If the recent flurry of Gamer Gift Guides is any indication, the holidays are coming up soon. And today we have a new category for you all: game-themed dresses!
I know it sounds strange, but hear me out. Does the gamer in your life want to show off the games they love, but has expressed their dismay at having an overabundance of t-shirts? Does said gamer also enjoy wearing dresses? Then why not get them a dress themed after their favorite game!
In this guide, I'll show you a selection of cute video game dresses ranging in price from fairly cheap to fairly not-so-cheap, which can be worn either in everyday life or to a formal occasion. I've limited the selection to non-cosplay dresses, since those don't necessarily have the kind of versatility that allows someone to wear it anywhere or anytime they want.
One word of advice, though: do not buy a dress unless you're 100% certain of your recipient's size or measurements. This goes quadruple for the made-to-order dresses, which usually require exact measurements. It might be a good idea to give them a "one free dress" coupon for the gift and then they can input their own size or measurements when they get the dress. Besides, some of the dresses on this list are fully customizable, and it would be much better to have the recipient involved in the process so you know they're getting exactly what they want.
Where to Buy: The Wishing Inkwell on Etsy
Store Rating: 5/5 (80 reviews)
Price: $30 to $36
A Fallout 4-themed dress is an obvious choice, given the game's recent and much-hyped release. One of the perks of this dress is that it's made-to-order; while that means it will take longer to ship, it also includes the option of customizing the vault number on the back.
Where to Buy: Bahamut Dawn Creations on Etsy
Store Rating: 5/5 (31 reviews)
Price: $36.68 to $46.42
This form-fitting dress is another made-to-order item and comes in either a tank-top-style or long-sleeved style. The shop owner also makes dresses based on other Final Fantasy characters, and one based on Zero Suit Samus.
Where to Buy: CakeShopCouture on Etsy
Store Rating: 4.5/5 (155 ratings)
What's cuter than a dress covered in Pokemon? A custom-made dress covered in Pokemon! This one's a little more expensive than the mass-produced Pokemon dresses you might find elsewhere, but it's made-to-order using the recipient's measurements - guaranteeing a good fit - and also higher quality than an off-the-rack dress.
Where to Buy: Insert Coin Clothing
Price: £35.00 (approx. $49)
This Pac-Man-inspired dress is printed with an oversized level map complete with Pac-Man and the ghosts. The print looks really nicely done, and you really can't go wrong with one of the most iconic and recognizable video game characters in the world.
Where to Buy: CakeShopCouture on Etsy
Store Rating: 4.5/5 (155 reviews)
This is another one from CakeShopCouture, but I just had to include it - it's a great use of the recently-released Mario printed fabric. This strapless dress is also custom-made to exact measurements. Without any shoulder supports there's not a lot of room for error, so make sure you get them right!
Where to Buy: Hot Topic
Rating: 4/5 (left, 1 rating) and 5/5 (right, 47 ratings)
Price: $26.99 to $38.50
The dress on the left is the Legend of Zelda Link Cosplay Dress and while it does appear to be intended for cosplay (as the name might imply), I don't see any reason why it can't be worn in everyday situations as well. The dress on the right is the Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Stained Glass Dress, and is printed with a lovely designed based on the game's stained glass art.
Where to Buy: NerdAlertCreations on Etsy
Store Rating: 5/5 (2,399 reviews)
Price: $85 to $95
This made-to-order skater dress has a double print of the overworld maps for the Light World and the Dark World from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. I personally think this is a very clever idea, plus it's a bit more subtle as only people who are familiar with the game will recognize it.
Where to Buy: WeLoveFine
This super-cute flare dress based on Portal's murderous AI is decorated with an "embroidered patch, decorative piping and binding, screen print and detachable belt." Its simple but recognizable design would make it suitable for both running around a con and for simple everyday wear.
Where to Buy: Little Petal
Store Rating: 5/5 (59 reviews)
Price: $200 to $300, depending on options
These are definitely on the pricier end of the scale, but these handmade dresses are very versatile and can even be worn to formal events such as weddings. Also, each dress is completely custom-made, and the purchaser is deeply involved in the design process. The dresses above are modeled after Princess Zelda and the Companion Cube, but you can request literally any character that has ever existed - provided you can get a picture of them.
(Disclosure: I know the shop owner, Danielle Ward, and modeled the Link-inspired dress I bought from her.)