What we wear helps construct identity, and the warrior women we love most prove that kicking ass is not defined by traditional roles. Protection is the number-one purpose for battle-ready attire, which is why leather and metal dominate a warrior’s wardrobe. Armor also acts as a way to signify allegiance to a cause or clan, ensuring unity and avoiding mistaken identity — unless this is part of the plan.
War is dominated by men, therefore, some of the women on this best-dressed list have to conceal their gender to march, ride, or fight alongside their comrades in arms — and clothing is often a huge part of this ruse. But not all squads or vocations have these restrictions, and genre is particularly adept at celebrating women in a leadership role. It is also possible for armor to serve up a style lesson — chainmail and breastplates have long influenced the runway and red carpet — as well as offering protection. Different settings and eras impact the design, but the one thing the women on this list share are memorable looks that don’t sacrifice functionality for fashion.
From the MCU and DCU to graphic novel adaptations, the 10 women on the list below are all serving up battlefield sartorial lessons across the ages.