I admit it. I'm a value shopper when it comes to Second Life clothing & fashion. My attitude towards prices probably comes from my own experience making and selling my own line of clothing several years ago. If you make an item, price it reasonably, you'll get more than $L in return. You win the loyalty of your customers AND you feel like you've given this crazy virtual world something in return.
I rarely priced anything over $99L and when I did, it was usually something completely and unique and unobtanium elsewhere. Fast forward to 2020 where everything is mesh, has to be modded for 10 different body shapes and requires even more attention to the details. Uggh. I'm glad I'm mostly just a shopper now and only occasionally try to make things.
HUDs make everything funner
In spite of the increased effort that goes into making just one outfit, there are still designers who produce amazing things at reasonable prices. For shoes, nothing beats KC Couture. Usually, when Klari55a (yes that's KC's owner and designer's name) brings out something new, she sells it for $99L for one week via VIP member announcement. Then the price goes up to $149L or $199L. Still a bargain because ALL of KC's shoes are HUD driven meaning you can color customize everything from the soles and insoles to the uppers and laces and buckles. If you like that cute pair of strappy stiletto sandals, you actually get 1000s of variations via the HUD. Literally. I can't tell you the number of times I've bought an outfit that needs a special color of shoe to make it "perfect" and wind up slapping on KC Boston or Suami heels. A few clicks of the HUD later and I've got the perfect match with say blue & white straps or yellow & black straps.
Another one of these great designers is Hilly Haalan (HH). Many of her items, like KC's, are HUD driven so with one purchase you often get 20 or more variations. Often she'll make half the variations in some sort of texture pattern with the other half different solid colors. Or for some of the more risque outfits, you might get both transparent and opaque variations. I can just imagine the work that goes into making versions for Freya, Hourglass, ISIS, Maitreya,Venus and Physique AND having the HUD change out the parts. And just like KC, they are very reasonably priced. HH also does frequent sales.
So I have a LOT of KC shoes and HH clothing. :-)
Customer service Which brings me to customer service. I have found HH outfits always fit correctly for my Maitreya Lara body. So a few days ago, I bought a new outfit (Skyla only $99L on SL Marketplace) without demo-ing. (Note that demos are ONLY available at her in world store.) Well for the first time ever, I had a mild complaint. Because the skirt was asymetrical, it couldn't really be alpha'd with the Maitreya Lara HUD. And with any leg movement, my inner thigh would show.
Anyway, I thought it was worth mentioning to Hilly so I did and suggested it probably should be rigged. She explained, not unexpectedly that rigging caused too much texture stretching and for this outfit, the best solution was to alpha part and restrict leg movement using an AO.
She also offered me my choice of a different outfit which I never asked for. I mean for $99L, I'm really not that picky lol. But a very nice gesture none the same. Plus the jacket and semi-bandeau top both work well by themselves as do the crazy high heels.
So what did I pick? A very cool retro look outfit (Tiffany) with bell bottoms, purse, platform heels (which fittingly, barely show from under the jeans) and a delicious cotton gauze looking top. Also $99. See below.
Demos are at Main in-world store only.