LBC: My Plans on Executing My Top Three New Year’s Resolutions

For this week’s Lolita Blog Carnival topic, participating bloggers were asked to create a plan to follow through with our New Year’s resolutions in 2018. However, I don’t exactly have  resolutions, more like  general goals that I’d like to work towards all the time. These are:

  • Be more active online
  • Attend more meets
  • Continue building a “complete” wardrobe

My goals are addmittedly somewhat vague, so I decided to participate in this week’s prompt partially to give more thought to what I want and how to accomplish it. Because of this topic, I actually sat down and though about each item, and I think I’ve come up with an actionable plan that I can stick to in the new year!

1. Be More Active Online

I was awful about this in 2017! I actually lost my passwords for both this blog and the associated email and only recently got around to resetting them and getting back in. So I need to get back into the habit of updating regularly. I plan to redevelop that habit by *actually* completing the Lolita 52 challenge in 2018 and posting to my Instagram at least twice per week. Beyond that though, I want to use these platforms for their intended purpose: interacting with other users! So I’ve decided to make a conscious effort to comment on other users content. The last week I’ve been leaving a minimum of 5 comments per day spanning several social media platforms and it’s not as scary as I thought it’d be. When I see something especially nice I just leave a comment. Simple. I hope to continue this indefinitely.

2. Attend More Meets

I did manage to go to about 10-12 meets in 2017, which isn’t too bad. But it didn’t seem like enough (is it ever?). I gave it some thought  and decided I’d aim to attend an average of 1.5 meets per month this year, so a minimum of 18. There are a few upcoming events in my comm that I’m looking forward to, and two that I’ve RSVPd “yes” to, so I’m off to a good start! Just hoping I can keep it up.

3. Continue Building a Complete Wardrobe

This is probably the least concrete item on my list, as I’m really not sure what will help me to feel that my wardrobe is complete. After considering it, I decided to start by being able to create at least 3 different coords for each main piece I own. If I’m not able to create 3, I’ll think about pieces I can add that might help with multiple coords and main pieces, or else consider selling the main (noooooo!!!). I’d also like to post the coords I make here, so keep an eye out for a new series of posts! Come to think, that’ll also tie into my first goal…

This week’s participants:

Stardust

The Bloody Tea Party

Pastel Peggy

Gota de Baunilha

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2018 Wardrobe Post #1: OPs and JSKs

This is my first time doing a wardrobe post and I’m actually pretty excited about it. I got a little overwhelmed with the sheer number of accessories and shoes I have though, so I decided not to include them for now. I may do an accessories post later in the month but for now I’ve decided to stick to main pieces, blouses, and outerwear. In other words, just the things that hang in my closet.

I’ve also decided to divide those three categories into separate posts as it was much too long and became daunting, so expect one to three more posts like this one throughout January! I did have a lot of fun cataloguing my wardrobe though, so I can see this becoming an annual thing.

Main Pieces:

OPs:

BTSSB – Pastoral in the Grass Green

This is one of my favorite pieces. It has so many small details in the print and construction that I absolutely love. Sadly, I rarely feel that I have occasion to wear it, and it’s so distinctive that all my coords with it end up looking fairly same-y.

Bodyline – L362 in yellow

I love this OP for casual coords. It’s fairly lightweight and unlined, but that actually makes it great for summer and since it was so cheap I don’t mind wearing it to conventions and other events where it might get dirty. It’s also very easy to coord.

JSKs:

AaTP – Magical Popping Fantasy

I love classic children’s literature and although Ms. Travers’ Mary Poppins wasn’t as irreverent as the Disney version, I still fell immediately in love with this print, inspired by the Jolly Holiday sequence from the movie. I chose the green colorway over the white (I was originally torn between the two) because I felt it suited my wardrobe better.

AaTP – The Ticking Clock in Black and Sax

I’m a HUGE J.M. Barrie fan and because of that I’m a sucker for anything Peter Pan related. I was on a long backpacking trip when this print was released though, and by the time I got home the black colorway had already sold out. I got the cut I liked in sax and I do love it, but I was absolutely thrilled to find a black one secondhand just recently! That was a dream dress of mine and I’m very happy with it.

AaTP – The Wizarding Platform ~Steam Engine and the Illusion of the Foggy Town~ in black and orange

I fell in love with this JSK on-sight. It’s super flattering when worn and it’s Harry Potter-inspired. What more could you want?

Angelic Pretty – Cameo Window

This was my first AP piece and I was so impressed with the quality that I wound up going a little crazy on buying accessories from the print series. I haven’t gotten another colorway though, so that’s something. Though I still might. The brown JSK is pretty cute…

Angelic Pretty – Holy Lantern

Holy Lantern. Holy Lantern. Holy Lantern.

Angelic Pretty – Honey Cake

This was on my wishlist for quite a while and took some time to track down in this colorway. Of course when I finally did come across a secondhand listing I didn’t have the funds, so it’s one of the only things I’ve ever paid for by payment plan. I was so, SO happy that the seller agreed!

The Black Ribbon – Herb Garden Otome

I bought this from an indie designer at an anime convention. It’s a really nice, heavy fabric and is easy to wash, so it’s one of my favorite pieces for casual wear.

Bodyline – ???

I recently purchased this JSK on LaceMarket and I’m actually really impressed with it. It’s much better quality than most Bodyline pieces I’ve seen, and the detachable bow, simple print pattern, and adjustable skirt make it extremely versatile. It can be dressed up or down easily. Not bad for a $30 impulse buy!

Dear Celine – Party in the Forest

I had a tough time finding this JSK as it’s an older Taobao release, so when I found it I bought it immediately even though it doesn’t fit me AT ALL (its way too big). I’ve laced it as tight as it will go and I just always wear it with a jacket or bolero. One of these days I’ll see about having it altered. Also, it does have a matching bow, I just forgot to reattach it for the picture.

Innocent World – British Tuck Flare (long version)

A simple, elegant, fairly casual piece that I feel adds a lot to my wardrobe. It’s easy to coord and works well for everyday wear.

Innocent World -Fairy Tale

I love this JSK for how versatile it is and because I’m just partial to green. This might be my most worn main piece.

Innocent World – Lotta (revival)

My super ultimate number one best most ultra-loved dream dress, always and forever.

Innocent World – Peter Rabbit

Since this print wasn’t licensed for sale overseas I had anticipated having to jump through some hoops to get it. But I got lucky and a girl sold the colorway I wanted secondhand before I even tried to order, so hooray! This could definitely use a good ironing before I wear it next though.

Knight Night – Secret of Kells

My dad and I went to Ireland in September 2016 and saw the Book of Kells together, so this dress reminds me of that, and of him. Most sizes and colorways were sold out when I ordered it, so this one is very big on me and has to be laced up as tight as it will go. It looks much better if I wear it with a coat or jacket, but since I don’t have a lot of outerwear that matches it I usually opt for an extra long wig instead. Shhhhh…

Metamorphose Temps de Fille – Blooming Garden

I bought this from a friend a few years ago and while I really like it I haven’t worn it much. I think I might have been better off with a different colorway. I’m planning to wear it for Valentine’s Day. I’m also not sure what cut this is because I don’t think I’ve seen it anywhere else, even on Lolibrary, so if you have any idea please PLEASE let me know in the comments.

Metamorphose Temps de Fille – Little Squirrel

I had really wanted this cut and colorway when it was released, but I talked myself out of it. Good thing, too, because when I went to Tokyo in 2016 this JSK was the first thing I saw in the first Closet Child I went to, and it was under 100 USD. So it worked out very well in the end.

So that’s it for my OPs and JSKs! Next up will be skirts, blouses/cutsews, and outerwear. After that I’ll see about doing shoes and accessories, but to tell the truth even the idea of that is exhausting haha. Oh well, we’ll see how it goes!

My Most Versatile Lolita Item

The most versatile lolita item in my wardrobe is far from the most interesting, but has to be this purse from the Taobao brand Loris.

It works well with most of my wardrobe, which heavily favors Classic and Sweet. The purse also is a perfect size for me, and can comfortably fit my makeup bag, wallet, phone, and a book with room to spare. It’s well-constructed and sturdy as well, so although I’ve had other lolita bags and purses, this one became my favorite the moment I got it. In fact, I’ve been using this purse almost exclusively for a few years now (in lolita, that is), and am only just starting to think about buying a new bag.

Here are some examples of the purse in action. Enjoy!

My Best Deal

The best deal I’ve personally gotten on a Lolita garment was on an old school Meta skirt from Closet Child in Harajuku. It was ┬ą3,000 (around $27 USD) and is one of my most worn pieces.

The skirt is made of denim, which I love for its weight and because it’s atypical and adds interest. It has a small built-in petticoat (I didn’t wear an additional petticoat in the photo below), and its autumn colors work well with my wardrobe, which leans heavily towards brown, ivory, and burgundy. it’s also easy to wash, making it ideal for regular wear. It is, without a doubt, my favorite “everyday” main piece.

A slightly tweaked version of my chocolate bar coord.

How Lolita has Changed Me

I’ve been dreading this Lolita 52 topic to tell the truth, mainly because it’s impossible to tell how much Lolita has changed me when compared to how much I would have changed on my own had I never gotten involved in the fashion. But I’ll try.

A coord from May 2016, roughly one year before writing this post and one year into wearing the fashion.

There are some ways in which I’ve changed that I can definitely attribute to Lolita, but they’re superficial. For example, the way that I dress even outside of Lolita had been affected; I give more thought to color balance, and I now have a tendency to overaccessorize. That’s definitely due to my love of Lolita. Additionally, my skincare routine has changed quite a bit and I give more thought to my hairstyle and makeup as parts of an outfit. But these are things I’ve learned from Lolita more than they are ways in which I’ve changed or grown as a person.
I do feel that Lolita fashion and my involvement in it has contributed to changes in my personality and lifestyle as well, though these are harder to pinpoint. For one thing, since I’ve been involved in Lolita and started attending more meets, I’ve definitely become more outgoing and comfortable around people I don’t know well. Having a hobby that gets me out of the house and about which I’m passionate has made me feel happier overall, too. Also, while I love spending time with my husband, I think that having something that is purely for me has fostered a sense of independence that I really value, and that I might not have really nurtured otherwise.

While it may not be easy or even possible to say with any certainty how much Lolita has influenced my growth, it has undoubtedly had a positive influence on me. I’m glad to have a passion; something that speaks to me and resonates with me, and I’m grateful that it comes with a community that is, at least in my limited experience, positive, supportive, and friendly. My desire to give back to that community is a large part of what drives me to challenge myself and improve, which I find extremely fulfilling.

Despite my initial feelings towards this topic, I actually found it interesting to explore this side of the fashion, something that I’ve never really done in the past. I’m curious to hear about other experiences as well. How do you feel Lolita as a fashion and as a community has influenced you or contributed to your growth as a person? I’m looking forward to any comments this might get in the future, so feel free to respond below ­čÖé

Hello Kitty Cafe Truck/Tips for Creating Functional Everyday Coords

A Hello Kitty Cafr truck was recently in the area, and a friend and I decided to make a day of it. I felt that the occasion called for a Sweet coord, but there were a few things to keep in mind that required balancing beauty with function. Usually, meets are planned with the understanding that attendees will be dressed impractically. However, adjustments often need to be made to wear Lolita in other situations, and I felt that this was the perfect opportunity to hilight that.

  1. Layers – Since we’d be outdoors, and since the Spring weather has been unpredictable, I opted to wear a light jacket over a short-sleeved cutsew. Both are made from a comfortable knit fabric and are easy to clean, making them ideal choices for everyday wear. In contrast, many Lolita garments are made with delicate lace and fabrics that are dry-clean or hand-wash only, and so aren’t as practical for regular use.
  2.  Flat Shoes – I wore oxfords because I expected to be on my feet for a long period of time. The line was even longer than I’d thought it would be (we were waiting for about 3 hours), so I was very grateful for my comfortable shoes, even though I would have chosen cute heels in a Sweeter style were this coord for a meet.
    This is only a small section of the line. It wrapped around the building.
  3. Parasol – I consider my parasol to be indespensible in situations like this. We were outdoors in the afternoon sun for hours and there wasn’t any shade available most of that time. As you can see in the photo above, many people brought umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun. However, most Lolita parasols block UV light while most umbrellas don’t, making them a better choice. Not to mention they look much cuter (^^)
  4. My Real Hair – There are two major reasons that I don’t recommend wearing a wig for functional daily Lolita. First, they can get hot, itchy, and uncomfortable when worn for long periods of time, as I’m sure most of you know. Second, they come off as costumey, and I find that it’s easier to explain to people who ask about it that Lolita isn’t a costume when I use my real hair.
  5. Low Poof – Finally, when wearing Lolita as a regular fashion, I suggest wearing a low-poof petticoat. Try to use one that’s just large enough to achieve the basic sihlouette. Anything beyond that tends to be impractical in a lot of public spaces, can get in the way of doing some normal everyday activities, and can be uncomfortable after a while.

    Im glad I had a friend with me, because the time went by quickly enough. When we got through the line, we decided to each choose one thing; it was unreasonably expensive, but I can live with that once in a while.

    She got the macaron box and I had the petit 4 cakes. Both were super cute, and tasted fantastic for being boxed food truck food.

    That bright yellowy orange one was mango-and-lemon-flavored and was my favorite of the ones that I tried.

    We bought them together so we could also get the free tote bag, but I don’t need any more reusable shopping bags. I have like a zillion laying around and don’t know where they all come from. So she took that, and I forgot to get a photo of it. It was cute though! With all said and done, I had a great time and I’m glad we went. 

    LBC: Creating a Cohesive Coord

    This┬áweek’s Lolita Blog Carnival challenge actually tied in well to a post I had been writing already, so it was just the push I needed to get my butt in gear and finish it by the deadline: today! I’m sorry that it’s so long, but I felt I had a lot to say on the subject and just couldn’t bring myself to cut any more than this (^^)

    Cohesion is an essential part of Lolita fashion. A coordinate without cohesion isn’t, well, coordinated.┬áLuckily, I feel that achieving balance and harmony is more science than art, so it can be explained. There are three major elements to unifying a coord: color, style, and theme. These three elements, when working together, bring pieces together to create cohesive outfits.

    Color

    The easiest way to unify a coordinate is through color, especially with regard to matching both shade and pigment and to balancing the colors throughout the coord. In the above example, the mismatched reds give a disorganized effect which is emphasized when they are all presented in a solid block of color on the torso. Additionally, the colors in the first coord are out of balance. The accent color, red, is only found in the top half of the coord while the lower half is entirely ivory. Luckily, color balance is usually easily achieved with just a few tweaks and added accessories. Think of the coord as being divided into five sections: the skirt, the upper torso, the head, the legs/feet, and the arms/hands. A fairly foolproof method of achieving balance is to choose one to three colors from the skirt, then to ensure that those colors are represented in roughly equal proportions in the other four sections.

    To rectify these issues, I started by removing the most clearly mismatched reds; the cutsew and the headbow. I replaced them with neutrals to break up the remaining red blocks thus deemphasizing the difference between them. Next, I designated an accent color based on my availabile accessories. I chose chocolate brown in this case. The headbow I had chosen already had a fair amount of brown on it, so my color was already represented on the skirt and head. I switched the shoes out for brown ones to add my accent to the leg area, then I chose a matching chocolate necklace and ring from ShinyStuffCreations to cover the upper torso and hands, respectively. The result is a much more unified and balanced coord.

    Style

    Every Lolita item will be (at least) one of the major styles: Gothic, Classic, and/or Sweet. One of the most frequent beginner mistakes that I encounter is incorporating an item of the wrong style into a coord simply because the colors match. It is essential to a coord’s cohesion that each item match the overall style. Personally, I find it especially jarring when one very Sweet piece is incorporated into a Gothic or Classic coord, like black tea party shoes paired with a mature Gothic JSK, for example. I find that the more juvenile Sweet item throws off the elegance of the rest of the pieces involved. In the coordinate above, I illustrated this by pairing it with a very Sweet Angelic Pretty purse in a black color way. The result is disjointed, despite the black working well with the coord’s other colors. By replacing the bag with a Classic-styled one, the coord becomes unified.

    Theme

    An outfit’s theme can manifest in several ways. Most obviously there are themes which are so frequently seen in Lolita that some people classify them as their own styles (sailor or princess, for example). It’s easy to understand why a crown could work for a hime coord but might seem out of place in a sailor coord even if it matched in color and style. However, there are more subtle variations on this scenario. In my example above, I’ve used the Chocomint star clip that everyone seems to own and paired it with two Sweet JSKs; Blooming Garden and the Ticking Clock. I wouldn’t recommend pairing the clip with Blooming Garden even if the coord incorporated gold accents because a night star seems strange when paired with the dress, which invokes images of a Rose garden on a Spring afternoon. On the other hand, it pairs perfectly with the Ticking Clock, which already has star details throughout the dress. In fact, considering these sorts of repeating motifs when accessorizing can work wonders in unifying a coord, especially if it uses more than one accent color. When working with a printed main piece, consider the theme of that print. Often the theme can be repeated in lace (lace on Lolita blouses usually contains motifs like stars or flowers), headwear, and jewelry. Continuing the same pattern in many places throughout the coord can add subtle dimension and is excellent for this detail-oriented fashion.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on other ways to create cohesion and balance in a coordinate, since I’m sure I’ve missed at least a few things. Feel free to comment below, and read through this week’s other posts for different perspectives!

    Cupcake Kamisama’s Lolita World