Back in Dragon Age: Origins, when it was a new and upcoming title, there was a lot of interest in the Orlesian setting. Books like The Masked Empire came out, showing much of Orlesian culture, politics, and, of course, fashion. Fashion is one aspect of Orlais that has been known since Dragon Age: Origins.
Due to this, a lot of fans were dissatisfied with Dragon Age: Inquisition's aesthetic. Some materials, such as plaidweave, became a meme for how bad they were. One part of fans' dissatisfaction was when they were actually invited to a political ball at a palace. All except the Inquisitor and their inner circle dress to the nines, as they dress in other sections of the game as well.
Fan Reactions To The Quest Outfits
Any Dragon Age fan who goes to the Winter Palace will quickly discover threads on Reddit and other forums where players gather to discuss the dismal outfits, often asking for Dragon Age clothing mods. There are a lot of mods out there, including gowns, outfit re-textures, and other things.
The fan community loved Morrigan's gown, which was worn in the Inquisition'strailers, but it also made them more upset that the Inquisition could not obtain interesting ball outfits as well, not just with how the Inquisition dressed itself, but with how all the Orlesian nobility dressed as well, with only three outfits.
Fans regretted missing opportunities in the Winter Palace gameplay, including dialogue choices, the speed at which one is absent from the public eye, and even the race they play as. Moreover, fans wish that fashion-forward characters such as Vivienne or Leliana could have made a statement about the military attire they had to wear.
Why The Military Outfits Happened
The most probable explanation for the lack of outfit choices in the Winter Palace is time and resources. It is possible that it was not on BioWare's radar, but it never happened due to various limitations and being low on the list of priorities.
Fans have filled in the blanks lore-wise as to why the Inquisition may not wear masks or fancy outfits to the ball. Ultimately, the Inquisition is a new military organization that wants to win respect from the nobility. The colors themselves display a certain degree of opulence, requiring dyes that would be seen as signs of wealth and power.
Many have re-textured mage robes to create elegant dresses, while others have re-textured the military outfit to create different designs and colors. Some modders have even made actual ball gowns similar to the dresses Orlesian NPCs wear, so Dragon Age enthusiasts should have plenty of fashion choices.
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