Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Do's and Don'ts of SL Avatar Fashion: Mix'n Match Guest Post by Johan Yugen

If you're wondering what a post on SL fashion is doing on my blog, it's due to my participation in the first-ever Second Life Blogger Mix'n Match. This article by Johan Yugen is on a topic suggested by Meara Deschanel. My post for this event can be found at Common|Sensible. A list with links to all participating blogs is at the end of the post.

During anybody's time in Second Life they will come across some aspect of avatar fashion, whether it be a case of noticing someone with a particularly well dressed avatar or the complete opposite. Our initial reaction to somebody in SL comes from how our avatar is presented. It is therefore important (if you are interested in keeping your avatar within the constraints of what is considered "fashionable" in Second Life) to present your avatar correctly.

So, to start, some very important "do's". Firstly: Consistency. It is vastly important that the pieces of an outfit work well together. They should be of colours that work well with each other and should also work well with the skin you are wearing.

As you can see in the image on the left, there are two main colours in the outfit itself complement each other well and the shoes work with the outfit. The hair is also a colour which works with the combination of the outfit and shoes.

The second main "do" is to accessorise well. This does not mean have a lot of accessories, it means if you do choose to have them make sure they are not garish. If you want piercings make sure they are suitable for the outfit you are wearing. Jewellery should not be too over the top in a casual outfit, either.

This is a simplistic example of what to do to get it right, since there are more ways you can get it wrong than right. The first thing that should NEVER be on an avatar trying to remain in the slightest bit fashionable is bling. Bling (in my mind, at least) is the equivalent of having a mini torch strapped to wherever you want the bling to come from. It is obnoxious, distracts people from the actual outfit you're wearing (This doesn't matter so much, if you're wearing bling the rest of the outfit will likely suck) and more importantly: it causes unnecessary lag.

The next main thing is harking back to the consistency point. If your outfit is not visually consistent (ie does not fit in with itself) then it just will not work. Also, wearing part of one type of outfit (eg normal casual) and one of another is just as bad.

See below for examples of the main "don'ts":

The cute little puppy on the left with an outfit such as this, as well as a pair of sunglasses and a watch? The avatar on the right needs to make up her mind as to whom she wants to appeal to. Bling is to be seen on the lib rings. Also, she's wearing a babydoll with jeans *and* knee length boots. There is no consistency in this outfit whatsoever. "

Several things wrong here. Firstly, piercings that go through the top (which is translucent with no bra, not good). Secondly, said piercings (as well as the lip ring) emit bling. The overall outfit is also not consistent, with each individual piece having a different style.

So the general rules are common sense. Creativity is good, but don't let wanting to mix and match your outfit get in the way of a visually consistent and pleasing look. It's not a difficult task to make an avatar that looks good. If anything the abundance of clothing shops in Second Life make it easier to create that look you've been after. Clothing comes in full sets so you don't have to work quite as hard (or spend as many L$ after finding that outfit doesn't actually go). Actually following these rules are, of course, up to you. but they're here.


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  2. How real is SL? Harper Beresford (also a premature)
  3. Second Life as an exploration of culture by Harper Beresford (see above)
  4. The Funniest Thing That Ever Happened To Me In Second Life by Bone Mosten
  5. Segregation in Second Life by Samantha Pointdexter
  6. Religion in Second Life by Danni Ohara
  7. Second Childhood by Kanomi Pikajuna
  8. Is Second Life Truly a Second Life or an Extension of the First by Eladrienne Laval
  9. Second Life Theatre by Peter Stindberg
  10. How to write a good profile by Chestnut Rau
  11. Spitting out the Landscape by Alphonsus Peck
  12. Creator vs. Consumer by Vint Falken (that’s me! ;))
  13. Digital Suicide by Noelyci Ingmann
  14. The deeper meaning of Philip Linden’s hair by Merrick Thor
  15. To Voice or Not To Voice by Ganymedes Costagravas
  16. What have you learned about running your SL business by Jordyn Carnell
  17. True Mentoring by Otenth Paderborn
  18. Why do public-facing Lindens seem to always get a bad wrap? by Ari Blackthorne
  19. Life Lesson I learned through Second Life: Immersion Aversion by Rik Riel
  20. Genderbender OMG by Torley Linden
  21. Visions of SL in Five Years by ArminasX (without whom all this would not have been possible! ;))
  22. How SL Has Helped of Hurt Your RL by Rik & Osiris Pfalz
  23. Has SL helped me deal with RL issues by Crap Mariner
  24. The Future of Business in Second Life by Gwyneth Llewelyn
  25. Do’s and Don’ts of SL Avatar Fashion by Johan Yugen
  26. The Best Moment of My Second Life by Dandellion Kimban
  27. Drama and Neighbor Wars on the Mainland by Joan Kremer
  28. 5 days away from SL and any SL related social media by Zoe Connolly
  29. Keeping new male residents engaged in SL by Quaintly Tuqiri
  30. Deep Psychological Impact of What I Wear by Mykyl Nordwind
  31. Romance and Love in Second Life by Prad Prathivi
  32. Top 10 Most Important Things for a Newbie to know in order to enjoy SL by Joonie Jatho
  33. 10 Things I Hate About You by Nightflower Blossoming
  34. Paying it forward by Brandy Rasmuson
  35. Second Life® and it’s Role in the Discovery of Self by Kirasha Urqhart
  36. The Economics of Freebies by Skinkie Winkler
  37. Can SL and RL truly be seperate from each other? by Stuart Warf
  38. Correlation between Drama in SL and A Very Small Number of Brain Cells by Tiyuk Quellmalz
  39. Noobish SL experience through present by Ari Blackthorne
  40. What Groups I Can’t Live Without and Why by Tymmerie Thorne
  41. Fashion in Second Life: Can We Run Out of Ideas by Dusan Writer
  42. The Immersiva of Bryn Oh by Botgirl


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A beautiful thought experiment personified through the imagined perspective of a self-aware avatar. My creator's site can is at