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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Brief History of Wizard101 Fashion


Ryan Hawkblood has played Wizard101 since the beginning, observing fashion trends throughout the Spiral as they've changed over the more than eight years its been around. From elegant outfits to commander gear, Ryan chronicles the progression of overall trends. In his first ever blog post, he shares his talents in a new format.

Throughout Wizard101's history, players have followed common fashion trends for their in-game avatars. Ranging from world hodgepodges to school-pride-evoking styles, players of the game have constantly been switching up their ways of expressing themselves.

In the Beginning

In the game's first few months, there was no one common style. Players mostly wore the clothing they obtained from the world they were currently questing in. It wasn't until Dragonspyre was released that a popular style emerged. It was the Dragonspyre chain-link armor. Most people would use the whole set, but a few would switch out the hat for one from either Wizard City or Marleybone. When it came to boots, most male wizards used the boots from that set, while a larger number of girls went with the heels from Marleybone. Everywhere you went, there were wizards wearing the armor. The elegant robes had yet to catch on and the armor signified that you had, or were working towards, ending the main questline at the time.  

There was, however, one set of armor that was more desirable than that of DS, and I would argue that it still is the most highly desirable today. The PvP armor sold by Diego, nicknamed the "commander gear." Worn by the NPC vendor Roland Silverheart, who stands in plain view of anyone who enters Unicorn Way (which is to say every wizard in the game), the "commander gear" was extremely rare at the time. 

Wardrobe Change

In July 2009, the Bazaar and Grizzleheim opened. That's right kids, the Bazaar wasn't always around. And when it opened, boy was it a big deal. Olde Town became a hotspot, and for several weeks the crowds there outmatched those in the Commons. This was aided by the fact that access to Grizzleheim was available (for first timers) only through Olde Town. These two releases changed everything. The "coolest" clothing styles were no longer only available to the elite, as they were reasonably easy to find at the Bazaar. The Grizzleheim clothes became popular, but not more so than the armor of DS.  


October 2009 - the Crowns Shop opens. The Guardian's outfit quickly begins appearing on wizards all across the Spiral. People begin mixing the robe from the set with the wide hood from Mooshu. The commander gear doesn't lose any grounds in being fashionable.

Celestia was released. The DS armor quickly becomes unfashionable as hordes of wizards don the clothes of the new world. With the CL armor's higher stats, the DS armor was not seen as part of the top. It's hard to say which set of robes from CL was the most popular. Most wizards went with what appealed to their own personal tastes; there was no one design that was sought more highly than others. I kept the commander robes.

Picking Up Speed

Wintertusk was released. It's at this point that the intricate Wizard City robes start to become popular. Wizards begin mixing and matching their school robes from Wizard City in various colors. As Zafaria, Avalon, and Azteca are released, the most popular styles don't change much. The guardian's robes, Wizard City robes, and commander gear are still widely used. Also, with the introduction of packs and housing gauntlets, lower-level wizards are often seen wearing hodgepodges of gear obtained from these dungeons and packs. Also important was the introduction of the Waterworks, which had scores of wizards running around in the leathery, spiked suits from the dungeon.

By the time Aquila was released, tournaments had been out for a month, and scores of wizards could then be seen wearing the commander gear, as the arena tickets obtained from tournaments made the gear easier to purchase. The Hades gear from Aquila was reasonably popular, being sported as a badge of honor by wizards able to collect it all. Khrysalis and Polaris did not spark much of a change in the popular fashions in game; while both worlds had minor trends, neither of them made much of an attention-grabbing impact. Since then, the guardian's robes have declined in popularity, and many PvP warlords no longer wear the commander gear because they believe it has become too common.  

With the opening of Darkmoor, many wizards were seen mixing the Darkmoor hood with the intricate Wizard City robes. Also important was the release of new bosses like Omen and Neberyx, who dropped exclusive gear sets, which some viewed as a new form of the commander gear, given their rarity. 

And now we come to the present day. Just popping into the Commons will show you are large variety of fashion trends on wizards. The intricate Wizard City robes do seem to be the most fashionable clothes still, as they have been for several years, however, it's not hard to find players wearing a variety of different outfits.

Guest post by Ryan Hawkblood. Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!

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