There are countless princesses in any form of fiction you’d care to name. Indeed, the young, precocious monarch is a time-worn trope that provides your story with a damsel in distress or some regal rule. One of the most famous in entertainment arguably comes from a videogame: Princess Peach herself, of the Mushroom Kingdom.
Initially starting off as nothing more than the ‘end goal’, Peach has evolved into her own character. Whether assisting the Mario brothers, going on her own side-stories, or even taking the fight to Bowser himself, she’s done it all – and done it in style. Here’s a look at her most fashionable royal regalia.
10 Olympics Peach
Being a prim-and-proper princess, we’ll typically see Peach wearing nothing but poofy dresses and gowns, which are absolutely lovely, for sure, but not at all practical when it comes to getting into the action. This is why, for the Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games series, it’s refreshing to see the monarch don such things as swimsuits, fencing suits, and more.
Special mention goes to the ‘Rhythmic Gymnastics’ neon pink leotard she wears. Nothing beats seeing this usually reserved lass suddenly doing cartwheels and throwing batons ten feet into the air, all set to Sonic Colors’ ‘Reach for the Stars.’ When Peach lets her hair down, sometimes literally, it’s fantastic fun.
9 Kimono Peach
Once you thwart Bowser’s dastardly wedding in Super Mario Odyssey, the game’s far from over. In fact, a whole second half opens up, in which Peach decides she’s had enough of the Mushroom Kingdom and goes off on her jollies. You can spot her in each kingdom with a different outfit, and one of the most adorable is her kimono.
Evidently wanting to honour her studio’s heritage, the princess looks fab in this – actually pretty eccentric – number. Covered from top to toe in Fire Flower motifs and wearing a Boo in her hair, it’s an unmistakably Mario spin on a Japanese staple. Arigatō.
8 Explorer Peach
Again from Mario Odyssey, Peach has opted to brave the perils of the Lost Kingdom and has come suitably dressed in an explorer’s outfit. With that gigantic sunhat (perhaps designed by Toads?) and comically overstuffed backpack, she clearly subscribes to the idea of luck favouring the prepared.
And she’ll need it, too. The Lost Kingdom is basically a collection of acid pools dotted with the occasional deadly vulture and spike trap. Imagining Explorer Peach having to swing her way among these obstacles, perhaps humming her own rendition of the Indiana Jones theme, is amusing.
7 Nurse And Doctor Peach
A little-known fact is that Princess Peach has had quite a medical career. When she’s not issuing Mushroom Kingdom ordinances, she’s shoving pills down the gullets of anyone who wanders into Dr. Mario’s clinic. Only if they’ve got a fever or chills, of course. Initially, she was ‘Nurse Toadstool’ and wore a simple pink dress for this role, but it proved to not be enough for her.
By Mario Kart Tour, she’s got her Ph.D., and is now Dr. Peach, adding a lab coat and stethoscope to match. Exactly what her thesis paper was about, we aren’t sure. One can only assume it wasn’t ‘On Keeping Giant Koopas Out Of Your Kingdom.’ All the same, good on her.
6 Patisserie Peach
Fans were overjoyed when Princess Peach: Showtime was announced. If you can believe it, this will be only the second solo adventure for Peach, after 2005’s Super Princess Peach on the DS, so it’s about time. The core gimmick is swapping between costumes to navigate a theatrical environment, and one of the cutest on offer is her Patisserie garb.
Peach is ready to whip up some irresistible confections, with her toque, apron, and chequered skirt all built to withstand batter splatters of the highest order. Especially notable is that she’s braided her hair back, a rare look for her and one which demonstrates a keen understanding of food hygiene. Time to book a table.
5 Biker Peach
If there was one outfit you probably would not expect the generally austere figurehead of a nation to be caught dead in; it would be a skintight biker jumpsuit. Regardless, that’s exactly the look Peach has plumped for in every Mario Kart game since the Wii. And do you know what? She rocks it.
Alongside her fellow ferocious females Daisy and Rosalina, she’s got awesome pink stripes running the length of her suit (for speed, naturally) and a pair of biker boots amply suited for introducing the pedal to the metal. So iconic is this outfit that it made it into The Super Mario Bros. Movie during an extended Rainbow Road race sequence. She, apparently, was just wearing it under her dress. Always ready to roll, our princess.
4 Detective Peach
Peach has decided she wants to give Pikachu a run for his money as Nintendo’s primo detective (it’s a good thing Professor Layton is technically a third party, she’d have no chance) in Princess Peach: Showtime. Popping on a classic Holmes-esque deerstalker and packing a magnifying glass, there’s no clue she won’t uncover.
This outfit leads directly into the gameplay, as you can whip out said magnifying glass to follow trails of footprints. Need to track down a Shy Guy who’s made off with a stage prop? Or a Goomba who’s ransacked a museum? They’ll never get away with it when Detective Peach is on the case.
3 Fire Peach
Believe it or not, a major point of contention within the Mario fanbase for the longest time was what would happen if Princess Peach touched a Fire Flower. Would her dress turn red? White? Would she get fire powers, something different, or nothing at all? These are the hypotheticals that confounded gamers everywhere. Thankfully, we got our answer in 2013’s Super Mario 3D World.
In actuality, her dress turns red and white, accompanied by an adorable ponytail (can you tell we are suckers for her changing her hair?) Like the Mario twins, she’s now able to hurl fireballs with the best of them. No need to stop, drop, and roll here.
2 Swordfighter Peach
Whoa, Peach. Wielding a baking spoon and a magnifying glass is one thing – but a sword? An actual, bonafide weapon? That’s so unlike you, but we’re down with it. Another new form in Princess Peach: Showtime, she looks to be channeling her inner musketeer, setting off to not just platform but skewer all who would stand in her way.
Peach appears to have leaped from the pages of an Alexandre Dumas novel as she swipes and chops through the stage’s assorted obstacles. We dig the boots, the Victorian cravat, and especially that fancy feathered hat. Why fight evil when you can do it in a pompous headpiece? Nintendo is really allowing Peach to step beyond her comfort zone these days, and it’s captivating.
1 Classic Peach
And yet, despite all these fantastic fashion choices, there’s simply no other option for the top spot than Peach’s classic pink princess dress. It’s absolutely iconic; whether or not its occupant is even wearing it, you take one look at those pink hues and those puffed-up shoulders and say, “Yep, Princess Peach.”
It took Nintendo a while to settle on the now-familiar pink dress, trying her out in white and various shades of red before settling on the garment we all know and love. Coupled with some very royal white gloves and blood-red shoes, it’s perhaps telling this look has gone through very few revisions since the late ’90s. There’s no denying it: whether she’s awaiting rescue or kicking butt, Princess Peach is prettiest in pink.
Next: Every Playable Character In Mainline Mario Games