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Beyond Freebie

November 30th, 2008 by Roland

Trollng through endless freebies gets you only so far, and after a while, I got tired of throwing away the same old stuff. That’s the point where I threw $10USD into my free account and began thinking about my first look.

The Task: Get out of Newbie Land

I wanted a decent skin, shape, hair, eyes, and at least one good outfit. Freebies are great for filling in the missing pieces, but there’s something to be said for having at least one great look you can wear around the Main Grid.

The Budget: $1000L

One thing about being a Big Guy, you can’t get away with leaving your tubby tummy hanging out, so I needed clothes that didn’t expose my midriff, and a look that was consistent with the fashionisto that I hope to become. Before I could deal with clothing, I needed skin, hair, and eyes.

Men’s skin is tough to deal with. There’s very little out there that’s worth anything and under $1000L and the best skins are generally in the $1500L to $2000L range. Being on a tight budget limited me to free or new_roland_headnear free skins. Luckily, Ryan Darragh has a post over on Men’s Second Style that lead me to Defectiva and the Conor line. The look is stylish, the quality is very good, and while it’ll never be the kind of pseudo-realistic skin you’ll find on an X3 or Abyss, the $300L price means this is a rare value. It comes in a variety of shades and hair options. I picked the tan, strap model to give me a younger-than-I-really-am look.

Good men’s hair is even more difficult to find than skin. With some diligence and some luck, I managed to find a year end sale at ETD: Elika Tiriamisu Designs and found that a couple of the men’s styles were suitable and they were all marked down to $30L. I picked the “blacks pack” for Matthew and got 9 color patterns across three shades of black. I actually missed the “dollar-bie” section that was just around the corner in the shop, where there were two men’s styles set to $1L!

Looking for a good outfit for men is challenging. There are some excellent designers out there and I’ll talk about more of them as the blog goes on, but I really was getting tired of the shopping thing and needed to get on with my RL so I took another lead from Ryan and went to Mimi’s Choice for new_roland_suitGentlemen. This shop has a nice collection of different designers all under one roof. Mimi has pulled together a classy collection of suits and looks geared to the discerning male and I only needed to wait for the one place to rez in order to see some great clothes. In the end, I went for a classic suit from Sartoria that came with a shirt/tie, two jackets (open/closed), and a nice pair of slacks for $350L. Conservative, tasteful, classy. Not the kind of outfit you can normally get in the Big and Tall Shop in RL, but darn nice for my SecondLife.

With the suit selected, I needed shoes to go with it. Like anything else in SL, men’s shoes can be a challenge. The classic prim shoes are sometimes a bit clunky, often poorly made, and really pretty bland. new_roland_shoesThe relatively recent introduction of the sculptie, however, has fired a revolution in shoe making — not just in the women’s lines but also in men. Having read about JCS in Men’s Second Style, that seemed like a great place to start. It turned out to be the place I finished, as well, when I fell in love with the Shanghai line. These are classically styled shoes with an Asian flavor. The detail work in them is amazing and I loved the shape and colors. To go with the Sartoria suit, I chose the red/black combination at $350L.

Yea. I went over budget by $30L – but it might have been more if ETD hadn’t been having a sale. Of course, I might have been less had I noticed the dollarbies (and chosen one of those styles). On balance, I think I did pretty well and I’m pleased with my first look that’s beyond freebie.

new_roland_overview

Breakdown:

  • Shape: My own ($0L)
  • Skin: Defectiva: “Conor – Tan – Strap” ($300L)
  • Hair: ETD: “Matthew – Ebony” ($30L *sale*)
  • Eyes: Freebie brown ($0L)
  • Suit: Sartoria: “Spezzato Tweed Gray” ($350L from Mimi’s Choice for Gentlemen)
  • Shoes: JCS: Shanghai – Black/Red ($350L)
  • Bottom Line: $1030L

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3 Responses to “Beyond Freebie”

  1. Ryan Darragh says:

    Heya Roland! I’m glad you found some useful info on MSS. Although it might not be your style, for quality skins (well) under L$1000 I also recommend “Jack” by Posy Trudeau, L$500 at Flesh Peddlers. I also really like CJ Carnot’s “Vivant” skin for men, L$500 at Tete a Pied. You can read a little about them and see some pics here: http://www.second-man.com/mens-corner-skins-and-hair.html. 🙂

  2. Roland says:

    Thanks, Ryan. That’s really good information. I missed that article in MSS when I was trolling for information about skins.

    $500L is a good price, altho any one of them would have eaten up half my budget. I wonder if it would have been worth the trade-off to get one of those and take a less expensive option on the clothes and shoes. Skin and shape are so critical to defining a character that I may need to revisit this.

  3. Ryan Darragh says:

    I agree 100% with your assessment regarding the criticality of skin and shape. Both are also highly subjective, IMHO, which I believe is why there are any number of skins out there that are beautiful, both technically and artistically, but I just don’t like them that well on ME. It’s a bit of a mystery.

    This is also an individual and subjective thing, but you may find that it’s nice to have more than one good skin on hand, that you like for different reasons, and wear for different occasions. I’m not just talking about roleplay or theme skins, either, although of course those options are certainly available. But there are also skins I like for their faces, others for the body detailing, and I could go on…and on. Some skins work well with red hair (which I wear most of the time), others not so much–I’m usually blond when I wear Posy’s “Jack” skin.

    Good skins are definitely a substantial investment, but if you make judicious use of demos, consider carefully, and choose wisely, over time any guy can build up a repertoire or library of skins that give him great looks. And I’m a firm believer that having choices shouldn’t be a luxury just for the ladies. 😀