There’s a lot more to glamour than just showing off, as I’m sure most of my friends who have watched me spend hours on one have gathered. Over the past couple years, I’ve learned a few things that really help when trying to put together a new look.
1. Keep Everything!
While I don’t mean literally everything, keep as much dungeon and raid gear as your inventory, armory chest, and retainer space will allow. With new gear coming out every three months or so, you never know when something new will just perfectly match a stubborn shade of purple on an older piece of gear that you never got to use, or when there’s only one pair of gloves that really fit with that new healer body piece. I wasn’t always so good about this and used to tell myself I wouldn’t need some piece or another again (like the Allagan Gloves of Healing, which I still haven’t taken the time to replace), only to find myself later farming the dungeon that it drops from later because I simply must have it for a new look.
This has resulted in me being an obsessive packrat with far too many retainers:
Of course, you can save on inventory space if you don’t play all the roles the game has to offer, or by only going hog-wild on your main job’s fashion statements. Naturally, if you’re not a fan of a certain style of clothing (I tend to avoid baggy pants, for instance), there’s no need to keep those, either. I’m really hopeful that someday we’ll get a “glamour log” or some other means by which to “save” an item’s appearance without actually needing to have the item, but the developers have, at this point, stated they have no plans for such things. So for now, I highly recommend keeping every little piece you think you might have a use for in the future!
2. Organize Your Gear!
Keeping your gear organized on your retainers can be a huge time saver when you’re working on a new look. It can also help to reduce frustration—I know I can get pretty frazzled if there’s something I know I have that I can’t turn up anywhere on my retainers, so an organization scheme that makes sense to you is key. Personally, each of my retainers is responsible for a certain type of gear: one of them handles DEX-based gear, another handles MND-based gear, and so on, while yet another handles miscellaneous gear that’s able to be equipped by all jobs.
Depending on what’s most helpful to you, you might also think about organizing gear by level range, whether or not the gear is dyable, or separating crafted gear from gear found in dungeons or raids. The important thing is that you should organize in a way that will let you quickly find what you’re looking for!
3. Make Your Rare Dyes Last!
This is one of the most useful tricks I can think of for anyone that glamours extensively, especially if they favor a particular dye that’s hard to come by. Whenever you glamour an item’s appearance onto another, the dye of the first item is carried over as part of the glamour’s effect. For any piece you use often, you can thus use a single pot of dye (such as a rare Pure White Dye) for multiple glamours or to re-glamour an old favorite that you use often.
For some pieces of gear, I keep multiple “base” copies, all dyed a different rare shade (I have three Light Steel Subligars, for instance, one in Pure White, one in Jet Black, and another in Metallic Silver, as it’s a frequent choice of mine to pair with pieces like the Cashmere Robe of Healing). Since you can re-dye the final, glamoured item, you don’t necessarily need to keep a piece for every shade—just the ones that are hard to come by or expensive. Though you can now buy the rare dyes on the Market Board, several of the more popular shades are quite expensive, so having base pieces can save you a lot of money in the long term.
4. Give Your Glamour a Test Run!
This is a big one: while experimenting with a look, make sure to use some actions on a striking dummy or something before you go to the trouble of glamouring the final look. Sometimes, what looks great while standing still doesn’t always look right in motion or during combat. This was part of the reason I recently made a change of body pieces for my Black Mage Glamour.
In a similar vein, don’t rely too much on the “Try On” function! The preview window doesn’t allow you to really see your character in motion and it’s devoid of any lighting effects from the environment. It’s also far too small. You can use it to get a general idea about whether something will work or not, but there’s no real substitute for actually running around in a piece of gear.
5. Get a Second (or Third) Opinion!
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, but sometimes another perspective can really help you to hone your look. Often when I’m in the middle of crafting a particularly tricky look, I turn to people who I know obsess over glamours as much as I do, like my close friends Kitty Strife and Deth’al Renatus—neither of whom were available for photography sessions as of writing. But it’s always the looks that I run by others that turn out the best (with, most recently, my healer and BRD/MCH looks owing a lot to their opinions).
I’d say these five are probably my main tips for glamouring, but there are other things you can do, too, like always make sure you’re near a Summoning Bell and or having a space you can use to glamour in peace, which is why I’m almost always experimenting in the residential areas at my FC house or my personal one. For the rest of the week, I have a few gear spotlights in mind, as well as something a bit out of the ordinary for Thursday, so “please look forward to it!”