Outfitting Problem. Part 1: Robes vs. Dresses

Robes VS Dresses - epic battle

I wanted to make an experiment:  for a dwarfesse Gweri (we’ll tell her lifestory later, for now she is just our model) we made two outfits in similar style: one using a robe and one using a dress. They are both green and pale-yellow to match her eyes and beard.  I tried on different dresses, cloaks and robes to find which will suit her most among each kind.

Both dresses and robes have their drawbacks. You cannot wear a robe with a cloak because they overlap in the back, and it doesn’t look good. At the same time dresses somewhat damage the dwarf’s body type. Also, only runekeepers and minstrels can plausibly claim to wear robes in a fight – and certainly dresses are not suitable for fighting if you are into RP, unless you were ambushed at the festival or your adversary has a passion for fashion  – which, let’s be frank, most Shadow’s servants lack. Come to think of it, though, Goldberry’s sister Naruhel has a pretty dress – maybe she will be impressed by good fashion choice and will go easier on you. Anyway, it means that you’ll probably have to make a separate, ‘male’, battling outfit – but the more outfits the better =)

Making the battle outfits more girly will be the topic of my next post, and for now we are back to the dresses and robes.

As opinions of other players go, some are not completely opposed to female dwarves showing their identity in clothes, but strictly object to the use of dresses because they look tailored to suit only non-dwarven bodies. However, they find robes to be the solution for the ‘dwarven dress’ – and it can be indeed that robes in the game originated from traditional dwarven clothes)

So, Gweri is a Dourhand (my dwarves are crazy characters, yep 🙂 ), to give a spoiler from her biography, and she will send any rule she doesn’t like straight to Balrog, and already betrayed her own clan, so she doesn’t have much to lose in terms of social acceptance – and yet she chose the robe when she got her hands on one.

You can compare the outfits for yourself: no more words for now, just pictures 🙂

I am a firm believer into dwarf maidens’ wearing dresses. After all, there are dwarf-made dresses sold in game, so it is within the lore of LOTRO – and I doubt they make them just for export. I really like how exactly this dress matches Gweri’s eyes and beard – and it is very important to find a matching color, because, unlike hair, beard is always visible. And you don’t want it to clash with your carefully chosen outfit!

Also, I adore how the cloaks with elongated narrow hoods look on dwarves of any gender, because it makes them somewhat slimmer, perhaps…I don’t know, I just like them.

And yet, if I had to choose between these two outfits, I’d pick the robe for Gweri. The hood which you can purchase in LOTRO Store is no match for thousands of beautiful cloaks found in game, but I am willing to sacrifice cloak-wearing this time for the sake of this look. I think in this case it is the robe which makes her look like a female dwarf she is rather than a bearded guy in a dress.

I tried the look without the hood – it looks amazing too. I put the elven circlet on Gweri’s head: it is thin, exquisite-looking: just the thing to go after for a female dwarf with an excellent taste in jewelry.

But the outfitting problem remains: there are very few robes in game (though we will have more in Isengard). However, you can purchase them in Lotro Store for Points just like you can buy dresses there. And remember: even when you are opting for robes, it doesn’t mean you cannot wear a dress when you like one, despite what the haters want you to believe.

Again, if you are tired of proving that you can wear a dress and want some peaceful gaming and roleplaying, or if your character would prefer a more gender-neutral look with a feminine touch, which leaves room for interpretation, your choice would fall on playing with colors on gender-neutral clothes, and dyes are your best friends here. Remember: no clashing with the beard color! Trust me, it DOES matter – I’m talking from personal experience) But we will explore these options in the next post.


About Curved Steel

A blog appreciating and exploring the roleplay of female dwarfs in the Lord of the Rings Online
This entry was posted in Dresses, Gweri, Outfits, Robes, ScreenCaps. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Outfitting Problem. Part 1: Robes vs. Dresses

  1. Freyjuska says:

    i think this article is really helpful to anyone roleplaying a dwarven lady. especially on the top screenshot, she looks so feminine and lovely!

  2. For my female dwarf, I’ve been favoring robes. I’ll have to post pictures soon.

  3. Baranwen says:

    I like robes in general over dresses all the time. And I think the robes suits better to the female dwarven bodies, and to the other bodies aswell. Robes rules! *shouting after purchase the robe of leisure with her last TP*

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