slum magazine

“Our dreams are a second life.” ~Gerard de Nerval

It’s Rigged! – My Love-Hate Relationship with Mesh Fashion

By slum magazine’s frugal and intrepid shopper, Rhezz.

Let me say first that I want to love mesh. I buy it, I wear it, I look for it. I love the stunning detail of textures you get with mesh clothing, and the way it moves with the body. And it has flooded Second Life like a tidal wave, so yes, I want to adore it. But my inner self is whining and griping. Why?

TDR april

I like the all grey palette with the bright pink lips of the YS & YS skin.

This started out as a column about blitzing The Dressing Room in Second Life, and seeing what kind of look I could throw together for, say, L$200…but it quickly evolved as I demo’ed some mesh outfits. My inner voice got restless, and finally I had to take a more critical look at the mesh revolution.

Of course the most egregious problem is the fit. Despite creators cramming in five size options and multiple alpha layers, the clothes never quite fit. Fit me, that is. I fussed over my shape for a long time (still do) and did so again recently when I went littler as per Cat’s orders.

I truly don’t like to have to adjust my shape to squeeze into one of the standard mesh sizes, which are Large, Medium, Small, Extra Small, and Extra Extra! Small (exclamation point mine). But it is necessary, and in the end you get more the creator’s shape than your own. That’s not my bum you see in the pic below,  it’s a Bum by Ricielli. Ricielli made me a nice bum, and I thank Ricielli! But it’s not mine.

Alpha layers are another issue. The glimpses of the eternal void up sleeves, skirts and pant legs can be off-putting. With some mesh dresses and accompanying alphas, you simply can’t sit down without revealing a yawning gateway into a parallel universe. And they are  just another hassle, not vastly superior to the invisi-prims of old; in some ways more complicated, since you usually need to “Add” instead of “Wear”.

Still, creators are doing an epic job considering the challenges, and I commend them for their work in bringing mesh clothing to us at reasonable prices. The Dressing Room (TDR) features mesh clothing promos regularly, from top designers, at L$70 and under. The outfit above combines the short trench from the Ricielli “Say goodbye to winter” pack (the six styles are classics–and for some of us, winter is still hanging around!) and the nearby So Many Styles mini striped flared skirt. This can take me into early spring and will still look fresh come the fall.


Mesh burgundy coat dress, one of 6 pieces in the L$70 set.

Most of the mesh clothing on sale at TDR offer you demos, and I strongly urge everybody to take advantage of demos! And I thank the creators for providing them and wish they all did (Ricielli did not for the pack I purchased, but so many pieces for so few Linden… I can’t hold a grudge).

Is it just me or is changing clothes with mesh even more awkward than with regular Second Life clothing? I often see floating heads and severed limbs for a few seconds when the alpha layer is applied first, or people’s naked bodies before the mesh arrives. (Thus, I always wear a nice set of undies, just in case the mesh dress is tardy.) When the clothing does arrive, it often hovers ominously before spinning on to your avatar, which is mildly entertaining… but, really?

Mesh hair is another love/hate. Mostly I like it, but it is as soft as cement, so it’s useful for taking photographs but of no use to me when I move or dance, when the luxurious tendrils that cascade over my chest are stiff and lifeless. So I am not trashing my flexi-hair just yet. What I do like are the shorter styles in mesh which look so soft and pretty, and I like the style shown in the photos above, where the long hair drapes down the back but not in front. It’s “Intended”, by Magika  – a bargain I think, at L$250 for a 25 color fatpack.

Like everything in SL, I’m sure mesh will evolve, and I do like it, honestly.

I just don’t love it.

Other credits:

  • I also picked up YS & YS Megan “Morning” skin, as shown in both photos, from TDR for L$70. There are other stunning skins also temporarily available at TDR from creators such as Al Vulo, Akeruka, and Essences.
  • Mesh leather boots are a group gift from COCO Designs.

About slummagazine

slum magazine is about all things Second Life: art, music, news, reviews, shopping, love and life.

8 comments on “It’s Rigged! – My Love-Hate Relationship with Mesh Fashion

  1. ronisaunders
    April 5, 2013

    . . . yeah I have a bit of a love hate thing going with mesh clothing too . My problem or advantage , depending on how you look at it , is that I’m a bit of an amateur SL dressmaker which means I’m able to make my own alpha layers when those the original creator provides don’t fit properly . . which is so frequently the case . . and being the obsessive that I am , this often costs me severely more in trial and error texture uploads than the price of the original garment .
    So pleeease all you mesh clothing creators , spend a little more time on getting your alpha’s to fit properly . A lot of alpha layers are so far off the mark you wonder if they put the wrong ones in the pack by mistake.
    . . . oh and is it just me or does this mesh skirt make my bum look big ?



  2. Adam Zappel
    April 7, 2013

    Mesh is great for inworld rezzables such as decor and vehicles etc. Some furniture makers are doing wonderful things with it. Because of mesh that 117P allotment can outfit a Linden home quite nicely – at last!

    Things like shoes, jewelry and eyewear are much better since the arrival of mesh.

    For bodywear, however: shirts, pants, jackets, skirts, dresses, etc: mesh = fail. Period.

    As Rhezz was alluding to above when she spoke of being reluctant to wear “Ricielli’s bum” rather than her own, I did NOT spend thoughtful time & effort on the shapes of my avatars just to have them defeated -completely- by whatever shape some clothing maker chose.

    We were told that mesh would conform to the avatar. It does not.


    Not even close. That is why the avatar must be concealed by an alpha layer.

    The new “liquid mesh” can conform – a little. -Very- little. Still not enough by a long shot.

    Mesh = fail so completely that I don’t even take mesh clothing items when they are free hunt gifts. IMO they’re not even worth “free”. I don’t take the gift, I don’t browse the store, I just move along. The prevalence of mesh has largely ruined hunts for me entirely.

    In fact I will issue a challenge, and make a corresponding pledge, here and now. The challenge is twofold, as is the pledge:

    – If someone will organize a “No Mesh! Hunt” (by whatever name) featuring non-mesh clothing, hunt items L$ 5 or less, and
    – the hunt is inexpensive & reasonably well executed, specifically: there is a published list of SLURLS with hints for at least some stores.

    Then I pledge (this is the money-where-your-mouth-is part) :
    – a personal donation of L$ 1000 to the hunt, or any other charity or destination the hunt organizer may wish.
    – I or one of my (unnamed) alts will make at least one purchase in every store where I find a menswear hunt gift.

    Potential hunt organizer – hold me to this! IM me inworld if you accept this challenge. Participating merchants may hold me accountable as well. If Adam Zappel didn’t buy an item in your store by the end of the NO MESH! hunt, shoot me an IM and I’ll tell you which of my alts DID.

    I know I’m not alone. I regularly receive sympathetic IMs inworld about my group “Mesh Sucks”. So, c’mon people! Will anyone else out there step up and join me in these – or similar – pledges?


  3. Moco Scribe
    May 20, 2013

    Interesting post, I genuinely thought I was the only one who felt like this, i.e. that Mesh had failed totally to deliver the promised clothing revolution.

    I want to love Mesh too, I’ve just bought some dusky pink leather Mesh jeans and they fit ‘ok’ and without too much of a compromise but that’s the exception rather than the rule.

    I too don’t like the way Mesh dresses, tops or some trousers move, they lack fluidity and just look well odd. It’s pretty much the same thing with Mesh hair too, flex hair moves in a much better fluid way and looks more ‘real’.

    I’m sure (hoping – well praying really) that these niggles will all be fixed soonish and we can look forward to some seriously fabulous updated wardrobes.


    • slummagazine
      May 20, 2013

      I agree totally. I find I fall between two sizes, so almost always have to adjust my shape to fit. Pity those who have no-mod shapes! And so far, most mesh is a disappointment; or maybe we expected too much. 🙂



  4. Moco Scribe
    May 20, 2013

    Forgot to add….great tip on wearing undies…that is on my to do list


  5. slummagazine
    May 20, 2013

    Make sure they are clean (as mom always said) and lacy (as Rhezz always says)!



  6. Moco Scribeco scribe
    May 20, 2013

    LOl just bought a new set : P


  7. Pingback: [SL10B] slum magazine Writers Then and Now! | slum magazine

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