One of the most prevalent subcultures in Second Life is that of the Neko. Catgirls and boys alike can be identified by their ears and tail – the image of a human with feline characteristics is the essence of Neko. You’ve seen them in the clubs, you’ve seen them out shopping, maybe you’ve even dated one. Now you can be a cool cat, too, with my guide to Second Life Neko!

the cat's meow - hybrid

The most well-known Neko accessory shop is, without a doubt, Hybrid (SLURL). Hybrid has been offering ears and tails since 2006 and many Nekos on the Grid are familiar with their products. Hybrid accessories, now in the third generation featuring sculpted prims, are fully scripted and HUD-controlled. Texture and color change, twitching ears, and swishy tails are just a few of the options. My favorite options in the V3 series are the moods – one click changes the position of your ears and animates your face simultaneously. The ears and tails are sold separately, for L$150 each, with pierced options available.

Due to one of the Hybrid founders leaving SL and the release of the V3 series, the V2 series is currently on sale at a steep discount. Ears and tails are L$25 each, accessories L$10. This is a great chance to test out the Hybrid system! Male and female Neko skins and tattoos, whiskers, cat eyes, and other accessories are also available.

My favorite Neko tattoos are from EtchD (SLURL), though, featured above. Modifiable, you can tint them in appearance mode. Unisex spotted and striped versions are on sale for L$75 each.

the cat's meow - trap

Extrovirtual (SLURL) has a history of outstanding avatar design. Known for the adorable Tinies, Extrovirtual also offers full-size feline avatars as well as Neko accessories, among other things. Extrovirtual products retain a whimsical cartoony feeling, often implementing regular prims as opposed to sculpties. I’m a fan of the smooth, sculpted ears in the Neko ear and tail sets (L$275 per set), but the simple flexi tail isn’t my favorite. While not as heavily scripted as the Hybrid accessories, the Extrovirtual ears and tails do have movement, twitching and swishing with the best of them. They are also modifiable, so manual tinting for a perfect match is possible.

The light ginger set from Extrovirtual, tinted a pale orange, goes well with the orange Neko skins from Trap (SLURL). The Neko skins at Trap are available in male or female versions, with both plain and striped versions, for L$700 per color. The color palette is quite vivid, with blue, orange, red, pink, and violet, as well as a Caucasian beige tone – these aren’t your typical housecats! I really love the markings on the striped versions and couldn’t bear to cover them up completely!

the cat's meow - nomine and temenos

Both Nomine (SLURL) and Temenos (SLURL) offer skins beyond the typical range. Nomine’s neko skins include panther, cheetah, leopard, snow leopard (pictured left above), and tiger. The fur details are smoothly blended into the skin, with patches cleverly avoiding seams. The markings on Temenos’ neko skins are very defined, crisply layered over smoothly textured skin. Options include tiger (pictured right), tabby, and leopard – with an extensive tone and makeup range. The skins come packaged with a basic ear and tail set. My favorite detail on the Temenos’ skins is the light-colored section stretching from collarbone to just below the navel. Nomine’s neko skins are L$500 each; Temenos’ L$799.

The snow leopard is sporting ears and tail from Discord Designs (SLURL). Discord Designs is a great hair store and the ears and tail are available in the same tones as their hair. They are basic, but well-scripted and cheap – only L$30 per color pack or L$90 for all colors! The black panther is wearing the matching tail from Temenos and ears from Curious Relics (SLURL) – they’ve got a lot of Neko accessories, including paws, tails, and eyes. The ears at Curious Relics are L$480.

the cat's meow - temenos

Whenever I feel the urge to go Neko, I dig out prim eyes. I love the mis-matched look you can acheive with them – Nekos look great with one blue and one green eye! My favorite prim eyes are from EbiSkin (SLURL). They’re free!

the cat's meow - bounce full

Blurring the lines between Neko and Furry, Bounce (SLURL) offers furred skins with anthromorphic details. Admittedly, the Bounce skins are far from perfect. There are some seam issues on the body and a very distinct seam line dividing the face from the scalp – this is thankfully covered by most hair styles. The unique markings and touchable fur texture make up for any imperfections, though, as does the price tag of only L$300 per skin. Scripted ears and tails are sold separately, for L$150 apiece.

Don’t be a scaredy cat, find your own Neko style today!

I joined Second Life at the end of February of 2007. Two months later, I joined Flickr and my blog followed soon after. I didn’t come to SL for fashion blogging, but it’s certainly one of the reasons I stuck around! Shopping and photography are my main hobbies in SL and I’ve learned so much doing both. I love exploring the Grid and am constantly amazed by what fellow Residents come up with.

2007 brought sculpties to SL and many designers won me over with their use of them, both old favorites and new discoveries. I moved on from Empyrean Emporium (now Curio), becoming obsessed with one skin maker after another, but Insolence stood out. Armidi burst onto the scene late in the year and I completely abandoned Naughty Designs hair for their work. The jack-of-all-trades RaC ( now known as Laqroki) caught my attention with their silky hair textures, even though I thought their skins were overpriced. I discovered the joy that is Japanese mall sims, snapping up as many bargains as I could get my hands on. In short, I shopped ’til I dropped and loved every minute of it.

blast from the past - outfits 003

From left to right: The first outfit is probably my all-time favorite. If I don’t know what else to wear, I dig out the folder labeled “Snuggly Black & Purple” and, voila, instant comfort and style. The outfit centers around clothing from Savvy? and Shop Seu, with accessories from Armidi, Illusions, Persenickety, PixelDolls, and Vertically Challenged. Savvy? shows up again in the next outfit, as well as Artilleri, Boing Fromage, Shiny Things, and Tres Blah. The bohemian look works well with clothing from Cubic Effect, Etch’D tattoos, shoes from G Field, and jewelry from Bare Rose and Shiny Things. The infamous Armidi supplied the jeans for the last look, and there’s also a tee from Gritty Kitty, shoes from Sculpties Up In Here, a Yummy bag, and an animated camera from LustyFen.

blast from the past - outfits 006

In the summer of 2007, I met Siyu Suen, the mastermind behind Illusions (SLURL). It all started with a request for a custom mask and ended in a lasting friendship. I also began greeting at Illusions and I really couldn’t ask for a better job. It’s a gorgeous environment, the customers are amazing, and just look what I get to wear to work!

From left to right: The angel is decked out in Dark Eden gear, and wings from Illusions. The centaur has faun legs from Titania’s Court, armor from Random Inspirations, and a mask from Illusions. My Harlequin outfit features pieces from Illusions, clothing from LF, and a Nomine skin. I snuck in the last avatar (or I got inattentive sorting through so many snapshots!), it’s a modified Catty avatar from Sense with Etch’D tattoos – I could certainly wear it to work with one of Siyu’s cat masks, though!

cyber angel 004

cyber angel 006

cyber angel 007

Location: Mongo World Domination Outpost 9 (SLURL)

Hair: Kin
Skin: Chai
Eyes: Simtropia
Tattoos: Etch’d
Jewelry and Ears: Illusions
Bodysuit: Pixel Dolls

wastelands candy 003

wastelands candy 004

wastelands candy 005

wastelands candy 006

Location: Potato Farm, The Wastelands (SLURL)

Hair: The Ginza from Armidi.
Skin: Sierra from Cake.
Eyes: Green Deep from Simtropia.
Scarf and Jackets: Inferno and Hell Fire Lady from BareRose.
Jumpsuit: Denim Cotton Jumpsuit from Armidi.
Gloves and Tattoos: Black Death and Exo from Etch’D.
Shoes: Asuka Boots from Lassitude & Ennui.

made in hell 001

Left Model (Fei Bourdeille):

Hair: Ryuuzaki from Kin Keiko.
Eyes: Modded freebies.
Ears: Black Neko Ears from ExtroVirtual.
Piercings: Mongoose from Kin Keiko and Captivated from Puncture.
Skin: Dante from Naughty.
Outfit: Beowulf from Made In Hell.
Shoes: Engineer Boots from Nanacraft.

Right Model (Candy Flanagan):

Hat: Steampunk Tophat from UnZipped.
Hair: Lucy from Kin Keiko.
Eyes: Natural eyes from Simtropia.
Skin: Sierra from Cake.
Outfit: Gynoid II Top and Wishmaster Skirt from Made In Hell.
Choker: Mala Miau.
Gloves: Black Death from Etch’d.
Tattoos: Exo from Etch’d.
Socks: Atomic Socks from Etch’d.
Shoes: NAU Combat Boots from The Abyss.

made in hell 002

Left Model (Fei Bourdeille):

Hair: Shamsa from Kin Keiko.
Eyes: Modded freebies.
Ears: Black Neko Ears from ExtroVirtual.
Piercings: Mongoose from Kin Keiko and Captivated from Puncture.
Skin: Dante from Naughty.
Outfit: OZone Coat from Made In Hell.
Shoes: Engineer Boots from Nanacraft.

Right Model (Candy Flanagan):

Hair: Karei from Kin Keiko.
Eyes: Natural eyes from Simtropia.
Skin: Sierra from Cake.
Outfit: Nekobilly from Made In Hell.
Choker: Mala Miau.
Gloves: Black Death from Etch’d.
Tattoos: Exo from Etch’d.
Shoes: NAU Combat Boots from The Abyss.

midian city 003

midian city 008

midian city 009

Hair: The Emo One from Armidi.
Eyes: Natural eyes from Simtropia.
Skin: Sierra from Cake.
Tattoos: Exo set from Etch’d.
Top and Bra: Eris Halter from LF Fashions.
Jeans, Necklace, Straps and Shoes: Mala Miau.