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June 5th, 2010

Prefatory Note: These tips are intended for people new to Second Life, but who knows, experienced traveler? You may find something of use or interest here.

Ever see someone dressed to the nines and wondered where she got her outfit from? Here are some things you can try to investigate this matter.

1. Take a photo. Now. Before she "poufs."

The snapshot button is at the bottom of your browser. Learn how to use it. Learn how to zoom in on someone so that you can see the outfit clearly, so that it fills your screen. Take the shot, so that if she teleports away before you can inquire further, you have something to work from or show other people. Store the snapshot where you want. I store mine offline initially. I can always upload it later. If all else fails you will be able to show people what you are looking for rather than just describe it, and you may have more luck with locating the outfit that way.

2. Inspect a part of her dress.

Right-click on a piece you believe to be a flexi, a detachable part as opposed to a piece of basic clothing that you "wear."  Quick Tip: if it moves when she does, it's likely a flexi.  From the right-click pie, chose More, choose More again, and when you see "Inspect," click it. You should see a table with a bunch of stuff it. Ignore that. Click the "See Creator Profile" at the bottom of the window. Voila! You're almost there. Read the info. in the 2nd Life Tab of her profile. Sometimes creators list their stores there. If not, switch to the Picks tab, and look for a link to her store there.

3. Ask her.

This will not always yield results. Some people do not talk to strangers. Some do not want to reveal to others the sources of their clothing. Always be polite, and remember charm and intelligence go a long way in interpersonal matters. Start with an IM. If she doesn't respond, follow up the next day with a politely worded note card. If you receive no response, accept "No" for what it is and drop it. Don't badger the avatar.

4. Search for the outfit.

There are a number of approaches you can take to do this:

In-World Approach:  Click the Search button and the bottom of your browser, and have at it! Search in Places, sub-category shopping, and search in all. The keywords to use are those associated with the style of clothing she was wearing: Steampunk, Neko, Ballroom, Formal, Couture, Cocktail, Casual: all these terms will turn up clothing stores. You must then visit the stores an examine their wares. One way I narrow such searches is by trying to find a venue, such as a ballroom for formal dresses or a combat sim for neko/urban wear, that has a mini-mall attached to it. I visit every appropriate store in the mini-mall, and pick up two things: the free gifts (grin) and the landmarks to the main stores. I do not spend much time browsing these tiny stores: they usually only contain a small fraction of the creator's total output. I visit the main stores and examine everything they sell.

Website Search Approach:  I go to
www.slexchange.com, a large catalog of good website and search for the item there, using appropriate keywords. If I don't know any good keywords, I start very general: I type something like "red dress" in the search box. When the results come up, I page through them quickly looking for a dress that is sort of like the outfit I admired. When I find such a dress in the results, I click to view the full page. Then I look at the "breadcrumbs": the list of words near the top of the item page (just under the advertisement). It looks something like this:

Back to item results   Category: Home --> Gadgets --> Tools

I click the last category in the breadcrumbs (in the above example it is Tools) and browse the category, seeing if the outfit is there. A site like this typically contains only a fraction of a creator's total goods, but you may get lucky and the dress you are search for might be one of the ones advertised here. If so, you can buy it directly from the web page (this site is owned by Second Life--log in with your username and password) and receive it in-world.

Ask an Expert Approach: There are numerous fashion magazines in world and on websites and blogs like this one. Find out what the big ones are (hint: I am not a big one. I am very tiny) in your genre and approach them with your inquiry. If you have a photo, they may know who makes or be able to refer you to someone who would know. Key words to search for in-world "Fashion, Magazine, Style, Couture, Publication." Key words to search for on the Internet "Second Life Blog" "SL Blog" "Second Life Fashion" "Virtual Fashion" "Second Life Clothing" etc.

I hope you found this tip helpful! Watch for more of such tips, in-between the "just one dresses". And if you know of some trick for investigating the clothing someone is wearing that I have not mentioned, please fill free to share it with us in a comment. :)

This gown makes me want to tell a story.  Actually, many things make me want to tell a story--it's just the way my mind works. The gown is graceful, blue/purple/pink, like a morning sky, and billows in the breeze.  So here's how this one goes:

Once upon a time, down in Carlisle, a sailor loved a lady, many years ago. And she had good reason to love him back, as some of you may already know. :) They spent many happy years together, but one cold, stormy autumn she contracted a serious illness. By November, she was dead.

The sailor nearly went mad with grief and loss, but as the months passed he concieved of a goal that channeled those emotions into something constructive. He applied his not inconsiderable skill at whittling to carving her likeness out of a large piece of sandelwood the ship's master had discarded as ruined. He carved and whittled and then carefully painted for months. He kept the doll in a special box he'd also carved for this purpose, on his back porch. He looked forrward to returning from his long voyages so that he could continue working on her. At last, she was ready.  He dressed her in a beautiful dress he'd acquired on a stopover in England. A lovely blue/purple/rose gown that caught the colors of the rising and setting sun on the waters near his home.

In the end, the likeness of the doll to his beloved was incredible. On impulse he kissed her and... her eyes blinked, her cheeks blushed rose, and she came fully to life.

The sailor was amazed, although he soon came to realize that the spirit inhabiting this living doll was not that of his beloved.  But the doll loved him and he slowly warmed to her, and when he went on long sea voyages, he could just conveniently put her away in her doll box, where she awaited, frozen in time, for his return.

But one day, something went wrong. The doll awoke, long before he was due back.  She missed her handsome sailor so badly, and while she was very frightened of the outside world, she decided to venture out in search of him. 

She took a few wrong turns...

...But she was a ....

...little doll and eventually she found her way to the harbour, where she began watching, in vain, for his ship. The rest of her story concerns her adventures in the harbour as she attempts to find the man who made her and whom she adores. I'll let you decide how it ends. :)


The Dress:
 ~To-a-T~ / Terry Lightfoot
SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Glengarry/249/92/23

The First Place: Doll Box 2  (sold by Trixxy's Shop / Trixxy Oh)
SLURL:  http://slurl.com/secondlife/PORT%20JEFFERSON/245/194/22

The Second Place:
  Phantasmagoria Steampunk Circus  (and surrounding environs)
SLURL:    http://slurl.com/secondlife/Armada%20Breakaway/207/32/23

If this dress were a song, it would be...

Gibson Girl Hair - Chocolate  / Muriel Enfield (retired)
SLURL:  None anymore, alas

Jewelry: Twisted Vines / Aries Celestial Designs / Aries Bricklin
SLURL:  http://slurl.com/secondlife/Armada%20Breakaway/207/32/23

Skin and Shape?
Why don't you try to get the key to Fort Knox? I hear it's easier.

See all Images Here:

Welcome to my Blog!

On Second Life, I am on a budget. I cannot buy 1/10th of the things I see that I'd like to wear. Often, when I visit a store, no matter how much I like their wares, I can only afford one or two things. So I try to make those things count. This blog describes my endeavors to do so.

Each dress or outfit displayed is one I picked out myself and was my favorite of this designer's or of the store's when I visited it. All models in the photos are me. Yes, they sometimes look different; I like variety. :)

About the photos:
Unretouched, unshopped. I like natural virtual light (not to mention oxymorons!) and discovering ways to look good in it. :) The images are cropped a bit, and some have a border when their colors blend too much into the page background.

To other bloggers, online magazines, vendors, etcetera:

Reciporcal link exchanges are welcomed from similar sites or if yours seems relevant in some way to the theme of virtual fashion and/or Second Life. The key here is reciporcal:)


me, hippie


July 2010
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