Creating and Managing Outfits

One of the more interesting aspects of Viewer 2 and its clones (which is also available a the majority of third party Viewers nowadays) is the MY OUTFITS (or OUTFITS) option of the inventory.

Essentially, this allows you to create sets of “links” contained in discrete folders, to various items of clothing and attachments to create a desired look – or Outfit. Just about anything wearable can be linked to, and it doesn’t matter if it is COPY or NO Copy. Thus, you can develop ensemble outfits mixing clothing with favourite shoes / botss and a specific hair style, etc, or you can link outfits together with specific attachments, or – in the case where an outfit has multiple options (e.g. sleeved tops, sleeveless tops, different skirts, different jacket styles, etc.), you can create individual OUTFIT folders to rapidly wear variations of the outfit without having to waste time wandering through the item’s folder and manually selecting the options you want to wear.

A simple example of the idea (clothing layers only – but you can included attachments like footwear, hair, shape, eyes – whatever you want, as mentioned above) is shown on the left (click to enlarge). In it, items from three different clothing folders (two outfits from Erik Hugo, one from KCreations) have been combined into a single links folder in MY OUTFITS, allowing all of these items to be quickly worn as a single ensemble piece.

So how is this done?

Well, rather easily – or even very easily, depending on the Viewer you’re using. The Outfits function is common to all Viewer 2 variants, including third-party options such as Kirstenlee’s S20 and S21, Marine’s RLV 2.x, Catzip, Dolphin and even the new Firestorm, etc. While in the 1.2x arena it is available on Viewers such as Ascent, CV, and Phoenix – but is is not available in the “official” 1.23.5 Viewer offered by Linden Lab. Because the 1.2x-based TPVs handle the creation of outfits differently to (and better than, in my personal opinion), Viewer 2.x and its derivatives, I’ll explain both approaches.

GETTING STARTED

First off, wear the items you wish to include in the new outfit: clothes, attachments, shoes, alpha layer(s), tattoo layer(s) (assuming you’re using a Viewer that supports multi-layer clothing).

Viewer 1.x Variants

If you are using a suitable Viewer 1.x variant that supports outfits, right-click on your Avatar and select APPEARANCE. The familiar Appearance Editor window will be displayed (see left).

Within this window, locate the MAKE OUTFIT button, located in the lower left-hand corner of the window (circled, left). Note that if you do not have this button, your Viewer does not support Outfits.

Click on MAKE OUTFIT. This will open the MAKE NEW OUTFIT Window – note that I am using Phoenix for the images here (with the help of my assistant!), and some details might vary in your own browser.

The first thing to do here is to enter a name for the Outfit you are creating – something that you’ll recognise easily. There are no hard-and-fast rules here. Personally, I use the original name(s) of the original item(s) and something descriptive. for example: “GHETTI-SPECTRA/Underbust/No Garters” – this tells me the outfit is a combination of the Ghetti and Spectra-2 ranges from Erik Hugo, using the underbust corset option from Spectra-2, together with the pants option without garters. Simply enter the outfit name – but do not click on SAVE yet!

Under the text box for the Outfit name are a series of radio buttons. Those highlighted indicate clothing layers that are worn, and attachment points and HUD points that are occupied. Now, it might be that you change attachment points and HUDs alongside of outfit – you may even change avatar look (shape, skin, eyes, hair) – in which case you can skip the next bit.

However, most of us tend to have a “standard” look that includes at least shape, skin, eyes, some attachments and HUDs. Therefore, go through the list of options and uncheck those items you wear as a rule – note that you cannot actually uncheck shape or skin or the hair base or base eye options – we’ll come back to these.

When you have unchecked those items you don’t want to have re-worn whenever you select this outfit, click on SAVE. The outfit will be created in a folder of its own, located in the MY OUTFITS system folder of your inventory.

And that’s it as far as creating new Outfits is concerned – however, there are a few more optional steps to take if you want to keep your inventory count down / find Outfits easily. Details on these can be found in Managing Your Outfits, below.

Viewer 2.x Variants

When you are wearing the clothing / attachments you wish to set-up as an Outfit, right-click on your avatar and select EDIT OUTFIT from the Context Menu. This will take you directly to the Outfit APPEARANCE / EDIT OUTFIT tab (left) rather than having to navigate there by whatever route your flavour of Viewer 2.x happens to use.  This window comprises several sections and a number of options.

First and foremost, the CLOTHING “tab” is open, and displays the available clothing layers, with those that are worn highlighted. Unworn layers are also listed, and you can add them (if you accidentally missed one out when putting the outfit together) by highlighting the layer and clicking the “+” button to the right of it – this will display a list of all available clothing for that layer contained in your inventory, and you can scroll through the list, highlight the item you want and click WEAR ITEM at the bottom of the window. Click ADD MORE to return to the main Outfit display.

To change / add attachments, click the ATTACHMENTS bar towards the bottom of the Outfit display. This lists the currently-worn attachments. To remove something you don’t, after all, want, point to it to highlight it and click on the “X” displayed to the left of the item. to add an additional attachment, click ADD MORE at the bottom of the window, then select OBJECTS from the drop-down list in the centre-right of the window. This will display a list of all availableobjects (not just attachments!) – scroll through it to the item(s) you wish to add and left click / ALT-left click (PC) to highlight the item(s). Click on WEAR ITEM at the bottom of the window to wear the selected items.

Notes:

  • You cannot add multiple items to a single clothing layer, or add multiple items to a single attachment point using either of the techniques described above – for multiple items you must ADD directly from inventory before attempting to set-up an outfit
  • You can Wear additional clothing and attachments directly from the ADD MORE button, using the drop-down list to specify what you want to wear without flicking between the CLOTHING and ATTACHMENTS lists, if you prefer to work that way
  • You cannot (as of Viewer 2.4 code base) remove body parts, only replace them
  • There is a search option available, but this is best ignored (Viewer 2.4 code base) as for some reason it is linked to the main search and as such ignores your inventory!

When you are satisfied with the Outfit, click on the arrow to the right of the SAVE button at the bottom of the Outfit window and select SAVE AS. A pop-up is displayed prompting you to enter a name for the outfit. There are no hard-and-fast rules here. Personally, I use the original name(s) of the original item(s) and something descriptive. for example: “GHETTI-SPECTRA/Underbust/No Garters” – this tells me the outfit is a combination of the Ghetti and Spectra-2 ranges from Erik Hugo, using the underbust corset option from Spectra-2, together with the pants option without garters. When you have entered a suitable name, click OK to save the outfit.

And that’s it as far as creating new Outfits is concerned – however, there are a few more optional steps to take if you want to keep your inventory count down / find Outfits easily. Details on these can be found in Managing Your Outfits, below.

MANAGING YOUR OUTFITS

Note: While Viewer 2 provides a dedicated APPEARANCE tab for creating Outfits, this tab currently (up to Viewer 2.6) allow you to efficiently manage your outfits as it does not allow outfit folders to be grouped and nested. Until this issue is fixed by Linden Lab, the following notes apply to both Viewer 1.x and Viewer 2.x using the My Outfits system folder located in Inventory.

There are a couple of small issues with using Outfits in Second Life. These are:

  • By default, all Outfit folders are listed within the OUTFIT / MY OUTFITS system folder – and if you end up creating a lot of Outfits, it can get extremely annoying trying to find exactly what you want to wear
  • When you create an outfit, you have no choice but to create what can only be described as potentially redundant links, which do nothing other than clutter up your inventory and increase your inventory count.

The first of these problems can be solved with a little forethought and the use of sub-folders. Simply create a set of sub-folders in the OUTFITS / MY OUTFITS folder and move newly-created outfits to the relevant folder once you’ve done creating your Outfits.

For example, I tend to limit myself to a number of core designers whose clothing I wear very regularly, and for whom I’ve created Outfits to suit the various options I like for a given item. Therefore, I’ve organised my own MY OUTFITS folder to reflect these designers (left).

This allows me to rapidly select an outfit by Designer. Additionally, as I have an alternative Avatar that takes a number of default forms, I’ve created Outfits for each version of this particular avatar, and put them all in their own sub-folder. The same goes for my Sci-Fi role play items. Finally, and “one-offs” I have for Outfits, simply remain at the top level of the MY OUTFITS folder, again for ease of locating.

Again, not everything you own requires an Outfit being made – use your judgement and discretion. My closet goes well beyond the Designers listed in the image above – but many don’t have Outfits, because either they don’t need them – the items I have form a complete outfit I can wear directly from CLOTHING, or I don’t wear them regularly enough to warrant the creation of one ore more Outfits (and increasing my Inventory count unnecessarily).

Turning to the other small issue with Outfits, what I call “redundant links”. Most of us tend to use one specific look in terms of shape, skin and eyes, yet Outfits forces use to create links to them for each and every Outfit (see the highlighted items in the image on the left). Links that simply are not needed. While it is not a major issue to have these links, I tend to delete them in order to help reduce my overall inventory count and reduce the time taken to download it after I’ve cleared cache.

For 1.2x Viewers, you can also remove links to commonly-worn HUDs as well, if they’ve ended up in an outfit, and simply use the ADD function for those Outfits that use alternative HUDS you use in addition to your “defaults”, so the extra HUDs can be added to your screen without knocking anything off (sadly, this cannot be done with Viewer 2.4 and its derivatives, as ADD is not available with regards to Outfits).

And that is really it! Using Outfits isn’t a vital aspect of using SL, and those with their inventory neatly arranged may see little point. But it does score when wanting to create a unique ensemble look and gets over the issue of either having multiple copies of COPY items stashed around your inventory, or of hunting for NO COPY items when creating different ensemble looks. As I said, I don’t use it for everything, but where I have employed the function, it’s proven to be a great convenience.