By HYACINTH CORTES
Photos by VERDE OTAARED
One of the questions I hear so often at the AVL Reference desk from new residents is "where can I get some clothes?" Of course, it's not just the newbies who want free clothes. Some of us are bargain hunters in any world, any universe, any time or any place. Give us a free dress, invite us to a good hunt, have us slap a midnight magic board and we get a (virtual) smile. I'll even admit to having a bad day in real life turn into a happy occasion when my letter comes up in a lucky chair. Who knew that shopping while spending absolutely no money - dollars or lindens - could be so much fun?!
Welcome to the world of the freebie hunter. There are many sources for free stuff in Second Life. You just have to know where to look, be really lucky, or have more time than lindens. One of the best ways to be in the know about the latest finds is to read the blogs. Two of the most heavily followed blogs are often updated several times a day, depending on what's going on, and by several regular bloggers covering all styles. Fabulously Free in SL tracks free and nearly free clothes in SL. The resident bloggers show their daily treasures and give you a slurl for each item. They blog clothes, hair, skins, shoes, accessories, and occasionally other things like furniture. Fabfree has an inworld group, and they have an inworld headquarter shop where they have some nice quality things to pick up.
A second blog with many devoted followers is SL Free Style. Free Style also has multiple bloggers who post as frequently as their time allows and as they find good things to share, with posts appearing almost every day. They also feature hair, skins, shoes, accessories, in addition to clothes.
Left: Seldom Blue Senations Gown (free), hair from Philotic Energy, previous lucky chair gift, skin is Hope Star from Tuli, current group gift ($250L to join group) Right: Artilleri, Beatha dress (1L), Maitreya pumps (free)
There are so many bloggers doing SL shopping, and so many who feature freebies or cheapies that it would be impossible to list them all. I've listed a sampling of frequently updated blogs that feature nice quality items below. If I've left out your favorite, let me know - I'd love to hear about new sources.
Shops inworld that are full of freebies are also plentiful. Shops that offer exclusively good quality freebies are less abundant. A couple of such shops have consistently good quality items from well known designers. The Gnubie Store is located in Powder Mill. Some well known designers, including Nyte Caligari, Antonia Marat of Artilleri, Hyasynth Tiramisu of Silent Sparrow, and Truth Hawks of Truth have samples of their clothing here. Some are dollarbies, but well worth 1L. Fleur (aka Fifth and Oxford) has free newbie skins. FabFree Headquarters at Car Wash is the inworld site associated with the FabFree bloggers and also offers free skins, hair, and clothes by well-known desigers. Wetherby's has a free dress every day. Join the group to get special offers; it's worth it for some stylish dresses.
Quality free items can be acquired by joining vendor or store groups. The blogs mentioned above and listed at the bottom of the column are very good about noting when something pictured in the blog was a group gift, free or priced. The 25-group limit in SL makes it difficult for us to get everything we see, causing a lot of group juggling, or switching to alts to at least get notifications. The increasing use of the subscribe-Matic to get on lists that don't use up one of our precious 25 groups makes group joining easy. Most group subscribe-o's will let you touch the sign to subscribe, unsubscribe, and to view history. If a group gift has gone out as an attachment to a group notice, the subscribe-o usually allows you to pick it up in the history. If you see something you like, join the group and get the gifts.
Have you ever thought you'd spend an afternoon hunting for watermelons or other even smaller objects scattered over sims in Second Life? One of summer's hunts going from July 18 through August 9 is the Slice of Summer Hunt. Freebie hunters find and buy watermelons at participating stores and claim the (free!) prize inside. Hunts are a great way to discover new shops and meet new friends. A good place to find out about hunts is the blog SL Hunts.
XStreetSL has plenty of freebies so you can shop during your work day without even having to log on to SL. Just go directly to the XStreetSL Freebies or to XStreetSL and try Marketplace, and freebies to begin shopping.
We plan to feature a variety of styles, themes, and designers in future fashion columns. Ideas include shoes, Victorian and period dress, designer interviews and more. If you would like to suggest an idea for a future column or would like to write a feature, please let us know. BlakOpal Lace Front Corset dress
, Xstreet SL, (free), skin is Hope Star from Tuli, current group gift (250L to join group), hair is milli, from the gift freeball from Analog Dog.
Good quality free stuff at these places in SL:
Fabulously Free in SL
SL Free Style
El vestidor de Julieta
Fashion Freebies for Men
SL Good Deals
Freebie Finds in a pixelated universe - Anna Zwiers