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If Mulan can do it, anybody can.

By it, we mean doing battle in a gown. Sometimes there’s not enough time to change before you need to defeat the Huns, or there’s no time to find a pair of britches when you’re busy rappelling out of a tower by your hair. In any case, fighting in a fancy frock is very possible, and an intrepid Twitter user walked the internet through the impressive possibilities.


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Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru), a fantasy author and reenactor detailed how the world’s favorite Disney heroines made their ballgowns work out when it was time to throw down, and she illustrated her guide using princess GIFs. Because, of course.

“First, you can absolutely swordfight in a dress. Some dresses are great to swordfight in, and some are not so great,” she tweeted to start. She pointed out that a poofy dress doesn’t spell disaster in a fight, but the problems lie in skirt lengths.

“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,” she tweeted.

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

Rapunzel’s ankle length gown is apparently one’s best bet for trading fisticuffs.

“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,” she revealed.

The author brought up the most important thing anyone fighting in a dress has to watch out for: the sleeves.

“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,” Jasmine from “Aladdin” would not have done well in a true battle, even though she wore pants, for just this reason. Therefore, we should all be “Brave” like Merida.

“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.”

According to Caruso, corsets are just fine as long as they aren’t laced too tightly. She shared that because she’d fought in them herself, she’d found that the real struggle comes from simply getting up and down.

For a successful battle royale, princess should also to remember to leave all their purses at home because “anything asymmetrical or dangly that’s not close to your body throws off your balance.” Noted.

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Caruso wrapped up her lesson plan by informing followers that, in case it goes down at a masked ball, good peripheral vision is key and cloaks only look good for fashion — and for removing dramatically before crossing swords.

Now that we know all these key points, who needs a prince? There clearly won’t be any damsels in distress here!

Christabel is a twenty-something graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University. She's a big fan of writing, television, movies, general pop culture and complaining about how they've annoyed her. Long live the Oxford comma.
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