Who Wore It Best? | Star Ocean: The Second Story’s Makeover Quest

My replay of Star Ocean: The Second Story continues this week, and I’ve just made it to the Lacour continent. This means taking a roundabout trip through the port city of Clik in an attempt to charter a ship and, while waiting for that ship to board, being shown around town by a young rich kid named Ketil.

S02_ClikTour

Ketil’s idea of fun is stealing your wallet and then dressing you up in ridiculous outfits for his own amusement.

At this point in the game, you can only have three characters–Claude, Rena, and Celine–and Ketil selects a different outfit for each depending on whom you choose to humiliate.

SO2_ChooseClothes

This is, so far as I can remember, the only time in the game we see any characters wearing different clothing. So let’s compare Ketil’s fashion picks and decide if anyone can be considered the winner.

(Note: our not-so-great images were taken during our PSX playthrough. If you’d like to see this scene in action, there’s a great YouTube video of all three scenarios.)

Claude


SO2_Claude
SO2_ClaudeCloseup

For Claude, Ketil appears to have picked the top half of a clown suit and a pair of black bikini bottoms. The purple top isn’t a terrible choice with Claude’s blonde hair and fair complexion, but the oversized yellow buttons and complete lack of pants scream “a five year old dressed me today.” He also appears to have some layered slouch socks which, while at least providing some warmth to his lower half, turn the ensemble into bargain bin workout instructor. Not appropriate for saving the world or leaving the house.

Rena


SO2_Rena
SO2_RenaCloseup

From a distance, Rena’s ensemble appears to be a simple white mage robe with blue detailing to match her hair. Upon closer inspection, however, the main portion is definitely a jumpsuit with flared bell bottom pants. Thanks to the controlled v-neck, it’s slightly more John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever than 1970s Elvis, but the line of separation is razor thin. This outfit at least looks wearable, if not a blast from the past of a planet Rena has never even heard of.

Celine


So2_Celine
SO2_CelineCloseup

I’m suspicious that Celine’s outfit isn’t made of actual clothes, but the receipt tape from the store’s cash register. This appears to just be a long piece of string that Celine has wrapped around herself in Eve fig leaf fashion, although there’s about five feet of leftover string trailing the ground like a pet snake. This is somewhat fitting, as Celine is the most sexily dressed character normally, with her Heraldic crest tattoo peeking out from her upper inner thigh. But this ribbon bikini is even less practical than Claude’s pantsless disaster, threatening to fall off in the slightest breeze and trip her if she takes a single step.

Winner: Rena

SO2_RenaCloseup

Honestly, this is the only outfit that could actually withstand the world-spanning adventure our crew is on. Fashion-wise, it at least has some basis in history, even if it’s ’70s jumpsuit history. The real lesson here is: never let a kid with a blue rattail dress you.

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I Never Noticed | Precis from Star Ocean: The Second Story

Video game art and costumes are surprisingly intricate (enough so that we can have an entire blog dedicated to them), meaning we often miss little details on our first or even fifth playthrough. “I Never Noticed” will point out some of these details for specific characters as we become aware of them.

The very first “I Never Noticed” should actually go to Yuna from Final Fantasy X-2, whose rattail was only recognized after Erin pointed it out to us in one of our many “Who Wore It Best?” entries. However, since we’ve talked about her at length recently, Yuna gets a reprieve this week.

SO2_AllCharacters

I started another playthrough of Star Ocean: The Second Story a few days ago, and upon plotting out my character picks (you can only recruit eight of the eleven characters and some are either/or options) noticed a few new things about Precis.

First, she’s surprisingly short for no obvious reason. In the image above, you can see Precis (front row, left, brunette ponytail) is not only the shortest character, but she’s awkwardly smaller than everyone else. Although she’s the youngest girl, Leon–who is standing next to her–is four years younger at twelve, yet he stands a full head taller than her. She’s smaller than everyone else in battle as well, although not to such a bizarrely noticeable degree (especially when her mechanical arms are out and adding to her height).

SO2_Precis

More fashion-specific, I never noticed that Precis has two apparent wounds as part of her outfit: her right elbow features a band-aid cross while her left knee has a giant hole in the fabric of her tights. This is a fitting choice for the explosive, somewhat accident-prone inventor. She’s the only character with injuries incorporated into her outfit: even the perpetually unlucky Ashton is scrape-free (besides the two dragons fused to his back).

She also has a wheel on the side of each boot. While this makes sense for her mechanically-inclined personality and tactics, these don’t seem to actually come into play in-game: she’s no faster than the other characters and still walks normally instead of wheeling around. This makes the wheels more of a stylistic choice, as well as possibly the first documented use of Heelys, which were patented in 2000 (two years after Star Ocean: The Second Story was released).

SO2_PSXDS

Precis’s final “I Never Noticed” item is the control for her in-game weapon, the mechanical hands. She’s using a PlayStation controller and, specifically, the DualShock version. If you look closely, you can tell she is actually holding a controller in battle as well. Cleverly, for the PSP remake of Star Ocean: The Second Story–titled Second EvolutionPrecis is using a PSP as her controller instead of the DualShock.

And Sash has Made All the Difference: A Lesson from Covet Fashion

I’ve been accidentally hooked on iOS game Covet Fashion for the past week. Despite writing on a site solely dedicated to games and fashion, I’d never really explored the most obvious intersection of the two and played a “dress-up game.”

Okay, that’s a lie: I played the America’s Next Top Model game for about a day straight, but gave up after it kept forcing me to wear the same pair of shorts to every go-see. The human body, and its shorts, have limits.

CovetFashion_Store

Covet Fashion has held my attention longer thanks to a steady supply of new and varied clothes that you not only have relatively easy access to, but can try on at any time. The game is basically a never-ending “Who Wore It Best?” competition between paper dolls where you create a themed look, (e.g. “cheerleader” or “gothic bride,”) and then submit it for player voting.

During voting, players are shown player-created looks in pairs and pick whose they prefer for the given theme: the winner gets a few points while the loser loses the same amount. This continues until the end of the voting period, when everyone receives their final score and any associated prizes (more clothes).

CovetFashion_Voting

Anyway, while voting and being voted on is a nice vindication for your obviously brilliant fashion eye, the real point of this game is playing dress up. You have a crazy amount of items to choose from in almost every category imaginable: dresses, tops, skirts, leggings, sweaters, bags, jewelry, socks, you name it. Although you can only wear items you “own” after purchasing with in-game currency, you are free to try on items without buying them. This is how I came to discover my love of sashes.

Having played only a week, my wardrobe is still fairly barebones. A few dresses, an unnecessary amount of bags, a single pair of shorts (again, dammit!).

I was struggling with variation: I used the same dress for “celebrity birthday party,” “dinner at Michelin Star,” “lunch in Napa Valley,” and “top designer party.” It was getting tired.

CovetFashion_AllWhiteDress

Then, upon pulling out my over-worn white dress for “Heron goddess,” I tried something crazy: a light blue sash. All of the sashes are from past seasons, which means they cost rare diamonds instead of readily-available cash.

Despite the price, as soon as I saw that sash in action, I couldn’t bring myself to remove it.

CovetFashion_HeronGoddess

The sash made all the difference. It was like a new dress. It provided color, shine, a focal point, and a really defined waistline.

I started using the sash for everything. “Wisteria ball”? Sash! “Pastel delight”? Sash! “Butterfly fete”? Sash, sash, sash!

CovetFashion_WisteriaBall

It turns out, people don’t like the sash. Wisteria ball: 3 stars. Pastel delight: 3 stars. Butterfly fete: voting is still out, but I have a guess what it’ll be. Point taken: if I want to succeed in this world, I need to ditch the sash.

But the sash has become almost a signature item for me now. It’s my Covet Fashion personal style. Is that worth sacrificing to win a pink sweater?

Is it still fashion if I just do exactly what everyone else is doing?

CovetFashion_Sameness

I say no.

Even if it must stand alone, the sash lives on.

CovetFashion_Sashing

Crossy Road’s New Characters Reminded Me: There’s Something Wrong with Knuckles

Crossy Road has been my mobile addiction for the past few months, but there’s little opportunity to discuss voxel animals’ unclothed appearance here on Final Fashionista. However, the game’s most recent update introduced a slew of adorable Australian characters, including one that was familiar in name thanks to the Sonic the Hedgehog series, yet totally unrecognizable in appearance: the echidna.

CrossyRoad_Echidna

This guy is a ridiculously cute ball of spiky beaver/platypus, with an anteater-like tongue, pointy beaklike muzzle, and thick sloth-toes. Turns out, like most of Crossy Road‘s creatures, it’s a pretty accurate representation.

What have we been accepting as an echidna in Video Game Land all this time? Knuckles, who was introduced in Sonic 3 way back in 1994.

Knuckles_Sonic3

Even ignoring the ten-ton bowling shoes and evil Mickey Mouse gloves, Knuckles shares very little in common with the adoraball above. His “spikes” have been elongated into a bob of droopy dreads, his nose is a cross between Homer Simpson and a greyhound, and he has a randomly long lightning bolt tail (unlike the thick, stunted, and super spiny nub of real echidnas).

Sonic_Sonic3

Granted, Sonic isn’t a true-to-life hedgehog, but he at least shares specific traits with his origin species. He has actual spikes, pointy hedgehog ears, a tiny button nose, and even appropriately skinny legs. The blue might make a first-glance classification difficult, unlike Tails (who is so obviously a fox that you can still tell while he’s helicoptering around), but “hedgehog” is at least an understandable explanation for ol’ blue fur.

Knuckles_SonicBoom

Unlike this, which has become even less echidna-like over time. Knuckles in Sonic Boom has legs that are even longer, skin that is even smoother, hair-spikes that are even droopier, and a face that is even flatter despite his species’ relation to the long-beaked platypus.

Maybe he had his quills surgically removed and that explains the bandages. A nose job, eyebrow lift, tail enlargement, and boom: Knuckles the “echidna.” Possibly the first video game animal with an addiction to plastic surgery? Or he’s reverting to buff baby form, which falls somewhere on the spectrum between creepy and adorable.

(Oh, and we obviously still need to talk about Sonic’s scarf. It has not gone unnoticed.)

Op Ed | Fantasy Life’s Life Fashions Part 3

We’ve already looked at the uniforms fighters wear in Fantasy Life, as well as what gatherers don for maximum rock-bashing and tree-slashing. This week we’ll dish on the final four classes’ base outfits, which can’t possibly be as bad as the Hunter. Right?

Blacksmith

Blacksmith_Girl
Blacksmith_Boy

The Blacksmith smock gives me definite “evil dentist” vibes, but its other primary offense is just being a giant blob of nothingness. There’s no shape to either gender’s silhouette and the back suspenders are the only thing preventing this from turning into a Homer Simpson-style muumuu. All this loose-fitting drapery is certainly a fire hazard for someone working at a red hot forge, and the lack of gloves is begging to add fourth-degree burns to the ensemble. The hats are just sort of…there. I guess the guy’s gives a hint of a train conductor which has a six-degrees-of-separation connection to Blacksmiths via coal, but the girl’s is too Three Stooges to take seriously. Neither one is as offensive as the pot-on-head Cook, but they speak to the uniforms’ fate as a whole: sent to the Fantasy Life equivalent of Good Will after the first day.

Carpenter

Carpenter_Girl
Carpenter_Boy

As much as I love the guy’s channeling of 1980s’ fashion in both colors and size of headband, his lack of follow-through to fingerless gloves ruins the attempt. His breezy tunic with utility belt seems functional enough for a Carpenter, but as a whole this is too plain for anything beyond a meh. Meanwhile, the girl’s white harem pants, pseudo-pirate shirt, and random crotch pleat come together in a surprisingly striking ensemble. Her headband is even larger than his and appears to be made up of two scarves tied together to form Paladin wings on the sides, which is ridiculous but strangely not infuriating. Since the only constant for the Carpenter’s uniform seems to be a giant headband and gloves, both in sky blue, I think she’s done the best job of accessorizing the basics while feeling job-appropriate.

Tailor

Tailor_Girl
Tailor_Boy

The female Tailor looks like a minimum wage shirtwaist factory worker from the 1910s. The male Tailor is what I imagine Tom Sawyer looks like after Aunt Polly forces him to clean up. Either way, not the brilliant artisans of Fantasy Life that can craft an entire outfit from a piece of dandelion fluff. These are so boring that I’m just going to use the rest of their allotted space to talk about the Hero outfits.

Turns out, once you hit the Hero level of a class, you receive a new and improved job uniform. These are 100% better than their Apprentice counterparts both in battle statistics and style. The Blacksmith is probably one of the best improvements, transforming your steel-worker into a leather-clad goddess of royal purple and Yuna-style armsleeves/gloves that provide both protection and class. However, the Tailor is still a huge disappointment. While most classes receive a slew of interchangeable items, from hat to shoes, the Tailor only earns three pieces: a single-item “dress” (despite it clearly being a shirt, topcoat, and pantaloons), forgettable shoes, and a nearly invisible pincushion accessory. It’s some sort of ironic punishment that the class who makes all the clothes in the game has the least exciting wardrobe. I can’t speak to the guy’s version of the Hero outfit, but based on Bowtie McYawnSnore up above, I imagine it’s not much better.

Alchemist

Alchemist_Girl
Alchemist_Boy

Okay, as much as I hate the Tailor’s outfit, I hate the Alchemist’s more. Those are, objectively, the two worst shades of green you could inflict on someone. The girl has reentered muumuu territory and won’t even need a “baby on board” sign to get a free seat on the subway. She has three buttons on her dress that are accomplishing absolutely nothing, and just to top it off, here’s a ruffled white collar in case you thought she was any younger than 82. The guy’s is moderately less disturbing since his undervest is at least slightly tailored. But it’s also too small and shows off a hint of white undershirt, while his blue leggings disappear into same-shaded blue shoes like an adult onesie. They’re both sporting the most bland and shapeless bandana imaginable in the same solid vomit-green just to ensure you’ll never stop seeing it when you close your eyes. The saddest thing of all is that these are the definitive uniforms for less-than-Heroic Alchemists: Fizz, the NPC apprentice who helps get you acclimated to the job, wears the exact same dress and seems appropriately depressed about it despite her brave face.

That’s it for the basic class outfits. The verdict? Sell your uniforms on day one and buy a less-embarrassing Shark Hat. Your Fantasy Life will be better for it.

Op Ed | Fantasy Life’s Life Fashions Part 2

In the last Fantasy Life entry, I took a look at the four battle-focused classes and the differences between their male and female uniforms. This week we’ll do the same with the three gathering classes and the first (and likely most ridiculous) creation class. Oh, Cook, why?

Miner

Miner_Girl
Miner_Boy

Off to a good start. I have no idea what is going on with the guy Miner. It’s like he tried to replicate the girl’s outfit on a limited, tailorless, and fingerless budget. His acorn hat is even taller than the wizard’s, with a freakishly large pair of aviators glued to the front that are never actually used in the Miner Life. His crop-top is like a half-sized bankruptcy barrel, or a wrap-around dentist bib. Topped off with awkwardly long flood pants, and this is a no-contest comparison. The girl’s hat is a bit on the poofy side but still shorter than her head, so acceptable. Her tied crop-top frock is figure-flattering, especially when topped with a confident yellow kerchief. Even her shorts blow his out of the water, with an adorable pouch buckled to the back. If I was playing as a boy, I might just skip the Miner Life entirely to avoid this nightmare.

Woodcutter

Woodcutter_Girl
Woodcutter_Boy

I feel like Woodcutter is a good time to take a break for a Fantasy Life PSA: if you’ve read both entries, you’ve probably noticed the overwhelming number of ridiculous hats in this game. Especially if you’re Joey. They are abundant, but they’re also removable. Since every item of clothing is separate and exchangeable, you can swap out a different hat–or no hat at all–any time. The downside is a slightly reduced defense rating, but the upside is not wanting to sacrifice your doofy-hatted character to a Napdragon (that’s a real, adorable thing). As to Woodcutter itself, the designers seem to have swapped their gender rules around. The boy’s short-sleeved, pantsless dress is ultra-feminine while the girl’s much warmer ensemble has a more masculine aura. I still prefer the girl’s outfit: between the two, it’s the one Ron Swanson would wear, and thus is more woodsman-y.

Angler

Angler_Girl
Angler_Boy

At first glance, this outfit is preposterous, but the giant-fish-on-head grew on me over time. I guess it’s a fish disguise, or maybe a warning to fish that if caught, they will be shamed as the centerpiece for this ensemble. I prefer the guy’s hat because the eyes look adorably surprised, while the girl’s are soul-sucking black holes. However, his green-on-orange color combo screams “I’m actually a pumpkin,” and we’re not trying to intimidate vegetables here. The girl’s pink and blue is less offensive-bordering-on-dull, but when you’ve got a giant fish on your head, you can get away with plain Jane duds elsewhere.

Cook

Cook_Girl
Cook_Boy

What self-respecting cook would wear a pot on their head? Especially since this isn’t a required uniform: all the other chefs you work with in Fantasy Life wear toques. Even the indentured servant plushie, Sizzle. And it’s not some sort of hazing ritual of the newbie, either: once you become a Master chef, they don’t say “Okay, okay, here’s your real hat, haha.” What you see is what you get. I could move on to how the gloves are so insanely thick you probably can’t do much more than loosely grip a ladle, how the aprons are mad scientist oversized and who cares if you get food stains on those boring, blank undershirts, anyway? But no, I can’t get past the head-pots. So the guy’s is some kind of giant cauldron that is magically floating above his brow. That thing is obviously so big that it should be sliding down over his mortified face. The girl’s is more colander-shaped but with wooden handles that draw even more attention to her head, if that’s possible. This one is a toss-up, but I guess I give it to the girl because the guy is going to be dead from a broken neck before he could enjoy his win.

Finishing up next time with: Blacksmith, Carpenter, Tailor, and Alchemist.

Op Ed | Fantasy Life’s Life Fashions

I can’t say enough good things about Fantasy Life or its addiction-inducing combination of Action RPG and Life Simulation class meticulousness. After spending 60 hours slaying sentient trees, sewing shark hats, fishing for prawns in molten lava, and running all over town at the behest of characters too lazy to pick a couple of apples while standing five feet from an apple tree, I can confidently say: it’s good.

FantasyLifeOutfit1

But even better is its wide array of clothing, armor, accessories, and general customization opportunities. Every item that you equip changes part of your appearance: this includes your weapon, shield, hat, shirt, pants, gloves, shoes, and accessory. If you want to wear a Paladin’s helmet with a princess dress and a pair of mules, you can do so. If you want to run around in your underwear with just a cape fluttering behind you, you can do that, too. On top of that, most items can be “dyed” to a different color than their base, making the opportunities for personalization nearly endless.

FantasyLifeOutfit2

The majority of armor in the game is gender neutral, while clothing tends to be designated male or female-only. Men can’t wear skirts or dresses, women can’t wear tuxedos or diving goggles (that last one is extra perplexing). The gender fashion divide is most obvious in the uniforms you’re assigned each time you start a new “Life,” which is the name given to jobs/classes in Fantasy Life. There are twelve total, ranging from Paladin to Alchemist, and every Life comes with an accompanying outfit that you’ll change into upon first starting, although you can ditch it at any point after that.

ComfySlippersFemaleOnly

The Life uniforms, while similar, are different for a male or female character. And like other gender-specific clothing, you cannot wear the uniform of the other gender (even though the items will be available in-game). While this might offer an extra incentive to replay as a different character, it’s mostly frustrating because certain uniforms are definitely better than others. Let’s compare, starting with the battle classes.

Paladin

Paladin_Girl
Paladin_Boy

There’s not a lot of difference in the Paladin outfits, and this is one of the few uniforms that actually fits the female character properly. Her cloth skirt, connected spaulders, and royal blue pants add a bit of pizzazz to an otherwise toned-down set of armor, which is mostly ho-hum for the guys. He does have a bit of hip-jut going on with flared faulds, but they’re oddly placed and way too short, making them equally useless as both armor and a fashion statement. They’re both wearing the tiniest poleyns imaginable, but characters in this game don’t really have knees, so they probably just took a random stab at what normal human anatomy looks like.

Mercenary

Mercenary_Girl
Mercenary_Boy

I love and hate the Mercenary class. Love because it’s a great example of the subtle differences between the two genders’ clothing: at first glance, we have essentially the same color scheme and collection of items. But there are tiny changes all over the place. The boy’s helmet has an extra Corythosaurus ridge for some reason. The burnt orange shawl he’s wearing has been tied around the girl’s upper arm. He has no armor on his upper torso while she has a lone spaulder and metallic bra. Which is where the hate comes in: what is the point of that thing? Besides the fact that it’s essentially just an iron bikini top, one of the breast plates is twice the size of the other. Is this a distraction technique to catch boob-ogling monsters off-guard?

Hunter

Hunter_Girl
Hunter_Boy

The first obviously divergent set, and it’s really not beneficial to either gender. The girl’s ridiculously oversized hat is two bulbous eyeballs away from being a Mario frog suit. Meanwhile, the boy is trying to pull off the classic “wizard beekeeper” look in the shade of expired mustard. I’m still going to give him the slight edge here since collecting honey actually is a recurring task in the Hunter Life. I’m also confused, yet again, by the girl’s randomly Extra Small-sized shirt. Maybe the Hunter’s Guild used all their clothing money on the boy’s thigh-length tunic, but they could have borrowed a few bolts from that absurd hat to make a top that won’t ride up every time she reaches into her quiver.

Wizard

Wizard_Girl
Wizard_Boy

These are only separated by a handful of tiny differences, but enough to award a fashion victor. The girl’s dark purple robes go along with the game’s strange choice of never dressing her in black, but it’s also more of a classic wizard hue. She has a taller hat with the crooked point more befitting a “witch,” while the boy has a short and straight top (best compared in the profile view). Unfortunately, with my choice of black hair on top of the black robe and hat, I picture this as a Bashlyk and cannot unsee it. The other biggest difference is, somewhat randomly, in their collars: the boy has a higher, pointed collar that almost looks like a fratty popped dress shirt from behind. The girl’s collar is softer and rounded, more “robe” appropriate. On all three of these, I give the advantage to the girl: and she knows it, too, from the look of her jaunty stance.

Next time: Miner, Woodcutter, Angler, and Cook.

Fashion A-Z | A-Line Dress

Although we call ourselves fashionistas and like to spend our free time poking fun at the haute couture of gaming, I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know as much about fashion as I could (like whether that’s even the right use of “haute couture”).

What better way to learn than to use video game characters as study guides? The “Fashion A-Z” series will choose one fashion term per entry to explore via the clothing (or lack thereof) of game characters.

This week: the A-line dress.

AmyRose

This is a fairly simple style that you’ve likely seen manifested anywhere from the subway to the runway. A-line dresses match their name, looking like a capital “A” from straight on. They’re narrowest from the shoulders to the waist, and then lightly flair out from the waist to the knees (or below).

A classic A-line will be sleek and beltless, like Amy Rose’s above. But we all know how video game characters love their belts, so many of the examples that follow are visibly cinched. Belt or no, they’re still A-lines–just slightly gaudier A-lines.

Little Sisters – BioShock

LittleSister
It’s surprisingly difficult to find a picture of the adorable Little Sister from BioShock, but in the few instances where she’s not hunched over draining the ADAM from a dead body or squirming out of your murderous grasp, it’s obvious that she’s rocking a simple A-line.

Caitlyn – League of Legends

Caitlyn3
Although Joey hates most of Caitlyn’s hat choices, her dress decisions are less soul-crushing. Her default costume is some sort of Steampunk Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter craziness that stops way short of the three-finger school skirt rule. Despite its PG-13 shortness, it still maintains the telltale flair.

Presea – Tales of Symphonia

PreseaToS
Presea’s dagger sheath-slash-fanny pack is emphasizing her skirt’s fullness, but even without the cinch cheat, she’d still have a classic A-line. Her dead eyes may indicate otherwise, but we suspect Presea is fairly concerned with fashion in her spare time.

Cassandra – Soul Calibur II

CassandraSCII
As with Presea, Cassandra’s rocking the ultra-sleek sleeveless look that places visual emphasis on the fullness of her dress. Cassandra opted to ditch bottoms entirely in later Soul Calibur entries, but before that, she preferred A-line skirts to anything else.

Raspberyl – Disgaea 3

D3_Raspberyl
There’s so much going on here–from horns to giant skull necklace–that the dress is really just an afterthought. But, in that brief moment of recognition, even with the devil tail and terrible posture, it’s clear that this fits our category.

Lenna – Final Fantasy V

LennaFFV
We’ve already complained about Lenna and company’s mostly mundane choice of default wardrobe, but love it or hate it, Lenna is wearing an A-line dress. Really, when you’re mostly a blob of color and a pair of legs, it’s hard to wear anything else. Even Bartz is kind of wearing an A-line, and that makes me hate him a tiny bit less.

Trucy Wright – Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

TrucyPWAA
I haven’t played enough Phoenix Wright to know who this girl is, but I do know I love her crazy schoolgirl-magician ensemble. This dress has the tiniest of flairs, which makes it a “modified” or “slim” A-line. Also, we’ll need to find a term for whatever that Lucky Charms heart-shaped horseshoe fanny pack is and report back in a later feature.

Melia Antiqua – Xenoblade Chronicles

Melia
Melia’s dress is misleading at first because she has so much else going on: headdress, unattached collar with sleeves, Snuggie-like cape. But the dress itself is a gorgeous, multi-layered A-line that is both regal and flattering, even if you’ll only see it for a few levels before she unlocks something better.

Flora – Professor Layton series

Flora2
Flora has a few different dresses, but she always favors the A-line skirt. It’s a flattering choice for most figures, so who can blame her? Also, it’s not like the Professor Layton crew has super involved wardrobes. This is a world where that pink bow-tie is probably considered gaudy.

Phrygia – Mother 3

Phrygia
The Magypsies of Mother 3 have a wide range of taste in dresses, but Phrygia’s appears to be the most A-line. It has the telltale flair even when he’s napping in bed, and hugs his long, lean form above the waist. Now we know that the style is both form-flattering and comfortable. ♥

Roll – Mega Man series

Roll2
I’m not sure why Roll’s clothes are so much less robotic-looking than Mega Man’s, but she’s definitely got the better fashion sense. His skin tight body suit coupled with clunky limb accessories looks like some kind of torture device, whereas Roll’s slowly evolving dress always manages to combine form and function. She’s even managed the classic A-line without a belt in numerous iterations and while holding a fish.

Toki – Time and Eternity

Toki2
I’ve never played Time and Eternity and honestly had not heard of it before writing this article. But Toki earned an inclusion for numerous reasons: first, she obviously meets our default dress shape requirement. In addition, I love everything else about this outfit, from the transparent wing-cape to the hourglass accoutrement on her (second) belt. Even her rifle has beautiful detailing. The dullest part of this image is the dragon–the dragon, for Pete’s sake!

Serena – Pokémon X/Y

Serena
I’m pretty sure Serena is channeling Jennifer Aniston’s crazy Claire from 30 Rock, but she still snags a spot in our selection of samples. She’s one of the few skirts in a sea of dresses, but the waistline is almost at her bust, so we’ll pretend it’s a single piece.

Mist – Rune Factory

Mist2
Mist might also be wearing a shirt over an A-line skirt (over another skirt?), but it’s nearly impossible to say for sure. What we do know is she’s wearing gorgeous Yuna sleeves and a crazy pair of sandal-boots, so she’s worth a look regardless.
*The image above is from Rune Factory: Frontier, but she wears the same clothes in both games.

Princess Peach – Mario Golf

MGPeach
Although you could argue Princess Peach’s classic long dress is an A-line, it’s too borderline ballgown for comfort (aka, “full” A-line). However, her shorter, sportier garb for games like Mario Golf and Mario Power Tennis fits our requirement to a tee. The giant Logan’s Run brooch in the middle of her chest seems a little out of place on her sportswear, but we’re not here to judge: just to learn.

Top 10 | Styles of Harvest Moon Bachelorettes

When you’re a single woman in the Harvest Moon* universe, your identity is tied to what job you have, and the chance that a random stranger will whisk you away to live on a decrepit farm outside of town as his wife. So your style has to serve both these paths–genius mechanic slash devoted spouse, passionate nurse slash doting mother, shy librarian slash rugged outdoorswoman, tolerable alcoholic slash lovable alcoholic.

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In the first Harvest Moon on SNES, bachelorettes changed clothes once married, donning a drab, long lavender dress and identically-styled hair as they settled into being decorations in your expanded cottage. Later installments allowed wives to maintain their independence and continue going to work or take on new responsibilities, while keeping their pre-betrothal garb.

So who benefited most from this small style victory?

*Note: This list will only consider Harvest Moon bachelorettes. This excludes spin-off series like Rune Factory, as well as any female characters that cannot be married. Some bachelorettes appear in multiple games: we’ve listed the game with their preferred outfit version.

PopuriHarvest Moon 64

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Popuri earns points right off the bat for not following in Nina’s amorphous pink blob footsteps. This dress feels very 19th century, which works for the timeless world of Harvest Moon (most entries have television sets, but no tractors?). The heart-shaped bodice and puff sleeve are the perfect feminine accents for upbeat, youthful Popuri. Her dress skirt is a bit long and heavy for farm work–she lives on a ranch even before you attempt to woo her–but I’ll forgive the dress excess because it balances out her ridiculously abundant pink curls and should keep her from tipping over.

MuffyHarvest Moon: A Wonderful Life

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Muffy is the updated version of HM SNES’s Eve: both are bubbly barmaids whose style consists of a red dress and volumized blonde hair. Muffy beats out her predecessor for a few reasons: her short, A-line dress can easily transition between day and night wear while Eve’s strapless evening gown with thigh-high slit is way over the top for her one-horse town. Muffy dresses down even further with a three-quarters length cotton sweater and basic thick headband, but maintains some spice with black pumps brightened by red soles. This is a great way to do chic while living in a village where cows outnumber people five-to-one.

GwenHarvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley

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Gwen’s outfit perfectly combines her career and style into one showpiece. As a rancher, her leather gloves and knee-high boots are functional, and the buckles used to hold them on add a jewelry-esque flair. Her wrap skirt is comfortable yet feminine, and the black tights accentuate her long arms and legs. Her midriff is a bit overexposed, but the red crop top adds a nice pop to the otherwise neutral ensemble that should hide dirt and horse surprises nicely.

LylaHarvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley

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Most characters would lose points for sleeve puffiness, but Lyla pulls them off. The tight olive bodice offsets the bulbous sleeves and gives her an impossibly long silhouette. There’s some drastic color variations here with the muted olive; scarlet red; and the warm, almost burnt yellow blouse, but her minimal accessorizing keeps everything grounded. The cameo necklace, faded flower detailing on her skirt’s hem, and half-hidden bouquet headdress create a delicate balance from pink head to toe. Plus, she just looks impossibly pleased with herself: this is a woman who’s comfortable in her own skin and clothing.

FreyaHarvest Moon: Grand Bazaar

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I can’t speak to Freya’s work-attire-appropriateness since I haven’t played Grand Bazaar and the only info on her job is “works in the nearby town.” She’s either wearing an extremely flattering apron or has attached half of a gown to her outfit as a dress-illusion. Her fuchsia pedal pushers cuffed with turquoise ties are the eye-catcher of this ensemble, but the rest is nothing to sneeze at. The ruffled turtleneck, ruby brooch, and Juliet sleeve all scream “classic.” The only distraction is the half-braid in her hair: maybe it’s extra thread in case she rips her pants, so accepted for functionality.

LaneyHarvest Moon: Tale of Two Towns

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Laney is one of the few Harvest Moon bachelorettes to don a full updo, via an intricately braided bun. She even has most of her bangs held back with star-shaped barrettes, which is a courteous choice when you work in food services. Her outfit is extremely laid back and comfortable, yet has little touches of style throughout: the rolled up sleeves on her cardigan, the bowless sailor collar, and the tiny peek of red socks just over the top of her boots. She loses points for choosing a color ensemble that’s one rotation away from an American flag–complete with stars, no less–but maybe she’s just a super patriotic Bluebellian, which is a city in, let’s say, Michigan.

ReinaHarvest Moon: Tale of Two Towns

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Reina’s outfit probably shouldn’t remotely work, but I love it all the same. She’s rocking the Yuna-style anti-gravity half-sleeves and a lovely muted color palette that makes her dark hair and eyes really pop. The pastel stripes on her sleeves provide the only real non-turqoise color on her, so it’s nice that we have the same pattern on her stockings as well. I can’t tell if she has long hair, curly hair, straight hair, dreadlocked hair, but it at least seems manageable for her job as a botanist. Plants don’t care if your hair is a hot mess.

YuriHarvest Moon: A New Beginning

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I feel like I have to include Yuri since she’s a fashion designer, so not liking her outfit is synonymous with being a tasteless rube. She has a very androgynous, pirate-apprentice vibe going on. The combination of toreador pants, suspenders, and open vest is strangely appealing, especially in various shades of olive. You’d think her rusty red hair would clash with the fuchsia bow-tie, but it doesn’t! Is that enough praise to prove we’re fashion-forward?

Witch PrincessHarvest Moon: A New Beginning

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There’s a lot going on here, and all of it is awesome. Obviously the Witch Princess dresses how she pleases, as her job before potentially mesmerizing the local farmer is…witch princess. The sleeveless sweater tube dress, Roman sandals-meet-’80s leg warmers, and cape apparently made out of shadows all have the potential to go horribly wrong, but they work here. Even her color palette of “every shade of purple except Grimace” flows, thanks to her contrasting blonde locks and the hints of skin peeking out between purple. My only complaint is the pattern on her dress: too borderline Christmas sweater with those reindeer antlers. Would prefer her old standby, skulls.

Harvest GoddessHarvest Moon: Animal Parade

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Just like the Witch Princess, the Harvest Goddess receives a pass on any lack of work-dress balance. And, to be fair, this dress with a wedding gown-length train certainly won’t make picking potatoes any easier. But the Goddess lives in a pond, so a dress that basically looks like a waterfall eating a mermaid is both gorgeous and appropriate. I love the subtle transition from sky blue to nearly white at the hem of her dress like a wave coming to shore, as well as the different shades of turquoise throughout her hair–which is somehow thicker than her body, thanks Biotin. Everything about this screams flowy elegance, except the weird tasseled hair sideburns. Snip those suckers and dump them in a different goddess’s lake.