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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!

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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 ยฅ3,000 (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.
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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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Hello Kitty Cafe Truck/Tips for Creating Functional Everyday Coords

A Hello Kitty Cafe 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.

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    Thoughts on Losing the Gothic and Lolita Bible and Answers to the Harajuku Fashion Tag.

    I’ve been struggling with writing about the end of G&LB for a while now. I can’t seem to articulate my feelings on the matter in a way that hasn’t already been done to death. There seem to be two major camps within the EGL community: one is in a panic, predicting “the death of J-fashion” and waiting for Lolita to go the way of Mori Kei, while the other sees it more as a blow to print media than to its intended audience. I fall somewhere in between. I do think that the end of G&LB will have an effect on the fashion and it’s community, but I also agree that it likely signifies a change in the way we get our information more than it does the end of the fashion. My favorite part of the magazine, the street snaps, are easily replaced by Amino and Instagram. Brand news is available online, both from the brands themselves and from the Lolita Updates Facebook group. Blogs more or less cover the rest. But G&LB was the definitive source for all things Lolita. It was, as the name might suggest, Lolita Canon. Losing that will take some adjustment.
    Since the facts of the situation have already been covered by nearly every loliblog out there, I’ll assume that most readers are already at least somewhat familiar with the announcement that the magazine will be closing and why. Instead of focusing on that, I’ve chosen to focus on remembering what it has done for me by participateing in this project from MagicalGirlMe.:

    1. I’m most passionate about Lolita fashion, of course ^_^
    2. I was first introduced to Lolita through a friend in high school (probably around 2005), and then more thoroughly by the TokyoPop English-language Gothic and Lolita Bible, but I had only a casual interest until about 2015. At that point I discovered Lace Market and I’ve been broke ever since.
    3. I love the way that wearing Lolita makes me feel; elegant, feminine, and dainty, but simultaneously strong and confident. Those should never be mutually exclusive but sadly they often are.
    4. What strikes me as unique about Lolita fashion is that it’s feminine without invoking sexual appeal, as most women’s fashions do in some way. It encourages it’s wearers to be beautiful without being exposed, and that appeals to me a great deal.
    5. There is so much I’d like to say to people who are interested in starting out in Lolita that it was one of the biggest motivations for starting this blog! Typically though, when I’m talking to an individual I tailor my response to their needs. I suppose if I had to offer just one piece of advice it would be to get a high-quality bell-shaped chiffon petticoat before anything else. It’s a generic, boring answer, but I don’t know who I’m talking to QQ

    In closing, since the Lolita community is losing our definitive source on our fashion, we’ll need to work harder to create cohesion as trends change and evolve. With that said, I don’t believe that this is the death of J-fashion. There are so many other mediums through which we in the alternative fashion community can express our love of our styles of choice. If we continue to share our thoughts (and our coords!) with the world, our fashions need not stagnate, and as long as they continue evolving, they’ll never really die.

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    My Birthday and the Crown and Crumpet Tea Room

    My birthday was on Sunday and my husband took a friend and I to Japantown in San Francisco to celebrate. We had tea at the Crown and Crumpet, a tea room just downstairs from Baby SF, then we went to Baby and the Japantown malls. This is my favorite coord shot, though I wasn’t a huge fan of the face I made lol:

    I still hadn’t worn my Ticking Clock JSK that I bought back in November, so I decided to finally show it some love. It has a lot of star detailing (mainly the trim near the bottom and the gold star charm on the bodice), so I thought it would pair nicely with my Chocomint star clip. I also happened to have this pink blouse with star lace that matches the pink on the jsk almost perfectly. I don’t have any star jewelry, but thought that clocks match the Peter Pan theme just as well.

    Coord rundown:

    JSK: Alice and the Pirates

    Blouse: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright

    Purse: Angelic Pretty

    Headbow: Handmade

    Star Clip and jewelry: Chocolate

    Socks and wig: Bodyline

    Shoes: Offbrand

    I had been to the Crown and Crumpet before, and of course it’s very Lolita-friendly. I’d never had their tea service though, since they also have full-sized sandwiches and desserts. I requested a vegetarian version, so it was slightly different from usual.

    It came with five desserts, both a scone and a crumpet (the scone was especially good), a salad, two mini quiches, and  I a small piece of bread with cream cheese and cucumber. There were two finger sandwiches that aren’t visible in my photo. The food was on the better side, and came with more than most I’ve tried for comparable prices.

    After tea we went upstairs to BTSSB. Of course there’s no photography allowed in the store, and I didn’t try anything on and left empty-handed (I’m proud of myself for that).

    Last, we went to the Japantown mall for purikura and shopping. I got the latest G&LB, some false eyelashes, and taiyaki. I had a great time! I’ll try to remember to take more photos the next time I go.

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    Lolita Blog Carnival: Create a Cooord Based on your Favorite Chocolate Bar

    My favorite chocolate bar is the Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Bar from Trader Joe’s. The bar itself is a pretty deep brown, and the packaging uses some very underused colors for Lolita fashion, so I was excited to participate in this week’s challenge.

    Unfortunately, I couldn’t match the green/yellow color with pieces from my wardrobe, so I tried to just stick to the general palette instead. I felt those colors are best suited to Classic, as is the chocolate itself. It’s more bitter than sweet, and reminds me of more mature styles of Lolita.


    Blouse- Victorian Maiden

    Skirt – Metamorphose

    Bolero, headband, bow, UTKs – Innocent World

    Shoes – Random Item (eBay)

    The coord I ended up with uses much more ivory than I would have liked, but that’s mainly because of the constraints of having a smallish wardrobe. Overall it still essentially captures the idea and feeling that I had in-mind.

    This week’s participants:

    Cupcake Kamisama’s Lolita World

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    The English Rose Tea Room

    My mom and I went to The English Rose in Pleasanton last  a week, continuing my project of trying tea rooms around the Bay Area. I’ve been to the English Rode before, and it’s definitely one of my favorite places to go while wearing Lolita fashion. The staff is always friendly, and the decor suits Classic and Sweet especially well. One thing to note though is that it is somewhat cramped, so it’s usually best to wear a moderately-sized petticoat to avoid knocking anything over.

    One thing that sets the English Rose apart from other Tea Rooms in the area is the tea itself. It tends to be especially good, and they don’t bring it out to the table until it’s perfectly brewed. Additionally, while most tea rooms only bring one pot of tea per person, here you may order as many different teas as you’d like at no extra charge. After finishing off a pot, it’s perfectly fine to ask for a different type. That alone gives the English Rose a considerable edge over similar places in the Bay Area, in my opinion.

    The food here is also especially good. The prices are comparable to those of other tea rooms in the area (the Queen’s Tea is about $30 per person), but they include considerably more food than most for that price. It includes four finger sandwiches, three savories, a scone, some fruit, and three deserts. While the specifics do change slightly, they’re almost always fantastic. Also, they’re very accommodating of any dietary restrictions.

    Finally, the service here has always been exceptional in my experience. The servers are friendly and attentive, and they write personalized thank you notes on the back of the bill at the end of your seating, which I’ve always thought was an especially nice touch.

    Overall, I love the English Rose. Speaking as a Lolita, there are a few cons: Pleasanton is about as far from San Francisco as can be while still being considered “Bay Area” so it would likely be inconvenient for visitors, and as I mentioned it can be a little cramped, but I consider these minor drawbacks in most cases. I’d strongly recommend that you make your way out to Pleasanton at least once, if you’re able to.

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    Bow Headband Tutorial

    I’ve been working on a Sweet spring coord for my AatP Ticking Clock JSK, but I’ve been unable to find headwear that matches the style I’m going for. I remembered my resolution to complete at least 6 Lolita-related sewing projects in 2017, so I decided this could be the perfect opportunity! Unfortunately I was in a hurry, so if you plan to follow along please measure better than I did, and slow down on stitching to ensure that your stitches are straight.

    I started off with 1/8 yard of my chosen fabric, 1 1/4 yards of gold trim, and a thin headband.

    First, I decided how wide I wanted my bow to be (based on the width of my headband), doubled that, and added 1 inchโ€‹ to the result. Then I cut a strip of fabric at that width, folded the strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together, and ironed it flat.

    I unfolded the strip, which now had a crease as a halfway marker.

    Next, I folded one edge to the middle crease and pressed that to make a quarter way marker.

    I wanted gold trim down the center of my bow, so I pinned it over the quarter-way crease and then hand-stitched it in place.

    I cut a small (about 5 inch) section off of one end of the strip. That would be the center of my bow.

    Next, I folded both sections lengthwise with right-sides together and ironed them flat.

    I sewed 1/4 inch away from the edge all the way around both strips (even on the creased edge, so the gold trim would stay in the middle), leaving a small (about 1 inch) gap in the middle of the open side of the longer piece, and on one of the far ends of the short piece. Afterwards, I trimmed all the edges back and cut diagonally across each corner as close to the stitched corners as I could get without cutting through to what would be the outside. I’m afraid I forgot to photograph that step. Sorry!

    Using the gaps I left, I turned both pieces right side out.

    I ironed both pieces flat again, then  topstitched around the edges. I started this stitching from the middle of the gaps I had left. This way, the start and end of the stitch would be covered when the bow is finished.

    Working from the center and being sure to maintain symmetry, I hand-stitched small folds into the longer strip. 

    Finally, I stitched the short piece around the center of the longer strip to create a bow shape, trimmed of any hanging threads, and then sewed the entire bow to my headband. It looks sloppy on its own, but is completely covered when worn.

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    Camellia Tea Room

    I recently decided that it might be fun to visit different tea rooms around the Bay Area, so last week my mom, grandma, and I went to downtown Benicia to try Camellia tea room.

    I do really like downtown Benicia. It’s got lots of cute antique shops, restaurants, and a bookstore. But none of us had ever been to Camellia. My first impression walking in was that it’s cute, although it isnt very “Lolita” and is fairly dark inside. I wasn’t a fan of the art but I doubt that it’s always the same.

    We were all very impressed with the menu, though. In addition to standard tea, sweets, and finger sandwiches, they also serve full-sized sandwiches and a few other lunch items. My mom and I ordered the traditional tea, and my grandma had a salad and a half sandwich.

    The traditional tea was fairly standard in price and quality. We each got four finger sandwiches, one bruschetta, two scones, and three deserts, plus a choice of one tea each. I chose the gyokuro, and my mom chose the Kenya tea. Both were very good, but I personally preferred the gyokuro. It had a slight sweetness to it that I loved. My grandma ordered the lavender black tea, and while I’m generally not a fan of flavored tea, I was impressed with it. It may have been my favorite of the three.

    Traditional tea
    Tuna half-sandwich and side salad

    Overall impression: our server was friendly and sweet, and the food was good although not spectacular. I didn’t particularly care for the decor, but the neighborhood is gorgeous. I love that the menu had options for lunch instead of tea service, and I think that the menu combined with the more modern interior makes Camellia particularly husband-and-boyfriend-friendly compared to most tea rooms that I’ve been to. While I don’t think I’d drive back just for tea, it’s worth coming if you’re already in the area.