Note: While the images in this blog post are from 2017, the content has been reviewed and updated for 2020.
Your Second Life avatar is essentially you. It’s how others see you in world and for many it’s how they see themselves. Today we’ll be talking about how to mix & match clothing and accessories to make your avatar unique. If your avatar needs an entire makeover from the ground up, consider reading my series Making A New You for a guided path from start to final product.
Mix & Match Basics
Generally when making a look you want to have an idea, no matter how small, of what you’d like. Do you want to build your outfit around a certain color? Perhaps you are going to a themed party and need to dress with a topic in mind. Do you have one piece you really love and want to make something special using it? All of these are great starting points.
Whenever I make a new look, I always use what I have first. You’d be surprised how different you can appear with just a change of hair or a different top! Every time I shop I consider how versatile the items are. If I end up purchasing something I try to select a product that can be used in many outfits or even a fatpack that offers various colors and styles. This makes future mix & matching so much easier!
One Brand vs Many
Sticking to a brand can be helpful since often times the pieces work well together. If you have a skirt you love it makes sense to browse the creator’s shirts since there is likely a good match. That being said, venturing outside of the brand can achieve an amazing look too, you just have to try things on. The featured image for this post uses many different brands. In fact, the only pieces made by the same creator are the dress and the necklace!
If you are purchasing anything new make sure to demo it first if possible. Demoing an item lets you see how well the piece fits in with the rest of your look. If you’re going for a colored theme, for example, you’ll want to make sure the different shades you purchase all work well together. Demos also let you see how the new product fits on you. It’s never fun to unpack a hot new top only to find it doesn’t fit!
Building The Perfect Look
Creating a great outfit doesn’t have to be complicated, no matter how overwhelming it may seem. You just go piece by piece. Don’t forget that you can search your inventory, too. Searching for descriptive words such as pants, skirt, black, jeans, etc. can save you a lot of time and remind you of items you may have forgotten. The following steps outline how I generally mix & match my outfits. These steps aren’t set in stone, and bouncing between them is encouraged. You’ll likely end up progressing through the steps and then going back to tweak things. Just do what feels right for you.
Step 1: Clothes
When I mix & match I like to start with clothing first, even if I’m building a look around a single accessory or other non-clothing piece. For the pictures in this post I built the look around the wings. I equipped the wings first and then I started looking for clothes. When selecting clothes I tend to go through tops and bottoms I own that I already know look good. Many of these are set pieces, though not always. You know your inventory better than anyone.
Step 2: Hair
You may already have hair you use as a standard, and that’s totally okay. I enjoy changing hair styles and colors to match my outfits. When selecting hair you want to make sure it doesn’t clip through your clothing. Of course this is optional, but if you want to look your best you don’t want your hair to cut through your shoulders. Be mindful of your top and any jewelry you may want to wear, too. If you want to show off a necklace or earrings make sure your hair choice doesn’t hide those spots.
Many hair creators sell their products with HUDS so you can change the hair color, even if slightly. Don’t be afraid to play with the colors. Sometimes bright unnatural hair colors really make a look pop. Natural colors can also give outfits a different look. Raven black hair may give a different personality than platinum blonde. Light browns and dark blondes are really neutral colors that tend to work with almost any look. Play around and see what you like!
Step 3: Shoes
Your shoes can really make or break an outfit. I love tall boots with shorts or miniskirts. Open-toed heels can make even jeans look semi professional. Different colors can accent different parts of the rest of your outfit, so try a bunch of styles to see what you like best. When in doubt (or when making a new purchase) black goes with almost everything.
Step 4: Accessories
It’s time to accessorize! Jewelry, handbags, backpacks, nails, makeup, legwarmers, you name it! While these aren’t always needed, there are tons of little odds and ends that complete your look. Accessories can be a great gap filler, both in style and space. Arms look a bit too bland? Get some bracelets! Don’t quite know how to bring those gold heels into the blue shirt? Find a gold and blue belt! You can use as many or as few as you think you need.
Don’t be afraid to tweak your look until it’s perfect. Maybe the shirt you picked just doesn’t quite match as well as you expected, or perhaps your idea shifted partway through the process. Now is the time to swap things out as needed to make sure you love your new style.
Whether you’re creating an appearance for the long term or just for a night, making a unique look is loads of fun. How do you style your avatar?
2 thoughts on “Mix & Match: Clothing and Accessories”
I discovered your blog today and subscribed – I loved this post!
For me, at least, after I put an outfit together I activate the kind of crazy dance on my AO to see if it’s tearing anywhere so I can alpha out the problem spot with my Maitreya HUD if its at all possible. I guess I’m a little particular about even the slightest tear.
Great suggestion about shoes! They totally can change the whole flavor of an outfit.
Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it.
That’s a great point about the AO! I do the same thing if I plan to be out and about with my outfit. So many of my clothing choices are just for photos so I can hide my body with the HUD as needed without worrying about surprise movements.