Modesty Shorts

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Perfect way to prevent being a Panty Fighter
What is the point of a skirt if you're just going to wear shorts underneath?
—Yuga Aoyama, My Hero Academia

Short skirts are feminine and sexy, but if you move too much, it's very hard to avoid Panty Shots while wearing one. This is where Modesty Shorts come in. They let a woman jump, tumble, fight, or even fly without anyone catching a glimpse of her underwear. Other common variations are large puffy bloomers in non-period pieces which are used as a bit of a fancier version normally on more gothic characters. In Western works, spankies are worn for this purpose under cheerleading outfits.

This trope is common in anime, as School Uniforms are almost always extremely short. It is often worn by Kick Chicks, Cheerleaders, Action Girls, Tomboys or anyone else with an active lifestyle.

Compare Skirt Over Slacks, which are visible when a woman walks normally and used as a fashion statement. May be combined with Zettai Ryouiki.

Examples of Modesty Shorts include:


Anime and Manga

  • Mikoto Misaka of the A Certain Magical Index franchise has this trope as her fashion calling card, much to Kuroko Shirai's dismay. Also, Shizuri Mugino does it once. Mikoto's clones wear striped panties instead, which occasionally helps Touma determine when he's speaking with one of them rather than with the original.
  • Bakemonogatari: Suruga Kanbaru wears this, in conjunction with her school uniform. Of course it's left unclear whether or not she's actually wearing anything underneath them.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima:
    • Setsuna wears cycling shorts under her skirt, and has a bit of both shyness and tomboyishness traits. Interestingly, while at first Akamatsu referred to them as being evidence of her being a less sexual character, her shorts ended up being quite popular and when she started wearing underwear instead it was generally a long, boy-legged style.
    • Asuna plays to this in later chapters, too. Although in her case it's less about tomboyishness and more about not wanting to flash people whenever she fights in a miniskirt (and after that incident of Going Commando with a skirt in Kyoto, well... who can blame her?)
  • Hayate the Combat Butler:
    • Katsura Hinagiku wears a skirt over her bicycle shorts.
    • Izumi also wears these in the first season of the anime for a quick joke/censorship reasons, but in the manga she is shown not to, at least on some occasions. She was wearing them when Hayate needed to use his special attack on Yukiji and feared the side effect would lift Izumi's skirt.
  • Pretty Cure has many examples of biking shorts. In fact, Fresh Pretty Cure and Suite Pretty Cure are the only seasons where this hasn't occurred, with other exceptions being Cure White and Cure Egret, who are aided by a Magic Skirt instead.
  • Satsuki Miyanoshita of Ghost Stories wears them in one episode, after getting tired of Hajime flipping her skirt and revealing her panties.
  • Ai Nanasaki from Amagami SS wears her School Swimsuit under her clothes, leading Jun'ichi to think he got a view of her panties when... he didn't.
  • Suzuna of Eyeshield 21 wears biker shorts under her cheer uniform. This is partially because she's the Token Loli of the cheerleading team and partially to reflect her Shorttank personality.
  • A common Running Gag in How to Read Manga is "don't you dare wear bloomers/shorts": basically, a man gets so angry when the Panty Shot he anticipated is ruined by the girl in question wearing shorts or covering bloomers that he slaps her.
  • Crystal, when she's introduced in Pokémon Special, drops her skirt to take on some Slugma, revealing that she's wearing bike shorts underneath.
    • With all of Sapphire's impressive physical feats, it was really quite thoughtful of Ruby to make her bike shorts along with the skirt.
    • An episode of Pokémon where we see May strip herself revealing her swimsuit underneath so she can go swimming actually confirmed that that white thing is actually indeed a skirt and not and extension of her undershirt.
  • Kaname in an early chapter of Full Metal Panic! wears gym shorts under her skirt to prevent panty shots.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Vivian Wong does this in the 4kids dub—but not in the original
  • Wendy Garret of Gun X Sword wears black bike shorts underneath her trademark yellow dress: probably a wise choice for someone who plans to hike across a whole continent in a short skirt.
  • Bakuman。: In the Show Within a Show PCP, Annojo Mai has these. Mashiro and Takagi were very deliberate about this.
  • A teacher in Urusei Yatsura gave Lum a pair of shorts to wear underneath her uniform after noticing that she was flashing other students as she flew around the school.
  • The title character in Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne wears these with her Magical Girl outfit.
  • Isanami from Brave 10 wears cycling shorts under her Miko open attire. In 1599.
  • Fabiola Iglecias of Black Lagoon wears black shorts under her full length French Maid uniform. And she does still need them when she busts out her capoeira moves.
  • Plotpoint in Ultimate Teacher where the resident Cute Bruiser Hinako can only fight when she's wearing Lucky Kitty-gym bloomers, brand that she's worn constantly since childhood so that she could fight without getting teased about showing her panties.
  • The extras in one volume of Fruits Basket examined the school uniforms. It notes that if your skirt is as short as Tohru's, it's a good idea to wear shorts underneath.
  • Rental Magica: In the oh-so-often-repeated flashback sequence showing how Honami and Itsuki first met, one cannot help but notice Honami's shorts under her skirt.

Comic Books

  • Added to Supergirl's costume in late 2009. According to the artist Jamal Igle, “At the first meeting I had with [Matt Idleson, the editor] after I got the book, he said, ‘I never want to see Supergirl’s panties again'."

Fan Works

  • SOS Pretty Cure: "Sorry to disappoint."
  • Cure Dragon wears this in Futari wa Pretty Cure Dragon; Rica Watson also wears this with her school uniform.
  • Ranma prescribes these for Akane at one point in Rob Haynie's Ranma ½ fic Girl Days, so as to allow her to train in walking on fences and Roof Hopping without offering boys Panty Shots.
  • Ranma makes the same suggestion to every girl he trains up to that point in Ranma, The Second Time Around by "kayemsi".
  • In the RWBY fanfic Service with a Smile, Jaune notes when spending time with her that Cinder wears tight black bike shorts under her slinky red dress.


  • Kiki's Delivery Service uses the bloomers variety to avoid inappropriate upskirt shots of the often-flying heroine.
  • In the first Resident Evil film, Alice wears black shorts underneath her red dress.
  • In A League of Their Own the female baseball players uniform includes skirts and shorts. Also in the Real Life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League upon which the film is based.
  • In The Poseidon Adventure, all of the women except Stella Stevens were wearing shorts under their evening gowns, for some reason.

Live-Action TV

  • Firefly: River wears black bike shorts under her dresses. There's a couple times where she skips the skirt part and just wears the shorts with a top, as well.
  • See a female in a skirt on Power Rangers? There's a really good chance that they have either black or Ranger colored shorts on underneath. Kimberly has gone even further by wearing shorts over shorts.
    • Tori from Power Rangers Ninja Storm goes the extra step of wearing shorts while morphed. However, in comparison to the other Rangers with contrasting leggings, it actually gives the allusion of a Panty Shot rather than actual Modesty Shorts.
  • Austin and Ally has Ally wearing short dresses in almost every episode, and she usually has black shorts on if she does something that flips her dress up. It's usually just a shadow, since it IS a Disney show.

Music Videos

Video Games

  • Persona 4: Chie wears shorts under her skirt.
    • In the Spin-Off Persona 4: Dancing All Night and its Persona 3 and Persona 5-based successors, all girls (at least those wearing skirts) wear them except, oddly, the seven year old Nanako who wears panties that are quite detailed compared to everyone else's shorts.
  • Quistis and Rinoa of Final Fantasy VIII, Prishe of Final Fantasy XI and Lightning of Final Fantasy XIII.
  • Lucca from Chrono Trigger, at least in the official artwork.
  • Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth with Kay Faraday—official artwork shows that she is wearing a pair of shorts under her skirt.
  • Bloomers are prevalent in Touhou fanart due to the Lolita-style outfits. Hong Meiling canonly wears a cheongsam over long pants, which pretty clearly advertises that she's a Chinese Girl Action Girl.
  • Sakura Kasugano from Street Fighter wears her gym shorts underneath her uniform. Though given how short they are, the effect was mostly lost on most western gamers.
    • Street Fighter Alpha 3: Karin Kanzuki wears a red schoolgirl outfit over her biker shorts.
    • Super Street Fighter IV: Ibuki's alternate outfit is her school uniform, with bike shorts under the skirt.
  • Aika from Skies of Arcadia wears black shorts under her mini.
  • In a male example, classic depictions of Simon Belmont had him wearing small shorts under the "skirt" plates of his armor.
  • Seth, from Lost Odyssey.
  • Almost all of the Cartoon Doll Emporoium dress-up dolls, since they're made for kids, will have shorts when you strip them instead of normal panties, although while a few games have normal panties, they are usually black. The Dress Up Dream dolls, which usually share ties with CDE, do this same thing.

Web Original

  • It's hard to be sure, but during V1-3 of RWBY it appears that Cinder Fall wears black shorts underneath her slinky red dress.

Western Animation

  • On Recess, Upside-Down Girl wears shorts under her jumper to avoid any panty shots when she's hanging from the monkey bars.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (the 2018 remake of She-Ra: Princess of Power) shows She-Ra wearing what looks like bike shorts under her skirt.

Real Life

  • Junior high school girls in Japan typically wear their gym shorts (knee-length) under their (longer than knee-length) uniform skirts.
    • This also applies to elementary school girls; some of them wear shorts to keep their modesty.
  • The majority of schoolgirls around the world wear shorts under their school skirts, whether it's for warmth or modesty.
  • Skorts (skirt + shorts), also known as culottes, which are Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Cosplayers dressing as sexy/scantly dressed characters can choose to wear underwear underneath the costume to prevent breaking city codes or harassment.
  • Cheerleaders typically wear a type of shorts that are a bit of a cross between large panties and tight shorts. They would basically have to since most routines seem at least partly designed to flip up their skirts as much as possible.