LOTRO Legendarium: 10 fashion tips to make your LOTRO character pop


Forget raids or the epic books or even Bingo Boffin; we all know that the true endgame in Lord of the Rings Online is the parade of fashion. Heck, that’s the case is pretty much every MMO. And while I am by no means the greatest fashionista you’ll ever meet, I have been known to put Sauron on hold to whip up a new outfit because a situation called for it.

This week I simply thought it’d be fun to talk cosmetics and how to put together an outfit that makes your character stand out (in a good way) and fit your personality. I humbly present 10 tips that have helped me dress up better in a game than I ever have in real life.

Snap up unusual gear models

When you start the long but exciting road of cosmetic collecting in LOTRO, you’ll quickly learn one truth: A whole lot of quest rewards and gear drops share the same boring models. So what’s required is a keen eye that continually sifts through the piles in your inventory to find those rare (but exciting!) pieces that stand out — and toss those into your wardrobe.

What surprises me is that sometimes the coolest pieces can slip in under the radar as basic gear, stat-wise. Certain regions and expansions also boast their own unique visual design, so you may need to migrate there to find a certain look.

Go with a theme

When you’re throwing together an outfit, one approach that helps is to come up with a theme and then find pieces that support that theme. Do you want to make a ninja-looking character? Find a lot of tight-fitting pieces of light armor, maybe with a medium armor mask, and dye it dark purples and blacks. Once I tried to make a steampunk-themed outfit, but the best I could do was toss on the Jeweller’s helm and then a bunch of chunky armor. It was still a fun challenge, though!

Take advantage of festivals

As I write this, LOTRO’s Spring Festival just began — which means that a limited-time window opened up for players to grab cosmetics from the festival and instance vendors. Every year more is added to those vendors, and many of those pieces are highly unique and fun. Make it a goal to snarf up as many of the cosmetics as possible and slot them into your wardrobe, even if you don’t see a use for them right now. A clever combination may come to you in the future!

Preview colors before you apply

Dyes aren’t cheap or easy to come by, so it’s important to be sparing in how you apply them. Because not every piece of gear displays colors the same way and in the same intensity, it’s vital that you preview how it’ll look before you commit.

Fortunately, this is quite easy to do thanks to the dressing room window. CRTL + left mouseclick on a gear piece will pull it up in the UI, and you can then use a drop-down menu to see how it’ll look dyed various colors.

Don’t be afraid to mix colors

Let’s keep taking dyes for a bit! A beginner mistake that I and many others have made is figuring that it’s always best to slap the same color across your entire outfit and call it a day. While that works, it may not be the best and most eye-catching option at your disposal. Keeping the color wheel in mind, experiment with different color options — perhaps one on your chest/legs and another for your gloves/head/feet, for example. As long as you don’t come out looking like a clown, some color mix-and-matching may enhance your overall design.

Pour your dyes into the wardrobe

It should go without saying, but I’m going to put it here anyway: Never dye an actual piece of gear. Then you have to hang onto it and it only has that one color attached. Instead, use your dyes in the wardrobe on gear there, as they can hold a full array of colors. Some of my favorite pieces in the wardrobe boast a half-dozen or more color options, and I like knowing that I have all of those choices the next time I use it in an outfit.

Mix-and-match with impunity

Colors aren’t the only thing you should mix-and-match. Some of my absolute favorite outfits came about because I threw caution to the wind and started slapping together outlandish combinations or using cosmetics that I almost always avoid in concert with another. It’s amazing how the right combo can take two losers and turn them into a “wowzer!”

That sounded so much better in my head. Moving on.

Work around a centerpiece

Many times I will start a new outfit by combing through my wardrobe looking for a “centerpiece” — one cosmetic that is bold and eye-catching. I equip it and decide on its color, then wrap up the outfit by looking for pieces that support and enhance it without drawing attention away from it. I actually made those ridiculously huge fluffy fur shoulder mantle work by committing to it and seeing what complemented it.

Get inspired with a fashion blog or two

There’s a thriving LOTRO fashion community that offers a lot in terms of inspiration and guidance, especially if you’re trying to track down hard-to-find pieces. Here are a few to get you started:

Never regret expanding your wardrobe or outfit slots!

For my final tip, I simply want to encourage those who might be feeling some buyer’s remorse when it comes to dropping LP on another outfit slot or another 10 wardrobe slots — it’s totally worth it! I mean, don’t go into debt over it or anything, but the more space you have for your wardrobe, the more options you have for great outfits. And those unlocks are account-wide, meaning that any server or character you access will have the full array of slots available.

Every two weeks, the LOTRO Legendarium goes on an adventure (horrid things, those) through the wondrous, terrifying, inspiring, and, well, legendary online world of Middle-earth. Justin has been playing LOTRO since its launch in 2007! If you have a topic for the column, send it to him at justin@massivelyop.com.
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