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Showgirl Skirt

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Is it historically accurate to show this much leg? Rule of Sexy says it doesn't matter.

This is a skirt that wraps only partly around a lady's waist, thus making a crescent instead of a full circle.

While a regular skirt is designed to cover up the legs, and slit and wrap skirts cover the legs unless the lady moves right, this kind of skirt doesn't really cover the legs (unless you look at it from the right angle). The point is actually to frame and showcase the legs, while accentuating with the dramatic swoosh of a fine and lush skirt.

It should also be noted this trope could work with a simple dress or even a Pimped-Out Dress.

Florenz Ziegfeld is probably partially responsible for developing this style with his Ziegfeld Follies showgirls "glorifying the American girl" from the late 19th C and early 20th C.

The key to telling if a skirt is this is to look at the waist. The skirt has to wrap between 1/3 to 3/4 of the way around the waist to count. Anything less or more doesn't count (like Leia's slave girl outfit).

Usually a Sub-Trope of Impractically Fancy Outfit, and almost always a kind of Fanservice. Could also result from an Action Dress Rip if the "action dress" would normally have two skirts and the outer one looks like this. In more futuristic examples this can also serve as a distaff counterpart to the unbuttoning of a shirt or taking off a badass long coat because the underskirt is secured with buttons or ties that are easily undone. This is often used to reveal that the heroine or villainess is packing serious heat.

Note that plenty of historical gowns are actually designed this way. Those examples however, were of course meant to be worn over a skirt: and are actually more like a modern coat than they are like a modern dress. Like a modern coat, they were often optional while at home and a woman would be considered decent even without the gown on (depending on the exact time period). This made changing for various occasions and activities much easier, and also allowed gowns to be made of materials that would otherwise be impractically heavy (such as velvet, brocade, etc) since the woman never had to pick up the gown's skirt to run, go uphill or climb stairs. Plenty of women also took advantage of the fact that this double skirt design provided plenty of space for hiding small items: secret messages, ammunition, money, keys etc. Not so much actual weapons though.

Compare Leg Focus and Lady Legionnaire Wear. Contrast All-Encompassing Mantle.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Film — Animated 
  • Miss Kitty the Showgirl Mouse in The Great Mouse Detective wears one of these during the "Let Me Be Good to You" musical number... in an animated Disney movie, no less.
  • The Grand Councilwoman from Lilo & Stitch.
  • Rosita's performance costume in Sing is a black sequined leotard with a matching ruffled showgirl skirt.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 

    Music Videos 



    Video Games 
  • Milly of Baten Kaitos Origins.
  • The showgirl in Bloody Good Time wears a pink leotard with pink feathers as the skirt.
  • The fairy familiar in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
  • Rosa in Death Smiles.
  • All over the place in the designs for Dissidia Final Fantasy — and they're all male, to boot: Warrior Of Light, The Emperor, Onion Knight, Squall Leonhart, Sephiroth, Kuja, and even Jecht. Most of them are at least wearing pants as well - unfortunately, that doesn't include Kuja.
  • EverQuest II, while normally avoiding the women wear skimpy clothes cliche of MMORPGs, offers one of these skirts to female characters as a prestige item.
  • Mash Kyrielight of Fate/Grand Order gets a nifty purple half-miniskirt as part of her 3rd Ascension artwork and in-game sprite. It's actually less Stripperiffic than her previous costume, and gives her a somewhat more mature and regal air befitting that of one of the Knights of the Round Table as part of her Character Development. It also helps draw attention to the Royal Rapier hanging from her belt.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • Mesmers in Guild Wars are especially in love with this trope. Close to half of the female Mesmer armor sets consist of what would be an ankle-length, A-line dress or coat were it not cut to reveal a miniskirt beneath and show almost the entire leg. Elementalists and Necromancers also partake liberally of this trope (with Elementalist Elite Luxon armor being particularly notable).
  • Dawn Star in Jade Empire has a perfectly sensible shirt...and then her clothing below the waist consists of underwear and four evenly spaced wide ribbons that flutter behind her when she is running.
  • The Last Story has this as the skirt part in skirt over slacks on some of the armor sets.
  • In her true form, Midna from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess wears a dress that reveals her right leg.
    • In the spin-off Hyrule Warriors, Cia has a dress that does the opposite, revealing her left leg. She also wears leggings under the dress, but only on her right leg.
  • In Mega Man X DiVE, Ferham's swimsuit variant is designed more like an exotic dancer's outfit, as it has feathery wings on the back and has an open skirt held around her waist by chains.
  • The female Kulve Taroth armor set from Monster Hunter: World is this. In fact, the whole armor set looks more like a fancy chainmail ballgown (albeit with horns).
  • Most of the waist options for armor in Neverwinter Nights work out to these.
  • Ruby from Omega Five.
  • The RAcaseal class (android gunner girls) from Phantasy Star Online has one of these skirts, made from decoratively dangling metal plates. It's also cut in a way that combines this with Minidress of Power.
  • Many outfits in Ragnarok Online. In fact, a lot of MMORPGs seem to have this for some class outfits for ladies.
  • Saika Magoichi of Sengoku Basara 3, who wears trousers underneath, so it's probably just for dramatic effect.
  • Eliza in Skullgirls.
  • Neo Metal Sonic wears one in Sonic Heroes, though it's probably meant to be a cape attached at the waist rather than the shoulders.
  • Some of Cassandra's costumes in Soul Calibur have this.
  • Maria Traydor of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time wears one of these, although the effect is closer to a Badass Longcoat.
  • Judith of Tales of Vesperia.
  • Most of Angela's outfits in Trials of Mana are clearly designed this way. The sole exception is the one for the Magus class, which goes full-on Chainmail Bikini.
  • Pyrope of the Steven Universe spin-off game Unleash the Light wears one of these, though unusually she has non-form-fitting, almost jodhpur-like pants underneath.

    Visual Novels 
  • Cardia in Code:Realize has this as part of her complicated getup, along with a corset and blouse. It's been noted by others that it can't be comfortable or practical to wear but Cardia has little options to choose from since the poison in her skin would dissolve any other clothing.
  • Ryukishi07 seems to have a thing for them as they appear in his visual novel series of When They Cry:

  • Bound Adventures: Princess Irina has an ermine-lined train she wears for official moments.
  • Girl Genius:
    • Agatha wears a clockwork themed dress with a long crescent skirt in the back and a short skirt for modesty in the front in the Cinderella filler story.
    • When Agatha shows up at Martellus' masquerade in Paris she's fashioned herself a sparkling white dress with a long skirt in back and a short draped panel in front that has actual glowing and shining elements she built herself since she had to steal everything she's wearing on her way there.

    Web Original 
  • Yang Xiao Long of RWBY wears one in the Volumes 1-3 with hot pants underneath.

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Shows up when Pinkie Pie puts on a show for the Buffalo and the Appleloosan homesteaders in "Over a Barrel". The characters weren't too impressed with her cutesy song about sharing and understanding, but fan reaction to Pinkie's dance hall girl outfit was predictable.
    • Trixie Lulamoon wears one as part of her scenic outfit in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks.
  • ReBoot: Hexadecimal trades her cape for one of these when she assumes her Sprite form in Season 4.
  • In Transformers, any female Transformer will have her kibble become this while in robot mode.

    Real Life 
  • Named for Vegas Showgirls, who often wear this skirt.
  • This picture of Marilyn Monroe. It's just not as obvious unless you can tear your eyes away from the Fur Bikini.
  • Child pageants will even have this, among other questionable costumes.
  • At least 2/3 of the female performers/background-singers at 2010's Eurovision Song Contest wore these.