Clinking cocktail glasses enhance the gentle ambience of soft chatter and mellow lilt of harp and flute as they dance in melodic unison. Smartly-clad waitresses slip through small throngs of patrons, taking orders and delivering savory appetizers and specialty drinks as the night wanes into the early hours of morning. Muted lighting with shades of blue and purple encourages the intimacy of those swaying close together on the dance floor. The club…the perfect venue to don that “little black dress” and heels.
Descending a grand, plush-carpeted staircase, the sh-sh-sh of a stately ball gown as it whispers onto the ballroom floor goes unheard amid the din of chamber music and amused laughter. Mirth abounds as many faces revel in the Masquerade–behemoths with gnashing fangs and horns, coeurls with great spritely whiskers, plague doctors looming and ominous. There is no boundary to creativity and lavishness in a scene such as this.
Costa del Sol, the tropical haven and vacation destination for beachgoers in all of Eorzea, is the place to go for sun tanning, fishing, and relaxation next to the gentle waves. A locus of eternal summertime, there is no better region in which to show off one’s summer attire. Whether it’s bikini and heels, or flaming swim trunks with an unbuttoned cotton shirt, or flowing, breezy floral skirt, everyone shows off at the beach.
Final Fantasy XIV presents myriad glamour choices, as well as events and locales that practically demand you dress for the occasion. While end-game raiding is the goal of many, many more would argue that fashion is the real end game of FFXIV. You can stylize and customize your character’s appearance to your heart’s content, executed with ease using the Glamour Dresser and glamour plate system. Currently we use 15 glamour plates, drawing from 400 item slots. And guess what? It’s still not nearly enough. (Square Enix, pleeeease, can we get more glamour plates and item slots in the glamour dresser?)
By no means am I a fashion pro, but farming for certain gear and putting together intriguing outfits is my favorite hobby in the game. It’s simple to throw together a festive Christmas glam, or a sexy ensemble for a night on the town with friends and FC mates, or a spooky Halloween glam, BUT it presents more of a challenge when trying to achieve a certain cosplay. As much as I could drone on about fashion in the game, I want to speak today specifically about in-game cosplays. In commemoration of my Free Company’s upcoming cosplay glamour event, I want to highlight some of my favorite cosplays that I have put together personally:
1.) Lara Croft. My childhood is wrapped up in classic Tomb Raider, and Lara Croft will always be my top video game heroine. Her iconic blue tank top and khaki shorts are easy to replicate, but capturing her attitude is all about the pose. While FFXIV has a Machinist class, sadly there is no dual-wield pistols; that’s okay though, Lara still kicks butt with the shotgun.
2.) Black Knight from Dark Souls. Dark Souls and its affiliated titles are among my favorite games in video game history, so I want to pay homage to these amazing titles. My black knight is a more general rendition of the hard hitting enemies from DS1, but I think I’ve captured the correct aura. Of course, I had to screenshot this glamour in one of my favorite dungeons in FFXIV, The Vault. Why is it a favorite dungeon, you ask? Because it, too, is reminiscent of Dark Souls in every way–music, atmosphere, giant knights, I could go on!
3.) Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service. Easygoing, cute, whimsical, all elements of a Studio Ghibli masterpiece, make up this simple glam. Kiki’s Delivery Service is one of my top three favorite Ghibli films, so of course I had to imitate Kiki. I often try to pair a minion with my glamour and the addition of a black coeurl kitten to represent Jiji is the cherry on top with this one. Oh, and the fact that I can summon a witch’s broom mount!
4.) Sesshomaru from InuYasha. The series is one from my childhood, so nostalgia spurred on this glamour attempt. I love the folklore and mythology surrounding yōkai, and Sesshomaru, being a full-blooded yōkai, makes the fact known by his demeanor. Haughty and indifferent by nature, he’s a character that you both love and become infuriated by. This one has been my trickiest cosplay yet, and the likeliness is more my wishful thinking than actual representation. Oh, and what’s not to like about intense samurai swordplay?
5.) Ellen Ripley. Last but not least, my Ripley cosplay was a random and sudden inspiration that I intend to present at my FC’s cosplay glam event later this month. I sat and pondered a figure to portray from popular film culture, since I hardly ever mimic movie icons, and Alien popped into my mind immediately. Complete using the Machinist class’s handy dandy flamethrower action, as well as a cute little orange kitten minion to represent Ripley’s cat Jonesy, my cosplay fell into place.
Glamour in FFXIV is what you want it to be, whether armored up, sexy and flirty, imitative of your favorite figures or styles or themes or even just plain modern (yes, I have been called Mom before by my FC mates because I favored a button-up blouse, blue jeans, and knockoff Converse look.) The point is that it’s a versatile and enjoyable hobby within the world of FFXIV, and I spend way more time and energy on virtual clothes than my real life ones!