Let's Talk About Princess Zelda's New Look

While she's worn more than one outfit over the years, Princess Zelda's pink dress is her most well-known sartorial choice. In the new trailer for Breath of the Wild from Friday's Nintendo Switch presentation, we got a closer look at Zelda's outfit in the game, as well as the Amiibo accompanying the game. She's in a blue top and pants, and while it's pretty huge departure from previous games, it looks awesome.

A Link To The Past introduced what would become Zelda's signature look — a high necked, floor length pink dress, with a purple apron depicting the Hyrulian arms. Sometimes the dress is white with a pink apron, and sometimes it's less pink and more magenta, but this outfit has been pretty consistent across all Zelda games. Even Tetra in Wind Waker puts it on after she learns that she's a princess in a addition to being a pirate captain.

But the outfit depicted in the trailer for Breath of the Wild doesn't have any of that. She's wearing pants — which she's done before as Sheik — and there's no pink to be found. Instead she's in a pale blue that matches Link's tunic. It's a delicate colour that brings to mind Aurora's dress in Disney's Sleeping Beauty, before they changed it to magenta for all the dolls.

What I really like about this outfit is that it still feels princess-y. Her top is covered in gold embroidery, and there's some impressive looking stitching on her leather belt. This isn't a princess posing as a pauper, and with her long hair and crown braids it isn't tomboyish either. While she looks like she's been doing some adventuring, it's a lush outfit and it looks expensive. She certainly still looks like a royal heir, just one that might need to ride a horse sometimes.

This very active outfit is contrasted with her soft, emotive face. She has widely set doe eyes, so when she crumples into Link's arms crying in the trailer we see every moment of anguish in her face. It's a balance between stoic determination and emotionality. This Zelda hasn't been masculinised — she just looks like she also has some shit to do.

Zelda has a few other looks in the trailer for Breath of the Wild, including what looks suspiciously like a pink dress, but I'm happy to see that much of the trailer and her Amiibo features her in blue. While no one can deny that the dress is iconic, her new outfit is striking and dynamic. And it looks pretty fun to cosplay.



    2017 and people are still commenting on what (fictional) women are wearing.

      signed up just to upvote this 'cause I was gonna say the same thing.

      there was an even bigger discussion about Link's new not-green clothes, but of course, you are free to cherry pick your facts if you want

    How is it a new look when every Princess Zelda is a different reincarnation ?

      Zelda as a character, rather than an incarnation, has had a signature style in the majority of her representations over the past 20 years. There is continuity to her design, if not on the whole then as a series of motifs.

      As explained in the article, quite clearly, the design of BotW Zelda is a departure from traditional presentations of the character. The composition of her outfit is different but the core visual design motifs are retained; in this way Zelda is still immediately identifiable.

      Nothing wrong with the article; nothing wrong with discussing iterations of character design. Both are refreshing.

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