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Where does one find menswear these days? It's a common, often quite infected question. I know of some stores that I like, and some that I don't much care for. So, I thought that perhaps those of us who shop for menswear could help each other by compiling a list of stores that we enjoy. Please don't invoke a thread lock by flaming about any specific store being 'terribad', no naming & shaming here! I'm going to start off with 3 stores because, whilst I know of more, I don't want to 'hog them all' in the first post (or deter people with a text wa-- yeah there's no escaping that anyway I reckon). Deadwool: No surprises here. Deadwool makes very high quality apparel, where the effort and attention to detail is very apparent, both in the mesh and in the textures. Style: A bit mixed as of late, whilst their focus used to be in 19thC 'Western' apparel (the store's name being an apparent reference to a certain TV series), they've made some interesting modern pieces of a more casual fashion. If you're looking for your first suit, Deadwool should certainly be on your list for consideration. Also, if you want a nice pair of shoes that works well for casual and formal alike, don't miss out on their Oxfords (which, are also rigged for some female bodies). Sizes: Gianni, Geralt, Jake and Slink for their latest releases (some of their earlier products are standard sizes only, but well worth a demo regardless as some things may well fit anyway!). Price: I'd say that in this case, you get what you pay for. If you want to deck yourself out with fatpacks of everything, it may be a fairly pricey trip! Store: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Fingal/52/147/34 ContraptioN: Contraption offers a wide range of both apparel and accessories, for both men and women, and specialize primarily in Steampunk (Victorian) apparel. The accessories alone are amazingly varied! Style: Victorian and Edwardian apparel, mostly rigged for men (but some pieces come rigged for the ladies, too). Both high-end aristocratic outfits and workers' outfits. Sizes: Gianni, Geralt, Jake - though due to the nature of their apparel (i.e. being pretty much 'covers just about everything except your hands and throat'), using the 'wrong' size can work. Price: Very affordable. No buying single colours here; you get the entire product in all its colours and sizes with a single purchase - and, it's all mod, so that you can tint colours and mess around with the materials if you so please. Store: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Ministry of Invention/117/67/119 Cold Ash: A great store for more 'casual' modern apparel, without ending up looking like a 'bro' or 'bum'. Style: They seem to be focused mostly on shirts in various styles, button-ups, polo shirts, T-shirts. Things you'd expect to see 'regular' people wear on a weekday. They also have some other things, a few different kinds of trousers, and accessories, and such. Sizes: Jake and Gianni. Price: Decent. Getting a shirt and trousers to start off with from here isn't going to put an owie in your wallet, unless you want to go wild and hog fatpacks of everything you can see. Store: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Cold Ash/173/197/35 I hope to see others chime in with their picks (yes, I'm looking at you, @Skell Dagger). Having explored today I found some stores that, whilst perhaps not 'for me', certainly carry some interesting inventory - but it made me think, maybe there are some hidden gems out there yet?
I'm writing this post, not simply to whine and complain, but because I believe the arguments I've heard as to why creators don't think it's economically viable to sink time and effort into a minority of the community can easily be countered. I do not have the means to personally, directly change the situation - I'm not a skilled mesh designer, nor do I have the time it would require for me to train myself to that point. But if I did have the time, or indeed the skills in hand, there wouldn't be a moment of doubt which part of the market I'd try to tap - and not only because it would give myself more variety in my apparel. Six days ago I created an alt, because doing photography of your avatar when there are so few options that meet my aesthetic preferences and quality requirements simply gets old. I was kindly guided by some friends to various events and stores which offered a large quantity of clothes, hairs and accessories - for free - and after having hoarded it all and gone back home to purge it, that alt's wardrobe certainly had the numerical means to stand off against my main's. Soon thereafter I thought to myself that I'd like to at least play around with creating clothes, and since I already know how to navigate a photo editing program since I've been playing around with photography for a while now, I bought some full perm clothes and started playing around with it. When I looked at full perm clothing which suits my mesh body - which from I hear is the 'most popular mesh body for men' (Signature Gianni) - I could hardly find anything but tank tops, T-shirts, boxers and shorts. But if I changed the search to the most popular female mesh body, which I'd bought for my alt, well, there's page after page after page with dresses, lingerie, tops, trousers, shoes, period clothing, fetish apparel. Everything one could think of, and then some more. I doubt any of what I've said so far is news to anyone who has ever set foot on the marketplace. A search for 'Signature', with copy permissions ticked, says there are 21,134 items listed as men's clothing. For 'Maitreya' the result is 447,293. Sure, I guess much of that is, just like the products I've listed in that category, re-textured full perm clothing - but there's 21 times as many hits. So, the most common argument I've heard as to why creators don't bother making menswear is that the market is much smaller - and I'll admit I believe that to be true - but that should also mean that you're up against a stiffer competition, no? Put X amount of hours into creating a decent quality piece of apparel for women and you'll have to try to draw attention to that one item among the 447,293 items already out there, where a search sorted by 'newest' is flooded within hours by dozens of new items. Put X amount of hours into creating a decent quality piece of apparel for men and your item only has 21,134 items to stick out from - and the rate of new stuff being added won't be anywhere near as prominent. But men aren't as interested in buying stuff, they don't want to put any L$ into their appearance. Frankly, most of them don't appear to care what they look like. Over the past few days when I've been out and about, the majority of male avatars that I have seen are system avatars, many of them are still wearing full-bright bling as if it was 2010. But, the same guys have no trouble tossing hundreds of L$ at girls on dance poles - it could be that most men really, really don't care. If you can grab someone's attention by throwing some money at them, it doesn't matter what you look like, right? Of course - and this is not me calling myself pretty - but if I step into an average club, the IMs start to hail; I don't need to throw a single L$ at anyone to receive everything from compliments to lewd suggestions to people trying to tackle something they read in my profile to show interest in me. I don't think men in SL are afraid to spend L$, I think many of them simply do not see the point of going mesh because the 'I'll just look like everyone else' argument actually holds some validity in our case - there are only a handful of brands that create quality menswear, and once we've all plundered their stocks, wherever we go we'll see other guys wearing the exact same thing as we do. The shopping events for men don't help all that much - and don't get me wrong, I applaud the sentiment, but every event is basically the same as the other; mostly there's tattoos and poses, most of which are unisex, then there's T-shirts and tank tops, board shorts and swimwear, the most original items on most events are either fetish wear or just tight clothes that show off ridiculous genitalia shapes through them. And on occasion, there's an item or two (I actually bought -three- items at one event recently, which is a new personal record) items of moderate to genuine interest. I probably sound ridiculously picky - but if I had known what I know today, a year after getting my first mesh body, and I was still using a system body - would I invest in a mesh body, knowing how poor the diversity is, or would I stick to a system body and prim/sculpty/flexiprim/layer clothing? Probably not, I was quite happy with my wardrobe, and if it hadn't been for a picky ex who didn't mind that I didn't have much to wear I would probably still be rocking my old self, mohawk and all. /rant