "unconventional conventionists" who wear more traditional tuxedos, as Transylvanians are designed to be really weird.
  • In Sunset—which is set in the 1920s—Cheryl King (Mariel Hemingway) dresses in a man's tuxedo to support the rumor that she is a lesbian. However, the tuxedo is tailored for her and does nothing to conceal the fact she is a very attractive woman.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Brittany in Glee is a complete The Ditz, as well as loving unicorns and being all-around kooky, which inspires her white tuxedo with blue tulle skirt and top hat at the dinosaur-themed Senior Prom that she organised. Note that she is also nominated for Prom King, alongside her girlfriend.
  • An episode of The Golden Girls had Blanche and Rose wear fishnet tuxes and tap dance in an attempt to cheer up a hospitalized Dorothy. An attempt was made...
  • Shirley MacLaine did a TV special called "Gypsy in my Soul" where she and Lucille Ball wore the fishnet variety of the tux for a comedic dance number. MacLaine at first wore trousers like the backup dancers (a mix of men and women) until Ball ripped them off and reminded her she was a star. This lampshades that the purpose of the tights with tux look is to remind everyone this isn't an ordinary performer but a star.
  • A claymation version of Lucille Ball wears the tux and tights outfit in the intro to Here's Lucy. This presents Lucy as a quirky character who's the star of the show.
  • The "brake for birds" polka-dot-loving middle school teacher Jess Day of New Girl wears a suit, or at least a tux jacket, quite frequently, and notably a full one to her dad's wedding in season 4 (at which she was the Best Woman).
  • Smallville: Zatanna wears her tuxedo/fishnets combo again when introduced in "Hex", keeping up her magic comic persona.
  • An episode of Taxi had Elaine have an Imagine Spot where all the characters including herself were dressed in tuxedos and performing "The Lullaby of Broadway". Her tux is not quite the fishnet variety. Her tights are more sheer with sequins.

    Literature 
  • In The Baby-Sitters Club Book #42, Jessi and the Dance School Phantom, Stacey McGill—the "most fashionable" club member originally from New York City, and the one considered to have the coolest style—comes to Jessi's ballet performance in a tuxedo described as fitting her perfectly. The implication is she had it fitted for her back in New York City.

    Music 

    Music Videos 
  • The dancers in the video for Mika's "Blame It on the Girls" have one half tuxedo with the other half wearing a dress, fitting for his eccentric bubblegum pop image.

    Theater 
  • Sally Bowles may wear the fishnet variant in some of the numbers in Cabaret. The Emcee may play with the trope by wearing the tux (or at least pieces of it), but also while wearing very feminine make-up. Sally is a quirky person who lives by her own rules and is the star attraction of the Kit-Kat Club Cabaret. The Emcee gets an honorable mention for wearing a tux in a way that flouts gender norms.
  • In the original production of Chicago Velma wears a tux and tights for the "All That Jazz" number. Velma has just murdered her sister (and Velma's husband, for sleeping with Veronica), meaning she's now a star rather than a co-star. "Now I'm no one's wife but, how I love my life!"
  • Sweet Charity downplays the trope by having Charity perform "If They Could See Me Now" with a top hat and cane, but a mini-dress. Bob Fosse seems fond of this trope, putting quirky lead females in the tux with tights outfit for a dance number.
  • Idina Menzel She wears a tuxedo, to a Opera Man, honored to Adam Sandler at 2023 Mark Twain Prize, She has tux with a black-red lined cape, somewhat was Dracula-esque in appearance, She was in Sandler's SNL Opera Man character, and She sang opera in English and Italian words.

    Video Games 
  • In Noctropolis, Tophat provides a villainous example as an evil magician, dressed in a classical tuxedo and eponymous top hat. Her performance style covers the quirky part as well.

    Western Animation 

 
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Grom Tuxedo

Four females are seen wearing tuxedos: Luz, Eda, Skara, and that girl in the Plant Coven.

How well does it match the trope?

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