In defiance of her childhood near-death experience on Mt. Nibel, Tifa Lockhart works as a mountain guide to support her martial arts training. She gains notoriety for her expertise leading expeditions throughout the Mt. Nibel region, and as a result Tifa is selected to lead the ill-fated Shinra expedition which results in Sephiroth's mental breakdown and the destruction of Nibelhiem.
Like all of Tifa's designs in the original 1997 game, I found her Mt. Nibel Guide outfit difficult to like; it wasn't until a more detailed design was released a decade later for Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core and Tifa took on a more prominent role in the Nibelheim Incident that I decided I wanted to cosplay this version. That both Gale was making the Crisis Core version of Aeris and Another Anime Con announced that their 2008 theme was "Go West!" also factored into my decision. This costume was made in my hand-sewing days, and though it's a hot mess and needs a complete remake, I'm still pretty proud of the skirt. It was made from a brown suede, and I used my favorite jean mini skirt at the time (which I still own!) as a pattern. It's edged in white lace and both zips and buttons in the front. I even made belt loops! It actually came out so well, I should probably just start wearing it as a real skirt and junk the rest of this costume.
The undershirt was a store-bought off-white V-neck tank top which was shortened to bust length and accented with brown cotton and wooden buttons down the front. The vest was made from the same brown suede as the skirt, again usuing found clothing as a makeshift pattern. It is trimmed with brown cotton, white craft foam appliqués and cream tassels. The belt was bought at Target and the buckle painted turquoise and orange to match Tifa’s design, and the brown side pockets are rectangular pieces of Styrofoam covered in brown cotton and embellished with craft foam and tassels. Finally the hat was bought at a costume shop. I used a pair of brown knee-high boots for this costume which were not remotely accurate, but I ran out of time to find anything better. I've wanted to redo this costume for years to more closely match the Crisis Core version, but the recent release of the FF7 Remake utilizes a design I like even more; it's closer to what appeared in the original game and is less blinged-out cowgirl costume-y than the Crisis Core version. I also appreciate it looks, like most of Tifa's revamped style in the Remade, more functional. When I do remake this, I will likely made the Remake version.