To be able to wear MESH clothes in Second Life® you need to use a MESH enabled viewer like the official SL Viewer or the latest Firestorm release. Second Life® provides a Third Party Viewer Directory to give you an overview of other options also.
There are still a lot of fans of the old Phoenix Viewer around who haven't changed to Firestorm yet because they like that viewer's layout. The good news is: You can configure Firestorm to very much look and handle like the old Phoenix Viewer. And with the latest Firestorm release that's very easy to do, too: Just change the default settings in your log in window next to the log in button to Phoenix.
What is the advantage of using the latest SL Viewer or Firestorm releases instead of the old style Phoenix Viewer 1.6?
If your PC allows you to run them, you get the chance to wear multiple alphas and tattoo layers instead of just one each with the Phoenix Viewer 1.6. This is important if you want to use ...
- one alpha layer with your prim or MESH eyes,
- one with your MESH t-shirt, sweater or other top,
- one with your prim/MESH hands or MESH gloves,
- another one with your MESH pants and
- still another one with your prim/MESH feet or your prim/MESH shoes at the same time.
Or if you want to wear ...
- a tattoo hairbase in combination with
- one or more face/body tattoos and
- a wrist/ankle blender layer for your new MESH hands/feet at the same time.
When wearing the new MESH clothes we need to rethink. Instead of fitting prim parts to our shape we now have to adapt our shape to the MESH clothes since they are not resizable. This sounds more complicated than it is. Most designers will provide you with different sizes of their clothes (e.g. small, medium, large) so that you can pick the one best suited to your shape and, if at all, only have to make minor adjustments.
What is the best approach to reduce your fitting needs to a minimum?
Start by making a basic MESH shape. This means, change those two aspects of your shape which most likely need to be reduced to (almost) zero with all kinds of MESH clothes:
Body - Reduce Body Fat to Zero,
Torso - Reduce Belly Size to Zero.
This basic MESH shape can now be easily adjusted to each new item you buy. Once you are done with your editing, save a copy of the edited MESH shape in your new outfit folder! Here's a list of what you might need to change:
What other aspects of your shape might need to be adjusted?
Start by wearing your pants alpha. Remember: With the first alpha you put on click "wear". With all the others click "add" to not take off the first one again. (The same needs to be observed when wearing multiple tattoo layers or multiple items on any other attachment point of your body.)
Then wear the MESH pants size which fits your basic MESH shape best. If no holes show and the line around your belly doesn't look like a swimming ring you are good to go. Otherwise you should change any or all of the following settings:
Legs - reduce (or increase) your Butt size,
Legs - reduce (or increase) your Package size,
Legs - reduce (or increase) your Saddle Bags size.
Legs - reduce your Leg Muscles (will also close holes at the ankles).
Proceed the same way with your MESH t-shirt, sweater or jacket. First, "add" the appropriate alpha layer. Then try out which of the provided sizes fits you best. To fix possible holes you might want to change any or all of the following settings, starting with the most important:
Torso - reduce (or increase) your Torso Muscles (will close holes on the chest as well as at the wrists),
Torso - make your Shoulders more narrow (or wider),
Torso - reduce (or increase) the size of your Pectorals,
Torso - reduce (or increase) the amount of Love Handles.
What to do when these standard approaches don't work?
Occasionally you will run into issues that demand less common tweaks of your shape.
Problem # 1: You wear shorts but can't get your legs to fit properly with the cuffs by reduzing the Leg Muscles.
Solution: Change your Knee Angle!
Problem # 2: Your shirt or jacket cuffs look all jagged, reducing the Torso Muscles doesn't help.
Solution: Reduce your Hand Size!
How to wear shoes (half boots, high top chucks etc.) with your new MESH pants?
Wearing shoes with your MESH pants can demand certain adjustments of your shoe base, especially if you decide on half boots or high top chucks. For one you don't want to have invisible parts showing between your pants cuffs and your shoes (if you wear an alpha hiding your feet), and on the other hand you don't want your pants cutting into your shoes.
A) These are my recommendations if your MESH pants cut into your shoes and you wear your shoes on the Lower Leg Attachment Points as is common nowadays:
1. Wear an alpha layer hiding your feet and ankles and a modifiable shoe base.
2. Go to edit outfit and click on your shoe base. You can use two sliders - Heel Hight and Platform Height to raise your avatar up (i.e. make him taller) so you can pull your shoes down out of your MESH pants without sinking them into the ground. You need to play around a bit to find out what numbers fit you best.
3. Changing the numbers on your shoe base a lot, you might find you need a different alpha to hide your feet and ankles completely. There are shoe stores that offer a complete set for free like ::Duh!:: with their Assorted Alpha Layers.
B) Should on the other hand your foot show invisible between your pants and your shoes, the easiest solution is to just move the shoes closer to your pants. Since most standard shoe bases for guys are down to zero on Heel Hight and Platform Height already you can't lower those values. Instead you may have to live with the fact that you are hovering above the ground a bit which is not that bad considering you can see your shoes nicely. Better than having them stuck in the ground in any case!
C) Btw: If you wear (older) shoes with your MESH pants that are actually still attached to your Feet Attachment Points, you will see that changing the shoe base settings as described above will automatically pull your shoes lower and out of your MESH pants.
D) Last but but not least: Remember InvisiPrims? I'm sure you got some modifiable ones in your inventory. They hide MESH the same way they do layered clothes and body parts. Wear them with any of your old prim or sculpty boots to hide where the MESH pants cuts into or out of them. Just right click edit and enlarge the InvisiPrim where necessary.
Important: Boots and InvisiPrims should both be attached to the Lower Leg Attachment Points!
Disclaimer: Since I'm still learning about MESH myself I would appreciate if you would inform me of any mistake or anything I may have forgotten to mention in this tutorial.
Lately you may have encountered products like t-shirts or pants made out of LIQUID MESH. What does that mean? Very simple: Products made out of LIQUID MESH will automatically adjust to your body's shape! So, basically no more fitting is necessary! (*)
But, that's not all! Pants made out of LIQUID MESH can actually be modified by changing the shape settings for Body Fat and certain settings in the Legs section:
- Leg Muscles
- Butt Size
- Saddle Bags
- Knee Angle
- Foot Size (to change pants cuffs width).
(*) Do LIQUID MESH products really cover all possible shape settings? No, there are a few limitations. For the belly size the maximum setting is 3 for it to work properly (also depending on your settings for body fat).