Ophelia's Gaze: How to Dress for SL Success
Exclusive to NWN, Iris Ophelia's ongoing showcase of all things stylish in SL
What’s the business-minded avatar wearing? Hard to tell, especially when there's so many different kinds of business going on: some companies exist only in Second Life, while others expand into real life; a few help RL firms launch in SL, and some RL businesses elect to do it themselves. Now big companies like Microsoft and eBay are participating in actual job fairs held in-world, too. So what to wear if you want to look business-like, but maintain your fantastic avatar persona?
That in mind, I had a chat with two respected SL fashion personalities, then flew off to gather a wardrobe for the up-and-coming avatar-based executive.
My concept of business-appropriate attire is quite traditional, and the lessons my mother taught me when I first started working in the real world are burned into my brain: Look clean cut, presentable, and “normal”.
But Shiryu Musashi (right), an SL businessman and RL fashion student, raised several points that are just as crucial to this world. First and foremost, it’s important to show style. Whatever your style may be, you should do it impeccably, down to the finest detail. “Fashion makes a statement," as he puts it, "and what's the point in making a statement if it's not your statement?” This bring me to Musashi’s next point, that most RL companies moving into SL will hire based on skills, not avatar. They likely won’t care if you wear a prim tie, or even if you showed up in a default newbie avatar. However, imagine representing that company to the population of SL as an unfashionable newbie avatar. How well would that reflect on them, and on you, to the naturalized SL residents they want to appeal to? “Show up badly dressed at a corporate event," Shiryu tells me, "and your audience will think, 'Look at that corporation, it's represented by noobs’.”
I also spoke with Torrid Midnight (left), a fashionista and Electric Sheep Company employee, someone I know and respect for her impeccable taste. She reiterated Musashi’s advice: “[T]he most important thing is to look polished, like you know what you're doing, like you put effort into it.” Perhaps considering the risque styles most popular in-world, she added, “I would stay away from anything that someone could find offensive.”
In that spirit, I’m using both normal and exotic avatar models for this article, mostly dressing them in traditional businesswear. Because as much as I want to emphasize a message of dress-code diversity-- in Second Life, even robots and large rabbits can take business meetings-- it can be tricky for those who do want to wear these more professional styles to find them.
Pukk Abel’s store, First Impressions, is probably the best place to send someone looking to outfit a female avatar in professional style. There are separates and full outfits available, such as the Feral ensemble pictured. On top of that, Abel sells basic black and white suits for L$100. The quality and shading is absolutely outstanding with these items, and I was a little disappointed with myself that I had overlooked her work for so long before I started shopping for this article.
[Shown in Picture: Ears and Tail by Anisa Naumova of OTCR; Hair by Elikapeka Tiramisu of ETD; Eyes by Miriel Enfield of Miriel; Eyelashes by Stumbelina Ophelia of Cake; Skin by Selos Dae of Trap; Blouse, skirt, and fopcoat by Pukk Abel of First Impressions; Shoes by Jackal Ennui of Lassitude & Ennui.]
... and that would be why I’ve opted to give you a double-hit of Abel’s work (or a second impression of First Impressions.) This particular outfit deserves special mention, however, as Abel released it (along with one lighter and one darker version of it) for the benefit of the Second Life Relay fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. This suit comes with a blazer, pants, long and short versions of the blouse, prim cuffs, a prim collar, and a tie. Very sharp, very versatile, very pink. If you’re not as enthusiastic about that particular color as I am, this is actually a special edition of suits that exist in a wide array of other colors in her store.
[Shown in Picture: Hair by Imani Moseley of Fetish; Eyes by Starley
Thereian of Celestial Studios; Skin by Nylon Pinkney of Nylon
Outfitters; Blouse, blazer, pants, and tie by Pukk Abel of First
Impressions; Shoes by Fallingwater Cellardoor of Shiny Things.]
[Shown in Picture: Hair by Helyanwe Vindaloo of Deviant Kitties; Eyes by Starley Thereian of Celestial Studios; Skin by Funk Schnook of FNKY!; Suit by Avant Scofield of The Good Life; Shoes by Fallingwater Cellardoor of Shiny Things.]
[Shown in Picture: Hair by Lost Thereian of Naughty; Eyes by Portia Sin of Sin Skins; Skin by Lost Thereian of Naughty; Sweater and jeans by Ginny Talamasca of Last Call; Glasses by Cienna Rand of Primcrafters; Shoes by Fallingwater Cellardoor of Shiny Things.]
[Shown in Picture: Hair by Rita Groshomme of Curio; Eyes by Starley Thereian of Celestial Studios; Skin by Starley Thereian of Celestial Studios; Camisole, blazer, and pants by Janie Marlowe of Mischief; Shoes by Sylfie Minogue of Prim Seduction.]
[Shown in Picture: Hair by Imani Moseley of Fetish; Eyes by BettiePage Voyager of BP; Skin by Starley Thereian of Celestial Studios; Blouse, blazer, skirt, and tie by Shiryu Musashi of Musashi-Do; Cyber Arm by Disembodied have of Steam-Powered Inc.; Stockings by Pukk Abel of First Impressions; Shoes by Fallingwater Cellardoor of Shiny Things.]
[Shown in Picture: Hair by Helyanwe Vindaloo of Deviant Kitties; Eyes by Shizuka Hayashi of ShH!; Piercings by sandy Cleghorn of Prim Sinners; Skin by dreams Anubis of Unpredictable; Blouse and pants by Nyte Caligari of Nyte’n’Day; Wrist straps by Ameshin Yossarian of Curious Kitties ; Armour rings by Dagron Stonebender ; Shoes by Eponymous Trenchmouth of Jeepers Creepers.]
[Shown in Picture: Hair by Elikapeka Tiramisu for Aveda; Eyes by Starley Thereian of Celestial Studios; Skin by Funk Schnook of FNKY!; Suit by Storma Amarula of X2:Exotica; Shoes by Fallingwater Cellardoor of Shiny Things.]
Whatever you do, and whatever you wear, just remember: Wear what you want, but wear it well. You have 3 audiences to please: the employer, the consumer-- and yourself.