Austerity chic! The SL Top Model Contest Freebie Styling Challenge

So, the eagerly awaited notice week's SL Top Model challenge! I wait for the notecard to load, wondering what fabulous designer or hot fashion trend we'll be asked to emulate this week...and I read...

Oh dear! No "runway-to-reality-haute-casual-minimalist-neo-avant-garde-chic" for us this week! We're allowed to wear our own skin, hair, lashes and nails, but everything else - clothes, shoes and accessories must be freebies. And that doesn't mean stuff we were given by designers either - it all has to come from 2 specific freebie stores. The challenge is to show we can "make anything fabulous"!

With some trepidation,  I teleport to The Free Dove, and start to survey the higgledy piggledy stacks of boxes...this takes me back to 2009 when as a noobie avatar I started learning the fine art of SL shopping at just such stores. And I swear, there's some stuff here I saw in 2009 too!

I have no idea what I'm going to do for this, so I just keep scanning boxes and wait for inspiration to arrive. There are gifts from some well known designers in the mix, but I feel that to use them out of the box would be making it too easy...I have to find some hidden treasure to make something truly original.

Then I see it, a little jewellery set from Lazuri - earrings and necklace, with bold, chunky stones in vibrant fuchsia, set in gold. I grab it. I spot a basics box from Elate, a store I know, and grab that too...and continue my search till I find a complete outfit from Snatch! that's modifiable, and includes shoes I think I can do something with. There's a stylish complete outfit from Indyra originals that I take too, along with a pretty lingerie set from Insolence. I'm hoping I have something here I can work with.

Back home, I unpack my boxes, and start trying things on...slowly, a look comes together! A youthful casual chic outfit with a bold colour pop for today's young fashionista.

I used items from 5 designers. The mesh skirt is straight out of the Elate gift box, as are the stockings, from Insolence. The nicely textured sheer blouse with pretty ruffles was part of the outfit from Snatch! that included shoes and bangles, as well as some other pieces I didn't use. I recoloured the blouse from grey to fuschia to give me the colour pop I wanted. I resized and recoloured the bangles too. I took an earring from the jewellery set, resized it and fitted it to one bangle to make a bold statement accessory. I recoloured the bows on the shoes to match, and then made the platforms much higher to give them some added oomph. I added a wide belt from the Indyra Originals outfit and recoloured a couple of stones to tie it in with the outfit - and voila! A look I'd be happy to wear about the grid.

I'm delighted to have got through this week's I wait with some trepidation to find out what next week will bring!

All the clothing and accessories in this outfit are completely free from The Free Dove. Style doesn't have to be expensive!