Mini-Dress of Power

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
All heroic, all stylish.[1]

A schoolgirl in a miniskirt, armed with nunchucks. Hot.

An Action Girl, from minor to outright Badass, wearing a mini dress, either as a one-piece dress or as a top and miniskirt (for Bare Your Midriff). Often comes with color-coordinated boots ending just below the knee.

In comics it's not as popular as a Leotard of Power or a skintight suit, but other media take to it just fine, particularly Magical Girl and Magical Girl Warrior series.

Sometimes the dress will be simple, and other times it will be a Pimped-Out Dress. It can even start out simple and turn pimped-out through Frilly Upgrade. And the dress often has a Magic Skirt. If the dress is fancy enough, and the wearer Badass enough, it can overlap with Kicking Ass in All Her Finery.

While fighting in any kind of skirt is not the most practical idea ever (unless you're indifferent to Panty Shots - or wearing something underneath), this trope does reflect reality a little in that it's hard to run or kick when you're wearing a tight skirt that's knee-length or longer, and the longer the skirt is, the looser it has to be to avoid restricting motion.

Compare Sexy Santa Dress, Zettai Ryouiki, She's Got Legs, Leotard of Power, Superheroes Wear Tights, Dangerously-Short Skirt.

Examples of Mini-Dress of Power include:

Anime & Manga

Comic Books

  • X Men Jean Grey's second "Marvel Girl" outfit.
  • Supergirl
  • Catwoman had an outfit like this once or twice.
  • Nightshade
  • Mary Marvel, seen here, and here.
  • Lady Blackhawk (pictured here)
  • The Flash foe the Golden Glider, whose costume is based on a figure skater's outfit, and had white fur cuffs.
  • Both Silk Spectres from Watchmen
  • Wonder Woman, occasionally:
    • The Golden Age Wonder Woman's original outfit often looks like a skirt, but is really a pair of culottes, in a style that was fairly common for athletic young women at the time. After two issues, Wonder Woman started wearing the tight walking shorts that would remain for over a decade.
    • In the modern era, Wonder Woman sometimes wears skirted variants of her costume, usually either for a "formal" occasion or when gearing up for a really big battle.
    • Wonder Woman's mother, Hippolyta, was depicted as the Golden Age Wonder Woman in some modern stories, and "returning" to the role. She usually was depicted wearing a skirt.
  • The Teen Titans Go! version of Donna Troy wears this version of her classic red jumpsuit. (pictured here)
  • In Body Bags, Panda Delgado's Body Bagger "costume" is a cheerleader outfit with a pleated skirt that's almost too short to qualify as such. Many panty shots ensue, including when she's performing such strenuous activities as standing still.

Live Action TV

  • Xena: Warrior Princess
  • The girl rangers on Super Sentai usually wear skirt additions to the default (male) uniform (series where it's not the case include Bioman, Flashman and Dekaranger). The reason it didn't hold true for all female rangers in Power Rangers was that many of the Yellow Rangers...were originally men. This is for technical reasons, as even the female rangers were portrayed by stuntmen when morphed (who would otherwise have a very, uh, masculine bulge when wearing the spand...Bio-Armor).
    • Played with in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, where the heroes can borrow the powers of any Rangers who came before them. If applicable, the girls will have skirts and the guys won't, regardless of what the original costume was like. (This'll be fun when Power Rangers gets a hold of it, adding skirts to Yellow Rangers who were girls in the first place.)
  • The eponymous character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer wore these sometimes, usually with knee-high boots, in season one.
  • When Blue draws Holly J as a superhero in Degrassi, his choice of outfits for her falls under this.

Video Games

  • Adrianna in Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance has several starting armor sets that follow this pattern.
  • Selphie from Final Fantasy VIII
  • Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII.
  • From the Soul Series games: Sophitia, Cassandra, and Amy (in her fur-trimmed Elegant Gothic Lolita dress).
  • Millenia from Grandia II
  • Ms. Liberty (also her mother, Miss Liberty, and Mirror Universe Evil Counterpart, Dominatrix) in City of Heroes. Naturally, player characters have this as an option as well.
  • Ada and Jill of the Resident Evil games each have at least one mini dress outfit.
  • Alis, the heroine of the first Phantasy Star I.
  • In Jade Empire, the female Fragile Speedster class model wears a sort of sleeveless tunic that barely covers her hips and no pants. The NPC Dawn Star has a similar outfit, but with sleeves and four long ribbons hanging down from her waist.
  • Shepard (if you play as a woman) acquires a mini-style Little Black Dress in Mass Effect 2 for an infiltration mission (part of the Kasumi's Stolen Memories DLC). After the mission, she can still wear it as her "casual" outfit on board the Normandy. Being Shepard, she still looks very Badass in it.
  • Bad Girl of the first No More Heroes.
  • Amy Rose wears one of these.
  • Dragon Quest has had more than a few opportunities to dress your characters like this; Dragon Quest IX is the most noticeable since your equipment decisions actually show up on your character in 3D, giving you an ample view of your female party members' bikinis and bustiers. (They actually do make really good armor choices much of the time, since they often take this trope literally by increasing your spell power.)
  • Caitlyn, the Sherrif of Piltover from League of Legends, with the addition of Too Many Belts.
  • Kairi from Kingdom Hearts II can qualify when she starts fighting some Heartless at the end of the game.
  • Cecille of Arc Rise Fantasia goes after enemies with her fists.
  • All of the female party members in Legend of Dragoon (Shana's a completly straight example, Rose has a sort of petal skirt and Miranda has a skirt of the same length as Shana, but her boots make it Zettai Ryouiki).


Web Original

Western Animation

  1. From left to right: Sailor Moon, Marvel Girl, and Supergirl.