“In summer, the song sings itself.” ~ William Carlos Williams
I haven’t felt like reviewing an outfit for a while, but every so often something squee-worthy drags me up to the photo cylinder. Recently, I went scrounging around the grid for a “spoil me” Summer outfit to wear for the re-launch of my music venue.
What I came up with was one of those outfits I haven’t wanted to take off for a week and a half. I’ve donned it my “Tropic of Summer Ensemble” and I do believe I’ve struck yummy.
To start off, we have the “To The Beach” wrap skirt from Hudson’s Clothing Co. This is a lovely little Summer wrap that doesn’t quite feed my sarong fetish, but comes pretty damn close. The single system layer is a richly-textured pant that is modest enough for public exposure while still revealing a bit of cheek. The fabric pattern is intricate and could potentially wear well on its own for a sunning suit outfit if accessorized nicely. Alas, it only comes on the panty layer, so you have limited mix and match options with it. The waist is a folded scarf sculpt prim that “ties” on the hip. The rest of the flex prims cascade down to form a semi-transparent asymmetrical layered skirt. The prim elements are a single item which attach, by default, to the pelvis.
There’s no reinventing the wheel happening with this item. It works and I like the look of it, but it’s the same flex skirt with the same transparency issues you’ve seen dozens of times over. It’s a very basic item that does not come with re-size scripts, but it’s copy and mod, so you can tinker. Modestly priced, I found it a very handsome piece for the sheckles. On a side-note it also comes in green, blue, and “dusk” (which is more or less a light purple-ish). If you like airy feminine skirts with a gypsy feel, this is your type of ticket.
Moving on to blouse action, we have the “Summer Tie-Up” in “primrose.” If you like it, you should run — do not walk – I said RUN to Prim & Pixel Paradise to grab it because it’s only L$1 for who knows how long. I wasn’t familiar with Prim & Pixel and I found the included notecard too long and obnoxious, explaining how signing up for some group that was never named or linked to will get you exclusive this-or-that and after that point “they will be gone gone gone fahhhevah”. You can’t make this stuff up. I appreciate that designers want to encourage people to join their update groups, but given the limitations of SL groups and how many people have to pick and choose, this sort of bullying runs the opposite direction of inspiring customer loyalty from my perspective. If you have to force me to stay in your group through product blackmail, you’re doing something wrong. But then using ASCII graphics, phrases like “da bunnehs” and being KIND OF ANNOYING with CAPS LOCK probably means I’m not the target customer base.
That said, the top is darling with scalloped edges and silver conchos at the gather between the breasts and at the tie in the back. If you’re a seam watcher you’re not going to be happy as both the side seams and where one of the panels meets the rest of the layer in the back are not exactly prime-time ready. But, I can assure you, it’s cute enough to not really focus on the shortcomings. For the price and for the charm, it’s full of happy. It comes on undershirt, shirt, and jacket layers for mix and match mayhem.
Next we have the Floppy Hat w/ Scarf from GOS. I’m told it’s already been over-blogged to death, but c’est la vie. GOS does a lot right from a consumer point of view. The hat has an in-store demo and excellent documentation. Attaching to the chin by default, the touch-menu system guides you through the oodles of options, including three shapes (Up, Flat, Down), three brim/base colors (Light, Golden, Dark), five scarf ring colors (Frake, Mahogany, Oak, Rosewood, Walnut) and sixteen scarf colors. The hat is copy / no-mod and the only thing I can even come near scolding them for is not having a remove scripts option, although I checked my avatar script time and didn’t have any significant jump with it.
You have to resize the hat each time you change the shape which made the “save” and “restore” options a little baroo for me, but the resizing is pretty painless button-pushing and you can remove the hat and copy it to save it in various stages for your favorite outfits. You can also reset it to factory defaults, which is nice when the reshuffle of prims does odd things.
I had one display issue with the hat which is a heartbreaker for me, although many of the people I showed it to did not have the same issues, so it’s obviously viewer-setting and/or hardware dependent. If you zoom out to the point where you could take a full-figure shot, there is a transparency issue along the scarf/brim section that shows through. As annoying as this glitch is, it only happens when you zoom out enough to cause it. Given the quality of the sculpts and my propensity to sing songs from Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (shut up — it’s my hat and I can sing what I want) I was happy to stay zoomed in.
The “Espadrilles” wedge shoes also came from GOS and I was again impressed with their options as a consumer. Another purchase with amazing documentation and scripts that even come with remove options (although, once more, I didn’t notice any significant script time increase with the items). Also, it must be noted that at a time when shoes in SL are ridiculously overpriced, these puppies are no more expensive than a hair pack and you can buy color add-ons for only L$100, which is just brilliant.
At first glance they might seem to be cork wedges, but the base and heel cup are actually more like rattan. Alas, you cannot recolor these elements which is a crying shame after seeing the lovely straw options on the hat, but you can’t have everything. The ribbons, seams, bows, and toe of the canvass/linen textured elements can all be recolored depending on which packs you have, which means with a handful of color purchases you can mix up options for different outfits. I did find it somewhat limiting that I was unable to recolor the inner sole, especially given that the shoes were much wider on my foot than necessary when scaled for size.
The Espadrilles are 2.0 friendly and allow you to either re-size the invisiprim or turn it off and use the mesh alpha layer. They also come with an “ankle lock” feature that uses an A/O type method of keeping your feet and shoes working in tandem; this option can be toggled on and off for those who don’t like it. When editing, you can Sync the shoes so that changes apply to both and you don’t have to re-texture/size twice. As scripting goes, this is a company that understands how to make consumer-friendly products. Despite a few wishful tweaks, they’re riding the rails of perfection.
For jewelry I went to Mandala and picked up the “Pearl Rain” sets in cream and gold. The items are excellently crafted and delightfully textured, with luxurious pearl shine and variegated colors for a realistic effect. The sculpts are top-drawer and I cannot rave enough about the appearance. They are copy/no mod with full-bright counterparts included in each set and basic re-size “this prim” or “all prim” scale options. The necklace defaults to the chest attach position and everything else defaults where you’d expect.
The problem, however — and this seems to be a big issue with jewelry today in SL — is that the resize scripts are hogs. My avatar script time jumped over 1.0 when I was wearing all the items and an average of .3 per item (necklace, each earring, each bracelet). The menus do not offer a “remove scripts” option and because the items are no-mod you can’t remove them manually. When I’m home by myself taking photos, this isn’t a big deal, but if you’re out at an event, that kind of script hogging is just rude. I find myself not wearing jewelry these days because of this issue. When my avatar has an average script time of .25 – .3 with A/O, Mysti and my usual attachments, there just isn’t a way to justify quadrupling that for some jewelry.
***MEMO to designers — get with the program and offer us the ability to remove scripts if your items are script-time hogs. Kthxbai.***
Moving to a “depths of my inventory” oldie fave, are the Cat’s Eye Glasses from Frameworks which I am chuffed to report still exists in-world. These “never go out of style” delights are just L$80 and I love every spec of them, down to the rhinestoned corners. Copy and mod (those were the good old days) they use old /1 scripts to change colors, shininess, and transparency, although you have to size them manually. The scripts didn’t create any jump I could notice, but being as the glasses are mod, they can always be removed. I still love these as much as I did years ago when I first got them and I have to say, they hold up wonderfully against more modern offerings.
Last but nowhere near least, is the ME hairstyle from Sixty Nine. I found this a few months ago and I’ve been in lust with it ever since. Sixty Nine has a modest offering of styles, but they’re all lovely. The sculpts weave together to form a realistic whole with a feminine and wispy delicacy that you just don’t see in a lot of creators. The textures are fantastic and each wig is offered in traditional size-yourself or re-size script options (which can be removed). I didn’t have to tinker very much to get it to go with the floppy hat for those keeping track at home.
The prims are static and not flexi, so that is the compromise; movement and poses will be less natural. Still, it’s a compromise we’re all used to at this stage of the game.
As Summer outfits go, there is a lot for me to love about this one and we may be kissing Autumn before I relent to taking it off. I might even go crazy and keep the white Espadrilles on after Labor Day.
Where Does She Get Those Wonderful Toys?
TO THE BEACH SKIRT WRAP – L$150
HUDSON’s Clothing Co
Summer Tie Up Blouse – Primrose – L$1
Prim & Pixel Paradise
Espadrilles Wedge Shoes – L$295
(Add-On Colors L$100)
Floppy Hat w/ Scarf – L$295
Pearl Rain Jewelry Set/Cream Gold – L$407
Pearl Rain Bracelet/Cream gold – L$257
Cat Eye Glasses – L$80
ME – Mocha Collection – L$300