Bards have always had a lot of drawing power to them- like a mermaid pulling the bow strings of fate by luring sailors to their deaths with their siren’s song. For some of us, their combat animations just look ridiculously cool. For others, the concept of weaving songs in with a general rotation feels really innovative and special. For me, it’s all about the fact that they have the largest and coolest looking hats in the game. Priorities, you know…
In order to help inspire our bow-wielding Warriors of Light, we’re going to introduce several glamours that celebrate some of the amazing job-specific pieces to add to your Bard’s armoire. Each of these ensembles highlight the versatility these Bard-only items have while making looks that are completely your own! Miss that cue from the healer about needing a Refresh? Eh- at least you missed it while being en vogue. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important you learn your class and do excellent DPS or whatever, but it’s even more important to do so while looking great and stayin’ classy.
This glamour flaunts the archer concept, in perhaps its purest form. Singing and playing the lute is great and all, but no one is going to care how good your Tina Turner covers are if you can’t shoot a bow and hit all the things.
Many archer-type glamours are mildly inspired by Robin Hood, with this look being no exception. Most interpretations always show him with a sleek and simple feather in his hat, but by now we should all know that I like things a couple notches above simple. The feather attached to the Augmented Choral Chapeau is big, fluffy, and richly ombre’d, making this the perfect start of our celebration of Bard-only glamour items. It teeters ever so slightly on the edge of being “over-the-top”, but is pulled back from that threshold by the more militant-uniform look of the Skallic Jacket of Aiming.
As with most outfits, the jacket binds the whole look together. It is there that you’ll see all the details from the other pieces combined. The slender leg strap of the Anemos Storyteller’s Bottoms replicates the straps across the chest while the whole look is littered with tiny golden facets throughout.
Yet, let us not forget these gloves! A little tip: if you’re not wanting to wear full gloves on the hands, but don’t like how the sleeves of most chest pieces seem to suddenly stop, cuffs are the way to go. Dyeing them an accent color makes it look like it’s actually a part of the jacket itself and feels more complete.
The concept behind this design was inspired by what I felt would’ve been a more visually interesting look for members of God’s Quiver in Gridania; heck, even the Wailers. Someone needs to inform Kan-E-Senna that people would probably be more keen on joining up with the Twin Adders if everyone’s uniform looked cooler. It may even help improve their standing in battlegrounds!
This glamour feels so delightfully anime. It casts away the realism that our last look had and goes somewhere really, really strange; as if Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon wanted to get his toes wet in the Brony universe and traded in his signature top hat for a unicorn horn. Again- really strange, but strange in a more intriguing way rather than creepy.
The Horn of the Last Unicorn is a Bard only PVP item that is a breath of fresh air when compared to the typical type of hat you think of for the job. Well, it may actually be more or less a gust of wind instead of a breath as it’s so different… but I digress. When it comes to hats like these, you have two options:
- You keep the rest of the look really simple so that the item becomes the show stopper.
- You go HAM! Today, ladies and gentlemen, we’re going freaking HAM.
I wanted the rest of this look to be just as loud and bold as the horn is, and there are few chest pieces bolder than the Gambler’s Trenchcoat. What makes this item so great is that it’s loaded with different geometric shapes you can play with throughout the rest of this outfit. Stripes, diamonds, crescent moons- just gaudy in a totally acceptable Vegas-feeling sort of way. But what pants do you pair with what could be one of the most pattern-heavy tops in the game? Why not the boldest pants in the game? The pair of Augmented Choral Tights!
To be honest- this pair of pants was a close runner up to being the starting piece for my The Good, The Bad, and the Questionably Ugly series. I remember a friend of mine giving me a sneak peak of the level 50 Bard gear as I was dragging my feet through the 20s. I was completely mortified and vaguely remember telling him that he looked like an Easter egg. But I was young and naive back then- not the Fairy Glam Mother that I am now.
It is a fortunate coincidence that the striped pant leg is on the same side of the body as the striped sleeve of the trenchcoat; it is the same level of satisfaction to me (I’d assume) as people get from watching others cut into sand shapes on Instagram. Which, yes- is apparently a thing. The other side of the pant pulls more towards the rounded shapes, tying in those crescent moons and pearls along the neckline and around the wrists.
This glam may not be the first idea that pops into your head when you think of a Bard, but this fellow really captures the flamboyant flair that this class is known to have. He’s stealing the show with his looks before he even sings single note.
Hold on to your seats, folks. All the helms up to this point have been child’s play and we’re about to kick things up to 11. This is the hat of all hats, the crown as wide as my Lalafell is tall, Amon’s Hat. If we use the Ranger’s Hat as an analogy of where we start our career as an archer, then Amon’s Hat is the equivalent of the savage-raider Bard we should all aspire to be. Bard Rule #1- Bigger the hat, the better the Bard. I think it has something to do with aerodynamics. Maybe.
The cool part about this look is that the whole ensemble was designed as a mirror image of everything that is going on in that hat. At the very top we have that gorgeous, massive feather that fades from yellow to a rich purple, and towards the bottom of the outfit, we have another, albeit more dainty, purple feather attached to the Anemos Storyteller’s Boots. Sometimes that’s all it takes to make a glamour look cohesive- matching details of the headpiece to the feet makes everything come full circle and feel complete.
Moving down from the extravagant feathers to elegant grey trim lines of the hat, I knew I wanted something on the legs that could replicate that design. I found no pants better than the Taoist’s Slops. While they are not the exact design, both items have vaguely similar flowing shapes and lines that are close enough that one could almost believe they were designed to be from the same gear set.
The story behind this look was oddly inspired by the pre-level 30 rogue questline. I loved the idea of an underground group of vagabonds trying to deal with the pirates of Limsa Lominsa. From a roleplaying perspective, this glamour would work perfectly for either the pirates the Rogue’s guild is inclined to defeat, or perhaps a hired hand of the Rogue’s guild tasked with eliminating enemies from afar. As can be expected with the name, the Sky Pirate’s Vest of Aiming added just enough rugged appeal to this pirate glamour that it kept the look from otherwise looking like a potential Captain Hook cosplay. Not that that would be a bad thing. /jots down an idea for later.
Maybe I’ve been subconsciously inspired by all the Nier Automata cosplays I’ve been seeing recently or maybe that’s just where my mind goes whenever I see someone wearing a black eye mask. Either way, this dark neutral-toned glamour was designed with the idea of a sniper in mind. Sure this beauty isn’t wielding a gun that you might typically think of; but who wants the loud bang of a muzzle when death can be as quiet as the pluck of a string and a sliver of metal wisping silently along a downwind breeze from the shadowed cliffs of The Peaks. [foreboding music goes here].
The Aoidos’ Cloak is quite possibly my favorite Bard chest piece when it comes to AF gear. It doesn’t have nearly as much femininity as the other two- which is fantastic, but my goodness! I’m pretty sure whoever designed the draping of the fabrics on this piece did so with the blessing and grace of all 12 deities combined. (I suppose we can change that to 13 since I will now also offer my blessings. Bless you, child, whoever you are). But for real though, there are real-life designers who don’t drape fabrics nearly that well.
I wanted this glamour to be very earthy toned and much more low key than all the others so that the focus could be on those more subtle details of the ensemble. Here we have a nice mixture of cloth, leather, and small bits of fur that can be seen along the waistline, as well as beneath the Gazelleskin Armguards of Aiming. I know I’ve said this countless times in other writings, but I will always be impressed with how well the SE team designed the look and “feel” of different material textures within this game and this look really showcases why. The fabrics look like fabric. Leather looks like leather. The Snozzberries taste like Snozzberries. You catch my drift.
For those of you who like your character’s outfits to have a touch of sex appeal, this one does that in a more subtle manner. I’ve always liked how the Expeditioner’s Pantalettes had those leather bands around the thighs, because when you pair them with tall boots they give off the appearance of garters. And who doesn’t feel at least a tiny bit saucy wearing garters? The answer is no one. Everyone should feel like Dr. Frank-N-Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show when they’re wearing garters. Period.
A little backstory here. I often send my closest friend shots of my glamours in-progress to get an outside opinion on things when I feel like I’m starting to lose steam. Sometimes when I’ve been building looks for hours, my mind tends to lose a little focus and things start getting a little weird; case in point with this glamour. Personally, I really liked the look, but it was a touch outside the box of what I typically do. So I sent him a text expecting a response along the lines of, “Are you being serious with this?” and instead got the following response: “I get a Prince vibe.” There is no greater compliment for anyone in the world to ever receive and I now can die the happiest of happiest. Just kidding, Mama’s got a whole lotta stuff left to do in this life. But Ego Boost +10.
This glamour was created in order to highlight more of the “performance” aspect of the Bard class. I wanted it bold and colorful to the point where even if people didn’t want to look at you, they had to actually look at you because you’re more colourful than an entire bag of Skittles, but in a much more visually appealing way. Appealing. Not appetizing. Pls don’t eat the Bard. Thank you.
Here are two other pieces from the level 50 AF Bard gear set- the Augmented Choral Shirt and Augmented Choral Ringbands. When I first hit level 50 as a Bard I used different colored variations of the ringbands with almost every single glamour I created. The top was frequently used as well, especially before my glamour collection really skyrocketed. They were just an iconic combination for the class.
Much like the Gambler’s Trenchcoat, this shirt is loud and, most certainly, proud with its unique cut-out features, as well as those heavily patterned drapes about the waist. I knew right away I wanted to pair this top with the Auroral Boots because I wanted to amplify the amount of metalwork in this look. However, I didn’t want it to be so detail-heavy right in the center of the outfit; so I wanted to add in something small and subtle to break up all the patterns. The Ala Mhigan Skirt of Aiming is a great, gender-neutral option, that when dyed Blood Red looks like solid colored wrap that could easily pass as part of the shirt. It was just plain enough to slightly mellow out that section of the outfit.
The cherry on top of this “Prince”-esque look is the glasses. Those perfectly circular Pince-nez look exactly like something the late singer would’ve loved to wear. At least I’d like to think he would’ve.
All together, this overly flamboyant outfit just screams mega-star musician in our Final Fantasy universe. Who knows? Maybe this will be the outfit the girls from Little Ladies’ Day will be wearing on stage next year! Get your glow sticks ready!