Standard Sizing in Second Life Avatars and Fashions

Standards .... whos?

Remember awhile back the Dove girls ads? Beautiful fabulous women who were anything BUT standard . All shapes, sizes , looks, skin tones ….but I don’t see *standard* anywhere in this photo.

Now I know *gasps* Second Life is NOT the real world, so lets not have that argument. Second Life is something totally different.Part of  Second Life’s sell is ….*Your world , Your Imagination* . So we have unlimited possibilities in Second Life to build the *ME* we want to be.

We find ourselves surrounded in Second Life by robots, furies, merfolk, vampires, monsters, vehicle avatars, steampunk, cyberpunk, faes, tinies,petites, all forms of avatars and none of them say *standard*. 

Mesh is amazing in Second Life, so many possibilities! I love it! Second Life designers have worked long and hard to bring us amazing  mesh builds, avatars, hairs, clothes, homes,furniture, …..the list is endless!

The only thing standard in Second Life is the human female avatars designers freely made and gave full perm to the grid. Why?  From a notecard sent out by designers we are told 500 female avatars were polled. I don’t think I was one of them but if I was I would  have said ….I am an XL avatar. But I’ll post the notecard here.

– What is Standard Sizing?
Standard Sizing is a system created to standardize avatar shapes so that rigged mesh clothing can be created to fit most adult human female avatars and so that consumers will be able to objectively identify their own avatar with one of the Standard Sizes, enabling them to comfortably purchase rigged mesh clothing and accessories. We have created a group of 5 shapes representing the 5 most common adult human female avatar sizes in Second Life: Extra Extra Small (XXS), Extra Small (XS), Small (S), Medium (M), and Large (L).

– What is the purpose of Standard Sizing?
Creators and shoppers would benefit greatly from having a common language to communicate about sizing of garments and accessories for avatars. As a consumer, you can determine which Standard Size is closest to your favorite shape and buy clothing in that size. As a creator, you can fit your designs to the Standard Sizes, guaranteeing that they will fit a wide range of customer shapes.

– How do you know the Standard-Sized shapes are accurate?
The numbers we used to create the 5 Standard-Sized shapes were calculated using the results of a survey of over 500 adult human female avatars. The survey information focused on the following measurements: Body Fat, Torso Muscle, Breast Size, Love Handles, Belly Size, Leg Muscle, Butt Size, and Saddle Bags. Because rigged mesh responds to variations in Heights (including Height, Torso Length, and Leg Length) and Widths (including Body Thickness, Shoulder Width, Hip Width, etc.) on its own, these measurements were not included in the survey.

– Where are XL and XXL?
Based on our survey results, very few users identify their avatar shapes as XL or XXL. Limiting our sizes to XXS-L should make for an easier transition into widespread use of the Standard Sizing system. If a designer wanted to create clothing larger than Standard L, they absolutely could.

– Won’t we look like a bunch of clones if we’re all using the same 5 shapes?
Being able to express your individual personality and style through a unique avatar is one of the foundations of Second Life. We do not want to limit that any more than is necessary to provide a basic reference point for avatar sizing. Of the dozens of measurements that make up each person’s shape, only 8 of them are relevant to each of the 5 Standard Sizes. Even those 8 can be tweaked and still fit that size. This allows a person to largely preserve their original shape, with the added benefit of knowing their Standard Size, and being able to shop comfortably for rigged mesh clothing.

– Where can I get these shapes and how much do they cost?
You can download all 5 of the Standard-Sized shapes for free from the Marketplace here: ( ). They are full permissions, so you are free to modify them or use the numbers as you please. However, note that making changes to the following measurements may compromise the way Standard-Sized rigged mesh garments fit you: Body Fat, Torso Muscle, Breast Size, Love Handles, Belly Size, Leg Muscle, Butt Size, & Saddle Bags (We recommend that these measurements be changed only slightly, if at all).

– What if my own personal avatar size doesn’t match one of the Standard Sizes?
Your shape will most likely fit into one of the Standard Size categories. Since all rigged mesh clothing will probably include alpha bases, minor size variations of the 8 measurements listed previously will be will hidden, along with any glitching due to posing or animating. If this is not the case, you may want to modify your shape so that clothing fitted for a Standard Size will also fit you.

I am an ample avatar, full-figured and curvy. I am also an Second Life shopper, I have Lindens to spend in stores that do not feel the need to design for the XL avatar. Bad for me but as well for them. By not addressing the ample full curvy figured avatar they force us to either conform to *standard sizing* or not shop in their store. I have gone and got the demos till I’m demo poor , I have tried and bought what did fit me and left the shops none the richer for my purchases because there was not more I could buy that  fit.

Second Life designers, are you a standard size avatar? Are you a standard size real life person sitting at your pc designing for the masses of consumers  in Second Life? Do you want the business of the ample avatar in Second Life?


To me my avatar is beautiful, other opinions may very. I am not a standard sized avatar in Second Life any more than I am a standard sized female in my offline life.

Lets look at the standard sized Second Life female avatar, we were given from our mesh clothing designers.

Standard Size Large Fem Avatar

Standard Sizing Large Female

Standard Sizing Medium Female

Standard Sizing Small Female Avatar

Standard Sizing XSmall Fem Avatar

Standard Sizing XXSmall Avatar


Second Life Dove Girls

Second Life version of Dove Girls

Cheri Collazo
Keeley Snowfal
Ayara Illios
Trinity Rodas
Ladyishere Fallen
colleen Criss

We are not standard size avatars ! We are however avatars who spend money/lindens  in shops that understand we are all beautiful, stylish , NON standard sized avatars. ALL shapes, all  sizes.

Can you really afford to ignore us?

Second Life Female avatars if you are NOT a standard size avatar … to this blog , comments are open. Be heard.

29 thoughts on “Standard Sizing in Second Life Avatars and Fashions

  1. You know… if they get all this fixed… ppl gonna be surprised at how many women go plus size…. i mean… being plus sized now doesnt have many options and is very ugly…. and being voluptuos is far from ugly, meaning many of us dont do it cuz of the lack of options… i do hope they fix this.

    And, if a designer can create a dress in blue or red… then if he/she has the option… they can create it in small or large… and when we edit it to fit, the changes won’t have to be so very extreme/drastict… and it wont look like we’re wearing a wooden barrel that we’ve pulled the nails out of and tried to reshape to pretend that we think we look good

    and btw… the article was VERY well written… well said!

    • Thank you Lacee and I agree I do think more avatars would be more ample if the clothing would work but I will not give up ME to be stylish in a standard size world , I can’t do that in real life and I will not do it here. with all the real world campaigns for being safe and secure and who you are in any size or shape Second Life fashion is missing the boat many pretend to support.

    Here at S/Munt we definitely support avatars of all sizes and even those with certain growth spurts where there usually isn’t. Look at the difference between my avatar and Shyloh’s, for example. (if you still think this blog is ran by one person, you need to be kicked! Just kidding ). There is no way either of our hips or ASS fits in those 500 polled second life avatars mentioned briefly in Colleen’s blog.

  3. I am not holding the breath for mesh to fit me.
    I checked my shape against size chart and note what is closest matches:

    Body Fat: 12 – Closest match M at 11
    Torso Muscle: 35 – Matches S at 35
    Breast Size: 24 – Closest match XXS at 32 ????
    Love Handles: 30 – Closest match M at 31
    Belly Size: 0 – Matches XXS at 0
    Leg Muscle: 80 – Closest match L at 69 ????
    Butt Size: 30 – Closest match XS at 34
    Saddle Bags: 19 – Closest match XXS at 22

    • I realize i mean to add I am not ample avie by any means. I am actually quite tiny compared to most in SL, but I am very curvy. And to get curves on SL body type one uses things like fat and muscles, which are very things mesh ignores.

      • You have one of the most well put together avatar shapes I’ve seen in Second Life.

    • Eventually, yes but in the mean time they created for L M S XS and XXS. If XXS can be designed for so can XL. Some are . Some XL fits me some XL does not fit me. This is my part of my point. If you are NOT a standard size av you must conform or not use mesh , if you are not conforming you are not using mesh and designers are not addressing an entire market of avatar. In the current economic clime that’s just bad business . I can assume they do not wish the XL avatar to spend their lindens in their shops. Some avatars have and do and will conform, I won’t and we should not have too.

      • I don’t conform either if its more than at +/-5 on my slider. But I personally don’t think the way mesh clothing is being made now is the way to go. I think mesh accessories…. pant legs, skirt bottoms, sleeves… those things that are now prim, can be mesh. I do not want MY butt to look like every other XL butt out there….. and another things…. they just don’t work with physics…..

      • I’m not sure it can ever work with physics. We can’t have everything and I’m ok with that. I don’t mind trading off if I need a physics layer on. I’ve been watching videos on youtube from
        Candybytes: Educational Treats
        Sae says mesh is easy, but she clearly knows what she’s doing , I do not. I’m not a clothing designer. These tutorials are well thought out and are done in several parts. I think there were 9 videos in the series.

        If you look at the Jira posted here on the blog comments , the deformer does not seem to be the correct answer either. The photos are not something I’d want my mesh to look like. Again, there maybe information I do not have on the deformer but the designers posting there are making some good points about how it is not working well.

        I have adapted a copy of my avatar for designers things that are sent to me to blog but on a day to day basis, no…I will not be doing this to wear mesh or to purchase any clothing I can’t wear properly on my day to day avatar shape, this includes sculpted clothing as well.

        I shopped a few stores this past week where there were no demos to try on of the mesh, my only choice then is not to buy/try at all, of course. I think it is terribly important to offer demos of a shops mesh designs at this point since we are all different shaped avatars.

        When I began this blog post on mesh, I was geared to ….if the designer cant take the time to make 5 sizes of free avatar shapes to design around and go as far as to make an XXS shape size there is absolutely no reason why they could not have made and design for an XL avater. 500 avatar polls do not Second Life make, when that was published I laughed until I had tears.

        Out of curiosity , I tried mesh demos for males as well. I have no clue how most of the male avatars in Second Life fit in the mesh available to them unless of course they are pulling their shape sliders down, and they may be doing this or not buying at all.

        I have not even discussed or researched what it costs to bring one completed mesh item into Second Life, mostly because I have no real scale to work with it can be once or it can be several tries depending on how happy the designer is with the design they worked on. Does mesh get a temp upload texture for designers to see if they are getting the item they hoped for?

  4. From a designer perspective, it does take quite a bit more time and money to add additional sizes. Each mesh item has to be individually molded to an avatar in the modeling program. Each item must be sized, saved, exported, and uploaded separately. Depending on the complexity of the item, the cost to upload can be quite high. It’s not just a matter of uploading one texture and then resizing it in world like a sculpt. Then, in world, the item needs to be created, attached, and textured separately. I am already doing this 5 times for the standard sizes. I would say it would probably add at least 2 extra hours of work for each additional size (I’m new at mesh and probably slower than average), and I’m sure if I were to add an XL and an XXL, there would be more people asking for additional sizes. So, I hear ya. It’s frustrating. I had to change my shape to wear mesh, too, but I’m not leaving out the larger sizes to be mean or to ignore anyone. It’s just that I have to draw the line somewhere, and the standard sizes make things more convenient for me and seems to be a happy compromise until the mesh deformer project is implemented.

    • Thank you so much for your reply here. I’m very pleased to meet you also, welcome to my blog! I understand what it takes to create mesh items. I’m also not unaware of the cost to bring the final product to fruition inworld. I am aware of the expense in both linden and time involved. I am a shopper and I do run a few business so I know that time is money and I fully respect that.

      I don’t think the cost can not be covered, I think SL consumers are, as we see, very happy to pay for mesh items already. I’ve lived in the world long enough to know this much …settle and you never get what you really want. I want mesh that fits me and reading back through this blog, IM’s inworld and posted to my profile feed. I am not the only ample girl in SL that feels we should be supported by our fabulous talented designers. We want to shop and we want to buy and we want to support them , but we do not want to be *standard size* to do it.

  5. One of the reasons I’ve yet to really create mesh clothing was because of the current limitations of mesh clothing. I WANT to be able to create for any size, but as much is there is no real average for smaller avatar, there’s no average for larger ones either. The standard sizing stuff is already giving me a headache just trying to conform to that. If I were to add in larger sizes, I wouldn’t know where to begin since there’s not even a hint of a standard for that.

    I am not a larger avatar by any means. It seems I’m somewhere in between a small and a medium by standard sizing… yet things still don’t fit me without tweaking of my avatar shape… It sucks for everyone. The saving grace will be the mesh deformer, which will surely come with its own quirks, but should make things so much better.

    Until the deformer comes, the only thing I know to tell you is perhaps create your own standard sizing system for larger avatars that creators can opt to adopt when creating mesh items. As I haven’t heard any timeline on the deformer, it may be beneficial to go ahead and try to create something for larger avatars. I wouldn’t know where to start as I am and always have been a smaller avatar. If you or anyone you know or hear about creates a larger standard for avatars for mesh clothing, let me know. I would love to adopt it for my clothing meshes I intend to create for my full permission store.

  6. Hello Sae, welcome to my blog it’s a pleasure to see you ! Thank you for your response. Isabeal posted a link to a jira above I’ll repost here as well I have been reading there and looking at those pictures re the deformer it’s pretty terrible.

    I’m not a clothing creator but I have been watching videos on YouTube. Mesh is not easy ! Mesh appears to be more time comsuming as well. But what can be created is so beautiful. there does not seem to actually be a *standard* the more I research. I’ve blogged some of the designers so far that have worked for me in L or XL but even that one designer may make the perfect fit in a skirt once and the next skirt released wont fit an ample avatar.

    • I think that may be because each mesh must be resized by hand to fit.. so there’s most likely going to be some amount of variation from the same size mesh by the same creator. Then we have another issue.. mesh clothing fitting when moving around… if it’s meant to be tight fitting, avatars are most likely going to pop out now and then, that’s kind of the nature of the beast with SL mesh clothing… If it’s loose fitting, there’s a much better chance it’s going to work better for any size. Another thing to take into consideration is the weighting of the rigged item. If it’s not weighted well, it’s not going to fit well either because as you move, the mesh will not move correctly and you may start popping out here and there. There are quite a few issues that can cause this, but I’ll stop there, I think I’ve made my point.. lol.

      Mesh itself is actually very easy (in my opinion), but it’s mesh clothing that is the one that kicks you in the ass if you are a creator. Not only do you have to create a beautifully done mesh attempting to use as few quads or triangles as you can, you also have to fit it to the avatar (which is a pain as I pointed out above), UV map it, texture it, rig it, weight it, then hold your breath and hope it looks good when you put it on in world. The only truly simple part of mesh clothing is rigging..that’s just kind of like position mesh, click a few times, and it’s rigged. Even with the deformer, it’s not going to make creating them easier, it’ll just take away sizing it so many times, and that will free up a lot of time in the end.

      I’ve been trying to conform to standard sizing by hand using the default avatar mesh downloaded from LL, and let me tell you, it’s no picnic. My work around, once I decide to make time for it, will be to create an avatar with each standard sizing size and then download those avatars back to my computer from a viewer that allows it. That way, I’ll at least have something to fit to, though it’s likely that it’ll still have some sizing issues for people.

      I love mesh clothing… it’s so much nicer than “painted on” clothing or even sculpties (since they cannot move with the avatar), but until that deformer hits, it’s going to be a sore subject for both merchants and customers. I’m just crossing my fingers that that deformer comes sometime in the near future because even though it may not be perfect, it’s just better than the alternative.

    • Also, as a side note, I just took a look at that jira page, and you are right, it’s not looking so hot. Which is odd since when you watch Qarl’s videos of the deformer when he was creating it, it looked really good.

  7. Pingback: I Am Not Standard Size Part 2 « Colleen Criss's Weblog

  8. Pingback: Do You Remember … | Colleens SLife In Pixels

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