1. Sheik – Ocarina of Time
Zelda’s Sheik outfit is iconic. It is simplistic in its main design—subtle form fitting armor, a scarf to keep out the sand. But there’s something about the way the blues and bandages go together. There’s strength in how form fitting it is, without being sexual. This is, of course, necessary because the outfit masks Princess Zelda’s true identity from Ganondorf. Zelda passes as a male Sheikah in this outfit. The Sheik outfit serves a practical purpose and what I love most about it is the tabard. Adorning the Sheikah’s sacred symolb, the eye in the middle of the tabard completely makes the outfit. And more importantly reminds us of Zelda’s power and knowledge. The tabard is one of the outfit’s most distinguishing characteristics. Additionally, the tattered look of the tabard and the way the bandages are not perfectly tied (in later iterations) adds to the authenticity of the story. This outfit is all about urgency, necessity, and strength: all refreshing traits to see in female video game characters. And while hidden femininity can be a problematic trope in gaming, here it is used for a specific reason.
We adore Zelda as Sheik. So much so that she became her own character, separate from Zelda, in Super Smash Brothers Wii U. No more pressing down B before the battle!
~ Janet Garcia