Shopping for Fashion in Virtual Worlds: Buying the Clothes Off the Avatar’s Back

Fashion is a key part of avatar customization in virtual worlds. Second Life has a huge clothing market, and many people make an actual living designing and selling virtual fashion. Newer virtual worlds with humanoid avatars, such as Sansar and Sinespace, have growing avatar fashion marketplaces, too. In fact, many creators who had their start in Second Life are moving their businesses to these newer platforms (for example, BlakOpal Designs has set up a store in Sinespace).

I have a confession to make. I buy a lot of clothes in Second Life when I see something I like that another avatar nearby is wearing, like this gorgeous Roxy dress with the chain detail by United Colors:

Roxy dress 9 Aug 2018.png

Whenever I am in a busy Second Life sim full of fashionably dressed avatars, like Frank’s Place, I almost always do a right click/inspect to see what other avatars are wearing. It’s quite easy to do, and I find out about stores I had never heard of before that way.

The following instructions are for the Firestorm viewer, but they should work in any SL viewer. Just hover your mouse over a mesh article of clothing that another avatar is wearing, click the right mouse button, then select More from the circle menu that pops up, then select Inspect. You will get a display that gives you the name of the object, and even tells you who the creator is, so you can check their profile for a store location in their profile bio or their profile Picks:

Right Click Inspect 9 Aug 2018.png

In fact, there is a free HUD available on the SL Marketplace, called What Is She Wearing?. that allows you to scan nearby avatars, and then select one to get a complete list of all their attachments! It’s very handy, as you can see at a glance their entire outfit, including shoes, hair, and what make of mesh avatar body and head they are wearing:

What is She Wearing 9 Aug 2018.png

Sinespace has taken this concept one step further. Click on another avatar in Sinespace and you pull up a complete list of what that avatar is wearing, including skin and eyes. You can then preview the item on your own avatar, or buy the item directly from that listing!

Sinespace 8 Aug 2018.png

This is a very handy feature to have in any virtual world, and I hope that Sansar and other platforms take note of it and implement some form of it for us fashionistas!

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