As anyone who’s read Patrick O’Brian knows, it’s best to fight duels without clothes (cloth pushed into a wound via blade or bullet –> infection). The Mary Sue has a wonderful blog post about a semi-naked women’s duel fought in the 19th century, along with all the details about why Princess Pauline Metternich and the Countess Kielmannsegg were fighting. (Fought over flower arrangements. I’m not kidding.)
It’s the jaunty little hat that gets me. And those shoes. Oh, and having to hold your skirt up with one hand. Also, blades and breasts are not a felicitous combination. I think of all the little things that could get clipped off in one careless swipe and I shudder.
I finally understand all those bronze bra’ed amazons of bad fantasy cover art.