Thursday, July 12, 2012

A pox on "standard sizing"

The mesh clothes I picked up at the fundraiser yesterday will just have to be considered as donations to the cause, I fear.  At least the shoes, makeup and motorbike seem OK!

The problem, of course, is that they were all made using the "Standard Sizing", against which I have inveighed before... and my shape, though not all that peculiar, especially in SL, is way outside the permitted variation allowed in the standard sizes.

It's not a question of being too tall, or too thin, because the existing adjustments along avatar bones work just fine to accommodate that.  The problem lies in the subtler interplay of proportions - and, I suspect, in what's currently fashionable in SL.

The problem seems to exist mostly for those of us who want a vaguely trim-and-athletic look.  I don't want exaggerated curves and a pair of Zeppelins moored to the front of my torso, thank you very much, so the larger sizes, which cater to the voluptuous amongst us, are out.  So, no problem, right?  I just use the small sizes, and they scale up to my height, right?... Wrong, because the smaller sizes don't seem to allow for any significant musculature, or breadth (I have narrow hips and comparatively broad shoulders).  The S and XS sizes seem heavily biased towards what my friend and fellow blogger CC Creeggan describes here as "Tableau girls".  It's a popular look among the waif-like and generally gamine.  It's not my look, though, or anywhere near it.  Of course, I can just hide everything under alpha layers...

... except those don't adjust at all for body proportions, they are painted over certain areas of your avatar's surface, and if the lines on your avatar's surface don't match up to the ones on the mesh item you're wearing... tough.  So, with the best will in the world, I find myself clipping through mesh clothes in unexpected locations.  Forearms seem to be the worst - my arms are longer than many avi's, even though they are actually too short to be well proportioned in RL.  And, wearing a corsety-type top, I found that, in all the sizes available, the breadth of my shoulders made for a visible discontinuity between the mesh and me - I suddenly broaden out at the point the mesh's corresponding alpha ends.

At best, I can only hope to conceal my entire lower body beneath an alpha, leaving me looking as if I've stolen somebody else's legs.  In size XXS trousers, the legs of someone in the terminal stages of some obscure wasting disease.  In size XL, the legs of someone whose bottom needs its own postcode.  In intermediate sizes, an unlovely combination of the two.

Let's consider the tops... Well, since I have small breasts, anything above XXS leaves vast echoing caverns around my chest.  Selecting size XXS, though, generally means my breasts clip through the clothing whenever my av physics kicks in, and sometimes even when it doesn't.  I can't win.

I would post some snapshots, but they are just too, too, depressing.

I am more and more convinced that the "standard sizing" was based on a sample of commercially available shapes.... and so reflects what's currently fashionable in SL.  I will stand by my previously stated opinion: for those of us who exercise our own creativity and make our own shapes, it is effectively useless

And since mesh clothes continue to be a growth area, can we please have all the wrangling over the mesh deformer tool sorted out, so that I can actually wear some?

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