Posted in Wardrobe Posts

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!

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Posted in How to Lolita, Lolita Blog Carnival

LBC: Creating a Cohesive Coord

This week’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. Luckily, 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

Posted in How to Lolita

How to Lolita: Building a Basic Coordinate

Hello, all! So I want to apologize in advance for what will definitely be a pretty long post. One of my goals in creating this blog is to provide detailed information on how to get started in Lolita. It seems to me that I should begin with the most basic and fundamental aspect of being a Lolita: coording! I’m generally mechanically-minded and the way that I coordinate outfits is decidedly formulaic, which has advantages and disadvantages. A major advantage is that my thinking is fairly simple to explain and does result in some nice outfits. I think at the very least it’s a great way for beginners to get the hang of Lolita fashion. I have a few methods for building coords, but this one is easiest and fastest. It can be done in just four steps, and typically takes me about 5 to 15 minutes to throw together a passable outfit. I’m planning on covering methods for creating more complicated coords as well as including contributions from friends in various styles, but I thought it would be best to have some basic information here too so it can be referenced later.

Think of a coord as having three to four layers. The bottom layer is foundation garments, which for me includes bloomers, petticoats, a bra, a camisole, and sometimes a corset. Next is my base layer, which usually consists of just a blouse and legwear. Third, I have my main piece; a skirt, JSK, or OP. The fourth (and totally optional) layer is outerwear, usually a coat, cardigan, bolero, or cape. For true beginners, these pieces are covered in way more detail at the Lolita Guidebook.

Step 1: Normally, when I’m planning a coordinate, the first thing I choose is my main piece. Whether it’s a solid color, an all-over pattern, or a print, this will probably be the focal point. Once you have your main piece, you can determine whether you’ll be creating a Classic, Gothic, or Sweet coord. For my example, I’ll be starting out with a skirt that is firmly planted in Sweet territory.

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Step 2: Next, I use my main piece to determine what color my base layer should be. The blouse and legwear don’t necessarily need to match each other in every coordinate of course, but for this method I match both to the color of the lace on the main piece, in this case white. Remember, matching both style and color is extremely important to the overall finished look! Plain white tights would be perfectly acceptable here, but I think that having patterned tights or OTKs make the completed coord look a little more polished. I choose a white blouse and printed white OTKs that match the color scheme of the skirt, making sure that both suit the Sweet style.img_3210

 

Step 3: At this point, I decide on an accent color. Now, in this case it’s pretty simple because the only color in the main piece is red, so my accent color is naturally going to be red. Sometimes, especially with prints, there will be a few colors to choose from. Choose whichever you’d like, but stick with just one for this method. Once you’ve decided on your accent color, choose shoes, a bag, and headwear that use that color, again being sure to consider the overall style. I definitely get a Summery vibe from what I have so far, so I try to echo that in my choices.

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At this point we’re nearly done. The last step s to accessorize. This is where the concept of color balance comes into play, so I’ll explain that briefly before I continue.

In order to ensure that a coord is balanced, think of it as being divided into five sections: head, torso, arms (including hands), skirt, and legs (including feet). The idea is just to ensure that the accent color is represented in all five sections.

Step four: In this case, there’s no red on the torso yet and the arms are completely bare, so we’ll have to correct that! I do notice that the socks have strawberries on them and I don’t want them to be the only strawberries in the whole coordinate as that might look a little strange. Echoing motifs from a printed piece (stars for a sky print, for example) is generally a good idea. I start looking for red strawberry accessories for the arms and torso. It doesn’t take me long to find a few.

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So there you have it! It may not be the most innovative coord in the world, but it’s totally acceptable to wear to a meet. This is my go-to method when I need to get ready in a hurry or when I’m just feeling uninspired. As long as you pay close attention to the style of each piece and make sure that any print motifs appear a few times throughout the coord, it should yield some nice results.

Happy coording!