Just Jez: The Mens Dept. Makes it easy to look good this Xmas!


The Mens Dept has to be one of the resounding success stories of Second Life retail 2013. Every time I visit it’s busy, especially in the first few days after a new collection is revealed. I don’t really know why this is but I think it’s because having menswear, accessories, poses and other male-orientated goodies located in one spot is just more accessible than searching the grid. Certainly I struggle when looking for quality items for Jez to wear (because he’s bloody useless at shopping for himself) and visiting The Mens Dept allows me to kit him out in quality from pretty much his handsome head all the way down to his stinky toes. This round is as exceptional as any other, but highlights for me this time include this mesh sweater from XIAJ. It’s available in a number of prints and plain varieties, but for me it had to be this great wintry wool print.  Jez didn’t have a really festive jumper, and now he does he looks very Christmassy indeed. It’s an incredibly reasonable L$185 per jumper too, which means you can add a few of these mesh lovelies to your  fella’s winter wardrobe without breaking the bank.  As you can see from the photos the sweater photographs extremely well; the texture is nice and crisp, and the red and navy combo on this particular selection is bang on trend.

Of course, you can’t just have a good jumper, you need some quality jeans to team with it, and that’s where APHORISM come into play. They’re selling some fantastic denim jeans at The Mens Dept. that really must not be missed.  Now, I am very fussy about certain items in SL, you’ve probably noticed, and jeans are very near the top of that list. Why? Because they are so easy to get wrong. You have to suggest depth and wear on a good pair of jeans.  All too often textures aren’t applied correctly which is a shame, because when textured correctly a pair of denim jeans can really look stupendous in-world. You need to suggest creasing in the right places, as well as wear and tear, because denim jeans always look better when they’re aged a bit. Not only that, but they need to ‘hang’ on the avatar correctly, depending on the fit. Baggy jeans can look like a pair of MC Hammer pants if the shape is wrong, and straight-leg pants can just look incredibly flat. It’s a balancing act that few designers manage to pull of successfully, but fortunately APHORISM have successfully risen to the challenge.   I’m exceptionally impressed by these jeans.  They fit just right, and really look the part, especially the vintage options.  The creasing is spot on, not just at the top of the thigh but also around the calf area too.  They’re styled as regular jeans and I would say that’s correct, they’re neither too thin or overly baggy, and in my opinion that makes them an absolute must have for a male avatar. Not only that but they’re just L$200 a pair, so they’re a bit of a bargain. I think Jez looks brilliant in them, but then again I’m biased:)

Snapshot_005Last but not least, check out Jez’s pose. He’s using the pack from POSEOLOGY, also available at The Mens Dept., and it’s a very nice selection of male poses indeed. There’s no over-the-top posing here, just nice stands that allow for great photographs and work really well in-situ.  You can buy them individually for L$25 each, but Jez insisted on splurging ion the full pack for L$100 because he hasn’t got many quality poses in his repertoire, and I agreed these were pretty good for the price! So there you have it, a few picks from this round of The Mens Dept. Take your fella, drag him down there if you must, and get him kitted out for Christmas in style!

Here’s your Taxi to The Mens Dept. 

Kitty’s liking the Moonshine..nom nom NOM!

*Such* a classy bird, me…
So I logged in-world this morning to find a DSN dropbox from a brand I wasn’t amazingly familiar with, called ‘Moonshine’. I find DSN ( Designers Showcase Network) to be a very useful, guilt-free way of introducing me to new creators. This morning was a treat from a brand called ’Moonshine’..hence my bad manners. The box featured a top called ‘Sheer’ in Treacle, and it is simply divine, don’t you think? It is, as the name suggests, see-through and features a delicate design over the fabric and a belted ruffle around the base. It’s very well detailed, extremely pretty and I love it, so I decided to go and check out the store. ( See? DSN works!)
I’m sure glad that I did too, it’s a real hotch-potch of styles and items at shockingly good prices. You’ll find casual wear, dresses, skirts, jeans and undies, as well as more eclectic items such as knife belts(?) dotted around the store. The designer, Shelley Toonie, states in her notecard that you won’t find specific styles here because basically she just creates what she feels like, and I have to say that in this case that formula works exceedingly well. In fact ‘Moonshine’ is the kind of store that you should visit with a friend because you’re sure to find things that appeal to both of you. It has a high “Ooh, come and look at this!” factor.
So what did I find? Well, I hunted down the ‘Sheer’ top that I’m wearing and was pleased to find that it comes in 5 additional colours and costs a mere L$150. Well worth a punt. I also really like the pirate dress,’Brandy’, I usually don’t like ‘froo-froo’ but this works extremely well( In fact, match up with the knife belt and you’re on to a winner) The ‘Fracture’ top is a one strap affair with armlets and would look great worn with baggies. Contrast that with ‘Flutterby’, a blouse under a jumper sporting a butterfly motif which is ideal for the more reserved casual dresser: it would look really good with short denim trousers and chunky wedges. An absolute must-see are the ‘Spoiled’ jeans, because they’re anything but. Featuring multiple layers and prim cuffs they’re a steal at L$75, especially when you see the fabulous jewel-like colourways that you can buy them in. Perfect with chunky boots and a vest top, I especially like the ‘Corroded’ and ‘Algae’ choices.
Moving on from the jeans I found some rather snazzy hud colourable sash designs. These are rather pricey at L$249, but could be the perfect finishing touch to a myriad of outfits, so well worth a peek. If you like retro and rockabilly wear then you will really love ‘Hope’, a smashing two-piece dotty tied-top and skirt outfit, whereas the gown-loving brigade are sure to rate ‘Vixen’. ‘Placid’ is a good choice if you’re planning on tying the knot this spring,. It’s a tiered dress featuring a sculpted bow and is reminiscent of the cut-away dress worn in the ‘Beautiful’ perfume ads all those years ago..remember it? In other words you need great legs..not really an issue in SL though!
‘Moonshine’ is a large store and is laid out really well so it does lend itself to leisurely exploration and I had a great time just wandering around…I headed upstairs ( yes, there is an upstairs section, it’s a very large store!) where I found some more casual tops and cardigans. I really like the ‘Crush’ tops. Shelley seems to like single-strap attire and these feature 3 styles for prim attachment so would look great worn with jeans and boots. The ‘ Basic Vest’ is anything but, featuring a collar and bow attachment and a long sleeved black tee to wear beneath, should you wish.
Finally there is even a section for the chaps here too! Great menswear on display here; from chunky knit hoodies and layered tees to rib tanks. Nothing amazingly different to what you’ll find on offer at other stores, but all well made and featuring lovely colours and textures. An item to note for the more romantic fellas amongst you is ‘Poet’, a jumper with sculpted cuffs and lacing detail at the throat..very nice indeed. I especially liked the ‘Earth’ and ‘Coal’ colorways. ( Not too sure about Chilli though..I couldn’t see Jez in that in a million years!) Overall verdict? A very satisfying store to nose around, with items to appeal to all budgets and all tastes and definitely one to watch. In fact, I suggest that you take a trip to ‘Moonshine’ and drink deeply…you may find yourself a wee bit intoxicated but I promise you that it’s a very pleasant trip and may inspire frequent return journeys! (Hic!) Click HERE to go see

Pic features me in the ‘Sheer’ top in Treacle worn with LeLutka ‘Stacy’s Night Out’ leggings in oil.


Altogether now, “About bleeding time!”

Guys, you don’t have long to wait for a hunt that you can call your own! The ‘Make Him Over’ hunt will run from 1-30th June and is for FELLAS ONLY, and is being touted as featuring the very best of  SL menswear and all things chap-related.  This has been a long time coming don’t you think? Hunts are obviously the big grid-craze at the moment, but all of them have featured very few offerings for the boys.  ‘Make Him Over’ seeks to redress that balance, and I can’t wait to see what Jez will be lucky enough to uncover. Obviously this hunt is in the planning stage but if you’re interested visit the dedicated blog where you can find the organisers names and contact details should you wish to contribute.  When I first started in Second Life menswear was at best painful, but it’s come a long way (baby) since then with designers recognising that there are plenty of fashion conscious guys out there who want to look as good as the girls. It’s been tough finding fabulousness for Jez, but I can honestly say in the past 6 months I’ve noticed a huge change in the menswear offerings that are out there, and I hope as many designers as possible embrace the opportunity to feature their products in this hunt…I will of course be dragging dear Jezmond around it, so if you see a harrassed, frustrated looking she-avatar dragging a sobbing WoW character around the grid don’t worry, it’s just me:)