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Sexy Backless Outfit

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She's bringing sexy back.

"The back is what's important!"
Director Mori Toshimichi on Noel Vermillion's design
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Backless outfits used for Fanservice. Ever since the 1920s and much of the 1930s popularized the backless dress or top, whether bias-cut, halter, spaghetti-strapped or strapless, it has been a nice way of showing a little skin (fair, olive, dark or tanned) without getting too raunchy; a deeply cut dress can show the entire back and maybe a bit more, and makes it clear that the lady is not wearing a bra. At the same time, it can be more elegant and mature than Bare Your Midriff or some of the other Fanservice Costumes. Or not.

The "elegant evening dress" version may come with opera gloves. Whether elegant or not, it may have slits to demonstrate that She's Got Legs.

Note that outfits that never have a back in the first place don't count (e.g., Chainmail Bikini).

This may be the standard outfit of a female Winged Humanoid, since wearing almost anything else would be impractical. See also Toplessness from the Back.

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Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Bonten in Amatsuki regularly wears one, accentuated by the fact that he never puts his haori on properly. Kon joins in on the second volume cover.
  • Birdy the Mighty: Birdy's leotard-like outfit, especially in the Decode remake, in which her outfit is not only completely backless, but neither the front part, nor what back there is, is held on by anything. Presumably there is glue involved. Or it's Body Paint.
  • Bleach: Yoruichi and Soifon both have special uniforms that leave their shoulder blades exposed in order to use Shunko, a special technique that concentrates energy on the arms and back, without ending up completely naked.
  • The eponymous Canaan wears a sleeveless red turtleneck which leaves her shoulder blades and the middle of her back exposed.
  • In Fate/Apocrypha, Ruler's usual civilian outfit, which is supposed to be a school uniform, exposes her entire back when not covered by her jacket. This also reveals the Command Spells (think magical tattoos) on her back.
  • For whatever reason, Dio Brando (one of main villains of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure) has taken so much of a liking to backless tops upon reawakening that literally every damn thing he wears from then on is some form of halter or another, often teetering on the edge of Stripperiffic.
  • Karakuridouji Ultimo: Quite a few of the doji, especially Ultimo and Jealous, have backless tops. Might be Fan Disservice since it's a Shōnen manga and they're male, but then again...
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!
    • In an oddly justified use of the trope, Setsuna's tribal crow garb comes with an exposed back purely for half-demons and full crows in humanoid form to release their wings. Otherwise the new appendages would appear underneath the user's shirt uncomfortably.
    • Later on, we get Asuna in a hospital gown with a gap in the back.
    • Later still, we have the backless dresses variant at a fancy ball.
  • Naruto: One of the databooks shows that under her Black Cloak Konan wears a backless dress. We never see it in series, as she's the only member of Akatsuki who never pulls her cloak off or has it destroyed.
  • Princess Tutu: Kraehe's dress combines this with Absolute Cleavage. Compare with Princess Tutu's costume, which is much more conservative, fitting their Dark Feminine Light Feminine roles.
  • Rebuild of Evangelion: Asuka has a variant: the test-type plugsuit's torso material is incredibly sheer, and at one point she turns to show that it perfectly defines her back and the top of her rear. Yeah, Vapor Wear while your entire body is clothed is pretty impressive.
  • Tokyo Ghoul provides a male example with Kaneki's battle suit, which is made from black Sensual Spandex and is almost entirely backless. While it makes sense for his lower back to be exposed since that's where his Combat Tentacles emerge, the outfit features strategic cutouts along the shoulders and a completely exposed back that barely covers his sides. White accents further accentuate his body, and he actually wears modesty shorts and a hoodie over it most of the time. Word of God suggests it was designed by his Stalker with a Crush, which explains a lot.
  • In The World God Only Knows, Haqua's regular outfit leaves her back bare, although it's understated due to her long hair often hiding it, and it's not an design you'd expect to be backless. It also serves as a counterpoint to her modest chest and adds a more obvious fanservice element to her character.

    Comic Books 
  • Sometimes Katy Keene wears backless outfits, either from modelling or from dresses she owns.
    • A Digest issue has her wearing a red skating dress with almost no back.
  • Dennis' mother Alice Mitchell sometimes wears dresses like this in Dennis The Menace
  • Wonder Woman favors backless dresses when she needs to dress up, and in Volume 2 several artists drew her usual superhero getup with an incredibly low back, making it questionable how the strapless ensemble stayed up.

    Fanfic 
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: In Unexpected Visitors, where Landra is first described, she's wearing "a back-free dress that went to mid thigh", which, like all of the clothing in Ami's dungeon at that point, is inclined to be sexually suggestive, due to influences from her dungeon, more specifically. her anti-hostile corruption measures forcing everything in her dungeon to have a theme of fertility.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Momo Yaoyorozu modifies her costume (which was already rather Stripperific) to this at Izuku's and Inko's suggestion. Justified by the fact that this would let Momo produce larger objects with her Quirk without tearing her outfit to shreds. Mineta approves of the change, much to Izuku's and Momo's chagrin.
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    Film 

    Literature 
  • Kushiel's Chosen: Phedre's costume for the Longest Night masque is deliberately cut so the entirety of her marque (full-length back tattoo) is visible. In her culture, marques are sported by courtesans who have completed their apprenticeships. A fully bared marque means its wearer is seeking business offers. Her back (and a touch more) appears prominently on the cover.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Joey Potter is quite fond of these on Dawson's Creek. An especially memorable one is her beaded blue backless tanktop in "Coming Home".
  • Frasier: After getting dumped by her newly outed husband, Lilith shows up at Frasier's apartment in a black dress with no back. Frasier, who's trying to be supportive but not get back together with Lilith, is appreciative.
    Frasier: Oh, baby.
    Lilith: Thanks, Frasier. I needed that.
  • Inverted in an episode of My Name Is Earl when Joy wears a backless outfit backwards resulting in Absolute Cleavage.
    Joy: Honestly, what would you rather see, back or boobs? I swear, sometimes I think fashion designers are gay.
  • NCIS:
    • Ziva David sports a stunning backless dress when undercover in a nightclub in Last Man Standing.
    • Abby spent an entire Halloween episode dressed as Marilyn Monroe. Apart from Abby's tattoos, the costume was fairly authentic.
  • In an episode of Seinfeld, George is excited to be showing up to a fancy party with a date wearing one of these.
  • The West Wing: Ainsley Hayes in one episode; this being an Aaron Sorkin show when Sam commented on how attractive she looked, that led to a discussion of feminism and sexuality in the workplace.
    Sam Seaborn: Whoa, I didn't even see that thing from the back.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the 3.5 of the Eberron Campaign Setting, the example character for the Dragonmarked Heir prestige class was depicted with such a dress, though for her; it had the added benefit of showing off her Dragonmark of Storm.
  • A couple of the Iconics for Pathfinder have similar outfits, though artwork showing them from behind doesn't happen too often. The coverart for Raiders of the Fever Sea (the second part of the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path), however, plays this trope straight.

    Theatre 
  • Murder Among Friends: The specific design of Angela's red dress is up to the director and costumer of each different production, but it should be backless or nearly so, to inspire her husband's line "Lovely dress, but don't you have it on backwards?"
  • Tou Myu has quite a few of these for their (male) cast.

    Video Games 
  • Bayonetta: This game takes Third-Person Seductress to whole new levels; the eponymous character wears a variety of these, all made out of her hair. In Bayonetta 2, the backless outfit actually becomes functional in addition to alluring, since the titular witch can now use her demonic summons to become a Winged Humanoid.
  • BlazBlue: Noel's standard outfit in BlazBlue is backless with a halter top, detached sleeves and a tiny skirt. The top also opens down the front for an alternate look with bonus extensive cleavage.
    • In Central Fiction, Mai Natsume is a playable character, and her outfit takes cues from Noel's, only even more Stripperiffic.
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night heroine, Miriam, being pretty much the below-mentioned Shanoa's spiritual sister, wears a corset-like outfit which shows of her back, where there is a giant rose-shaped crystal patch from which she uses some of her powers.
  • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia: Shanoa wears a backless halter-top dress with a deep slit up the side, with a Breast Plate over it which is designed along the lines of a corset. The backlessness is necessary because she absorbs Glyphs through a large and intricate tattoo on her back.
  • Fatal Fury and the The King of Fighters: Mai Shiranui had one intro where she bares her back and more while wearing a traditional Japanese kimono. In KOFXIII, she finally gets to demonstrate this trope by having a barely-there backless outfit with Absolute Cleavage in the front and nothing but a Thong of Shielding and a long sash in the back.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • Fire Emblem Awakening:
    • While generally not visible in-game, the character artwork for Cherche has an outfit that displays her back. Fridge Logic kicks in when you realise that, as a Wyvern Rider (for her default class, at any rate), this likely be rather impractical while flying, if for no other reason than how cold she must get.
    • Aversa's Dark Flier outfit displays her back, like the front's Absolute Cleavage. But for Aversa, it makes sense since she's the game's Ms. Fanservice. It generally isn't visible in game either since she's a Dark Flier, but can be seen in a few cutscenes.
  • Galatea: The title character's dress exposes her back. This can contribute to tension between her and the player character, who can reach out to examine her body, such as running a finger along her spine.
  • God of War: Chains of Olympus: Persephone has a black halter-top number that goes down the back well past the waist. It incorporates a Thong of Shielding to keep within R-rated territory. Barely.
  • Most Erune characters from Granblue Fantasy, both females and males, wear backless outfits and seem to prefer more revealing clothes in general, compared to humans. Surprisingly, combining a backless top with a cape is also rather common.
    • Taken to a rather ridiculous level with the Gold Knight, who wears backless plate armor that even has the hips cut out!
    • Seruel, a Bishōnen Erune prince and one of the few exceptions for backless clothes with his regular attire, was specifically given a sexy butler costume with his back exposed for the game's anniversary.
  • Ibara (and sequel): Shasta Rose's outfit is basically a backless leotard with a ruffled collar, sash, and just enough of a skirt to pose for Panty Shots.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep: Aqua; it got to the point that Tetsuya Nomura actually had to censor the outfit's design. Her back used to go all the way down to below her waist.
  • League of Legends has several skins with this design, but of special note is the Coven skinline which all feature these outfits, with the trailers lingering on their backs for several seconds.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess incarnation of Zelda wears a dress that exposes her upper back paired with Opera Gloves, making her the "elegant evening dress" version of this trope.
  • Lost Odyssey: Female pirate Seth Balmore's outfit seems to lack any sort of back above the waist, no doubt giving Jansen in the back row an eyefull.
  • Mabinogi has this for the goddess Morrighan. Justified Trope: For reasons that are fairly obvious, it would be pretty impractical to wear anything other than a Sexy Backless Outfit.
  • Neverwinter Nights: Aribeth's fantasy girly armor is rather open down the back. That suit of armor's + 7 AC bonus (before magical enhancements) is completely unjustified, as it exposes at least as much as it protects. It only covers the "important" areas.
  • Overwatch has Widowmaker as most of her skins shows her with a Cleavage Window and her back.
  • Primal: Third-Person Seductress Jen features a midriff-baring backless red halter top which shows off her Power Tattoo. It's prominently featured on the cover.
  • Resident Evil 5: Excella has a backless halter-top evening dress with Absolute Cleavage and Sideboob that must require lots of tape to keep in place which she wears while running around in the jungle.
  • Samurai Shodown: Shiki wears a backless tight dress and her back sports a massive snake tattoo that... does nothing.
  • Sengoku Basara: Magoichi wears a backless corset which defies all the laws of physics by staying on her.
  • The Sims 3: In the spy career path, the default work outfit for men is a suit. For women, it's a backless black dress.
  • Skies of Arcadia: Aika has a perky backless minidress with the skirt styled in panels slit to the waist (and some very small Modesty Shorts). Fina has an elegant long, backless halter-top dress with a Cleavage Window.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Rouge boasts this feature on both incarnations of her Spy Catsuit, though it makes sense, since she has wings.
    • Amy Rose has this in her post-Sonic Adventure outfit.
  • Street Fighter: All of the Dolls and the Shadoloo version of Cammy (a.k.a. Killer Bee) wear an uniform with a nice gap on the back, making the back, aside from the face, the only portion of visible skin in an otherwise more straight Spy Catsuit (Leotard of Power, in Shadoloo Cammy's case).
  • Suikoden V: The Prince's main outfit involves backless, sleeveless armor and long gloves. It probably doesn't help that he's a pretty Bishōnen who takes after his mother.
  • Tales of Hearts: Kohak Hearts has a backless leotard which covers her to the neck in front, but, combined with the little leg-frills that suggest a microskirt, gives her a very flirty look from the back.
  • Tekken: Anna Williams wears a strapless, backless cheongsam with a Cleavage Window and a deep slit up the side. In case you couldn't identify her as the resident Ms. Fanservice.
  • Triss Merigold's formal wear in The Witcher certainly qualifies. And then some.
  • World of Warcraft: Tyrande Whisperwind was given a dress with no back when her character model was redesigned.

    Visual Novels 

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 


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