In honour of her upcoming second blogiversary, Windsoar is once again taking up the role of whimsical Muse of the blogosphere. I petitioned the Muse for a tidbit of inspiration, and she replied:
Curious Wind is curious! I love seeing all the outfits you manage to put together time and time again. So I’d like to know: how many outfits do you really have? Are you a clothes collector on all your characters, or do you special ones that get designated for that kind of thing? How’d you get started collecting: is it a RP thing?
I’m a collector and a terrible packrat IRL; I collect or have collected books, art supplies, Breyer model horses, a whole zoo full of Schleich toy animals, and a variety of other mostly useless knicknacks. I’ve had a dabbling, dilettante interest in fashion and clothing since I was young — I don’t follow fashion blogs or shows or magazines or what have you, but I love to draw clothing. When I was about ten, I created a group of five anthropomorphic animal characters whose primary purpose was to be clothes horses. Whenever I saw or imagined an interesting item of clothing, I would draw it using those characters as models. I have three binders full of artwork depicting them in all sorts of apparel. One of my more recent collections was a set of Tom Tierney “American Family of the (X historical period)” paper dolls, starting with the colonial era and continuing down to the 1990s. Collecting clothing and putting together outfits in WoW arose naturally out of these earlier interests and tendencies.
In-game, my clothing collecting mania started with Kamalia’s Party Clothes. I thought it was really fun that Blizzard provided special clothes for the various world holidays, and I decided that I wanted to have them all! I’d been collecting clothes and taking screenshots of my favorite combinations for some time before Kirina opened her Closet. Reading Kirina’s articles really inspired me. My clothing collection mushroomed after that!
I haven’t even tried to tabulate how many outfits I have.
Vidyala wrote about how her characters don’t feel complete without achievements; I don’t feel like a group of alts on a particular server are fully established unless I’ve assembled a collection of shirts and level 1 clothes for their mostly hypothetical RP use. I keep telling myself that I can just roll the throwaway level 1 alt to steal its clothes at the time that I actually want those clothes to make an RP outfit… but then I roll it so that I’ll have the clothes already on hand, just in case, anyway.
I talked BTH into using some of his neglected low level alts to make an alt banking guild with me on Lightninghoof primarily so that I could unload all of my white and grey clothing items into a guild bank.
(I had to recall some of these shirts from the characters who habitually wear them to show the complete collection in the bank for this screenshot)
(more level 1 clothes, from the “non-clothie” classes, higher level grey and white items, accessories, and grey items with amusing flavor text)
My shirt & level 1 gear collections on my other servers aren’t as extensive and are hosted in the bank space of my designated banker characters on those servers. I’ve been seriously tempted to make an RAF secondary account just to be able to make alt banking guilds on all my servers for stowing clothing.
The banks of all my characters — even the newest sub-level 20 toons — rapidly fill up with clothes as I look at quest reward items and think “I might want to use that for an RP outfit someday”. There are certain quests in the low level zones of each faction that I do with almost all of my characters of that faction specifically for the dress-up value of the quest rewards. For example, all of my Alliance characters do the Furbolg Language Totems questline on Azuremyst Isle so that they can unlock Murlocs… Why Here? Why Now? and the associated Gurf’s Dignity just to get the unique and lovely brown and blue Fur Covered Robe. I have lots of green — and some blue — quality items stockpiled and mentally earmarked for various characters, most of whom are many levels away from being able to actually wear those items. Most of the heirloom items I’ve purchased have been more for their potential RP outfit uses than for actual boosting of leveling speed. I have these grandiose plans of eventually making a series of posts entitled “Things My (Characters of Class X) Wear” where I actually sort through all those items and make completed outfits and take pretty screenshots — and then get rid of stuff I’m not actually going to want to keep, after all.
I’ve tried to reduce the clutter somewhat by assigning different color schemes to individual characters. For example, Kregga the DK’s wardrobe is dominantly black-and-blue or black-and-red mail & plate, whereas gold mail & plate go to Karelia the Paladin, and silver mail & plate go to Keija the Warrior. Kaelinda the Mage’s favorite colors are blue and green, whereas Kalaneia the Warlock gets black and yellow robes, and they split the red and violet items. As you might guess from these examples, I try to assign clothing items for potential outfits based on a character’s Class, and also, to some extent, on her Race. More elegantly styled items tend to go to Elves, Humans, and Draenei, while more tribally styled items tend to go to Tauren, Trolls, and Orcs.
I love to play “Theme and Variations” with clothing. I like to collect as many different color variations of my favorite styles as I can find. Sometimes I assign all of the items with a particular style to one character. Kaelinda has every color variation of the Black Velvet Robes. Kinevra has every color variation of the Shimmering Silk Robes style. With other styles, I might assign different colors of the style to different characters based on something about each character’s Class, Race, or personality.
My assignments of clothing items to particular characters are heavily influenced by how the WoW art department dresses the NPCs. Frequently, I have sought out a particular item or even an entire outfit because an NPC was wearing it, and I usually earmark the item or the set for a character of the same race as that NPC. For example, although I’ve already assembled a set of Gryphon Mail for my Tauren Hunter, I’m working on assembling a second set for my Dwarf Shaman, for whom I think that outfit would be even more appropriate.
WoW Model Viewer is sometimes a help — it allows me to put together outfits without having to personally collect items and get designated characters to appropriate levels to wear them — and sometimes a hindrance — I’m always finding new items to add to my “must get this someday, somehow!” list. If only I could convince myself that it’s okay to just imagine an outfit in WMV and make the picture from a WMV snapshot and a background screenshot! I would have much less clutter in my characters’ bank space! Sadly, I can only really get that trick to work for items that would be impossible or very, very difficult to obtain in-game.
The worst part of it all? My toons all have these huge RP wardrobes and never wear them. Even for holidays, I usually just run around in my questing gear because (especially with lower level toons) I’m concerned about survivability for whatever combat the holiday quest itself might require or I might carelessly pull along the way. As various bloggers I read have come to the end of Saga’s “20 days of WoW blogging” challenge and are writing about what they’d do with their last day of playing WoW, I’ve been thinking that I’ll probably end up spending my last month of playing WoW just in playing dress-up and taking screenshots of all my characters’ clothes and outfit combinations.