OutfitsThroughout the series, Serah gets two default outfits (two whole outfits! Look out, wardrobe). Her first is the attire she wears throughout XIII, and the second are clothes granted by the Goddess Etro when Lightning makes her a Champion for said Goddess, because everyone deserves a magical clothing transformation during a meteor strike.
These outfits arenít entirely exclusive. The first one doesnít disappear - to be correct, Serahís actual default outfit for the entire saga is her XIII attire, as itís how she begins the game in XIII-2, and thereís a brief section following her succumbing to her heartís desire, if she isnít dressed in a DLC outfit. Serahís soul appears in Valhalla this way too, and her consequent appearances after in LR - itís how Lightning occasionally sees Lumina, and how Bhunivelze sends the duplicate to keep Lightning amenable and remind her of what she would lose if she turned against him. In the ending cinematic for Lightning Returns, Serah is once again in her Etro given attire, which is the only time itís given precedence outside of XIII-2ís main storyline.
If I were to choose my favourite of Serahís defaults, it would be her XIII outfit. I donít dislike the other one per say - it fits with her colour scheme, it does suit her, and yet... do we really need that skin on her hips, Square? Do we really. Ugh.
Given Final Fantasy XIII-2 was released around the advent of DLC and its growing popularity for developers, this meant DLC episodes and monsters to fight - and of course, outfits!
From left to right: N7 Armor, Style & Steel, Summonerís Garb, Beachwear, White Mage. These outfits were released gradually and are all available on both PS3 and Xbox 360. Style & Steel is free, the rest must be purchased. All except the N7 Amor are automatically included in the PC version of XIII-2.
I have mixed feelings over the existence of DLC but I am, admittedly, a sucker for outfits. Colouring Lightningís garbs was a large part of my Lightning Returns experience (bonus free tip: she looks great in sky blue in Quiet Guardian with the matching hat). Because Serah is my favourite, naturally I own all her DLC attire, ranging from scenes to entire playthroughs wearing them. Iím fond of Style & Steel thematically because it harks back to Lightningís Corps outfit from the first game, right down to the shield - back in the day there was an online vote between Style & Steel and something red riding hood inspired, but itís good to know I wasnít the only one that saw the reminiscence. The only part Iím not so keen on are those shoulder decorations. The less said about Beachwear the better (itís fine, again I donít dislike it, but Iím so jaded and tired. If Serah gets put in bikini armour, Noel should get speedos. Or a bikini, Iím flexible). Iím not that fond of Summonerís Garb either, which is a mystery even to me - I guess it just doesnít appeal to me visually, as the colours clash so often on screen (because XIII-2 is a game of pinks and reds), which is anytime itís not night and thatís decidedly often. There is however a very clear reference to Yuna in its description, which is one thing I do like about it.
My favourite outfit for Serah is actually White Mage. Iíve played the game through with a White Mage clad Serah and I honestly think it should have been her default - it matches with Noelís Black Mage, itís sensible, practical, and well-designed. And thereís no unnecessary skin! Greens and oranges were not the colours I associated with Serah at the time, but surprisingly they do work, because pastel tones are something I do. The practicality aspect could be said for the N7 Armour as well, but this outfit is from Biowareís Mass Effect 3 and is worn by the titular hero, Shepard, so credit where itís due. Itís a nice inclusion and one that I missed until more recently - having finally jumped into Mass Effect, I had no qualms about booting up XIII-2 and running around Academia with some N7 heroes, chuckling to myself the whole time. Both Serah and Noel get N7 armour, but itís not the only third party costume - .the other is for just for Noel, with an Ezio Auditore outfit courtesy of Assassinís Creed: Revelations. The hood does an exceptional job of making him incredibly extra, since his eyes are invisible for most of his cutscenes. Much hood, very drama.
As trivia, in all of Serahís outfits, her engagement pendant is always remains visible, which I think is a nice touch.