Almost all of the old freebies have been replaced with brand new items! And all the new items are modern, mesh clothing and footwear (there are no system-layers-and-flexiprims outfits to be found, with the exception of one ballgown I did find);
Instead of grouping items strictly by category (menswear, womenswear, jewelry, etc.), there are now many smaller tables with freebies from a single store/brand, both men’s and women’s items shown together;
The number of men’s freebies has increased, but you will now have to wander throughout the whole freebie store to find them all;
There appears to be slightly fewer free jewelry gifts than before, and definitely fewer freebie hairstyle options to choose from (but it’s still the single best collection of free hair at any SL freebie store on the grid);
And the lag is still absolutely terrible 😉 …so be forewarned!
For example, here is one table of free items by KingBal, both men’s and women’s freebies (including a very nice pair of hiking boots in sizes to fit various men’s mesh bodies):
This display of women’s freebies by AvaGirl includes clothes, shoes, and jewelry:
Vanity Fair paid a visit today, and here are just a couple of the outfits she was able to put together:
This schoolgirl outfit consists of three separate pieces:
the Emily plaid schoolgirl dress by Poème;
the Alice shoes with ruffled socks by Paper Sparrow; and
the Rina braided hair and hat combo by Lara AC.
Here we have:
the silver Melody ballgown by LUXE; with
the Lacrecia updo hairstyle by Firelight Hair (comes with a HUD with three different shades of brown).
So if you have not been to The Free Dove in a while, now would be a great time to come down, browse the new merchandise (all still free, of course!), and snap up some fabulous, fashionable outfits for yourself.
One of the Second Life vloggers I follow is Cat Pink SL, whose videos are in Spanish, but have English subtitles, so it’s pretty easy to follow along. She covers hunts, events, and freebies, and in a couple of recent YouTube videos, she talks about the free versions of the eBody Classic and Curvy female mesh avatar bodies (which now support Bakes on Mesh), and the free mesh heads, skins, and cosmetics from Genesis Lab:
I had talked about the three free Genesis Lab static (non-Bento) female mesh avatar heads before here (scroll down to the Genesis Lab section), so I am not going to repeat all that information here. But what I did not know is that the Genesis Lab group is once again free to join; there is a small black panel on the Group Gifts wall in the store (SLURL) you can click on to join the store group:
So I decided to experiment a little with one of my alts, using the Kenna head from Genesis Lab (still my personal favourite static mesh head, which comes with a HUD with lots and lots of options), paired with the eBody Classic mesh avatar body. As you can see from these pictures, she turned out looking really good!
I did have one problem: the Genesis Lab Cream skin I applied to the BoM eBody avatar did not work on the feet! However, this is not a serious problem when wearing a long ballgown such as this, and you can get around it in other outfits by using boots which replace the eBody feet completely (they are a separate attachment, along with the hands). I am not sure if this was a problem with the eBody mesh, the eBody BoM relay HUD, or the skin appliers I used (I tried several from the Genesis Lab group gifts, all with the same result). It’s a weird bug.
UPDATE Jan. 20th, 2020: I have now found the cause of the strange white patches on the feet of the eBody mesh avatar. It was the result of a classic, system shoebase I applied to the foot. You can get around this problem by removing any shoebase that causes this, and using the avatar hover height instead when wearing high heels. You can ignore my complaining later on in this blogpost about not being able to wear certain types of shoes; any Slink-compatible shoes should now work!
This avatar is wearing:
Mesh Head: Kenna by Genesis Lab (includes the mesh eyes shown here; free group gift; group is free to join)
Mesh Body: eBody Classic from the eBody Shop (pay the vendor in the store L$1 and it will automatically be refunded; these mesh bodies do not have Bento hands, and they only have “thick” alpha selections on the included HUD, which means you have to be somewhat careful what you wear with them)
Skin Applier: Cream skin by Genesis Lab (part of the Lakki skin package from Genesis Lab; free group gift; requires the eBody Bakes on Mesh relay HUD which you can get from the eBody store, just pay the vendor L$1 and it will automatically be refunded)
Gown: Holly gown by JUMO (a recent Advent gift which comes in a size specifically for eBody Classic mesh avatars)
Hair: Bella by Alli & Ali, an elegant updo with a colour-changeable comb in the back (a freebie I picked up at a recent virtual conference; it pays to check conference sims in Second Life for any freebies provided for presenters and attendees to outfit and style their avatars!)
Animation Override: Chubby Girl AO by [ImpEle] (free from the SL Marketplace). This is a nice, simple, calm, free AO with no crazy movements. (Note the freebie versions of the eBody do not come with Bento hands, so you don’t have to worry about animating them.)
TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: FREE! (All you need is L$1 to pay the vendors in the eBody store to get the eBody Classic mesh body and the eBody Bakes on Mesh relay HUD, which is automatically refunded.)
Note that I do not know how long you will be able to join the Genesis Lab group for free (they used to charge for it), so if you are interested in picking up their free group gifts, I recommend you don’t wait to do so.
UPDATE 6:20 p.m.: You know what? I am actually going to do something that I’ve never done before on this blog: I am going to NOT recommend (un-recommend?) a freebie. And that is the latest freebie version of the eBody Classic and Curvy mesh avatar bodies.They are dreadful. The problem with the feet not taking Bakes on Mesh skins is bad enough, but it gets even worse.
I went over to The Free Dove freebie store, and picked up a few outfits that said they came in versions designed specifically for eBody, like this minidress from Hilly Haalan, and even the eBody stuff doesn’t fit properly!
The previous version had slightly more workable “thick” alpha sections than this new one, especially in the chest/bust area and the back, and it’s a absolute pain in the butt to find something—anything—that works with them, short of a gunnysack where you can alpha out your whole body (and I’m not even sure about that anymore, either!). I also tried adjusting the body sliders to get rid of the skin breaking through, but to no avail.
The brutal truth is that even the Holly gown I showed you up top had some problems with certain poses in my freebie AO, where some skin would break through at the sides of the gown, a problem that the included alpha sections on the freebie eBody Classic mesh body can’t fix.
Perhaps the paid-for eBody version (with the full complement of smaller alpha sections) would fix the problem, but I don’t think that even that would fix such issues as I found with the Hilly Haalan minidress above. I am discovering to my dismay that many “eBody” versions of garments simply don’t work as advertised, particularly for the freebie version (here’s their HUD showing you the alpha sections; the top part is all greyed out and cannot be used):
(Note: I do have an alt with a paid-for version of the eBody Classic avatar, and I might just go back and try all these dresses from The Free Dove on again with that body, to see if they work out any better.)
UPDATE Jan. 11th, 2020: I tested the Hilly Haalan minidress I mentioned above on my paid-for full version of the eBody Classic mesh body, and it fits perfectly, without any issues! So something is up with the latest freebie version.
The best I could come up with was this outfit, consisting of the Faythe dress by GeMyles, paired with the Lita Lolita shoes in ochre, which include the socks and allowed me to completely alpha out the feet:
There was only one other pair of free shoes I found at The Free Dove that I could wear with this mesh body, the Paper Sparrow Alice heels which also came with socks (worn here with a free red minidress from eBody, which I had picked up in December as an Advent gift at the eBento event):
Here’s a better look at them in a place that’s not all black-on-black:
So, after over an hour on unpacking and trying on garments and tossing them aside in frustration, I found exactly two mesh dresses and two pair of shoes that I could wear with the freebie eBody Classic mesh body (and one of those dresses was already in my inventory). Every other dress specifically designed for eBody that I picked up at The Free Dove would not work properly with the “thick” alpha sections.
Nope, sorry, pass. Consider the freebie eBody Classsic and Curvy as demos only, not for actual wear.
However, if you are looking for a nice static (non-Bento) mesh head, I can certainly still recommend the free group gifts at Genesis Lab, especially if you are down to your last Linden dollar!
The only thing that the following three outfits have in common is that they are black, they are elegant, and they are free! Each is a free group gift, with a free group join.
First we have a lovely Lia black chemise with matching black pants, a free group gift from Clef de Peau. Perfect for the SL ladies who lunch! Simply join the Clef de Peau group for free, and click on the gift box on the ground at this SLURL:
The Lia outfit comes with a HUD to change the arm and leg cuffs to one of several different colours, including black (as I did with the pants this avatar is wearing in the picture above, to make them all one colour).
This is the beautiful Pelaides full-length ballgown; with materials enabled, it truly shimmers! Here I paired it with a white fur stole from Glitzz (one of their group gifts, the Glitzz group currently costs L$250 to join):
You can pick this up for free from the JR Wolf Creations store, just click the panel to join the group for free! The gown comes with a HUD with six different ombre tones, as shown, and let me tell you, it’s simply stunning (these still pictures simply do not do it justice!):
But I think I left the best for last! Here Vanity Fair models the sexy little black Kali dress, simple but elegant, perfectly paired with some chunky costume jewelry from JUMO (the Olivia earrings and necklace, a previous Advent gift):
(As an aside, the champagne glass with the Bento hand pose is my new favourite party prop! I bought it as part of the Celebration Champagne set, which includes two of these poses as well as champagne bottles and buckets, at Hive for only L$250. I just love it!)
The Kali dress is one of many free gifts you can pick up at the Apple Blossom & Seeds store, just click the black panel to join their group for free, and scoop up many lovely items of women’s clothing! Here’s the exact SLURL to find the group gifts wall, and the red arrow points to the Kali dress that Vanity Fair is wearing:
Even though the Christmas/Advent season is now over, there are still a couple of stores that are being very generous with their group gifts to customers! Did you know that there are two stores in Second Life, where you can pick up a L$1,000 gift card as a free group gift—and that you can join their store groups for free? That’s free money, people!
The first store is one where I routinely ransacked their Advent calendar over the holidays, called Le Fashion Whore. Join the Le Fashion Whore group for free (there are 4 white group join panels shown in the picture below) and simply click on the gift-wrapped box on the small table indicated below with the red arrow, to get your free gift card:
The L$1,000 gift card attaches to the lower-right hand corner of your screen, and works with any store vendor. (If you wish, you can rezz the gift card to the ground on any land with rezz rights, and then it becomes transferable to another avatar!)
The gift card for Le Fashion Whore should enable you to pick up four regular-priced women’s outfits. It’s a super deal you should not pass up!
The second store to offer a L$1,000 gift card is Blossom, a store conveniently located right next door, which sells mostly women’s footwear and a few outfits.
I found it difficult to find the store group searching under Groups in Search (it’s spelled .::* BloSSoM *::., and I just hate it when stores do that), but luckily there is also a black-bordered, light-blue group join panel attached to the side of the reception desk (see below)!
Join the Blossom group (but make sure it’s the right one, there appear to be several called “Blossom”!) and then click on the opened gift box on the reception desk as shown by the red arrow:
The Blossom gift card should be enough for you to get at least four pair of regular-priced shoes (and even more, if you happen to pick some more inexpensively-priced items, as I did). And I assume that you can also rezz that gift card to make it transferable, as well.
Oh, and apparently both these gift cards are available until January 31st, 2020, so you’ve got the rest of this month to pick them up. The gift cards are not time limited, so you can use them anytime you like.
UPDATE Jan. 11th, 2020: I wanted to show you what you can get for your gift cards, putting together this delightful retro 1950s outfit!
The Betty dress from Le Fashion Whore comes with a HUD with twelve different patterns for both the top and skirt, plus twelve coordinating colours for the belt—very versatile! And the Minnie pumps from Blossom come in six different colours as shown. This entire outfit was free, using the two L$1,000 gift cards, and there’s much more to see and buy in both stores.
The Le Fashion Whore gift card is only available until Jan. 31st, 2020, and I assume the same is true for the Blossom one, so hurry down!