Amongst my group of LOTRO friends, I am the go-to person for advice on outfits. I love making cool outfits for my characters and helping others with their outfits. I’ve never really been a girly-girl, but boy do I love playing dress up with my characters!
So I have decided to put my ‘skills’ to use and write up some tips and guidelines I use when putting together outfits.
Many people, including myself, have a set theme they always use for specific characters. That theme might have to do with the character’s background (An elf from Lorien wearing elven clothes in white and gold, a hunter from Bree dressing in plain earth toned clothes) or they could be a specific color. We will talk about colors later in the article.
Having a designated theme for your character is a good starting point for many outfits. I’ve always found that outfits that have a specific thought it mind end up looking much better than outfits put together on a whim (Although some outfits that are put together on a whim are fine, but I digress). Another good way to start your theme is to base it on your character’s class. Light armour wearers are more interested in flowing robes and dresses. Hunters might be a bit rough around the edges and wear a hooded cloak to help camouflage.
Here are some examples of full realized character themes, to help describe what I’m talking about.
The next sections will help you piece together your character theme.
Textures and Styles
When putting together an outfit, you have to keep the style of your armour in mind. By style I usually mean Dwarf, Elf or Man (unfortunately, there is no Hobbit style armour). Each has a very different style.
For example, here are pictures of the Dwarven, Eleven and Man (doesn’t really have the distinction of ‘Man’ but that is what I always think the default versions of things are) Superb Outrider’s Armour, a mid-level crafted set, via Darzil’s Crafting Guide:
Depending on the set, some racial styles look good mixed together while others don’t. Here’s an example of good mixes:
The above picture uses Dwarven style leggings, cosmetic boots from the Bree Outfitter, and Elven shirt and Elven shoulder guards.
Sometimes however different styles clash. It’s always a good idea to use the dressing room (CTRL + left click an item) to preview how your set looks together. I understand that sometimes things look nice in the dressing room and end up not so good out in the game world. It happens. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
A Note on Sets
Usually, outfitting yourself all in armour from a specific set looks cool:
The reason it looks cool is because they have styling that flows together and usually have a similar color scheme. However, the downside of wearing a full set of armour from a specific set is that you lose uniqueness. Countless others are probably running around looking just like you. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen wearing the same outfit as the elf in the second picture because I’ve lost count. That’s why it’s good to mix and match. Not only mix and matching styles but mixing and matching from different level sets, as they usually have their own style as well.
Take this outfit for example:
Except for the pants and gloves (generic, low level light armour bought in Bree), this is a distinctly Elven outfit. However, you can tell a style difference between the chest piece (bought in the Rivendell market) and the boots and shoulders (level 65 Malledhrim rep crafted armour).
The best compromise, I think, is that you can use the chestpiece and leggings from the same set, but try and mix and match the shoes, gloves, shoulders, and cloak. It will make a world of difference. For example, my warden:
She’s using the chestpiece and leggings from the same set, however she has different boots, gloves, and shoulders. We will come back to this picture in a bit.
With the Nov 29 update, we now have so many different dyes to choose from. When it comes to choosing what color is right for your outfit, the dressing room, again, is your best friend! I highly recommend trying the dye out on your cosmetics and armour in the dressing room before you even THINK about applying the dye to it! The reason is, that some dyes don’t dye quite the way you think they will, especially the new dyes. The newer dyes (Everything below ‘Turquoise’ in the dressing room dye drop-down) are very vivid colors and should be used with caution. Also take note that some pieces of armour/cosmetics don’t dye the same way, even if you use the same color dye. This is because the section that gets dyed on each item has a base color that you can’t change. The base color of one item might be beige while another’s might be pure white. That determines how faded or vivid a dye will appear.
Take a look at the Gossamer dress dyed Rose:
If you were to wear that, you would look like someone dropped a Barbie doll in-game. Some dresses on the other hand look fine dyed rose:
There are a few key things to think about when choosing a dye. First of all, of course, is which color you really like! Lately I have been quite fond of Evendim Blue and Crimson. Another thing to note is what is the color palette of the outfit you are making? Each piece of cosmetics or armour has parts of it that don’t dye. They have a set color that you won’t be able to change. The key is to choose colors that match the existing color palette. If the existing color palette is gold and red, you’re going to want to pick a dye color that compliments that.
As an example, we’ll talk about the Common Short-sleeved Dress.
The yellow and red in the dress are unchangeable. Here are some good color choices that go with the existing color palette of the dress:
Bear in mind that this is all subjective. What I think goes well together, might not be the same thing as what you think. Remember I am just giving advice as I see it.
Don’t forget that you don’t have to dye everything in your outfit all the same color. Sometimes it helps to dye certain parts a different color. Going back to the picture of my warden in her elven armour, you’ll notice that everything but the boots and gloves are gold. The boots and gloves are umber. Yet they still match with the outfit. The key again is the color palette. You can see some dark brown in the chestpiece and leggings, so dying other parts of the outfit that color works well.
Putting it All Together
Now to put it all together! The goal is to get an outfit with:
- Styles that go together
- Have a compatible color palette
- Match your predetermined character theme
The trick here is to get items that have similar existing color palettes that also dye similarly. The best way to show this is through examples. So here is my captain at the moment:
You can see that the silver and gold of the cloak matches the silver and gold of the chestpiece and shoulders. Also, the shoulders and cloak dyed similarly. Everything is from the same set, except the gloves and the cloak. With the cloak, it makes the outfit more unique than if she were just wearing the Westernesse set plain.