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Today I searched the Web to see which resis were sharing their inventory and outfit organizing systems. You know what I found, apart from one gadget I’ll mention later? Nothing! Maybe I didn’t do a good enough job of looking, but I found zero posts about how to organize your Second Life wardrobe. Well, that ends today!

sizing up the job

Have you been thinking that someday you’d like to get your outfits under control, make it easy to find things, stop forgetting about nice items you have that are lost in inventory? I certainly have. Now I’ve fixed it for me. Maybe you’ll like the way I did it enough to try something like it.

The dark times

Back in the olden days, when there was no Outfits feature, we made do as well as we could with just dragging and clicking a lot. I don’t think the Lindens appreciated back then how important wardrobe and avatar details like skin and hair were to many of us. Based on the state of the online Marketplace, actually, I don’t think they appreciate that now!

Back then, some resis got by with barely ever changing outfits, and/or having the minimum possible variation. Others of us got adept at switching out lots of items with frenetic clicking and typing, even in public, substituting one piece for another so that we never (well, hardly ever) got caught naked. Some, like me, would get in the habit of spending the first thirty or forty-five minutes of every session in-world getting dressed, picking out everything one piece at a time from an increasingly crowded and chaotic inventory. It works pretty well in First Life, but in Second Life, you can’t see what you’re putting on until you wear it, and some of us have many, many more things we can wear!

Yes, you could put a bunch of things in a folder and then drop the folder on yourself, but if you had no-copy items, they could only go in one such folder, and some things you were wearing would stay on, and in general that system really didn’t fix the problem at all.

But then … outfits!

Then came outfits. Oh, how happy I was! Now we could wear any set of things we liked and save exactly how we’d put each outfit together! Outfits are saved in inventory, but only as links to the actual items. The feature is mainly meant to be used from the Outfits menu, the little shirt button on the left hand side of the viewer. (I use the official Linden Labs viewer, so my specifics will relate to that. I believe it’s very similar on other viewers, though!)

See? I'm pointing to it.

See? I’m pointing to it.

Yet even with outfits …

Unfortunately, you can’t put outfits in folders to group them together, and there’s no easy way to preview an outfit before you wear it, so what I found over time was that I had made up a whole lot of outfits and didn’t necessarily remember what they were. When it was time to get dressed, I’d try on one after another, reminding myself what I had and guessing what might fit my mood. If I didn’t find it, I’d dig in inventory to see if there was something I hadn’t yet made into an outfit and try using that.

Years ago, I had the idea that I should create a scripted wardrobe, furniture for your home that would display pictures you deposited so that you could look through your items or outfits, even with a friend! Like many of my nutty ideas, I never had the time to follow through, but fortunately someone else had the same idea, with improvements, and did. That resulted in the CTS Wardrobe, which I haven’t tried (I like my home-grown system), but which has received many very positive reviews–so you may prefer to just use that. If not, read on and see what I did, which in some ways you may like even better!


Out with the old

One of the things that prevented me from buying a mesh body for a long time was that once I started wearing it, I was worried I would have to throw out all of my old clothes and outfits. When I got my Maitreya Lara body, I quickly realized that this was true (at least, if I wanted to continue wearing that body all the time, which I do), and that it was actually wonderful. Apart from the expense, anyway. Now I’d be replacing all of my outdated outfits with new, mesh and applier outfits that looked far better. What’s more, I could organize them! Instead of the haphazard pile of clothes and outfits I had before, now I’d be able to find things, and to make good use of everything I bought, and to buy only the things I would really use!

If you’re waiting for the moment when I’m inevitably let down by the enormousness of this task, there actually isn’t one. I love to organize things, and I love my Second Life wardrobe (especially since it’s all new), so I’ve been working like a crazy woman on this project ever since I got my Lara body. As of this week, I actually reached “done” with my wardrobe! That sounds ridiculous, and it doesn’t mean I’ll stop buying new things sometimes, but what it does mean is that I have found and bought a very good selection of clothing and accessories for all of the things I usually do in Second Life, and they’re all organized into outfits and ready to put on. Don’t ask me how many outfits that is!

outfits list

(OK, there are 59 so far, but don’t tell anyone.)

Folders make everything better!

My priorities for my new wardrobe approach were

  1. To ensure I was making good use of everything I bought,
  2. To have everything in my inventory go immediately into properly-organized folders,
  3. To clearly distinguish my new mesh body items from pre-mesh-body items, and
  4. To make it really easy to see what my options when I needed something to wear.

The first thing I did was to create three new folders. One was a !Sort, Please! folder (I’ll explain the exclamation point ! and the bracket {, along with some other symbols, in the next post), and into that I tossed everything in my inventory that wasn’t already organized into a proper folder, including clothing I’d bought but not made use of yet, miscellaneous objects and gifts, and so on. Most of it I probably don’t need, but I’ll go through it bit by bit and see what I have.

The second folder was called !Shopping. Since quality of fit varies so much, I make a point of getting demos for almost everything I’m interested in when shopping these days, and those demos go right into !Shopping. That turned the process of shopping into four separate, orderly activities for me: looking for things, trying things on, actually buying the things I liked, and unpacking the things I bought. I could do any of them whenever I wanted without worrying about forgetting something important. It also meant meant that demos and new purchases would never wind up floating free in my inventory to clutter things up and be forgotten, because there’s a folder for everything at every step.

The third folder I created, !Wear, is the place for things I’ve purchased and know I want to wear, but which aren’t yet part of an outfit–so when I shop, the demo goes into the !Shopping folder until I get a chance, then or later, to try it on. If I like it, I put it into a subfolder inside !Shopping called {YES to remind me to actually buy it. I delete that demo once I’ve bought the real thing. Things I don’t like or that don’t fit/work for me, I delete right away. Things I like but don’t immediate need or love go into a {MAYBE folder under !Shopping. That gives me options if I need particular kinds of items in future, and it means that if I don’t feel sure about something, I can put it in {MAYBE and not feel bad about not buying it right away.

clothes sorting folders

Once I make a purchase, I unpack it (if necessary–I love that there are some things I don’t have to unpack these days!) and put it immediately in !Wear. New items only come out of !Wear once they’re part of one or more outfits, which reminds me when I have new outfits to put together. Once the items have been put in an outfit and the outfit saved, I rename the folder with an ! in front of it and put it in one of the folders I’ve used to organize my inventory since forever, like Clothing (mostly for complete outfits), Clothing-Tops, Clothing-Bottoms, Accessories, Hair, Shoes, Wings, etc.

And there’s more!

Yes, I understand that I’m completely insane. That’s not the point. The point is organization is wonderful! In my follow-up post, I’ll talk about organizing outfits even without folders and how I can now visually browse what I have to wear.

^^^\ Kate /^^^