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The centaur externally appears very human-like. Their forelegs are fully humanoid, with human feet. They also have human-like hips to support the forelegs. The horse body is similarly sized to the human body, and is connected horizontally so that the lowest part of the chest is contiguous with the region between the forelegs. The horse body appears to connect at the front of the chest, with no shoulders

The centaur's dress would need to cover the human chest, hips, and legs, with the legs and hips being covered all around

Could such a dress realistically be made and used by these centaurs?

Diagram

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    $\begingroup$ @Firedestroyer How would the centaurs put it on? $\endgroup$ Jan 11 at 21:32
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    $\begingroup$ "The centaur's dress would need to cover the human chest, hips, and legs, with the legs and hips being covered all around". I'm a little confused in a cloud on the bolded part : Do you mean only the front, humanoid part need full coverage and the back, horsy one is to be "forgotten"? $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Jan 11 at 21:51
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    $\begingroup$ Centaurs are very popular in anime, go to a site like safebooru and search "centaur dress" and you will find tons of inspiration for how this could work. $\endgroup$ Jan 12 at 7:40
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    $\begingroup$ A Punch cartoon of a dress over a horse: i.stack.imgur.com/fcVN5.jpg $\endgroup$ Jan 12 at 17:57
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    $\begingroup$ If I was a centaur, I'd rather wear a dress rather than pants, whether or not I was male or female. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Jan 12 at 20:28

9 Answers 9

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A hole and a zipper.

It might be a little difficult to put on alone, but it's certainly doable. Better yet, have a person assiting you.

Essentially, put a hole in the back of the dress, to fit the horse part. Cut a cut upwards to the hole, and probably strengthen all these seams, since they seem like easy tear points. Then, add a zipper, set of buttons, or similar things, like you would use to close a jacket, on the bottom cut.

Lower the dress onto the centaur while the zipper is unzipped, then have someone zip it once it's on.

If you have no people available, you could make the zipper rather large, and hookable. Then use something like a marshmallow skewer with a hook instead of a point to pull the zipper up. Maybe add mirrors to said skewer in order to see the zipper.

Voila!

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    $\begingroup$ I wouldn't worry too much about the practicality of putting on a dress.. My wife needs assistance to zip up her dresses because, much like a centaur, she can't reach the small of her back unaided. This is why we have family and friends :) $\endgroup$
    – Ruadhan
    Jan 12 at 12:14
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    $\begingroup$ While a dress would be a bit complicated, a skirt would be simpler. Imagine something shaped like a grill cover with a hole on one end. Slip it over your head and pull it down until the opening is at waist level. $\endgroup$
    – bta
    Jan 14 at 4:17
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    $\begingroup$ That only works if zips have been invented. $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Jan 14 at 6:34
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    $\begingroup$ @MontyWild Or buttons. $\endgroup$ Jan 14 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ Buttons are far more inconvenient than zips. $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Jan 14 at 14:27
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You've gotta check old European fashion. During many periods it was common for the richer folk to use pieces of clothing with very exaggerated sizes or features, such as wigs as tall as a child or collars so wide that a moderate gust could flip you over.

In the 1880's very exaggerated shelf bustles were all the rage. This is what I am talking about:

A shelf bustle, which is a dress with a gigantic, built-in butt prothesis

So you see, when it came to ladies, not even Sir Mix-A-Lot had anything to do with an European gentleman's selection.

This led to the following drawing circulating around Germany back then:

A drawing joking that a shelf bustle could help a centaur lady pass as a human From Fliegende Blätter; Band LXXVIII (1883), p. 147

By the way, I stole both images from this page about corsettes. Lily Absinthe elaborates much further on that fad.

The conclusion here is that no matter how crazy an idea you've had, somebody has already implemented it before.

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    $\begingroup$ Proof that centaurs once walked among us, clearly. $\endgroup$ Jan 12 at 10:21
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    $\begingroup$ >The conclusion here is that no matter how crazy an idea You've had, somebody has already implemented it before. | And not only have they done it already, they went even further and did it for regular humans with NO second pair of legs $\endgroup$
    – Hobbamok
    Jan 12 at 11:16
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    $\begingroup$ This should be the next fad for camel beauty pageants. $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Jan 12 at 17:46
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Yes, something very similar was in vogue throughout the middle-ages to far into the renaissance, and occasionally thereafter - even still in modern times during parades in some countries or cultural events: the caparison or horse-trapper:

enter image description here source

You might want to adjust the pattern a little, but they're basically fit for centaurs to wear as dresses.

As a side note: trappers often depicted the rider's coats-of-arms or emblems. In your case, as the rider and horse are one, the centaur might want to show off their own personal emblem as a way to let their identity be known.

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    $\begingroup$ Many of the pictures I have seen are open at the front, or at least have a slit at the front to make it easier for the horse to move. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Jan 12 at 20:47
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    $\begingroup$ @Daron slits for the front legs would certainly be beneficial, yes $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    Jan 14 at 8:21
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Of course

I don't see any difficulty with this.

Horse in a suit

See Horse gets tailored suit

Maybe they could hire human tailors to have the work more easily done?
But the suit itself is clearly possible.

In this case the upper part of the legs are left bare to the view. If modesty in your world suggests otherwise a gown could be added around the top part.

To wear it would best to have some educated yahoos who can sew on them the dresses. Just like it was done in the 18th century for ladies (and some dandies)

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    $\begingroup$ >crotchless suits are popular with centaurs $\endgroup$ Jan 12 at 7:40
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    $\begingroup$ @Non-humanPerson to be fair the genitals aren't nearly as exposed for creatures with quadrupedal or even with avian stance. And if that's too improper still, add a little bit of fur to your fellas. $\endgroup$ Jan 12 at 11:06
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    $\begingroup$ Hardest part is getting the horse to stand still while you put this on him. I know people who have sustained serious injuries attempting to do the same on a cat. The real trick here with a centaur is - can they dress themselves? Obviously you can't manipulate clothes very easily with hooves, and their human arms are probably not long enough to reach their back legs, so they'd require assistance to put these clothes on. (A skirt is probably easier than suit pants in that respect.) $\endgroup$ Jan 12 at 14:34
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    $\begingroup$ @Non-humanPerson A horse doesn't care if it's wearing clothes, it'll urinate and defecate whenever it wants. A centaur presumably has better control over its bodily functions. $\endgroup$
    – nick012000
    Jan 13 at 13:25
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    $\begingroup$ @nick012000 or maybe have a better relation with his body and accept going around naked is perfectly fine? :) See Goodies answer $\endgroup$ Jan 13 at 13:50
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No, Centaurs wear hats

In Greece, a dress would be far too warm for a horse, so the Greek Centaur never wore dresses. However, the beauty ideal among Centaurs did appreciate some decoration, that's the reason why some Centaurs wore a hat. Never heard of any dresses..

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A wedding train type dress may work.

enter image description here

Credits: https://sites.google.com/site/prettywomensdreams/wedding/6-types-of-wedding-dress-tail

This type of dress should be easy for a centaur to put on, the long train will flow over her back and down her legs. Hopefully they will look graceful in such a dress although there is a risk it will look like a table cloth draped over a table.

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Yes

This is nothing more than a complete skirt with a bodice attached at the front of the skirt and zippered or buttoned down the back. The piece, when worn, would cover everything you want, but not the horse portion of the Centaur.

BTW, if what you're thinking is, "you know, that's really nothing more than today's backless dress...," you're on the right track.

Your real problem is, "can a centaur wear a skirt?"

The answer in this case is "no." The skirt, by itself with no other support, would have nothing to hold onto as it "waist" of the skirt could be no higher than the "chest" of the horse. It would be like people wearing skirts (or pants) no higher than their crotches. I guess if you tie the belt tight enough, but if you think that's practical, I want' you to consider the meaning of the word "mince" when used to describe walking.

Which means you have a general conclusion that is, conveniently, genderless

What this means is that a Centaur really can't wear anything... not a pair of shorts, not a pair of pants, not a skirt, not a dress... nothing... unless it's attached to the "top part" (bodice) of the clothing. Centaurs can't wear pants (or skirts, etc.) without something to hold them up. And that something really has only one practical expression:

Suspenders.

Whether an attached bodice or suspenders worn beneath a shirt, it makes no difference.

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  • $\begingroup$ But what about helpers? Don't centaurs have educated yahoos who can sew on them the dresses? Just like it was done in the 18th century for ladies (and some dandies) $\endgroup$ Jan 12 at 0:09
  • $\begingroup$ I would assume that the waist of a skirt would be around the human-part's waist and would cover the entire horse-body. So the wearer would simply slip it on over their head like a normal skirt and it'd fall naturally across the length of their lower-body. I don't see any technical limitations to wearing a skirt for a Centaur. Similarly, if you treat the human-part as a "head", then the rest is mammalian-plan as normal and adapted human clothing will technically fit in the same way. Then add additional upper-body clothing for the human part. Brings a new meaning to "three piece suit" though. $\endgroup$
    – Ruadhan
    Jan 12 at 12:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Ruadhan I could be wrong, but my interpretation of the original question is that the horse-portion of the Centaur would not be covered. The entire question is moot if you can cover the horse part. $\endgroup$ Jan 13 at 1:03
  • $\begingroup$ @DuncanDrake I don't understand your issue. Do you mean people to help put the clothing on? Most women I know can zipper/button something behind their back without help. But why is that important? I didn't mention difficulty donning the attire as an issue. $\endgroup$ Jan 13 at 1:06
  • $\begingroup$ Downvoted, because Centaurs definitely can wear skirts. See Cerea from Daily Life with Monstergirls for an example. dailylifewithamonstergirl.fandom.com/wiki/Centorea_Shianus $\endgroup$
    – nick012000
    Jan 13 at 22:57
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They can wear but not at their own

Wearing a dress then zipping and/or buttoning it needs reach of hands and fingers. Centaurs have hands but not long enough to reach all parts of their body so they may not wear anything at their own. They will need assistance for wearing, taking off, changing, trying a dress.

It will be better to leave them as they are. Just put a dress on certain occasions for decorative purposes only.

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This begs the question: don't they have hair?

Surely the bottom part will have hair, just like a horse does. So you'd only need to dress the top part, with a nifty line in riding jackets , longer at the back.

Do your centaur ladies have breasts, or is that taken care of by the horse part? You'd think so, because the reproductive organs are equine too.*

But if they do, they'll need support while galloping.

Thoughts while in the shower: If the bottom part is hairy, maybe they have the same colour range as horses. Their head hair would match the tail. Brown horses would have brown skin, etc. And do they have spotted centaurs? Would the human part be spotted too? And why not striped centaurs on a zebra base?

*Hmm, would the reproductive parts be equine? AFAIK the images of centaurs we have from antiquity do not show male centaurs - ah - exhibiting - human genitals. But this is the author's own world (and centaurs never existed anyway) so the author can decide and develop that detail.

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    $\begingroup$ Young centaurs would actually have quite a bit of difficulty nursing from a standing mother with equine udders, especially if they are developmentally more human-like. If Mom lays down to nurse, this might not be an issue, but centaurs with human-style breasts isn't actually that dumb of an idea. Especially if Mom can hold her baby in her arms. $\endgroup$
    – Matthew
    Jan 12 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ You don't sprint in a dress, so why would you gallop in one? $\endgroup$ Jan 13 at 10:07
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    $\begingroup$ @JackAidley People planning to sprint, and thus centaurs planning to gallop, do not wear dresses. $\endgroup$
    – RedSonja
    Jan 13 at 10:13
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    $\begingroup$ while it's easy to assume, are you certain the reproductive organs are equine? $\endgroup$
    – ti7
    Jan 13 at 23:15
  • $\begingroup$ @CGCampbell fixed that. I had doubts while I was writing it. $\endgroup$
    – RedSonja
    Jan 14 at 7:28

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