This Twitter thread proves that we can absolutely fight while in a ball gown!

February 05th, 2018
0 share

Unless you’re as skilled as Mrs. Smith (Angelina Jolie), you know how difficult it would be to kick some ass while in a dress — especially if it’s a ball gown!

But fantasy author Melissa Caruso debunks this notion and proves through a Twitter thread that you can still fiercely fight even while wearing a ball gown. Using Disney Princesses GIFs, Caruso illustrated the kinds of dresses are good for sword fighting and those that are not.

Her discussion was so on point and detailed that it actually went viral. Ready for a cool lecture? Read the whole thread below:

OKAY I HAVE AN IMPORTANT THREAD FOR YOU about fighting in ballgowns! I will illustrate with Disney Princess gifs, because why not.

First, you can absolutely swordfight in a dress. Some dresses are great to swordfight in, and some are not so great.

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

(How do I know? Uh, let's just say I've been fighting in dresses (with, admittedly, foam weapons, but range of movement issues should be pretty similar) for many many years.)

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

First of all, let's talk skirts! They aren't necessarily as much of a problem as you'd think. (Witness all the cultures where robes or skirts or big swooshy pants are part of the standard warrior garb.)

Let's look at a classic: Cinderella's dress. pic.twitter.com/YjesRG8CtA

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

So the counter-intuitive thing here is that skirt volume is actually not usually a problem. It can even help you…all those petticoats could block or tangle a light slash. And the underlayers that make the skirt poofy (crinoline, etc) are also holding it away from your legs.

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

It turns out that while we’re worried about the dress being bulky, it’s the length that we should be concerned about. After all, you don’t want to trip over while you swing your sword against your opponent, right?

You have plenty of room for footwork. Getting caught up on brush or other obstacles could be an issue if you're fighting in woods with heavy underbrush, but that's also true of cloaks.

The problem isn't volume…it's length. pic.twitter.com/7kxM5oZ8eq

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

Your chances of tripping on your skirt if you have to backpedal are high. It's also easy to step on your skirt on a lunge, which is just…embarrassing. Does not end well.

I have done both of these things, and let me tell you, I did not look dashing or escape unscathed.

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

So make sure your dress is ankle-length before you go on full beast mode against someone!

However, an ankle length skirt actually is pretty good! You want a light, full, ankle length skirt with lots of room to move in, ideally. Rapunzel's is very fightable. pic.twitter.com/zdw7vfVahJ

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

Aside from the skirt, Caruso pointed out that the biggest problem in Disney princesses’ ball gowns are the sleeves.

The big problem with most Disney Princess style ballgowns isn't the skirt, though. It's the sleeves.

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

Take a look at Aurora's fabulous color-changing dress, which may be the very worst Disney Princess gown for fightability.

Seriously, that spindle is the least of your problems, girl. pic.twitter.com/qcqxZzttFX

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

Off the shoulder + tight at the shoulder = good luck lifting your arms higher than drink-holding level.

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

You don't have the range of motion or flexibility you need to fight, and the off-the-shoulder thing is going to get in the way bigtime.

(This is why Jasmine's outfit sucks to fight in even though she wears pants. Good luck moving your arms in those sleeves.) pic.twitter.com/NPU422G3Ws

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

The top reason I love Merida is because she runs into the sleeves-too-tight problem and SOLVES IT during that archery scene near the beginning with her awesome seam-ripping flex. This is spot-on. This is what your heroine should do if she has to fight in a dress like this. pic.twitter.com/jCglE25nYf

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

You want sleeves that have range of motion in the shoulder.

Puffy or dangly sleeves are okay so long as they don't dangle too much on your wrist or forearm, in which case circular motions can wrap them around your arm.

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

My girl Maleficent 😍 has too much fabric hanging off her arms, but whatever, she can zap you with magic or turn into a dragon, she can wear whatever she wants. pic.twitter.com/wOH33IOrCV

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

But what about corsets? Well, Caruso also talked about that!

Corsets are less of a problem than you'd think, so long as you don't lace them too crazy tight.

(Like, Ariel, you'd better still have gills, because your waist is only slightly larger than your neck, here.) pic.twitter.com/WrRqbnwPej

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

I have fought a LOT in a corset. You can't bend much in the middle, but that's not a huge issue (and will be even more true in, say, a metal breastplate). So long as you've got it laced so it's breathable, you're okay.

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

The big thing that sucks in a corset is actually getting up and down off the ground (because you have to bend to do that). Doable, but you might be a little slower. (Again, just like a cuirass, I imagine.)

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

Steel boning might even protect you somewhat, depending on how hardcore your corset is and what kind of strike, etc. (You are probably out of luck against a thrust.)

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

One thing that will throw you off way more than you think is any kind of purse. Anything asymmetrical or dangly that's not close to your body throws off your balance.

(This goes for all the guys you see fighting with all kinds of crazy gear hanging off them, too.) pic.twitter.com/ucfiyYpAjf

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

I have overall found cloaks harder to fight in than many dresses. They tend to foul your arms, cool though they look. pic.twitter.com/SfgnbTWnJJ

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

She finally summarizes it for quicker reference:

So! If you're attending a ball and you suspect you may be a novel heroine, remember:

Full mobility sleeves without too much dangly stuff
No floor-length skirts (or train, ugh)
No cloak (doff it for effect!)
Poofy skirts fine (but not in heavy underbrush)
Corsets fine

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

(And if it's a masked ball, make sure you have good peripheral vision! SO IMPORTANT.)

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

And you’d better take note of these because you’ll never know when these may actually come in handy!

Remember all this, and be ready to rip your seams if you have to, and you'll be able to dance with the villain AND duel him later. pic.twitter.com/iiZvL5JK2n

— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) January 31, 2018

/RNA

INQPOP! Stories we think you might also like: