Inventory Sorting Tutorial Pt 3 : Tops & Outerwear

Inventory Sorting Tutorial Pt 3 : Tops & Outerwear

June 26, 2011 |  by  |  inventory sorting, tutorial

Yay! I’m so glad the tutorials are helping some of you guys – the process I have is basically what I’ve shown from the 1st and 2nd part, but if you’re interested to see how else I sort the rest of my items, this edition would show you a glimpse of how I did my “tops” rough sorting folder.

I’ll also show some other things that were being asked such as how to open 2 inventory windows and what system I’m using for my inventory sorting.

Opening 2 Inventory Windows

The viewer I’m using is Firestorm Beta which is a little different from SL Default Viewer 2, but the process of opening 2 inventory windows should be similar. I find that Firestorm is a lot more friendly for those who are transitioning from viewer 1, they have the pie menu which a lot of us loved and the interface is just a whole lot more intuitive.

After opening your inventory, it should be docked on the right and completely immobile. Click the top right arrow to “undock” the inventory window so you can now easily move it around your screen. Click the gear on the bottom left of your inventory and the open “New Inventory Window” should be available. Click that, and tada! New inventory window!

Interface I’m Using

I’ve received some questions on what interface I’m using which enables me to scroll through pictures. It’s just an Mac Apple Computer’s Finder Window. Although older Macs might look a lot different, and Windows should have a similar option too. But I haven’t used Windows for quite some time so I might not be of much help there.

If you have a Mac computer, click your finder window by clicking on that half face icon. And then at the top you should have 4 different options of viewing your file. I’m using the 4th option, which shows a thumbnail, it looks like an itunes album cover flow.

I made a short video on both questions above, if you have a hard time following my screenshot, I hope the video helps! However it’s my first ever video tutorial so it’s a little muffled and weird. The graphics aren’t very clear but if you go to the vimeo link, you can download the video and view it fullscreen on high graphics.


Running Into Sets?

As you’re sorting tops, occasionally you run into folders with more than 1 item. Like a set for example. In this case, I ran into this: (My avatar doesn’t look too happy about it)

If you would like to keep both items there’s 2 ways to go about doing this. Make a category called “Sets” or the method I did, create another folder, rename it appropriately and separate the items.

You can see I didn’t change the name much, making sure I still remembered it was a group gift. Move the top into its category and the skirt into the “skirts” rough sorting folder so you can work on that later on.



Sorting Tops

So let’s head on down to tops! The tops folder I made is really general so I ended up having to do both outerwear and tops at the same time. This made the category a large one, but after Hoisery, I was quite ready to tackle it~ The method is basically the same as Hosiery in regards to wearing, photographing and then categorizing. Click that link to read through it, I won’t go through that again. Rather, I’ll just post screen shots and reasons why I categorize things the way I do. Perhaps it’ll work for you too, but I found the best way is to just make categories that make sense to you.

So there are a crazy number of tops in SL. For inspiration on categories, I went through several online shopping sites to see how they categorize their tops.

(click through the tabs for more info on each category)

The Basic Layers category contains 4 other subcategories. Basically these are my solid pieces that I find works well for layering purposes.
The Blouses & Shirts category could definitely be broken down more, but I made just 3 sub categories for this. It still works because I have images on my desktop to look through.
I would however suggest breaking it down more if you aren’t supplementing it with images
The Long Sleeved Tops category consist of well…long sleeved tops, but the ones that work more like tees than pullovers and sweaters (which I have in outerwear).
I broke them down into Illustration, Pattern and Text. If you don’t have a Basic Layers folder, you could add an addition Solids sub category here.

The Sleeveless Tops category is where I put all the sleeveless tops that don’t quite work as tanks or camis.
I don’t have subcategories for this cause honestly I don’t quite know how to make it even more precise.
The Tanks & Camis category work just like Long Sleeved Tops whereby I put all my tanks and camisoles within the folder.
I broke them up the same way too, Illustration, Patterns and Text. Again, if you don’t have a Basic Layers folder, you could add an addition Solids sub category here.
The Tees category is where I put all my t-shirts! The same way with Illustration, Patterns and Text.


Sorting Outerwear

My Outerwear folder has a ton more folders because I usually like them a whole lot more sub categorized than tops. I don’t think it’s necessary to break it up into Coats and Jackets, but if you like preciseness, feel free to do it this way too.

(click through the tabs for more info on each category)

The Blazer category consists of jackets which are cut more like a suit.
I use to sort these by color subcategories, but I ended up with more Black Blazer than any other color, so now I just do this open or closed.
The Cardigans category is one that I contemplated a long time about having. I could easily just place these in Jackets but I find that tons of creators create cardigans and I wear them pretty often.
I subcategorize this same as Blazers with Open or Close option, then added Cropped Cardigans and Thick ones to be more precise. No prim cardigans are those made only on clothing layers — these are great for layering and lag free shopping when needed~
The Coats category are where I put my “thicker” outerwear. Trench coats, winter jackets etc are all placed in here. I categorized this by styles that work for my brain but I probably will revisit this and re categorize as it gets even bigger.

The Hanging on Body category is for special outerwear that don’t come along often.
Occasionally creators make sculpted amazingness for outerwear, perhaps tied on our waists or hanging on our shoulders. This is just a special folder for those unique come bys.
The Hoodies category consist of sweaters with a hood. It was originally a subcategory for Sweaters & Pullovers but I moved it to it’s own when it got rather large.
The Jacket category ended up being my area for outerwear that is wearable for all 4 seasons.
I separated it by type for more clarity and because I tend to purchase these types of Jackets as well.

The Sweaters & Pullovers category really could be placed in Tops as well. I put them here because I find that I layer them over tops a lot, so they worked more as outerwear.
I categorized them similar to a lot of my tops folder, but kept a Turtleneck category since I tend to look for those often.
The Vests category was newly made a few hours ago because I realized they don’t quite fit in other categories.
But basically I separated these by material types, but if you don’t have much vests, sub categories aren’t really needed.

So there we go! Graphic overload~ But the pictures might help you have some ideas of how to sort your own inventory! <3


  1. I came across this post on the feeds and went back to read the first 2 as well – very interesting! My approach is rather similar to yours, except instead of taking a pictue I add some brief notes about what the item is on the folder itself. I’ve found that by adding a few keywords about the color and style I can scroll down and find what I want or use the inventory search function. I love how visual your approach is though! :)

  2. Allison — Thank you! I like that method! I think that’s really helpful for yourself. Do you add notes by renaming the folders? Or add a notecard within? I like keeping the folder name intact so I can blog about things easily, however I think your method is a brilliant way of finding things easily!

  3. Ooooh..your voice! ;) )))))))))

  4. Yup, I add the notes on the folder itself. The reason I don’t do a notecard is because I don’t want to add another item and because then I’d have to open the folder to see what I’ve written. It gets tricky when the folder has a long name to begin with though, because I like to try to keep the name that the creator gave it intact as well – I try to shorten what’s already there if I can or I just don’t write much myself. I’m sure it’s not the best method ever but it works for me. :) Thanks again for your insights, I’ve really enjoyed them.

  5. Anya, you have outdone yourself! Your posts must take an obscene amount of work! Anyway, these posts have been a great help to me. I don’t have nearly the same amount of items as you in my Inventory, but your journey to organizing your Inventory has sparked my own journey! Keep up the awesome work! <33

    xo alina

  6. Chance — LOL I’ve known you for what? Nearly 3 years now? And that’s the first time eh?

    Allison — I think it’s a great method actually! It’s an awesome way to customize your inventory to a way that works for you, it’s really smart! :D Thank you so much too for sharing your method ^^

    Alina Aww thank you Alina! It was work that I enjoyed, so not a biggie at all~ I’m glad that the posts help you get started and good luck, I hope your journey ends in a clean and neat inventory :D

  7. Really impressed with the amount of work and thought you have put into this. I hope to learn from how people use the inventory to see how I could improve the workflow. (Third Party Viewer developer)

    I could see how being able to browse through snapshots easily, that have a symbolic connection with a specific folder, would be very useful, as an alternative way to go through and interact with your inventory.

  8. Nexii — thank you Nexii! I do think having snapshots would be so helpful, some designers are starting to put item snapshots within folders, but after a while that takes up inventory space as well, but that’s still better than nothing! I wish you luck in your project, and if you ever need my help whatsoever, feel free to let me know!

  9. Hi Ohmai…

    I love your screen shots, but when I zoomed in I noticed your interface looks alot like itunes? I’m not certain if thats what you’re using but bygod if you’ve discovered a way to get SL and Itunes to work together you are a GENIUS…thanks for tut, btw, I have a closet that does all of this for you. all you have to do is name the folder and it will sort it for you…got it from Marketplace a while ago…for those who want to do the work in less time here it is…Ohmai I hope you don’t mind:

  10. GG — Hi! My interface is merely the Apple’s computer usual way of looking through thumb nailed images in your folder. It looks a lot like iTunes cause of that as well. I was very tempted to purchase that from the marketplace too, but I decided to simply store it in my hard drive and web server so I’ll be able to easily access it. But that tool is very useful! Some of my friends use it and utterly love it, highly recommended!

  11. So i see that group gift you showed for your sets example… What designer/store made it? Even if i cant get that one, anyone who can make cute things like that is good :D

  12. @Anya and all those asking about the Mac Finder interface for viewing pictures – I work on multiple platforms (multiple Mac and Windows OS versions). One suggestion for those who absolutely love the album cover look that Anya is using, you actually can can get something close in windows explorer if you set up your Explorer window correctly. I put and example picture on my flickr. With steps to configure your Explorer window to look like this. One nice thing about this option that goes along with what Anya was saying about being able to view things visually and liking to keep the creators original file names is that not only can you give things ratings (so you can sort by things you liked the best) but you can also put on tags on the file that include things to help you find the right piece when you are searching for something. For example the file name might be “*OhMai! – Brocade Tights – Eggplant” but you are looking for purple tights so when you put in the word purple in search this doesn’t come up, but if you add the tag purple to the file it would come up when you searched your tights folder along with any other ones that had purple in the name or in the tags. Here is the link to the picture ( I recommend clicking on the main pic and going to the full 100% view for the details.

    @Anya – Thanks for doing this series. I always struggle with an ever increasing inventory and a constant need to sort. I have been going hard since the beginning of the year to work on this when I have time and this series of articles has been added inspiration to keep at it and given me ideas to implement as I go along.

    @Aria – *GF* is usually G Fields. Anya can confirm this when she gets a chance but I was going through these awesome articles and helpful comments, and figured that I could help, I would be happy to do so. And G Fields is an awesome store :D happy shopping.

  13. Hi Anya

    Dumpted to your tutorials going through Flickrs streams… and I’m so happy! ;) I have a huge inventory, not only for shopping, hunting, visiting gatcha festivals, fairs, etc, etc, etc… but also because I’m a great procasnicator :P I’ve tried many times to sort this out. My favorite shops have their own folder, then… also when opening boxes or checking folders, added some tags or simply tried to translate the name to spanish (yes I’m spanish) so this way could find easier some things. But this is surely not enough when having far over 80.000 items it’s imposible to manage it and too frecuently I only wear some things ones or twice, and what’s worse… never :(

    A few months ago I did this rough sort you mention in the first post, and after it also created two extra folders “Unsorted hunt items” and “last shopping” trying to avoid the long list of new folders each day or boxes in the Objects folder.
    Finding your post is a big encoragement and love the pics idea, I would had loved to do it IW, but 10L$ for each would ruin me LOL. And as you I thnk that many creators ar adding pics to their folders eventhough increase the items number, can be very helpful.

    Thank you for taking your time showing us how you went through this, and your tips, I think for the first time I’m impatient to log in to sort out my inventory LOL

    Congrats for your work and thank youuuuuu!!

  14. Natalia :
    Awww thank you so much! I share your same sentiments, it took me a long time to finally pluck the courage and sort my inventory. Unfortunately it’s a rather huge mess now with the new textures and uploading I have done for events and projects. I hope one day to go back to this and sort it once again. I know for the items I sorted, the pictures have been a /huge/ help! I haven’t worn all my items but this picture idea has given me a chance to relook the impulse purchases I have made in SL :D

  15. Aisling/Aria
    Yes! GF is G Fields! Sorry for the long time it took for me to reply, i’ve been neglecting this blog a whole ton, super apologetic for that.
    Thank you Aisling for your link, I haven’t touched windows for such a long time and had no idea how to do it. But your method definitely looks similar to what people have been asking for :D Thank you for taking the time to do that!

  16. ahhh i’m so mad bc i bought one of those wardrobe thingies to help me have photos of my inventory BUT i have a mac and could have done the same thing for FREE!!! oh well, live and learn right? lol

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  1. Inventory Sorting Tutorial Pt 4 : Pants, Skirts, Dresses & Other Clothing Items | OhMyOhmai

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