New corset and ballet boots

Any regular reader will know that, over the past couple of months, thanks to an initial push from Mistress, I've become more and more fascinated (and I guess infatuated) by female clothing that fits the male form. This interest also extends to fetishwear too. It's an obvious observation that, in Second Life, there are far more fetish products aimed at female subs than there are at male subs (one of the reasons why Z&A ever happened) and some of them look fantastic. The idea of being able to dress in them, or be locked in them, has grabbed me more and more lately. The problem with many of them is they're often impossible to make fit a male shape (at least without so many adjustments to your shape that you end up not looking like yourself, or you have to size the item so it ends up looking out of proportion).

One such item that has always intrigued me is ballet boots. I can remember, back in 2010, seeing a friend stumble around a region I used to hang out on then, training her MD ballet boots. I loved the idea! But having had a bad experience trying to size up a set of MD cuffs at the time, and given back then we were still all having to work with a mess of invisiprims and the like, I decided I'd never make them fit and gave up on the idea.

Fast forward to more recent times and, of course, many such products have updated to use alpha layers, mesh and better resizing tools. This meant that, for example, my MD pony gear finally sized and fit really well and looked good to Mistress too (who, in Firestorm with advanced lighting on, couldn't see the invisiprims). This in turn gave me confidence enough to finally buy the MD ballet boots a couple of weeks back, with great results.

Given all of this you can imagine my hopeful delight when I unpacked the Femdom Hunt V gift from *KaS* over the weekend. It was a set of their ballet boots! When I had a quiet moment, wearing my normal shape, I tried them on. They were, of course, far too small. Before I started on them with the normal edit tools I checked the menus and found a resize menu. A really sensible resize menu too! Rather than the usual options for increasing and decreasing the overall size this one allows you to resize all three directions independently. In no time at all I had ballet boots that as near as was possible perfectly fit my shape and looked in proportion!

I can't even begin to describe how delighted I was. I was delighted enough that, the next time I had a chance, I popped over to the *KaS* main store to take a look at another product that might let me wear something else I've wanted (and Mistress has wanted for me) for quite some time: a corset that nicely fits a male shape.

I wasn't disappointed.

Making the decision to purchase this was made really easy by the fact that there's a demo version of the product that, as far as I could tell, was fully-working -- it just happens to have text above it that says it's a demo. The corset itself comes in three versions. There's a non-rigged version which, try as I might, I couldn't get to fit me. It has the same sensible resize menu as the boots but there's little doubt that a female torso isn't very similar to a male torso so any attempt to resize ended up with it either not fitting in one direction or fitting in all directions but looking hilariously out of proportion.

But that's fine, because there's more to this product. As well as the non-rigged version there's also female and male (male!) rigged versions in the five standard sizes. The rigged male large version came very close to fitting me. I had to make a new shape (based off my existing shape, obviously) to make it really work, but that's to be expected. This is, obviously, a corset; shape modification is kind of the idea. So I tucked a few bits here and there and ended up with it looking pretty much spot on.

The rigged corsets come in 4 different lacing levels, each one being increasingly tighter (in the above I'm wearing the least tight one). This does mean that, unlike with the non-rigged version, the person who holds the key for the corset can't increase the tightness level -- they'd have to unlock you and have you swap corset. While that might lose some of the immersion for some people that's perfectly fine for us.

The only niggle I have about the corset is that the alpha doesn't quite work for me. It comes with three alphas to cover the different sizes but I'm finding that, at the bottom, the alpha that works best for me is showing a gap:

Unfortunately the corset doesn't come with the texture template for the alpha so I can't easily tweak this. When I have some spare time I think I'll have to have a go at making my own (or look for any corset alpha templates kicking around and tweak that to work). To be fair though, in normal use, the gap really isn't that noticeable.

Overall I think the whole combination works rather well. At least, it's to my taste.

I can see that I'll be buying the full version of the boots pretty soon (I should mention that the gift version of the boots are a fully-working product, they're constrained only by texture choice: either black or latex leopard print; the normal retail version seems to have a huge range of colour options).

The only other niggle for me was the AO in the boots (and possibly in the corset too). They come with two built-in AO options. You can turn on stand and walking AOs as separate things. The stand animations are very obviously aimed at female avatars and didn't look right on me at all whereas the walk AOs, especially when the boots are chained together (oh how Mistress laughed at the tightest chain level!), work perfectly and look good on me. This means that I'd want to keep my own stands but use the walking animations from the boots. This potentially causes a problem depending on the priority of the animations in your own AO.

The MD ballet boots I got the other week appear to have solved this issue by having a "standard" AO notecard inside them, allowing you to load up your own animations. This is something I did with those boots, leaving the MD boots' own walk animations in place and replacing the stands with my own. The *KaS* boots don't seem to have a similar option.

This was pretty easily solved though by something I did with my own AO a long time ago: I have a notecard in it that is the same as my "normal" notecard but which uses a very low-priority walk. Switching to that seems to have worked a treat: when I'm stood I have my normal stand, when I walk the *KaS* boots walk kicks in without an issue.

Problem solved.

I'm really delighted with how this turned out and it's heartening to see another creator catering for those males who want to keep their male shape but be a little more flexible in what they wear. I really wish that more would follow the example of *KaS* and Schadenfreude and make male-shape-friendly versions of their products (although I do appreciate that it's likely a lot of effort for a small market).

I'd also love to see a male-shape-friendly version of this and this *KaS* product now. ;)

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