Summer may be over where you are–it is where I live, at least technically–but it’s always summer somewhere in SL.Â Even if the days areÂ no longerÂ warm outside your RL window, you can still catch a wave or work on your tan in SL.Â Here are just a few ideas to get you rolling.
Whether itâ€™s at the beach, poolside, or just running through the backyard sprinklers, getting wet is a summer tradition. To make a proper appearance at any aquatic event or gathering, itâ€™s essential to be properly outfitted. And Iâ€™m not just talking about swimwear, either, although thatâ€™s a very good start. No, youâ€™re going to need more than a pair of trunks. Youâ€™re also going to need accessories, equipment, and maybe some toys. What boy, of any age, doesnâ€™t love his toys?
Shinichi Mathyâ€™s collection of menâ€™s swim trunks features bright tropical designs and fabric textures that look soft and comfortable. Nine different styles are available, priced at L$130 each; here Iâ€™m wearing the “Golden Daze” trunks, but I also like the “Cream Soda” design. And really, what says summer better than a colorful aloha shirt? To coordinate, Iâ€™ve also thrown on Shinichiâ€™s “Tropical Blossom” style. Several different fabric prints are available (L$160 each)â€”you know youâ€™re going to need more than one. Check out the “Bird of Paradise” shirt (with “Midnight Sea” trunks). I can almost taste the Mai Tai now. Available at SHIKI Design (Shiki 103, 159, 23).Â Shinichi’s Spring and Summer collections have been moved upstairs to make room for the new Autumn collection downstairs.
DarkLour Watanabe might not be the first designer to come to mind when you think about beach gearâ€”how often do neko boys and girls go swimming, anyway? Whether you do the kitty thing or not, his swimwear and accessories might just be all you need. You can take home any or all from the collection: tank top in narrow ribbed fabric, board shorts, flip-flops and beach towel, plus bikinis for the ladies–all just L$50 each. There are nine different designs to choose from; “Paw Print” is shown here. Thereâ€™s also a store-logoâ€™d freebie set. You actually get two different beach towels, one to wear over your shoulder, the other to throw on the sand and sit. The shoulder towel has flexi ends; the ground towel includes unlinked single and couples poseballs (poses not shown here). While youâ€™re there, check the generous freebies display for the retro-styled portable radioâ€”itâ€™s scripted with 137 color choices, musical note particle effects, and a “tuner” that changes your landâ€™s audio stream. Available at Neko Gear (Ganesha 137, 206, 21).
On the one hand there are the things you know you must have. On the other hand, there are the things you never knew you needed. Eponymous Trenchmouth knows this deep in his creative soul. His new “jelly” beach shoes for men may already be on your mental wish list, or you may have had no idea there was such a lack in your life. Either way, the world is better now that theyâ€™re in it. Your inventory may feel the same way. There are three different styles: Finz, a classic open sandal (here in Bronze); Mavericks, a ventilated loafer, complete with side buckle (at left in Sea Grass); and Reef Rider, a casual slingback shoe (here in Blue). All are meticulously textured to resemble translucent flexible plastic, although to my amazement no transparent prims have been used–the translucency is a cleverly crafted illusion of texture. (Epo said of his experiments with transparency: “Every single internal prim edge showed.”) The Mavericks and Reef Rider styles feature drainage holes, so your feet may get wet but theyâ€™ll dry out quickly. Another challenge Epo faced was building the prim shoes and shaping the system shoe form such that the avatar’s feet (which can actually be seen inside these jellies) look natural rather than squashed and misshapen. This isn’t a concern with most prim shoes, and the shoe form’s usual job is simply to compress the avatar’s feet so they don’t poke through the shoe. The task here was much more difficult. But all the effort pays off–these seem so real, you can almost feel the jelly squish as you walk. Each style comes in six different colors. Available for L$200 a pair at the new JCS main store (La Fortuna 1 57, 65, 23).
Any serious yet stylish diving enthusiast should be sure to check out Kaikou Splashâ€™s diving gear and accessories. Kaikouâ€™s line of gear includes diving masks (L$75) and fins (L$60) in different styles, plus a wide range of air tanks (L$55). Masks and fins are scripted for color change (mask by touch, fins via HUD, and the tanks come in a wide range of styles, including different metal finishes and decorative artwork, some slyly humorous. Available at Splash Aquatics (Gooruembalchi 112, 194, 70).
In SL, even Michael Phelps (although he would undoubtedly miss his LZR Racer) might well wear a more traditional, non-high-tech racing suit by Birdy Shepherd. The simple, classic styling of these suits includes subtle shading, color-coordinated stripes, identifying numbers in back and prim tie in front. Both square-cut suits (L$50; style “sq-3A” is shown here) and Speedo-style suits (L$45) are available in a variety of color combinations. Birdyâ€™s shop also features a selection of beachwear and other casual clothing; I’m also wearing his Loose White Plain Shirt. Available at JGD (Envy 33, 115, 21).
When we were growing up in the suburbs, like any kids my sister and I loved playing in the water throughout the hot Los Angeles summers. We didnâ€™t always have a swimming pool, so sometimes it was a Slip â€˜nâ€™ Slide, a Donald Duck water fountain, or just the garden hose. We did eventually graduate to self-made games of “Jacuzzi Twister,” which Iâ€™m still surprised our parents didnâ€™t shut down immediately. Tastes change, of course, and as we grow up we all put away childish things and take up more sophisticated (not to mention expensive) hobbies. No matter what, we never stop enjoying the coolness of water on a hot summer day.
This is an expanded version of the Menâ€™s Corner column originally published in Second Style Magazine (Issue #22).