There’s an old cliché that says “men hate shopping”. However, retail research finds that many men are happy to shop, providing retailers make it easy to do so. Unfortunately, while buying things in Second Life can be fast, finding just the right things, at the right price, isn’t as easy as it could be – and this is especially true for men.
That’s why I’ve created my From Zero to Hero: The 2-hour Men’s Makeover Style Guide so that you guys can not only get the biggest “bang for your buck”, but also in the least amount of time possible.
In my work as a theatre director, I’ve made a lot of male avis in my time. Coupled with the fact that many guys tend to come to me for style advice, I’m hoping this post will help!
As the title should show, this post is mainly written for the man who wants to make a quick move from the standard, off-the-assembly line avatar to an avi who’ll make any lady’s loins roar with hunger… well not really, but it’s a step in the right direction!
With that said, I’ll keep it pretty basic and fast. Also, this post is for men who want to dress like gentlemen. This is about style, not fashion. Fashion comes later, if ever.
So guys, there are some basic pre-requisites here, you’ll need to
- have at least 8,740$ in your Second Life bank account
- set aside at least 2 hours of time, and lastly
- have at least a glassful of some sturdy red wine on hand… because by the end of this, you’ll need it!
- I’m also assuming you have a mesh capable viewer because apart from your body, we’re going mesh all the way.
One more thing, this is not meant to be an exhaustive list of where to go for everything you need. My plan here is for you to visit as few places as possible and I’m going to time this too, so we don’t waste a minute. Are you ready? Timer’s set? Let’s go!
Step 1: Body Basics
- Budget: L$2000
- Time: 20 minutes
00:00:00 – As in RL, you’re going to start off in your birthday suit, so the first step is to get a good body and shape that which will pretty much make everything else look good. Follow these steps and you’ll be ready for the beach, and bedtime:
- TP to Aeros
- Walk forward into the shape and skins area where you’ll find loads of images on the walls of different avatars to choose from. There are images on both sides so choose the face you and go from there. They’re grouped into different ethnicities. Pro-tip: Hold down your alt key and click around to navigate your camera to view things, which is much more efficient than walking around.
- These packages contain everything you’ll need to get going, including high quality skins with 3 tones, 3 modifiable shapes, decent eyes, brows, body hair, facial hair and hair base options. Everything in the package cost L$2000, which is a good price for all the quality options they’ve included. You’ve got 20 minutes to try the free demos and see which one suits you best.
- Right click to pay the picture vendor and you’re away!
Step 2: Get equipped
- Budget: L$1500
- Time: 10 minutes
00:20:00 – There are loads of male genitalia available on the market: the bad news is that they vary tremendously in quality, the good news is that the best members on the market are only a few short steps away from where you now stand. Once you have the body you want…
- Turn around, and walk towards the genitals area which is located opposite the skins and shapes
- On the right you’ll see the top-of-the-line Axiom range. They come in 3 styles: smooth, veined, and ridged – your choice is really a matter of personal preference. Rest assured, you can’t go wrong with Aeros in the cock department, regardless of the option you choose. Not only are the cocks superior quality and uber-customisable, the HUD is both attractively designed and easy-to-use (it even comes with a guide!). The cock even offers a partner HUD for her to play with if you like. Feel free to tinker with the HUDs on display under each model to see how easily they modify the cock. The Axioms are now priced at 1500 L$ – a bargain if you ask me.
- If none of the Axioms tickle your fancy, do a 180 and you’ll see the older – yet still very high quality older versions – the Nemo and the Magnus. There’s nothing wrong with either, and they’re priced at L$1400 because they’re simply not as new.
- The choices are few, but excellent; so this step shouldn’t take you longer than 10 minutes.
- Find the buy button next to the item you prefer, and you’re done. Make sure you stick around long enough to receive your items.
Step 3: Mesh hands and feet
- Budget: L$1125
- Time: 5 minutes
00:30:00 – Right, you’ll unpack and wear everything later, so let’s get over to our next stop, the one and only: Slink and replace those awful system-avatar paws that stand in for hands and feet!
- TP to Slink, when you get there walk down the red carpet to the very end of the store where you’ll see the sign for the Physique Body, then once you get to the end, make a hard right and you’ll see the men’s hands and feet (as seen in the picture above).
- Buy the Relax hands (yes, there are 15 options available – but unless you’re posing for photos, you’ll only need one to get you going). The Relax is on the bottom row, four hands in from the left. They’re L$450, and you get both hands in the set.
- Buy the Feet – lucky you and unlike the lady’s versions, there’s only one option – so pay the L$675 and you’ve got what you need. Ok, we’re done here! If you stayed focused, you should be out of here in less than 5 minutes. Again, make sure you get your two items, and let’s go!
Step 4: To the stylist!
- Budget: L$120 (per hairstyle)
- Time: 20 minutes
00:35:00 – We’re making progress! But let’s get some proper hair on your head so you can finish your nude look at least. I know hair can be a bit more personal; but for guys, it can be super hard to fish for the one or two men’s styles among a sea of women’s styles. So, I’m going to take you to a place that offers about 45 men’s styles in one place… isn’t that nice of me?
- TP to Dura, when you get there, turn to the right where you’ll see a teleporter – click on the sign that says ‘Mens Hair’ (sic).
- When you get there, there are 3 hallways of men’s styles, with styles on either side of the halls, so remember your alt+mouse trick I told you about earlier, and check out the styles.
- When you find one you like, choose from the available colours and you’re set! While you’re here, feel free to pick up a few different styles (or colours) that you like, but remember we’re on a time budget of about 20 minutes here, so let’s not dawdle. Wait for your items to arrive, and let’s move on.
Step 5. A well-tailored suit is to women what lingerie is to men
- Budget: L$800
- Time: 5 minutes
00:55:00 – Alright, now you’ve got everything you need for your birthday suit. Sure, there are many different options we could go for, but keep your eye on the target of maximum efficiency! One day I’ll write another post with a whole bunch of different options… but let’s make sure we get the basics right – it’s time for your new suit!
- TP to Zaara
- At first sight, you might not imagine finding a great men’s suit at Zaara’s, but if it’s good enough for Ebbe Linden in his most recent keynote speech, it’s good enough for you! Here, you’ll find Zaara’s Classic Suit. I like it because it’s not a modern yet classic cut that makes pretty much any guy look like he owns it, but it also comes with a load of easy shirt and tie texture-change options that will keep you happy for months.
- Choose your colour (I recommend any of the five options on the left of the above picture, if you want to keep things simple and easy to coordinate). Remember, these come with a closetful of shirts and ties, so this is a terrific one-stop option for L$800.
- This step shouldn’t take you longer than 5 minutes, so wait for your items to arrive, and let’s move on to the next step.
Step 6. Hit the streets!
- Budget: L$800
- Time: 20 minutes
00:60:00 – Awesome! We’ve not spent more than one hour on this and we’re making loads of progress! Now it’s time to pick up some casual wear. So let’s head over to NOTsoBAd, who have a great choice of casual street wear that will surely have something you like.
- TP to NOTsoBAD, when you get there turn right and walk into the store.
- Have a look around and see what you like. Everything has an unboxed demo if you want to try it on, but as long as you choose one of the shapes I suggested above, most things should fit you fine.
- A good pair of jeans and a cardigan/shirt combo will set you back about L$450 and L$350 respectively. There’s a great button up shirt for L$350 too. There are also some leather sneakers in assorted colours near the back of the store that cost L$550. You could even wear the darker ones with your new suit. At these prices, this stuff is not cheap, but it’s good quality.
- I’m guessing you might need about 20 minutes here making a few choices, so let me know when you’re ready and we’ll be off to the next step!
Step 7: Shoes speak louder than words
- Budget: L$495
- Time: 5 minutes
01:20:00 – Our next step will take us to FATEIsland, home to the brand new FATEStep, which offers a pair of shoes which might just be the only dress shoes you’ll ever need.
- TP to FATEStep, when you get there, turn to the right and walk into the building labelled FateSTEP.
- Buy Paul’s Wingtips for L$495. These shoes are not only beautifully modelled with a high attention to detail, but they also come with over 60 normal or shiny textures that can be chosen by an intuitive HUD. As a bonus, they’ll work just fine with your new Slink feet or your default avatar feet, and include socks.
- This step shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes, so when you’re ready to go, we’ll move on to the next step.
Step 8: Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important
- Budget: L$1900
- Time: 10 minutes
01:25:00 – Right, our next step is to get you looking more natural and comfortable in your own skin – and breathing like a real human! Remember that even in the digital world, our body language communicates volumes. A high-quality, motion-capture AO (animation overrides) cannot be undervalued. Considering you’ll be wearing it with pretty much every single outfit, it’s worth going for the best you can afford.
- TP to Vista, when you get there, walk into the store, up the stairs, do a sharp right and another sharp right.
- Vista Animations has recently released two new comprehensive AOs for men, so you’re sure to be wearing something relatively different from what we’re all mostly accustomed to in men’s body language.
- Switch off any AO you’re currently using and get on the pads to try the different stands, walks and sits.
- When you’ve sampled the options, choose from either the Ruben AO (natural, self-confident and masculine) or Johnny AO (calm, strong and natural) for the latest in understated AOs that don’t make you look like you’re trying to attract too much attention.
- At L$1900, you’re probably thinking… holy smokes, that is so expensive! Consider this: these AOs come with 18-23 stands, 7-8 walks, 5 chairsits, 5 groundsits, 5 dances, and 6 couple animations – each of which would cost you L$150 separately. These aren’t computer-made animations either, these are motion-capture animations; made by actors wearing skin-tight suits with green dots all over them. With the very easy to use, and non-obtrusive HUD that the AOs are controlled with, you’re getting around L$7000 worth of animations in a package that is a fraction of the cost. Trust me, I’ve used Vista AOs for years and years, and this is the way to go.
- I’m thinking that you’ll need about 10 minutes to try the different animations and make your decision.
Step 9: Chill out with a bold glass of red!
- Budget: That’s your call
- Time: 5 minutes
01:35:00 – We’re almost finished guys – now would be a great time to reward yourself with a well-earned beverage of your choice! I’ll be waiting right here when you get back!
Step 10: Simplify your life with outfits
01:40:00 – Ok, for this step, you’ll need to get yourself to a place where you can undress and rez objects in peace. If you don’t have a private place you can rez objects, contact me via IM, I’d be happy to let you use my platform and give you temp rez rights for this purpose. Hell, you’ve stuck with me so far on this; it’s the least I can do 🙂
We’re going to make a couple of outfits. In case you’ve never done this, the big benefit of making outfits is that you can wear any number of combinations with the click of a button. Sound good? Follow these steps:
- TP to a place that allows you to rez objects.
- Take everything off except your skin and current shape
- Change the windlight to CalWL (if you’re in Firestorm) or [Tnx] Photoshoot if you’re in the default LL viewer.
- Open and wear your new shape, skin, hands, feet, cock, hair and AO
- Make the necessary adjustments: Choose the shortest shape your body comes with, they’re all oversized, so the shortest one will get you at least close to normal. Your cock should fit perfectly out of the box. Your hands and feet may need colour matching, which is pretty easy to do using the Slink HUD. I’ve asked Aeros if they have a Slink applier to make this easier for you and will update this post when they get back to me. Remember to use your Aeros Color Matching HUD to get your cock tint just right.
- Once you’ve got everything on – save what you’re wearing as an outfit called ‘Nude’. If you don’t know how… In the top bar menu choose Me > Appearance > Save (as)
Now take off your feet and cock, and save another outfit called “Nude – w/o feet/cock”. That will be useful for when you want to easily wear a starter outfit to add clothes and shoes to.
Once you’ve done that…
- Open and wear your new clothes and shoes
- Make the necessary adjustments
- Save as outfits using the same procedure as above.
I’m giving you 20 minutes for this step, which should take you up to a full 2 hours! Well done!