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Getting mileage out of modifiability

One of my favorite things about playing dress-up with Second Life fashion is finding ways to put my own personal flavor or stamp on the clothes I choose to dress my avi in. Great blogs such as MichaMi Style Blog and Closet Crisis, along with their readerships, are a testament to the fact that this holds for true for pretty much for anyone who is into SL fashion.

Even with the multitude of designers in SL cranking out their products in a variety of textures and colors, however, if you like keeping up with the latest in-world trends then it’s still pretty easy to run into another avatar who will be wearing the same hairstyle, same clothes, same shoes… hell, sometimes they’ll even be using the same AO stands as you.

What’s an avi to do? Well, one great way to really showcase your own individual sense of style in your outfits is to tinker with the modifiable pieces that are in your virtual closet. Hair, skins, system layer items, sculpty prim attachments… there are LOTS of ways to play with your look if you have modifiable versions of these items.

I recently blogged about how sweater dresses are a current season staple in RL (well, for you mainlanders at least :p I hail from Hawaii, the land of T-shirts, shorts and slippers), and Last Call has the excellent Starley II Mini Sweater Dress set available right now. With five colors thrown into the pack, it’s already a real bargain… but when you consider the fact that everything is also modifiable, that just makes it even better. With a bit of imagination and time spent on editing prims and pushing clothes sliders, one can come up with all sorts of variations on this dress. (Important rule of thumb: Always, always, ALWAYS make a copy of an item before you begin editing it!!) Here are four different looks I came up with, all modeled on my soon-to-be-released Sturmer Harcourt body shape ^_^ (store credits and SLURLs are at the end of this post):

1) Modding Happy

Getting mileage out of modifiability 01

This hip outfit layers the dress over a 3/4 sleeve black sweater and skinny jeans, cinches it with a velour heart-clasp belt, tops it with a smart looking cap and ponytail, and finishes it all off with pretty sculpty boots. To achieve this look, I made the following edits to the cream colored version of the dress:

  • Shortened the jacket layer sleeves
  • Shrank the sleeve prims, rotated them as necessary, and changed point of attachment to the upper arms
  • Tinted the jacket and skirt layers grey
  • Tinted the collar and sleeve prims a slightly darker grey to blend in with the system layers

The dress wasn’t the only item that was modifiable in this outfit, by the way! The right front bangs on the hairstyle (which came conjoined with the cap) were edited so as not to cover up the right eye; the black sweater had it’s sleeves slider maxed out; the jeans were shortened so as not to poke through the boots; the belt’s size was altered to fit the waist; even the lip color on the skin was modified. The only items that were not modifiable were the eyes, glove-layer manicure, and boots.

2) Long sweater layered over a skirt

Getting mileage out of modifiability 02

Another chic fall look that layers the dress over denim again, only this time the denim appears in the form another mini skirt. The neutral tones of the sweater dress, tights, belt, and boots offset the dark blue of the skirt rather nicely.

The same simple edits that were applied to the previous example were made here as well, but without the color tinting. To accommodate the short length of the denim mini skirt, the sweater dress’s skirt layer was shortened a bit via the slider. With the introduction of a single new element and some fast easy edits, the sweater dress takes on a cool new look. 🙂

3) Bold contrasting colors

Getting mileage out of modifiability 03

To change things up from the neutral colors I’d been playing with, I decided I wanted a look that was colorful and visually striking. I once read somewhere that the strongest possible contrasting color combination is black and yellow; I decided to use that contrast concept but tamed it a bit by pairing the already grey-tinted sweater dress in my inventory with yellow pieces. I wanted contrast, not walking bumble-bee, hehe. 😉

Very few edits were required to accomplish this look, and most of it involved color tinting. The scarf (which was a real steal, by the way — 7 colors for only 50L) was originally white and I tinted it yellow. I did the same for the tights, which actually comes in two parts (on the underpants and socks layers). Because the color contrast was already quite visually engaging I felt that adding more accessories would make the look too busy, so I limited it to the chunky hoop-earrings, which are scripted to change color via voice command.

4) Basic black

Getting mileage out of modifiability 04

For this final outfit, I went with the trusty all-black look. Again, this was extremely simple and required very little in the way of edits — all dress layers and prims were tinted a very dark grey (as opposed to completely black, which would have washed out all texture details), and the belt was modified to fit over the hips. The sweater dress takes on a look that is simultaneously cute, casual, and feminine when layered like this over black capri leggings, and worn with a dainty banded hairstyle and ribboned wedges.

So there you have it — four additional looks pulled out of an already great set from Last Call, all of them achieved with just some really simple color tinting and prim edits. Thanks to modifiable pieces, with a little bit of imagination and time spent on editing, you can show off yet even more of your own personal style.

Where to find these items:

Sweater dress set is from Last Call and body shape will be released soon at my store Mela’s

1) Modding Happy… Hair: Janine in copper from ETD; Skin: Celestial Studios Champagne Smoky Noir w/ freckles; Eyes: Simtropia greenish; Tres Blah plain black sweater on shirt layer; Boing Fromage black velour heart-clasp belt; LF (Launa Fauna) Ingenue jeans in indigo; Maitreya bloom boots in black.

2) Long sweater layered over a skirt… Hair: ETD Amber in copper; Skin: Minnu Model Fair SkinGloss(freckles) Teacher; Eyes: Simtropia greenish; Caroline’s Jewelry Lo Lo Painted Beads Bracelet, brown leather small; Last Call Yelena Torn Jean Miniskirt (pants layer and prim attachment, taken from the Yelena outfit); Last Call/vamp Liah boots, mahogany; Shiny Things brown strung leather belt; Paper Couture Plain Transparent Tights (underpants layer) from Barcola store freebie gift box; RaC Manicure 06.

3) Bold contrasting colors… Hair: ETD Lydia in chestnut; Skin: Nylon Outfitters Poppy Marked; Eyes: Simtropia brown deep; Imperial Elegance Woven Scarf – snow (tinted yellow); Blaze Pantyhose white (tinted yellow); Paper Couture overstated maryjane shoes, fedora; Celestial studios Lulu Chunky Hoops color change earrings; RaC manicure 11.

4) Basic black… Hair: Hiccup Slow Jamz 2007 in black; Skin: Insolence Lisa Tan Smokey; Eyes: Simtropia honey deep; Paper Couture basic hoop earrings (freebies from Barcola store); Fancy Schmancy slither belt; Girlie black leggings; Maitreya Sassy velvet Black wedges; RaC manicure 4.

November 9, 2007 - Posted by | Fashion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. looking great

    Comment by Ana Lutetia | November 9, 2007

  2. You look STUNNING! I wanted to come make a small comment, but 1st, I want to say THANK YOU for using my Heart Clasp Velour Belt. It makes me feel very very happy, because it’s one of those items that a designer makes and loves and for some unknown reason recieves no or little interest from public, ahah awww. I think you are the 1st person to care/blog about it XD SO YAY!! xx LOL Anyhoo, came to say, I am a big fighter for mod rights in SL. I am happy if people learn how to Edit Prims and fit items to their shape. Only thing is that, just like right now, it modifies the way it *should* look or rather how the creator would wish it looked. Like in this case, the velour 2D strap do not match the size of the knots that are tied to the heart clasp’s handles on the sides anymore, being larger. Those would have needed to be stretched as well so the fabric still “meets”. On the other hand, I mean, if the person thinks it still looks good, I am 100% fine with that. Just worried some might just not notice or not know how and give up, and then someone would see the item that way and think “oh, the creator totally made that wrong” haha XD So anyways, don’t ask my why I just wrote all this, it happened on its own I was suddenly on fire, haha! Guess I had to share my thoughts so bad 😛 *HUGS MELANIE* P.S. Bold Contrast Color outfit is my fav fav fav, deliciiiiious!!!!

    Comment by elka | November 9, 2007

  3. (Oh sorry, had to come back because I remember now why this got me on fire LOL — Mostly it’s because of my Satin Ribbon LBD… I have not seen a SINGLE person in SL wear it the way it should (that being: the prim bow matching/aligned to the satin ribbon part on the torso) and it kinda makes me go eeeerrrrkkks. So I have curently figuring a way to make it easier for my cusotmers, who mostly don’t build at all, to wear it the way it should be worn, to maximize their sexyness! 😛 Haha. That’s it!)

    Comment by elka | November 9, 2007

  4. Lol Elka, ty for your comments 😀 You have a great store, I love all the whimsical fun stuff you offer! And thanks to Ana, too ^_^

    Comment by melaniekiddofsl | November 10, 2007

  5. Great post – I love seeing how people take what’s available and make it their own. And I love designers who create and provide the raw material for us to use through their creations and the use of the mod perms.

    Comment by RedDawn Bade | November 10, 2007

  6. Thanks RedDawn 😀 I had fun playing around with this dress set.

    Comment by melaniekiddofsl | November 10, 2007

  7. elka makes some good points. along with a discussion i just had with megg demina (Chapeau tres Mignon) it seems that my own consumer preferences to have fully modifiable items can lead to a designer’s worst nightmare: their name on distorted and/or destroyed garments. as i develop my own designs, i am constantly struggling with the needs of my “consumer” self with those of my “designer” self. i’m sure to come to terms with these diversities with a few more sessions with my counsellors. ;->

    Comment by EnCore Mayne | November 11, 2007

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