I am becoming more depressed and anxious about the Ukraine Russia war, and its potential to turn into World War III. I have been spending a lot of time these past three weeks doomscrolling the news and social media (mostly Reddit and Twitter), but I do try step away for a day or two when I become overwhelmed by it all.
So, in addition to making financial donations to various war-related charities, I was out protesting against this senseless war in front of the Freebie Megastore in the popular London City sim in Second Life, standing right next to an effigy of 💩-tin in a garbage can…you know, as one does in SL (hey, it’s your Second Life; do what you want!).
Anyways, while I was there, I freecammed into the Freebie Megastore, and I was pleased to discover that they have considerably enlarged their selection of free mesh clothing and footwear:
You can still pick up the free versions of the male Robert and female Jenny mesh bodies from Altamura, as well as a decent selection of free men’s and women’s clothing specifically designed to fit Altamura bodies. The menswear section has been significantly expanded from what I remember the last time I visited, too! (There is also a nice selection of men’s and women’s St. Patrick’s Day outfits, but you’d better hurry down to the Freebie Megastore to pick those up!)
Here’s a look at the mesh women’s clothing section; while the older items come in standard sizing, the newest additions are designed to fit a wide variety of women’s mesh body brands:
There’s also a women’s footwear section tucked into a corner of the Freebie Megastore, which includes some shoes and boots to fit Maitreya, Belleza, and Slink mesh feet!
So, if you haven’t been down to the Freebie Megastore in London City for a while, it might be time to pay a visit and pick up some fabulous freebies! Here’s your taxi.
[I hate] horrible, horrible freebie stores that are unloading floor after floor of ancient system layer clothing. Freebie Galaxy is a 15-story crime against humanity and should be burned to the ground!
Now, there are a few considerations you do need to keep in mind when using system-layers-and-flexiprim clothing on the newer Bakes-in-Mesh compatible mesh bodies:
The clothing will be skin-tight, regardless of the settings on the Shirt Fit and Sleeve Looseness sliders on shirts, and the Pants Fit and Cuff Flare sliders for pants. Depending on the mesh body you are using (like the Ruthie body above), you might get a hint of camel toe as a result.
The waist on the system skirts is unlikely to look good on a mesh avatar, and cannot be adjusted to fit better.
However, one benefit of system skirts is that you can easily adjust their length, all the way from a miniskirt hemline to full-length ballgown length!
Also, you will be able to adjust the sleeve lengths and pantleg lengths easily on most system layer clothing, such as this jacket-layer low-cut top:
So, knowing all this, let’s take a look at some of these older freebies stores.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are looking for the bestsix freebie stores to pick up newer, high-quality mesh clothing, please use this updated list instead, or this older list. The following freebie stores may have a few mesh items, but they overwhelmingly offer older, system-layer-and-flexiprim clothing which can be used with both classic Second Life avatars, and the newer Bakes-on-Mesh compatible mesh bodies.
Helping Haven Gateway
Helping Haven Gateway is one of those freebie places which should be more widely known (I find I keep forgetting its name, because I visit it so infrequently!). This newbie orientation centre boasts two large, white, multi-story buildings full of men’s and women’s clothing. What is available here is a mix of newer, mesh clothing from various designers, plus a wider selection of older, system layer clothing. There are some nice things to be found here, so you might want to drop by sometime.
The Freebie Megastore in London City
The Freebie Megastore in always-bustling London City now has a nice selection of mesh clothing for male and female avatars on their first floor (including some specifically designed for male and female Altamura mesh avatars), but they also have several stories of older, system-layers-and-flexiprims outfits. In addition, you can pick up some very nice system layer gowns and dresses at the Snowpaws store located just across the street.
New Resident Island
New Resident Island is a charming, helpful, medieval-themed newbie orientation centre with an excellent selection of both mesh and system layer clothing for both male and female avatars.
Please note that some of the freebies here are restricted to avatars under a certain age (e.g. avatars which were created less than 365 days ago).
Freebies Warehouse has a well-curated selection of both newer mesh and older system layer clothing (also check the Sexy Girl store next door, which is a Stars clothing franchise and has a couple of free gifts you can pick up).
Wise Heron Newbie Mall is a fairly well-curated, well-organized freebie store, which is where I picked up the sexy black outfit you see in the pictures above. There are separate sections for men’s and women’s clothing. Menswear is to the left, and womenswear to the right:
Last AND Least on My List: Freebie Galaxy and the Freebies Dungeon (Go Here Only If You Absolutely Have To!)
Last (and least), I will namedrop the above-mentioned Freebie Galaxy, which is essentially a 15-story dumping ground for system-layers-and-flexiprim clothing, and hideous 2003-era prim jewelry and shoes, which you really should avoid at all costs.
And for the love of God, if you are saving Linden dollars by using the advice I regularly dispense on this blog, spend those savings and pick up some good-quality, modern mesh shoes! One of my pet peeves in SL are those avatars rocking 2003-era shoes with busted invisiprims and even bling! So not a look you want to emulate. Here’s a few places where you can find free mesh shoes on the grid.
Go to the Freebie Galaxy ONLY if you have an hour or two to spare, and you absolutely cannot find what you want at any of the previous places. Trust me on this! The place is a nightmare, but at least it is somewhat organized by category.
But, if you insist on seeing EVERYTHING, Freebie Galaxy and the Freebies Dungeon should be the last stops on your list. Freebie Dungeon in particular is a horror show, just a hodge-podge, an absolute disorganized mess. Go anywhere else before you head there!
What would you think if I told you that you could pick up no less than fourteen full-body (i.e. head and body) mesh avatars, at one place and one time, for absolutely free? You can do that as of today at the brand new Altamura store, which has moved to a new sim (here’s the SLURL).
Also, Altamura has announced that you can join the Altamura Design/Mesh Avatars group for free over the holidays! Normally the group costs L$100 to join, so I would very strongly urge you to join now and stay a member of the group, as Altamura often has special bargains and freebies for group members at various events during the year. Last February they gave away full-price, fully-featured versions of the Romeo and Juliet mesh full-body avatars as free group gifts to their members, for example.
You are probably already aware that you can pick up free, fully-adjustable versions of the following Altamura full-body mesh avatars from the following freebie store locations:
Valentina and one version of Max at the excellent freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil;
Emanuele and a second version of Max at the freebie store at UniHispana Crea; and
Jenny and Robert at the Freebie Megastore on the London City sim.
But now you can pick up no less than fourteen mesh full-body avatars for free, from the new Gifts room in the Altamura store. Some are identical to the six listed above; others were limited-time freebies that Altamura has decided to bring back for Christmas. You can pick them all up in one place at one time!
Just head in the main entrance, turn immediately to the right, and you will see a large black-and-white sign that says GIFT. Enter that room.
In the Gift room, there are nine free, fully-adjustable, Bento-enabled full-body mesh avatars (four for men and five for women):
All you have to do is activate your Altamura Design/Mesh Avatars group membership, and click on each panel, then select Deliver from the blue menu that pops up.
These free avatars have all the features of the full-price versions, except that you can not change the included skin tone that they come in. Neither can you use any Omega skin or makeup appliers with them. However, they do have Bento heads and hands, they are completely adjustable using the full set of head and body sliders, and they also offer a HUD with a complete set of alpha selections to be able to fit just about any clothing you wish on them. They even thoughtfully include a hands-only AO, to use with your regular non-Bento animation overrider!
Here are just a couple of examples of what these nine Bento avatars look like.
This is Aaron, who is wearing a free pair of men’s shorts from the Altamura clothing collection at the Freebie Megastore in London City:
Here the Kim full-body mesh avatar is wearing a free dress from the Altamura clothing collection at the Freebie Megastore in London City:
On the opposite wall there are also five free, older, non-Bento full-body female mesh avatars:
To get these, activate your Altamura group membership, and pay each panel L$1 (your dollar will automatically be refunded).
It is very important to understand the difference between these five bodies and the nine I mentioned earlier. Please note that these five bodies are non-Bento bodies, without Bento hands or heads; you have only three possible hand static hand shapes to choose from on the body HUD (and you won’t be able to animate the fingers using a Bento hand animation override). Also, you also will not be able to make any changes to the facial features using the sliders, as you can with the first nine. (You can adjust various aspects of the body, however, and they do come with an alpha HUD.)
I’m going to show you what two of these five non-Bento mesh avatars look like. Here is the Africa full-body female mesh avatar, again wearing one of the free dresses from the new clothing collection for Altamura avatars from the Freebie Megastore in London City:
As you can she, she is quite beautiful!
UPDATE Dec. 15th, 2019: I am so taken with the Africa mesh avatar that I have taken a few more snapshots of her! She is so strikingly beautiful that she stands out in any crowd. In the first picture she is wearing a free outfit from Artizana, known for their bold African designs:
And in this shot she is wearing the free Dec. 14th gift from the 12 Days of Christmas calendar at JUMO, the stunning, shimmering Nice ballgown:
And this is what the Tanya non-Bento full-body female mesh avatar from Altamura looks like, again wearing a free dress from the collection of Altamura clothing at the Freebie Megastore in London City:
The heads on these non-Bento bodies do come with limited makeup options in a separate HUD, but I have removed all the makeup so you can see the shape of the head and the face more clearly:
(Note that all the eyes I used in these four pictures came from the new set of Linden Lab starter avatars which are already in your inventory: Leonard, Gretchen, Ashton, and Bitsy. You do not need to spend a penny to have great-looking, realistic eyes!)
There are also a few more freebies located in the centre of the room: the Maya static (non-Bento) mesh head, a full-body female Halloween avatar, and a set of full-body female fantasy avatars in different colours.
But wait, there’s more! In the store near the entrance there is a Christmas tree, with a new gift laid out under it for every day of the 12 days of Christmas. The gift box for day number 2 contains a L$500 Altamura gift card! (You will need to activate your Altamura group to pick this gift up; only one per customer.)
Now, it would appear that you can apply this L$500 gift card only towards the full price of an Altamura mesh avatar head, body, or full-body (i.e. head and body) package; the card did not seem to work at any of the clothing, accessories, or nail vendors I tried it on. But if you were in the market for a deal on a full-priced mesh avatar, this will certainly be a great help!
UPDATE Dec. 17th, 2019: It would appear that the L$500 gift card offered for day number 2 has now been replaced with a L$100 gift card. But this new gift card now works on any of the vendors in the Altamura store, including clothing and accessories.
Be sure to check back every day until Christmas Day for even more gifts from Altamura! (Last year, the gifts included basic but fully-functional Bento mesh heads for men and women, plus some skin appliers.)