Just as the title describes, this sketch was born from the the discussions with my friend over attires, armor and clothing worn by Women Warriors, comparing their portrayal in both Media and Historical. I decided to draw both the stereotypical female heroines in fantasy setting and the women warriors i have been drawing so far [link]
In fantasy setting, it is generally acceptable that women's clothing have to show their secondary sexual characteristics such as breast, hair, cleavage, hips, thighs etc. This is mainly done for the audiences, which statistically made up of men by majority. No doubt, with few imagination, this has led to the birth of fancy, curve-fitting costumes, or even bare clothing at all (Battle Bikini?). Such attires, do give advantages in terms of movement, flexibility and light-weight...although they are impractical when in comes to protection.
Breast Plate that are shaped like "Breasts" (as shown) to fit around the cleavage, while *ahem*, aesthetically cool, would actually be very dangerous to use in real life. The shape of the curvature creates a wedge around the sternum and ribs, which if struck with a blow, would direct the force to the bone (instead of distributing it), potentially breaking the ribs and killing the users. The curves could also deflect any incoming attack to the chin, neck or even stomach which could lead to user's fatality.
Women Warriors in Fantasy setting, are indeed a work of art ranging from Beautiful Extravagance to Fancily Suggestive as compare to their historical counterpart.
Historically speaking, armors were made to deflect blows and arrows and lessen the impact caused by blunt weapon. Chainmail, Helmet, Partial to full Plate Armor, Gauntlet and Boots were made and worn for those reasons. These were heavy, bulky, uncomfortable, takes a lot of time to put on, and very expensive. Visually, historical armors had little aesthetics quality.
On the other hand, they protected the users and were a life-saving investment. These quality were proven historically for centuries, up until the invention and mass usage of gunpowder weapons.
In my opinion, it's much challenging to draw the Women Warriors in true-Historical Setting.