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Stylish Protection Gear

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Amidala, a beautiful clotheshorse, even in extreme conditions.

Ilene: I found your hat, Anna.
Dick: Would it have been that bad if you lost it? It's just one defense.
Mary (Anna's player): But the ermine lining gives it plus three in cold resistance.

A character known for style is getting into a situation that requires some protection but protective gear in Real Life just isn't fashionable. And sometimes the writers are aware that the character has to wear some kind of protective clothing, so they go with pimping that gear as much as possible.

The actual situation requiring protection doesn't matter. It could be extreme cold, extreme heat, or wading through toxic chemicals. What matters is that the protective gear looks like plausible protection, but is still nice to look at.

It can overlap with Impossibly Cool Clothes, depending on how convincing the outfit is at looking like it protects. More often, this overlaps with Impractically Fancy Outfit, but not always.

A Sub-Trope of Costume Porn.

A Super-Trope to Environment-Specific Action Figure and Latex Space Suit.

Compare Pretty in Mink (when it's worn for warmth, as well as style), Bling of War, Pimped-Out Dress, Happy Holidays Dress, Scary Impractical Armor, An Ice Suit, Pimped-Out Cape, Battle Ballgown and Kicking Ass in All Her Finery.

Contrast Stripperific, Exposed to the Elements, Chainmail Bikini and Pelts of the Barbarian.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Cardcaptor Sakura has Tomoyo design one for Sakura sometimes when she's capturing Clow Cards. When trying to catch The Thunder card, she designed a dress made mostly out of rubber material.
  • Darker than Black: After some enemy agents seemingly kill Anti-Hero Hei with a few bullet rounds to the back of his Badass Longcoat, Hei's Non-Human Sidekick Mao pops up behind them to reveal that the coat isn't meant to be a fashion statement — it's bulletproof.
  • Rebuild World: Sheryl's old-world dress Akira gives her doubles as protection from bullets.
  • Saint Seiya: Shun's shoulder guards are just as huge, but are set diagonally instead of horizontally. Without the magic of animation, he shouldn't be able to raise his arms at all.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman foe Sterling Silversmith wears a business suit made from woven silver fibers that is capable of deflecting bullets. The styling is vaguely Edwardian, making it also a case of Awesome Anachronistic Apparel.
  • Captain America comics,
    • Cap always wears a helmet when using his motorcycle; good thing it's a Cool Helmet that matches his costume.
    • There was one story where Cap and his then-girlfriend/partner Diamondback had to go scuba diving. Diamondback somehow obtained mauve flippers that exactly matched her costume.
  • Tim Drake (Robin III/Red Robin III) always wears a helmet, that matches his costume with included emblem, when riding his motorcycle and on occasion leaves it on even when he gets off to confront bad guys since it's extra protection for his head. He also had an entire Robin-themed suit of winter gear including a moderately puffy jacket for extreme winter conditions.
  • Nite-Owl's fluffy owl-suit from Watchmen. Yeah, it looks like it could work, but it's clearly there mainly for thematic reasons.
    • Also, we can see a few other specialized owl-suits in the Owl-Ship for diving, protection from radiation, and the like, in the style of action figures like the Batman toys mentioned below.
  • Wonder Woman (1987):
    • Julia lends Diana a very nice-looking red turtleneck with wide sleeves and a belted waist and some black pants to protect against the cold.
    • Diana occasionally dons a two-tiered skirt of (hilariously short) red pteruges, a red cape, and a helm with red fringe over her normal outfit when she's going into more serious combat-type situations. After this costume was destroyed she switched it out for a longer two-tiered skirt of blue pteruges with star appliques at the tips and a more armored top.

    Film — Animated  
  • In Frozen (2013), Elsa accidentally puts her kingdom in an Endless Winter, and her sister Anna goes to find her. Anna then has to ditch her summer clothes for winter gear after she falls in a creek. The only winter clothes in stock at Wandering Oaken's Trading Post & Sauna conveniently fit her but are quite nice looking.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, despite using the same color scheme as the other soldiers, Calhoun's armor is closely tailored to her body rather than blocky and shapeless, and she usually doesn't wear a helmet outside of active gameplay.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In American Mary, Back-Alley Doctor Mary wears a set of very distinctive, non-standard, bright red surgical scrubs.
  • Batman Forever features an experimental SONAR batsuit.
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1: Katniss Everdeen's Mockingjay suit designed by a professional stylist, no less.
  • During the diving scene in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Helena's wetsuit is the only one with short sleeves and, unlike the men's, hers does not zip all the way up to the neck.
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, the Kingsmen's wickedly stylish suits are all bulletproof.
  • Star Trek (2009) has the cold weather gear.
  • Used as a joke in Zoolander. When male model Derek Zoolander moves back to coal mining country to reconnect with his family, he goes to work in the coal mines wearing specially-tailored, color-coordinated work clothes and a shiny new helmet.

  • Ham from the Doc Savage novels was quite the fashion plate. Although never inappropriate for the environment he was going into, his adventuring gear was usually tailored.
  • The Dresden Files: Harry Dresden's duster looks stylish and awesome as hell and it's got enough protection spells woven into it to outclass Type IV ballistic plates. It is also enchanted to be fire-proof and acid-proof. Harry cleans it by throwing it into the fireplace. The one thing it isn't suitable for is a Chicago summer.
  • The Hunger Games has the Mockingjay outfit for Katniss, designed by Cinna before his death for Katniss to use as the face of the resistance. It was quite effective, able to stop a bullet fired at close range as well as having a small pocket for the nightlock pill, even accessible while bound.
  • Similarly to the Dresden example above, Percy Jackson: The Titan's Curse features an invulnerable shield made from the skin of the Nemean Lion which just so happens to take the form of a camel-colored duster.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: Daenerys trades the light fabric dresses she wore in Essos for a much warmer but still stylish one in Season 7 to adapt to the Westerosi climate and since, well, "Winter is coming".
  • Lampshaded in The Mighty Boosh several times. In the episode "Tundra", Howard Moon turns up in the kind of thick furs you'd expect someone to wear in the arctic and Vince Noir wears a red jumpsuit ("the human coke-can").
  • In The New Avengers, Purdey had a gold silk karate gi, which really stood out compared to Gambit's plain white one when they were sparring.
  • In Pixelface, Alexia has an aerobics outfit that exactly matches her normal Spy Catsuit.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The Gimmick of Colony Extreme Force, besides being evil counterparts to Chikara main stays The Colony, is this trope. And in case you missed it, it is even in their names in the case of Orbit Adventure Ant and Arctic Rescue Ant (who even has snow goggles).

    Tabletop Games 
  • In general, artifact armor in Exalted will either fit this trope or Scary Impractical Armor.
  • GURPS: Ultratech has two pages of rules devoted to creating stylized body armor.
  • Shadowrun has multiple lines of high-end protective clothing for the corporate executive, jet-setting rich and fabulous, or style-continuous Shadowrunner to choose from when they want personal protection while still looking fabulous.
  • Traveller offers a "Protec" armor, that can be worn for discreet protection. It's high-tech ballistic cloth, designed to protect the wearer, but look like a suit. It's expensive, but not as tough as straight-up armor. For a little more concealment, the "Diplo" vest for diplomatic situations where appearing armored isn't as important is also available.


    Video Games 
  • ANNO: Mutationem: Ann's battle suit comes with a number of extra features thanks to the Grom System, such as the Crosshair Aware lasers and targets that warn of incoming projectile attacks and explosives.
  • Nuclear Winter and his army of ladies from Freedom Force.
  • According to the artbook for Gears of War 3, Prescott's armor was designed to look like something a politician would wear on a tour of a war zone, compared to the more utilitarian gear of his suit.
  • Krohnen, a newcomer in The King of Fighters XV, has a daily life consisting of riding a motorcycle through the desert. Predictably, he has a pair of rather stylish ruby-colored goggles that he wears at mostly all times - The Stinger for his team ending is one of the few occasions where he pulls them up to reveal K9999's eyes.
  • Snake's Sneaking Suit in Metal Gear Solid is ostensibly designed to keep him warm in Alaska while allowing him full freedom of movement.
  • Some of the armor options in Monster Hunter has appearance and style that plausibly matches its environmental protection. Lagombi armor, for example, is a rather ornate set of furs that cover from head to toe and offers immunity to freezing environments.
  • Persona 2: The sisters at Rosa Candida advertise their armor as such; not that it actually gets to be seen since the sprites never change.
  • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire: Shelly's swimsuit verges into the impractical category, except for the goggles. Those look perfectly functional, even if she never makes use of them. And she's the only member of Team Aqua to carry eye protection despite operating in salt water.
  • Inverted for Ashley in Resident Evil 4. Her normal and other alternate costume wouldn't look out of place on a fashion runway, but the only costume that stops enemies from dragging her away or attacking her is an unsexy suit of armor.

    Web Comics 
  • In Darken, Duchess Jill d'Avron is only ever seen in Simple, yet Opulent dresses that follow this trope... somehow. She's also absolutely deadly with her Combat Hand Fans.
  • Girl Genius:
    • Agatha's winter outfit she dons in order to wait for the train in the freezing cold at Clankshead is a very pretty white fur coat with matching hat decked in gold badges and filigree with red cord, jewels, and tassels. She's also wearing a green scarf with a knit diamond cable pattern in gold and golden trilobites at each end with matching gloves.
    • Gil's winter coat when he's trying to track down Agatha is a tailored navy Ulster clasped with a silver Wulfenbach pin and edged in blue silk, lined in dark red, and topped with three layered capelets worn over a matching waistcoat.

    Web Original 
  • Critical Role: Damian's suit is actually functional armor impeded with runes.

    Western Animation 
  • The Batman does this on occasion. In Mr. Freeze's debut episode, Batman breaks out a white and blue thermally protected suit.
  • In Conan the Adventurer, the entire cast got special outfits when they traveled north or into the mountains.
  • Goldie Gold and Action Jack, Goldie's ermine-trimmed parka for going out in the cold.
  • Grojband: In "Hear Us Rock! (Part 2)", Trina somehow gets a pink spacesuit when everyone else's is white.
  • The team in Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures gets cool-looking stuff like swim gear and parkas. Notably, Jessie gets the pink-colored outfits.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Rarity often eschews drab camouflage for more scintillating colors.
    • On a slightly more practical note, when gathering gems underground, she wears a mining helmet, albeit with an attractive blue bow on the back.
  • The Perils of Penelope Pitstop gives the heroine this whenever she needs it.
  • The fur-trimmed, but still pretty, outfits worn in the mountains in Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders.
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • In Scooby-Doo! and the Samurai Sword, Mystery, Inc. don karate uniforms with trim that matches the colours of their usual outfits (Fred even has an orange headband mirroring his trademark ascot). Plus they have one that fits the dog.
    • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: In "The Midnight Zone", Mystery, Inc. don scuba gear that closely matches their usual outfits, even down to the neckwear with Velma's suit having a turtleneck and Fred's an ascot.
  • The Secret Saturdays have matching Arctic survival outfits. What really cements their spot in this trope, however, is that this includes one for their pet Komodo dragon. With a furry bobble on the tail.
  • The page picture comes from Star Wars: Clone Wars. Amidala's suit does seem like it could work on an ice planet, but what makes it this trope is the short, but voluminous fur-trimmed Pimped-Out Cape, with the two furry puffballs (an accessory that is strictly for fashion, not utility). It does get used as a decoy for droid fire though, and doesn't even get singed.
  • In the Teen Titans (2003) episode "Snowblind", and others where it's cold, Raven wears a fur-trimmed cape and tights.
    • As said pictures demonstrate, Robin and Beast Boy also swap out for a more winterized version of their usual outfits, albeit more subtly. As for Cyborg, "stylish" depends on what you think of him looking like an angry Michelin Man.
    • Notably, Starfire averts this with the justification that her kind is far more tolerant to extreme cold.
  • The Team's polar stealth outfits in Young Justice (2010). While Robin, Artemis, and Zatanna are bundled up, the rest of the team just have recolored outfits.

    Real Life 
  • The US Army is trying for this with their new protective goggles, designed by Oakley, so soldiers will actually wear them, rather than leaving them on their helmets as they did with the (very ugly) previous models.
    • Technically the ones strapped to the helmet are unwearable because they're strapped to the helmet. It warps the frames so they fit the helmet rather than the soldier's face.
    • This is actually quite common in modern personal protective equipment. Safety lenses designed to look like fashionable sunglasses are just as easy to find in stores now as the garden-variety tinted ones are.
    • Similarly, Aviator Shades are so called because Ray-Ban designed them specifically with pilots in mind (the very large lenses are designed to block sunlight from all angles, while not getting in the way of the oxygen mask). Their popularity in the civilian world was partly driven by their use by American military pilots (and by General Douglas MacArthur). In fact, it can be said that this trope is a major reason that Cool Shades is a trope to begin with.
  • Similarly to the shades, combat boots, both with and without steel/composite toes, can be found in rather stylish designs, marketed by companies such as Nike and Converse in addition to more traditional companies like Bates. Sometimes half the fun of being in uniform is seeing just how stylishly you can distinguish yourself while remaining within regulations.
  • This trope is clearly kept in mind for how quite a bit of motorcycle riding gear is designed and marketed, as most people would rather buy cool protective gear than boring protective gear. Whether it's a badass leather jacket or a striking black-and-neon high-visibility jacket with abrasion-resistant armor inserts, they're always designed to be as awesome-looking as possible.
  • Tilley Endurables, a Canadian company already famous for its tough broad brim warm weather hats, also defies the Canadian stereotypical tuques by making winter hats as well that look nothing less than thick insulated fedoras with a stylish brim and folding ear and forehead flaps for windchill.