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Vapor Wear / Literature

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  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Lady Nym wears a very translucent garment to a feast. It makes some guests very uncomfortable, but as someone who knows her notices, it's actually safer: usually she has half a dozen concealed weapons in her clothes.
  • In Philip Kerr's SF novel The Second Angel, a woman named Veronica (a major character) wears a long lambskin coat, but no underwear, even though the Earth has become arctic, due to the melting of the icecaps. This takes Fanservice to the point of near suicide.
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  • Done by Craye Sawtelle, the Evil Sorcereess of "The Spring", one of the Silver John stories by Manly Wade Wellman:
    "She winnowed close then. I made out that she didn't have on air stitch under her silky dress. She was proudly made, and well she knew it. She stood so close she near about touched me."
  • Piers Anthony is in a polygamous marriage with this trope and Panty Shot, and they recur regularly, separately or in the same paragraph, throughout all his series.
    • In On a Pale Horse, when Death meets Nature, she is wearing a dress made out of fog. In every other book in the Incarnations of Immortality series, she wears a dress made of leaves.
    • In the Xanth novel The Color of Her Panties, The Quest is to determine the color of a certain female character's panties. It's an unanswerable question for two reasons: first, the magic of Xanth means that any man who sees a woman's undies will freak out, and second, the woman in question is a mermaid. She eventually does get her panties — in plaid.
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  • Kiss Me, Deadly opens with Private Detective Mike Hammer picking up a female hitchhiker in a belted trenchcoat. He doesn't realise she's got nothing else on until she slips his hand underneath it to encourage him to get her past a police roadblock.
  • Invoked and used for nefarious purposes in Turn Coat of The Dresden Files. Harry has just finished talking to another private investigator who has been tailing him. The other PI is a decent fella, so he backs off the case when Harry tells him lives are in danger if he keeps it up. However, he doesn't tell Harry who hired him because he's got integrity. He reports this to his apprentice, barely-legal Molly Carpenter, who decides to go ask him (ostensibly for a "job reference")... but not before taking off her bra and cooling her chest for maximum effect. Poor guy never stood a chance.
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  • Conversed in the book Dork Diaries by Nikki in her diary. She points out about the habit of some celebutante/actresses of 'continuously forgetting to wear their underwears'.
  • J.T. Edson's descriptions of his heroines often mention that it is clear that they are not wearing anything under their clothes. This is usually a sure sign their clothes are going to be shredded in a Catfight.
  • In the fourth Claudine book, Claudine and Anne (set around the 1900s), Anne is on holiday with someone who often wears very skimpy clothes. One day this friend comes down to the beach in a very decent, very opaque dress. Anne compliments her on her modesty, and she explains that she had to wear something so opaque as she doesn't have a stitch of clothing on underneath.
  • Inverted in Eveless Eden by Marianne Wiggins. The protagonist is a foreign correspondent who meets his Love Interest (a photojournalist) when she's hauled in by two soldiers who insist on searching her, having seen her taking photographs of something she shouldn't. She refuses on the grounds that she's naked under her raincoat, but allows the protagonist to search her instead; he discovers she's loaded with cameras and film, but backs up her story.
  • Lampshaded by Drake in Margin Play when he identifies the woman who comes to Hansen's house as a call girl (through binoculars) because "Ladies remember to wear their underwear". Amber takes a look and concurs; the fabric of the dress is so thin and clingy that any type of panty, even a thong, would show if it was there.
  • Part of the fantasy of the "zipless fuck" in Fear of Flying. "Underwear blows apart like dandelion fluff," and clothes don't get in the way of raw passion.
  • In the Domino Lady stories, much description is lavished on how Domino Lady's sheer white gown clings to her body with nothing underneath it.
  • In The Wheel of Time:
    • Graendal, the most shamelessly hedonistic of the Forsaken, usually wears nothing but misty, translucent dresses that lighten and darken with her mood. The beautiful people she collects and reduces to empty shells have the same dress code, not that they are aware of it.
    • The female Big Bads in The Wheel of Time are partial to wearing gowns of "streith", which is basically mood cloth. Under certain conditions, it becomes transparent or smoky, showing that they don't bother with underwear, and making this "vapor wear" of the most literal variety.
    • Most of the Seanchan empire's slaves are only permitted sheer white robes that don't conceal much of anything. This is in part for their owners' enjoyment, particularly in the case of trained dancers, and in part to drive home their total lack of status.
  • In A Brother's Price, Jerin balks when the royal tailors tell him he must wear his new trousers without underwear; they're deliberately made to show off his, er, assets, and won't fit snugly enough unless he's going commando. He reluctantly gives in, despite saying he both feels and looks naked.
  • This happens to Mercy Thompson occasionally. There have been moments where she is forced get a quick change of clothes without any bra or panties since she was likely forced to leave her own clothes behind after shape shifting, usually in situations where her life was endangered.
    • One example in Iron Kissed. After taking a shower at Adam's house, Mercy needed a change of clothes as she left her own behind on the road after shifting to her coyote form to escape a monster fae. She borrows Jesse's clothes, which happen to be smaller and more form fitting. When Mercy puts on the shirt with her own skin still damp and with no bra, her breasts soak right through. In Mercy's own words she looked "like a refugee from a wet T-shirt contest."
    • Another example is in Bone Crossed. Mercy shifted to her coyote form to snag a bag from a snow elf, leaving her dress and underwear behind in a crowded bar. Uncle Mike was able to retrieve Mercy’s dress for her, but her bra and panties were lost somewhere. Mercy just wore the dress without the underwear, satisfied she at least wasn't naked.
  • The Belgariad: Nyissan women wear sheer, see-through gowns (deeply embarrassing Durnik).
  • The Trouble With Bubbles, by Philip K. Dick, has a 'sideglance' robe. It's invisible out of the corner of your eye, but appears opaque when you look at it directly.
  • The One Who Eats Monsters: While clothes shopping, Naomi is surprised when Ryn mentions that she never wears any kind of underwear. Of course, Ryn is an immortal monster far older than the concept of clothing and no experience with humans, so it's not surprising that she neither knows nor cares about underwear. Even her "normal" clothing is actually a part of her, a hair-like substance that she can use for stealth, attack, or defense.
  • In Martian Time-Slip, Otto drools over the girls in New Israel, who work in sweaty T-shirts with no bras.
  • The Reluctant King: At the wizard costume contest, Vanora wears a see-through green garment with nothing under that while made up as an undine. Jorian is suitably impressed. This is toned down from the previous contests, where wizardesses competed wearing nothing before it was ruled that your birthday suit isn't a costume, with one lady then wearing an ornate jewel in her navel though otherwise nude to qualify afterward. In the second book, Jorian has to wear a see-through tunic on his night of love with the high priestess, which makes him feel like a male prostitute.


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