Now, as you know, I have opinions.
And one of my firmly-held opinions, at least up until now, is that older freebie stores which consist of nothing but system layer clothing for classic avatars should be banished from the grid:
[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!
Well, now that I have had an opportunity to play around a bit with many of the free and inexpensive Bakes on Mesh bodies available (more information here), I am going to soften that hard-line stance somewhat. Because I have found that you can re-purpose these older outfits quite nicely sometimes, like this sexy black number I picked up at the Wise Heron Newbie Mall, which I am wearing on the free Bento Bakes-on-Mesh compatible mesh body called Ruthie from Tiny Things:
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 best six 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).
The Freebie Store at Ayuda Virtual
Ayuda Virtual is the lesser-known, Spanish-speaking cousin to the popular Portuguese freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil (which is my number-one-ranked freebie store for mesh clothing and footwear). Again, there is a mix of mesh and system-layer clothing here. Menswear is located to the right, and womenswear to the left:
Wise Heron Newbie Mall
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!